I still can believe it “Mark Creech PBL Western Region Vice President”. Of course my life mantra is” It’s not how you start but how you finish”. This is just another example of accomplishing what many said was impossible. When I joined Arizona Phi Beta Lambda all I wanted was to build a resume, to help me compete against other college graduates.

The journey began in 2012, taking online classes online from Central Arizona College. Yes, I know many students take classes online, I wonder how many take their classes while working 70 hours a week driving a Semi-truck throughout the country. Most non-believers felt I would never graduate, however I had a reason to not fail. My wife needed me to come home to help raise the grandchildren.

In 2013 seeking a way to enhance my resume, I joined PBL, at Central Arizona College. I told CAC adviser Linda Friedel “I’m only here to compete in sporting competition events and to not expect me to get involved in anything else”. Little did I know that the FBLA-PBL culture would become contagious and change my life forever.

When I joined Phi Beta Lambda, I had the people skills of a rock. Yes, I wanted to be left alone and not be a part of anything and just exist with no real purpose. Thanks to this great organization filled with great leaders such as: Professor James Latham, Linda Friedel, Gayle Haro, Dylan Downhill, Josh Turney, Mike Manion and John Tyler, I am a new person.

Today, I find myself in a position where I can impact many people, organizations and future generations of leaders. My actions will set the tone for the 2016-17 FBLA-PBL year. Please don’t misunderstand, I do not run FBLA-PBL, they functioned before I joined and will continue to create leaders well after I’m gone.

However, I can set an example for future PBL Western Region Vice Presidents by leaving a “Legacy of Leadership” This was the reflection I had while flying from Phoenix, AZ to Reston, Virginia for national officer training. When I arrived at national headquarters my first thought was “Mark you are out of your league” my fellow national officers all have been involved in FBLA and now PBL their mannerism and knowledge of the organization is impressive.

Soon, I realized I do belong and can be an important piece to the 2016-17 puzzle. Each officer will play a role in completing the national program of work. The vision this year is to not “recreate the wheel, but to fine tune it”. FBLA-PBL celebrates the 75th anniversary of creating leaders throughout the world.

Lisa Smothers is one of the best meeting planners, I have ever been associated with. She planned everything meticulously and our productivity was off the chart. We visited Washington, DC to meet with the senate and house, toured Arlington National Cemetery and participated in the laying of the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Now I find myself, on my return flight to Phoenix, Arizona full of knowledge, motivation and confidence.

2016-17 will be a year to remember and the legacy we all will leave will impact so many lives. But, that’s what FBLA PBL has been doing for 75 years. In closing, I ask this question “What will you do today to make yourself a better leader”?

Mark Creech

PBL Western Region Vice President

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