CRLC Connected Central Region Members

Over 1,700 members from across the Central Region (and some visitors from Ontario) gathered in Detroit, Michigan, on a recent weekend to connect, have fun and THRIVE. We made memories, forged friendships and learned a lot as we explored “Motor City.”

Hosted at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit’s tallest skyscraper, the Central Region Leadership Conference brought all attendees together for a grand opening session on Friday evening. It began with all Central Region association presidents discussing their plans for connecting with others during CRLC. Michigan DECA’s Executive Council and DECA National President Morgan Thompson set the stage for the conference’s guest of honor, DECA Central Region Vice President, Christine O’Neal. Christine’s opening speech fired up the crowd and set a positive note for a successful weekend. The session also featured Bob Upgren, a motivational speaker and chalk artist, who gave a patriotic performance and created a beautiful mural of the United States. To cap it off, attendees even raised $1,800 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in a monumental “Miracle Minute!”

The next day was full of learning, networking and fun. Saturday morning kicked off with member workshops on topics ranging from chapter development and professional dress to competition and more. DECA’s Executive Director, Dr. Ed Davis, even made a guest appearance and hosted a great workshop for attendees. Later in the day, members ventured into the Detroit community to connect with business professionals in various career fields.

“Central Region this year was phenomenal,” said Carter Christensen, South Dakota association president. “Michigan DECA allowed us to connect through fun workshops, interesting speakers, and activities located in one of the most unique venues in the region.”

CRLC attendees were in for a real treat on Saturday evening—a night cruise on the Detroit Princess, a four-story riverboat. Each floor promised exciting entertainment options, including a cover band, casino, DECA dance and advisor lounge area. Many conference participants found the cruise along the Windsor River to be the highlight of their weekend.

 “This was not my first CRLC, but I was still blown away by how exciting and well-planned this weekend in Detroit was,” said Brenna Mulholland, vice president of business partnerships for Wisconsin. “I learned a great deal from the Ford Museum and other workshops, the ferry was wonderful, and unique experiences helped everyone connect and network.” 

The closing session on Sunday featured Socialnomics author Erick Qualman, who gave an incredible keynote address on social media. Many members were able to relate to the speech and bring its messages back to their daily lives. It was a great ending to an even greater weekend in Detroit.

Follow Jesse Solis on Twitter @solisjesse.

Categories: Conference Highlights, Reviews