Godwin’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) team, led by advisor and marketing and business teacher, Deborah Ross, headed to the District 24 competition.

The District 24 competition was held at the Virginia Center Commons Mall (VCC) on January 9.

At the fore front of the team was the president, Victor Macklin, Sr., and two vice presidents, James Burton, Sr., and Emily Harrison, Sr.

DECA is an organization of marketing and personal finance students. In order to be a part of the DECA team, students must be in a marketing class.

“The purpose of DECA is to prepare students for college and careers through project-based activities and leadership development,” said Ross.

The District 24 Competition was attended by all DECA members from all county schools. The competition was constructed of a written test and two business case studies which were evaluated by community employers.

The members of the DECA team participate in district, state, and national competitions as well as chapter activities such as fundraising and social events.

In order to compete in districts, members had to pay their DECA fee, sign up and pick a category from the following: sports and entertaining, apparel and accessories, automotive services, business services, food and marketing, hotel and lodging, human resource management, marketing management, restaurant, and retail merchandising.

Members had to dress up as if they were going to a job interview and must contain a firm handshake and keep eye contact with the judges. Members were prepared for unexpected and ready for the challenges.

“Going to competition was challenging but a lot of fun because I got to meet a lot of new people and gain more knowledge about marketing,” said Harrison

The DECA members were each given a scenario based on the chosen category and asked to set a business plan that would meet the needs of the employees. Also, the members had to make a set salary and manage the employees.

Scenarios such as hotel and lodging would include the members coming up with their own loyalty and lodging program for guests.

Each member was given a set time and after that time ended, they would then present their business plans to their evaluator.

“Presentation, confidence, and motivation are the keys to succeed when talking to the judges and being presented with a scenario,” said Macklin.

Members of DECA who would be attending the state championships would include: Elliot Culbreth who placed 1st overall in Automotive Services, Colin Papenfuss placed 1st in his test and 2nd overall in Human Resource Management, Austin Tuck placed 1st in his test, 2nd in selling, 3rd in professional development, and 1st overall in Marketing Management, and James Burton who placed 2nd in test, 3rd in leadership, and 2nd overall in Restaurant.

“I’m really proud of the members of DECA who showed because they all worked really hard. I’m really happy for those who made it to state,” said Burton.

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