Richard D. Clanton - Louisiana's Father of FBLA

The Richard D. Clanton Memorial Award is named after the Louisiana's Father of FBLA.  Mr. Clanton played the most significant part in bringing FBLA to Louisiana.  Mr. Clanton began his teaching career in Business Education at Ponchatoula and later taught at Bolton High School in Alexandria.  He organized the third local chapter in Louisiana.  The first chapter was Natchitoches High School in 1947.  He was instrumental in organizing Louisiana as a state chapter.  Mr. Clanton was asked to serve on President John Kennedy's National Council for Youth.

Louisiana was organized in 1949 and received its National Charter in April of 1950.  Louisiana soon became one of the most active states in FBLA and the first national president was Jeron LaFargue (Sulphur High School - 1952-53) from Louisiana.  Louisiana has had eight national presidents including Mr. Clanton's daughter, Francis Clanton Farlow.  Francis Clanton was elected the ninth national president and served during the 1960-61 membership year.

Mr. Clanton died in July of 1970.  At the time of his death he was the Director of Business and Office Education for Louisiana and a member of the National Board of Directors for FBLA.  He played a big part in getting Dr. Edward Miller to head the national association.  Most of all, Mr. Clanton is remembered for establishing the Louisiana FBLA chapter and dedicating his professional life to young people.
From the time that Mildred Lenore Hagg married Richard D. Clanton on Christmas Eve in 1940, she was an integral part of all he did.  Mildred Clanton was involved with FBLA from the time the first Louisiana chapter was founded until the State Leadership Conference of 2002.  Mrs. Clanton died in September of 2002.

She enjoyed going to the small towns and large towns participating in all manners of FBLA activities.  After Richard Clanton died, Mrs. Clanton stayed in touch with FBLA through judging the Richard D. Clanton Memorial Award at the state conferences.  She read every letter and resume', and while she was physically able, she enjoyed visiting with all of the teachers she knew at the state conferences each year.  Even when she was no longer physically able to attend the state conferences, she insisted on reviewing every Richard D. Clanton Memorial Award application.

Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Clanton's daughters, Frances Clanton Farlow and Sammy Sue Clanton Thibo, judged the Richard D. Clanton Memorial award together until Mrs. Farlow's death in 2011.  At this time Sammy Sue Clanton Thibo and her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Wright Cassano of Alexandria stay in touch with FBLA by judging the Richard D. Clanton Memorial Award at the state conferences and presenting the award on the morning of the awards session.