UW-Whitewater DECA dominates international competition


Dylan Piccolo, Biz & Tech Editor

UW-Whitewater’s spectacular DECA season was capped off on April 14th in Washington D.C. at the International Career Development Conference as 35 students representing the university won a combined 88 awards in individual and team awards.

The success of the group is right on par with the level of excellence that DECA has been bringing to all of their competitions throughout the year. The club was able to participate in the International competition after winning a number of events in the Wisconsin DECA State Conference.

The biggest win of the weekend was placing first in the International Team Championship in Marketing and Communications, which had over 250 teams from different universities competing.

Some of the other top individual/small team winners were Gahr who took home first place in the Retail Management competition and the team of Daedre Whalen and Kayla Maksen who took second place in the Sports & Entertainment Marketing competition. 

“Seeing the excitement of my chapter was extremely memorable. We are each other’s biggest fans and being able to earn 1st place for our team was amazing,” said Gahr.

Gahr was excited to share the victory amongst her teammates and group leaders that have supported them all year, which turned out to be one of the groups motivating factors for entire season.

“I think the success that the chapter enjoyed at the International Career Development Conference can be directly linked to the strength of our student leadership team and the hard work/dedication of the members who engaged in competition this year” said Frank Lanko, the chapter’s faculty advisor.

For a DECA program that has grown from infancy having success to this magnitude is surreal and speaks to the growth of the program.

“From multiple students placing in the top three, and even a first-place finish, we had a historic year to say the least! This was a great way to celebrate our 10th year on campus at UW-Whitewater, and as we call it, a full DECAde,” said chapter president Emily Hayden.