UW-W DECA chapter sends 19 students to International Conference

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Earlier this month, the UW-Whitewater DECA chapter took home several awards in the Wisconsin State Career Development Conference and qualified for competitions at the International Conference in Salt Lake City.

The organization will send 19 students to the International Conference in April. All 19 students had to qualify in their respective areas of competition to earn a spot. Last year, the chapter sent nine students to the conference.

The UW-Whitewater DECA chapter will be sending 19 students to an international conference in Salt Lake City in April after a successful weekend at the state competition. Photo submitted.

At the Wisconsin State Career Development Conference held in Madison, DECA won the Chapter of the Year and the Diamond Award, making them the first school to win both awards in the past 10 years.

“This is the first time a school for the UW System has won [the Diamond Award],” DECA Event Coordinator Kyria Smith said.

The organization beat out the returning Diamond Award winners who had received the award the last six years in a row.

According to Smith, there are four points of the DECA Diamond: social intelligence, civic consciousness, leadership development, and vocational understanding.

“The [Diamond Award] goes to the chapter that exemplifies these four points the most,” Smith said.

Smith said the service work the organization does in part with the Whitewater Unified School District, UW-Whitewater’s Make a Difference Day and Autism Speaks is one of the reasons the chapter won the Diamond Award and has found success in other competitions.

The group also won a membership award for improved membership, having seen its highest membership this year with 47 members.

At the conference, two board members of the UW-Whitewater chapter were elected to office on the state level.  Smith was elected secretary and junior Jenny Sutcliffe was elected parliamentarian.

Smith said each member will step down from their local board positions to assume the responsibilities of their elected offices at the state level.

Senior Chapter President Brandon Narveson was among the DECA members honored with awards at the event. He received the Student of the Year Award, which only graduating seniors are eligible to receive.

One of the six founding members of the UW-Whitewater chapter of DECA, Narveson has been president of the chapter for the first three years of the chapter’s existence.

“Without [Narveson], our chapter would not be thriving the way it is,” Smith said. “He has definitely been a key part in our chapter, and our chapter has become a key part of DECA for the state of Wisconsin. Without him our chapter wouldn’t function the way it does and the state would really be at a loss.”

Narveson said DECA helps prepare students for the professional business world through events and competitions like the Madison conference.

“[DECA is] pretty much everything from marketing to management to finance,” Narveson said. “[It has] anything for anyone with any type of major.”