9 U DECA Members Win Big at Competitions


(From left to right) DECA members Dougie Wechsler, Victoria Wechsler, Tyler Jeppsen, Lauren Millenbach, Hailey Mishler, Kate Forth, Carly Anderson and Jared Collett. (Courtesy U DECA)

By Devin Oldroyd, News Writer


Recently, the University of Utah chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) had nine members claim over 25 titles at their state and international competitions.

“It’s honestly just such an honor to be [at the competitions],” said U DECA Chapter President Carly Anderson. “[It’s an honor] because you’re competing with some of the best and brightest in the organization. Everybody [works] so hard and is so knowledgeable.”

The State Career Development Conference kicked off virtually in February 2021, with each attending U DECA member making it into the top three of their categories and qualifying for the International Career Development Conference that was held in April.

“I had never participated in DECA before — this was my first year,” Jared Collett said. “I’ve actually never had the in-person DECA experience. Of course with that came challenges.”

Collett said that in a lot of the competitive events, DECA members are given 15 to 30 minutes to review a case study, develop a solution to the issue within the study and prepare, record and upload a video presentation on the study.

“It’s very stressful, it’s very fast-paced but it’s also very rewarding,” Collett said.

At the state competition, the chapter was awarded the Presidential Leadership Passport Award, which is the highest honor a DECA chapter can receive.

Along with this, Anderson received the Chapter Leadership Award, Association Leadership Award, Academic Honor Award and the Individual Presidential Leadership Passport Award. Each of these awards honors Anderson’s leadership skills and dedication to the organization. She is one of only four DECA members globally to receive these awards.

“I definitely would say that it wasn’t something that I was expecting,” Anderson said. “I felt really honored to be chosen because there’s so many great leaders and incredible individuals within the state. To have that recognition was definitely very exciting.”

At the International Career Development Conference, the chapter faced over 500 other DECA members, with five U members claiming international titles.

“Placing as a finalist meant so much to me,” Collett said. “I felt like I had put dozens of hours into preparing for it. At that point I was like, whatever I can do is what I can do, I have already made it farther than I ever thought I would.”

However, there was more surprise for Collett.

“Somehow, it turned out to be that I got first place in the world, and I’ve gotten the biggest trophy I’ve ever had,” he said. “The next challenge is [to see] if I can do it again next year”


At the state competition, U DECA members received these titles:

Carly Anderson — State champion in travel and tourism and second place in business-to-business marketing

Elden Campbell — Second place in financial statement analysis

Jared Collett — State champion in entrepreneurship operations and state champion in restaurant management

Kate Forth — Second place in travel and tourism

Tori Manning — Second place in fashion merchandising and third place in entrepreneurship operations

Lauren Millenbach — State champion in advertising campaign

Hailey Mishler — State champion in hotel and lodging management and third place in fashion merchandising

Tyler Murill — Second place in restaurant and food service management

Jacob Winters — Second place in financial statement analysis

At the international competition, U DECA members received these titles:

Carly Anderson — Top 10 and finalist in business-to-business Marketing

Jared Collett — International championship, top 10 exam score, top 10 and finalist all in entrepreneurship operations

Lauren Millenbach — Finalist in advertising campaign

Hailey Mishler — Preliminary presentation champion, finalist and top 10 all in hotel lodging management

Tyler Murril — Top 10 exam score in restaurant and food service management


Visit Campus Connect for more information on DECA and their competitions.


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