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DECA students take the lead in business competition

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | February 21, 2024 12:00 AM

Emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs from Glacier, Whitefish and Flathead high schools have advanced to the DECA International Career Development Conference April 27-30 in Anaheim, California.

DECA is a nonprofit organization that prepares high school and college students for marketing, finance, hospitality and management careers. Competitions help prepare students for a career setting by using skills applicable to the business industry. 

To advance, students made it to the top two, or three, depending on the event, at the state level. Students may only compete in one event at internationals. At state, which was held Feb. 4-6 in Missoula, students competed in team decision-making and individual and written events.

At state, Glacier’s business plan to repurpose clothes hangers won the annual Shark Tank challenge and a $1,000 prize. The Glacier team was also recognized for its Thrive Membership Campaign to recruit new members, engage professionals and involve alumni throughout the year.

The international conference is expected to bring together more than 10,000 high school students from around the world, according to www.deca.org, vying to be named champion in a competitive event. 

Participating students will have the opportunity to attend the Emerging Leader Series, which teaches collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity skills. The conference will also feature college and career exhibits that will help students learn about post-secondary studies or opportunities to expand a school-based enterprise. The conference also provides professional development opportunities for teacher-advisers.

Following are state results.


Written events (top two qualify)

Business Services Operations Research

1. Connor Howard, Tanyon Murray and Nakiah Persinger, Glacier

4. Jack Blodgett, Miller Bushnell and Easton Capser, Flathead


Community Awareness Project

2. Zoey Marzo and Lauren Rossi, Whitefish

3. Jax Stebbins, Flathead

4. Matthew Himsl, Andrew Johnson and Ali Putzler, Flathead


Community Giving Project

1. Katy Bitney and Elise Strobel, Glacier

4. Ava Bee and Iona Sarraille, Whitefish


Franchise Business Plan

2. Laney Franchini-White, Madi Gilchrist and Kyrie Gislason, Flathead

7. Payzlee Boyce, Amelia Mason and Sienna Sterck, Flathead


Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research

1. Jack Boone, Alyssa Conrad and Maya Kinkaid, Glacier

5. Unity Loveless and Annie Walsh, Whitefish


Innovation Plan

1. Lilli Eash, Adison Siegel and Celie VandenBosch, Flathead

2. Luke Banks, Matthew Himsl and Cameron Wells, Flathead

7. Max Bonnet, Keegan West and Logan Yuasa-Green, Flathead


Integrated Marketing Campaign (event)

4. Payzlee Boyce and Chloe Converse, Flathead

7. Jesse Burrough, Mason Genovese and Olivia Genovese, Whitefish


Integrated Marketing Campaign (product)

4. Logan Bingham, Jake Dunker and Vennessa Solomon, Whitefish


Integrated Marketing Campaign (services)

3. Micah Brooks, Ada Milner and Brett Pesola, Flathead

4. Hannah Cantrell, David Moody and Alessandro Pipolo, Flathead


International Business Plan

2. Baylanna Brash and Libby Peltz, Flathead

4. Selena Simms and Madison Stanwood, Whitefish


Sports and Entertainment Operations Research

2. Mary Mercer, Myli Ridgeway and CJ Thew, Whitefish


Start-Up Business Plan

6. Katie Brearey and Ada Milner, Flathead

7. Cooper Norbeck and Luke Rogers, Glacier


Team decision (top three qualify)

Business Law and Ethics Team Decision-Making

4. Kennady Garvin and Maya Kinkaid, Glacier

8. Quindy Gronley and Josh Lee, Glacier


Buying and Merchandising Team Decision-Making

1. Carter Bullins and Miller Bushnell, Flathead

2. Meyer Fauth and Quindy Gronley, Glacier

5. Alessandro Pipolo and Ali Putzler, Flathead

7. Lilli Hadley and Tess Lewison, Glacier


Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

2. Jack Blodgett and David Moody, Flathead

3. Carter Bullins and Easton Capser, Flathead

4. Carl Bitney and Sam Engellant, Glacier

5. Ally Pollan and Sienna Sterck, Flathead


Hospitality Services Team Decision-Making

1. Alex Hudson and Emmery Schmidt, Glacier

2. Hannah Cantrell and Ali Putzler, Flathead

3. Blake Lindemann and Kevin Fortin, Glacier

7. Caitlin Converse and Gracie Mae Kilmer, Flathead


Financial Services Team Decision-Making

4. Liesel Esser and Abagael Hewitt, Glacier

7. Jake Dunker and CJ Thew, Whitefish


Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team Decision

1. Meyer Fauth and Quindy Gronley, Glacier

2. Sam Engellant and Jack Syverson, Glacier

6. Kord Madsen and AJ Zlogar, Glacier    

8. Selena Simms and Madison Stanwood, Whitefish


Travel and Tourism Team Decision-Making

1. Sarah Downs and Haven Speer, Glacier

5. Lilli Eash and Adison Siegel, Flathead

6. Isabelle Crosby and Katherine Eckstrom, Whitefish


Marketing Management Team Decision-Making

4. Alyssa Conrad and Kevin Fortin, Glacier

7. Hannah Cantrell and David Moody, Flathead


Individual events (top three qualify)

