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DECA brings home 23 trophies from state conference

The Demopolis DECA Club represented Demopolis High School well during the 2017 Alabama DECA State Career Development Conference Feb. 22-23 in Birmingham, winning 23 awards during the conference.

A total of 43 students went on the trip and competed in entrepreneurship, business administration, marketing, finance and hospitality tourism.

Projects were done throughout the school year by DECA members and the head of those projects compiled a 30-page paper and gave a 15-minute presentation in Birmingham to show what they learned.

“It’s pretty impressive, the amount of work it takes to get to this level,” said DECA Advisor Connie Davis.

Along with winning on-site and written competitions, DECA also won the State Impact Award, which was the first of its kind, for a “Their Story” video.” In that video, students had current and former DECA students talk about how the group changed their lives.

The chapter also won recognition for their Community Service Public Relations campaign for their work with the 2016 Christmas on the River.

Davis seeks help from the community to give the students real-world assistance. For example, Rick Dunn of Robertson Bank was brought in to help the group with finance topics.

“We had a lot of partnerships with the community to help with these projects,” said Davis. “They’re doing real work and that’s what this program is all about.”

Doing the real work helps students in the long run and adds to having an invested interest in the work.

“The real work pays off and the kids find true value and ownership in their work,” said Davis.

Aside from all of the group accomplishments, Brionna Howerton was elected District 1 Vice-President. The junior will serve her term during the 2017-2018 school year. Howerton well be responsible for leading and guiding DECA during state events and serving as an emcee  at those events

“I’m very excited … kind of nervous but just excited for the experience this going to bring and the opportunity,” said Howerton.

DHS won 14 first place awards and include the following: Brionna Howerton, Hospitality and Tourism Business Operations Written; Mary-Michael Bradley, Creative Marketing Project Chapter Team Written; Hannah Stidham and Charles Casper, Entrepreneurship  Promotion Project Chapter Team Written; Allison Polk and Justin Stephens, Learn and Earn Promotion Project Chapter Team Written; Lauren Boone and Hudson Holley, Public Relations Project Chapter Team Written; Ashley Carter, Start-Up Business Plan Entrepreneurship Written; Matt Dollar, Franchise Business Plan Entrepreneurship Written; Casey Speed, Independent Business Plan Entrepreneurship Written; MacKenzie Dill and McKenzie Durden and Lexie Tshannen, Advertising Campaign Marketing Representative Written; Courtney Roberts and Hunter Bailey, Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan Marketing Representative Written; Austin Hall and Ellen Dunklin, Sports and Entertainment Promotion Plan Marketing Representative Written; Parker Hallmark, Financial Consulting Professional Selling and Consulting; Taylor Langley, Principles of Business Management and Administration; and Sarah Margaret Veres, Marketing Communications Individual Series.

Four second place groups came home and include the following: Jonathan Helms and Alana Halkias, Financial Literacy Promotion Project Chapter Team Written; Fahmi Alnaham and Nirali Patel, International Business Plan Entrepreneurship Written; Tristan Mullen and Jamal Thurmond, Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Event; and Tyler Ward, Human Resources Management Individual Series.

Five third place winners are as followed: Noah Hay and Nathan Williams, Community Service Project Chapter Team Written; Nya Rowser, Advertising Campaign Marketing Representatives Written; Sean Frankowski, Professional Selling Professional Selling and Consulting; Jakob Williams, Automotive Services Marketing Individual Series; and Elly Brown & Mary Frances Brown, Financial Services Team Decision Event.