Maple Mountain and Springville High schools attended the DECA International Competition the last week of April. Jessika Hilton, Maple Mountain Chapter President, brought home two national awards: Overall finalist in Restaurant and Food Service Management and top 10 role play score. Students who attended from Springville High were Chelsea Staple, Hotel and Lodging Management; Chelsie Murdock, Leadership Training; and Jerich McAfee and John Call; Financial Analysis Team Decision Making.
During the six days of the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Louisville, Kentucky, DECA students from across the world gathered to compete in various events. A massive 14,000 students and their advisors came together to compete for scholarships, business and entrepreneurship recognition, cash prizes, and the tall glass trophies. From Utah, around 150 students competed and finalist medals and two trophies were brought home.
Students arrived in Louisville on Friday, April 23, for an opening ceremony the following night. During free time, competitors toured the Louisville Slugger Museum, Muhammad Ali Museum, the Kentucky Derby Museum, and Frazier International History Museum. Competitors also dined in the Hard Rock Café and rode down the Ohio River on steamboats. Fourth Street Live was a popular street filled with good food and good shopping, or there’s the baseball Walk of Fame just one street over. Churchill Downs was open just the week before the Kentucky Derby with horse races and a breakfast during Dawn at the Downs. Lady Antebellum performed an exclusive concert for DECA students and ended the night with a loudly accepted encore.
Opening ceremonies on Saturday brought together all competitors for the first time. The annual fashion show sponsored by FIDM debuted up and coming teen designers from across the country. Sponsors were awarded plaques for five, ten, and fifteen years of support, and a new competitive event was announced for next year.
The competition really began on Sunday with event testing for the role play and quiz bowl competitors. Each contestant took a 100 question test on terms, laws, and information related to their individual category, such as Hospitality and Tourism or Business Law. Role Play, Quiz Bowl, and written event presentations took place on Monday, as well as the Stock Market Game and other elimination-style events.
A luncheon was held for all State and Provincial officers in attendance at the conference. Next year’s Utah Officer Team is Lindsay Lockheart as President, Jessika Hilton as Executive Vice President, with Victor Tsai, Andrew, Josh, and Hyrum as Regional Vice Presidents.
Tuesday was the day of the preliminary awards ceremony where medals were awarded for the top ten in each subcategory and the top twenty overall finalists in each category. Final events were carried out and judged throughout the rest of the day. That evening, competitors gathered for the last time during the conference for the Grand Awards ceremony to await the awards and the announcement of next year’s National Officer Team, elected by voting delegates from each state earlier that day. The Utah Quiz Bowl Team took home the third place trophy, and an individual competitor took home second place in her category.
The conference was then adjourned by the incoming National Officer Team, and competitors traveled home on Wednesday. DECA students are now preparing for next year’s ICDC in Orlando, Florida.
Group Picture Caption (left to right): Chesie Murdock (Springville High), Jessika Hilton (Maple Mountain High), Tanner Holt (Spanish Fork High), and Chelsea Staple (Springville High)