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Dara DuboisFrom the SkillsUSA Alumni
and Friends Executive Chair

Happy New Year from your Alumni and Friends Association Executive Board. Your alumni board is working with state directors, alumni coordinators and others to prepare for state leadership and skills conferences. We are here to help. If you need assistance, call, email or find us on Facebook.
Alumni Board seeks nominees for Regions 2, 4 and the Executive Chair
SkillsUSA is accepting nominations for qualified and motivated Alumni and Friends Association members for service on the alumni executive board. Nominations are being accepted for Executive Chair, Region 2 and Region 4. 

All nominees must be active annual, lifetime or honorary life members in good standing of the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association. In addition, a nominee must have been an active member for at least 12 months preceding the date of nomination. Nominations must be submitted to the national headquarters by March 1. You may nominate yourself or any alumni member in good standing. If you have questions, please email Byekwaso Gilbert at, or call 816-726-4255. To download the online nomination form, go to:
Alumni Pin Design Competition
SkillsUSA sponsors an alumni pin design competition that is open to all registered SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association members. The winning design will become the official alumni pin for the 2016 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The alumni pin will be produced by the SkillsUSA Store and sold at the alumni booth. If you have questions, please contact Byekwaso Gilbert at For contest details and rules, visit this link. All entries must be received (not postmarked) by the SkillsUSA national headquarters by the close of business on Feb. 26.
2015 Alumni Pin contest winner
Help Your Career, and Help SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA and Cengage Learning have launched a new portal for SkillsUSA alumni. Alumni can access valuable tools and resources to help them as they wrap up their training programs and enter the workforce. Whether it is a short course on leadership or a career training program to help get certified in a specific field, Cengage provides opportunities through a variety of courses. Visit the SkillsUSA Alumni Portal.

SkillsUSA alumni members will receive a discount on all the courses, and a portion of the proceeds of each course will go to support the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association.

Jeremy DuboisAlumni Success Story

Jeremy Dubois began his SkillsUSA career at 9 years old, attending national officer training with his mom, Dara Dubois, who volunteered her time to facilitate it. During that training, Jeremy learned all that there was to know about SkillsUSA, including the entire Opening Ceremony. When the national officers performed the ceremony at the national headquarters, Jeremy asked for a SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook because he thought one of the officers may have “forgotten a pause.” After that, Jeremy became the youngest-ever Opening and Closing Ceremonies judge. At age 10, he gave more thorough feedback to the competitors than the adult judges.

From grades eight to 12, Jeremy led the SkillsUSA chapter at Foothill High School in Sacramento, Calif. After high school, Jeremy attended the Consumnes River College, where he competed in several contests including Automotive Service Technology, Speech, Sheet Metal and Job Interview.

During that time, Jeremy volunteered at regional, state and national events, running the publications booth and assisting alumni. After graduating from the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training program in 2004, Jeremy began judging the Automotive Service Technology Contest at the National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Jeremy began working at Future Ford of Sacramento as a high school junior in the Sacramento Regional Occupational Program, where he began as a diagnostic technician. Sixteen years later, Jeremy is now a Ford Senior Master Technician and lead for Future Ford of Sacramento. He continues to support and volunteer for SkillsUSA.

Region Reports:

Region 1 Update:
James Rhodes, New York

The Maine Fall Leadership Conference was held in October in Bangor. Several alumni members served in many capacities, including workshop presenters. Many participated for the first time and want to become more involved at the State Leadership and Skills Conference in early March. Alumni interested in attending should contact Emily Hughes, the state alumni coordinator, at 
On Nov. 13, James Rhodes attended the inaugural SkillsUSA Region 1 Fall Leadership Conference, attended by state directors as well as state and national officers from the Northeast. Karen Ward, SkillsUSA Massachusetts director, and the other Region 1 state directors made this conference a reality, along with sponsors – State Farm and Universal Technical Institute. Rhodes brought greetings to the attendees on behalf of our Alumni and Friends Association. He encouraged all seniors to sign up and stay connected to SkillsUSA. 

Region 2 Update:
Glori Griner, Georgia

For the first time, alumni volunteers were present at the Fall Champion’s Rally at the Georgia State Fair. The alumni assisted with conference and contest setup, school registration and other tasks that were critical to achieve a successful event. SkillsUSA Georgia’s state director, Ashley Brown, noted that the opening setup and closing pack-up was done faster than ever before with the assistance of the alumni. Georgia also saw an increase in alumni attendance at the Fall Leadership Conference two weeks later. In four years, alumni attendance at the SkillsUSA Georgia Fall Leadership Conference has increased from three individuals to over 10. 

Other states in Region 2 are preparing for spring conferences. If any alumni coordinator needs help organizing events for their conference, please reach out. 

Region 3 Update:
Seth Strope, Illinois

SkillsUSA Illinois used numerous alumni members this November at their L.E.A.D. conference. Alumni members partnered with the state officer team to develop and facilitate training curriculum for the conference. 

To support growing membership, Wisconsin is developing a new alumni structure.

Region 4 Update:
Terry Robinson, Oklahoma

Terry Robinson attended several fall leadership conferences held across Oklahoma. Robinson participated in several breakout sessions where he encouraged students to put some POW (Program of Work) into their local chapters. In all, Robinson interacted with more than 1,800 students throughout the various conferences he attended.

On Nov. 18, Robinson represented the Alumni Executive Board to the SkillsUSA Oklahoma Executive Board at a meeting held in Stillwater. While there, he was given the opportunity to speak to the advisors, encouraging them to start recruiting for their local alumni chapters.

Region 5 Update:

Nevada held its Fall Leadership Conference on Nov. 12-14, and all graduating seniors were encouraged to sign up for the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association. Over 400 students attended the Arizona State Fall Leadership Conference, and the alumni played a big role in helping with workshops. 

New Mexico welcomes Chris Valenzuela as new alumni state coordinator.

Alumni and Friends
Executive Board Members for 2015-2016

Executive Chair: Dara Dubois, California
Region 1: Jim Rhodes, New York
Region 2: Glori Griner, Georgia
Region 3: Seth Strope, Illinois
Region 4: Terry Robinson, Oklahoma
Region 5: VACANT
Executive Secretary: Anne Dew, Ohio
Karen Ward, Massachusetts State Association Director
Greg Rintala, Business and Industry Representative from Snap-on Incorporated.
Copyright © 2016 SkillsUSA, All rights reserved.

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