The DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) is the culmination of the DECA year. This year, more than 20,000 high school students, teacher-advisors, business professionals and alumni descended upon Orlando, Florida, for several days of DECA excitement. Ames High sent the largest delegation from the state of Iowa with 44 students. Each of those members qualified to attend based on their performance at the district and state level.
DECA is a career and technical student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Their industry-validated competitive events allow students to demonstrate career and college ready knowledge and skills at the highest high school level. Students from every state and many other countries including China, Honduras, Pakistan, Japan, and Spain competed at the international conference.
This was the fourth year that Ames High teacher and DECA Advisor Vicki Hales has brought students to the ICDC. Some students participated in written events, while others had role plays or professional selling events. “This was a very diverse group of students who had a variety of interests and backgrounds. Not all wanted to pursue a career in business, but they all found areas of interest in their competitive events.”
DECA is open to all high school students and the skills acquired during the process are transferrable beyond the world of business. DECA challenges students academically and places an emphasis on leadership. Members are empowered by their projects to provide effective leadership through goal setting, consensus building, and implementation. DECA also emphasizes the importance of professional responsibility that includes ethics, integrity, and high standards.
Each ICDC event featured 150-200 students who have all qualified based on regional competitions. From that pool, 20 finalists are selected to make additional presentations. Iowa has not historically had a strong presence in the final round of ICDC, but each time Ames High has represented the state. This year, freshman Shrey Patel was named a finalist in the Finance Operations Research category. He was one of four students from the state of Iowa to be named a finalist. “Shrey is a great student and took his project and competition very seriously. He has a bright future in whatever he pursues and I’m excited to see what DECA projects he comes up with over the next three years,” said Hales.
Outside of the competition, the group of Ames High students and four chaperones also enjoyed some of the amenities of Orlando. One night, the group spent time at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and another exploring Universal Studios theme park that was partially closed during DECA Night. Next year, the 2020 ICDC will take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Thanks to our Sponsors:
Cyclone Level – Cyclone Contracting Corp. — VisionBank — Cameron Carico +10 — Renewable Energy Group — Ames Home Builders Association — Henkel Construction Company — Distinctive Landscapes LLC — BLC Insurance
Gold Level – Harris & Co., CPA — Kreg Tool Company — Greater Iowa Credit Union — Inside Golf — Converse Conditioned Air — Rippke Design — McFarland Clinic — Iowa State University Research Park — Haila Architecture | Structure | Planning — Haverkamp Properties, Inc. — Northwestern Mutual – Chad Copley — RS Medical Consulting, P.C. — Hach Company — Total Property Management, Inc. — Sweeps Enterprises Inc. — Heartland Mental Health Therapy
Silver Level – Dynamic Mobility — Duck Worth Wearing — North Grand Mall — Valor & Violet HCS Builders, Inc. — Knapp Tedesco Insurance — Perfect Games, Inc. — Ames Back & Neck Care Center — Storey Kenworthy — Mary Greeley Medical Center — First National Bank — Prairieland Homes — Ames Ford Lincoln — Artistic Lawn Care — Joe Leto Agency Country Financial — Green Hills Retirement Community — Dentistry at Somerset
Orange Level – Thomas M Stark D.D.S., M.S.D. Orthontic Specialist — Blue Sky Orthodontics — Ames Power Sports LC — Severson Insurance Agency, Inc. — NewLink Genetics Corporation — Herrick Dental, P.C. — Central Iowa Psychological Services — Ames Fitness Center