Accounting Applications

2. Haven Speer, Glacier

4. Alex Hudson, Glacier


Apparel and Accessories Marketing

1. Sarah Downs, Glacier

2. Zoey Marzo, Whitefish

3. Iona Sarraille, Whitefish

4. Kendall Dolan, Glacier

5. Ava Bee, Whitefish

6. Isabelle Crosby, Whitefish

7. Bryton Clark, Glacier

8. Izzy Brewer, Flathead


Automotive Services Marketing

1. Katy Bitney, Glacier

6. Logan Bingham, Whitefish


Business Finance

3. Jack Syverson, Glacier

4. Owen Carpenter, Glacier

6. Boston Case, Flathead

7. Raymond Zonich, Whitefish


Business Services Marketing

1. Taylor Pooton, Flathead

2. Elaina Stern, Flathead

4. Logan Marlow, Glacier

5. Carmela Forcone, Whitefish

6. Jakoby Isles, Glacier

7. Carsen Wenz, Glacier

8. Austin Sanchez, Flathead


Entrepreneurship Series

1. Jack Blodgett, Flathead

2. Taylor Pooton, Flathead

4. Bailey Kallal, Whitefish


Food Marketing Series

1. Zoey Marzo, Whitefish

2. Micah Brooks, Flathead

3. Bailey Kallal, Whitefish

4. Vincent Lam, Flathead

6. Anna Tretter, Glacier


Hotel and Lodging Management

1. Vincent Lam, Flathead

2. Lauren Rossi, Whitefish

3. Annie Walsh, Whitefish

4. Michael Palmer, Flathead

5. Maya Kinkaid, Glacier

8. Mason Kelch, Whitefish


Human Resources Management

1. Jack Syverson, Glacier

2. Jesse Burrough, Whitefish

3. Vincent Lam, Flathead

4. Michael Palmer, Flathead

6. Taylor Pooton, Flathead


Personal Financial Literacy

5. Nakiah Persinger, Glacier


Quick Serve Restaurant Management

1. Maddie Davis, Glacier

3. Colby Wharton, Whitefish

4. Isabelle Bennett, Flathead    

7. Zaden Stout, Glacier

8. Petra Mauldin, Whitefish


Restaurant Food Services Management

2. Iona Sarraille, Whitefish

3. Sophia Bourriague, Glacier

6. Ella Halliburton, Glacier

7. Keelan Moore, Flathead


Retail Merchandising

2. Josh Lee, Glacier

4. Micah Brooks, Flathead

5. Kord Madsen, Glacier

7. Kailie Owens, Glacier

8. Keelan Moore, Flathead


Sports and Entertainment Marketing

1. Haven Speer, Glacier

4. Kaden Wack, Glacier

7. Boston Case, Flathead


Marketing Communications

1. Sarah Downs, Glacier

2. Jack Boone, Glacier

4. Jakoby Isles, Glacier

6. Isabelle Crosby, Whitefish

7. Kendall Dolan, Glacier


Principles (top three qualify)

Principles of Business Management and Administration

1. Kennady Garvin, Glacier

5. Gannon Wisher, Flathead

6. Nazar Shostak, Flathead

8. Ayslin Johnson, Whitefish


Principles of Finance

3. Ethan Ronngren, Glacier

5. Izik Lamberson, Glacier


Principles of Hospitality and Tourism    

1. Sophia Bourriague, Glacier

5. Jaden Williams, Flathead

7. Kendall Dolan, Glacier

8. Luke Banks, Flathead


Principles of Marketing

1. Meyer Fauth, Glacier

5. Abigail “Scout” Berry, Whitefish

7. Jaydon Pesola, Flathead

8. Boston Case, Flathead


Professional Selling (top two qualify)

Hospitality Tourism Professional Selling

3. Yris Hadziomerovic, Glacier

6. Annie Walsh, Whitefish


Professional Selling

2. Maddie Davis, Glacier

7. Colby Wharton, Whitefish


Financial Consulting Event

5. Olivia Genovese, Whitefish


Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.