16,000 DECA Members Converge in Atlanta for Global Conference

DECA’s 68th International Career  Development Conference (#DECAICDC) will take place in Atlanta, Ga., May 3 – May 6, 2014. The #DECAICDC will spotlight DECA’s top student performers from all 50 United States, Canada, China, Guam, Puerto Rico and Spain. It will also highlight innovative business partnerships that empower these emerging business leaders and future entrepreneurs to tackle the challenges of an ever-evolving and persistently difficult economic landscape.

#DECAICDC Awards and VIP:

  • Top Honors for Students and Teachers: Nearly $500,000 in scholarships and awards will be presented to students and teachers.
  • DECA’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame inductee and entrepreneur, Fran Tarkenton, will receive this coveted DECA award.
  • Corporate Recognition: Foot Locker, Northwood University, NAPA Auto Parts, Safeway, Boston University, Men’s Wearhouse and the National Apartment Association will be recognized for their years of service. DECA also welcomes new corporate partners – including a $400,000 partnership with the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Family Foundation.
  • Conference VIPs:  Georgia State School Superintendent, Dr. John Barge, will speak at DECA’s Administrator Day on May 5, 2014.

“Success in the new economy requires more than just skills. It requires ethics, leadership and global awareness. That is what our students are learning and is on display at #DECAICDC,” said Ed Davis, Ed.D., DECA’s Executive Director.    

During the school year, approximately 120,000 of DECA’s 200,000 student members take part in the organization’s competitive events program, allowing them to compete for local and regional titles. The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. The top state and provincial winners will now put their talents to the test during the program’s final round of competition in Atlanta.

“DECA connected school to the ‘real world’ for me – and to my career at Safeway,” said Kelly Griffith, Executive Vice President of Retail Operations for Safeway Inc. “I am proud of Safeway’s 15-year commitment to developing young people for college and career success.”

DECA's innovative partnership with business is a hallmark of the organization's strength and enduring success. DECA's corporate advisory board includes more than 60 nationally and internationally recognized businesses including the investment research firm, Piper Jaffray & Co. These companies work with DECA to industry-validate its curriculum, recruit talent to careers in their industry, tap into the attitudes and opinions of the teen-market and provide community engagement opportunities for their associates.

“Our partnership allows us to measure national trends and spending attitudes of the influential teen market,” said Stephanie Wissink, Senior Research Analyst and Co-director of Research at Piper Jaffray & Co. “This information is enormously valuable to our clients and their ability to make informed capital investment decisions.”  

#DECAICDC will drive more than $15 million into the Atlanta-area economy – using more than one million square feet of convention center space, purchasing more than 10,000 tickets to area attractions, buying 250,000 meals, and using over 30,000 hotel room nights.


For more information about DECA, please visit our website and follow #DECAICDC on Twitter