Westonka DECA finishes strong at state

BY BECCA NEUGER
FOR THE LAKER2-l-deca-cmyk-wide

Mound Westonka High School had 83 students compete in the 2017 DECA State Career Development Conference, which was held March 19-21 at the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency. DECA is a leadership network that prepares students for careers in finance, hospitality, marketing and management. Through real-world experiences and classroom curriculum, DECA gives students a competitive edge for college and career success.

Westonka DECA was entered in 36 of the 55 events run at the state level. The top 12 students move on to the final round in each DECA category. Westonka advanced 40 students/groups to the state finals this year.

Ten MWHS students placed high enough in their respective events to qualify for the 2017 DECA International Career Development Conference, which will be held April 25-30 in Anaheim, California. Juniors Zach Riffle, Katelyn Wagner and Abby Wharram; and seniors Noah Brammer, Andrew LaFortune, Abby Leschisin, Tiffany Nguyen, Sheridan Nygard, Neil Schmalz and Evann Welty will compete at Internationals.

Westonka DECA took home three first-place trophies from state, including one for the “Mound Talks” Creative Marketing Chapter Project that featured a TED-like event at MWHS last December. Westonka also earned one second-place trophy and four fourth-place awards.

HELP SEND WESTONKA DECA TO CALIFORNIA
The 10 MWHS students who will compete at Internationals are raising money for the travel expenses, which total $12,000 for the group. You can support the international competitors by participating in Chipotle Night on April 17 or by buying a raffle ticket.

Chipotle Night – Come in to the Chipotle at 1313 Wayzata Blvd. E in Wayzata on Monday, April 17, between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Westonka DECA.

Prize Raffle – A drawing for three great vacation prizes will take place on April 17. Tickets are on sale for $5 per ticket or $20 for five tickets. They can be purchased at MWHS from DECA advisors Sue Simonson, Toby Robinson or Pam Tremblay. The $20 ticket package can also be purchased online at westonka.feepay.com.
The following students/teams advanced to the state finals, and the students marked with an asterisk (*) are headed to Internationals:

WRITTEN PAPERS:
Creative Marketing Chapter Project – senior Andrew LaFortune, junior Katelyn Wagner and junior Abby Wharram, first place*
Public Relations Project – senior Tiffany Nguyen, senior Sheridan Nygard and junior Zach Riffle – fourth place*
Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan – seniors Noah Brammer and Evann Welty, first place*; LaFortune, Nygard and Riffle, 11th place
Business Growth Plan – senior Neil Schmalz, first place*
International Business Plan – junior Austin Hargreaves and Ava Wagner, eighth place
Finance Operations Research Project – seniors Sydney Klohn, Rachel Kuehn and Lauren Demchuk, sixth place
Buying and Merchandising Operations Research Project – seniors Kristina Linder, Grant Sterne and Christi Wanous, seventh place
Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research Project – juniors Caitlin Balk, Leah Richter and Hannah Swanson, 12th place
Sports and Entertainment Operations Research Project — seniors Carter Matt, Maddie Niederer and Charlie Treat, 10th place
Fashion Promotion – Nguyen, second place
Professional Selling – junior Evan Dahl, 10th place
Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling – junior Sam Eidsness, ninth place
Financial Consulting Professional Selling – junior Reed Kohls, eighth place

INDIVIDUAL ROLE PLAYs:
Apparel and Accessories Role Play – senior Addy Davis, eighth place
Retail Merchandising Role Play – LaFortune, fourth place*
Food Marketing Role Play – Riffle, 11th place
Restaurant and Food Service Role Play – Leschisin, sixth place*

TEAM ROLE PLAYS:
Travel and Tourism Team Role Play – juniors Joelle Hoernemann and Claire Robbins, 10th place; ninth-graders Olivia Martel and Ari Zahasky, 11th place
Hospitality Team Role Play – Matt and Treat, 10th place
Buying and Merchandising Team Role Play – juniors Megan Heins and Audrey Woychick – ninth place
Marketing Management Team Role Play – Dahl and junior Michael Uhas, ninth place; Kohls and sophomore Lauren Lachenmeyer, 11th place
Sports and Entertainment Team Role Play — Demchuk and Klohn, eighth place; Wagner and Wanous, 11th place
Top Test Score Medals: LaFortune, Nguyen, Treat and Welty

STATE-ONLY EVENTS (THOSE THAT DON’T ADVANCE TO INTERNATIONAL DECA):

Sales Demonstration Hard Lines – junior Jack LaTour, fourth place
Employment Interview Advanced – senior Emma Polusny, fourth place; senior Katie Priefer, ninth place
Marketing Plan – Product – juniors Inga Erdahl, Ryan Hanratty, Amy Howarth and Hank Nagel, fifth place