Serving Up Leadership and Career Opportunities: Whataburger and DECA Inc. Announce Partnership

May 4, 2021

Collaboration will provide mentoring and career opportunities for high school and college students across the company’s 14-state footprint

MAY 4, 2021-Whataburger may be best known for its delicious, made-to-order burgers, but for thousands, it has also served up opportunity through its restaurant career path and scholarships for employees.

Today, with the announcement of a national partnership with DECA, the burger chain is extending that outreach. Whataburger and DECA will collaborate to promote career opportunities and career development programs for DECA members at both the high school and college levels.

“Our first jobs teach us skills that become the foundation for success in any career – dependability, time management, and working as part of a team,” said Pam Nemec, Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Brand Culture at Whataburger. “Whataburger is proud to team up with DECA in helping make sure the leaders of tomorrow start their career path off on the right foot.”

Whataburger will also serve on the DECA National Advisory Board and support the organization’s student competitions.

“DECA welcomes Whataburger to our National Advisory Board (NAB), as our partnership will allow us to work together in preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers,” said Frank Peterson, executive director of DECA Inc. “Whataburger’s emphasis on a great customer experience starting with an exceptional employee experience demonstrates a key learning outcome for DECA members as they prepare for careers.”

Whether students are looking for a first job to gain experience and save money for college, or searching for a career path, Nemec says Whataburger has them covered.

“We have hundreds of stories of employees – whom we call Family Members – who started with us as teenagers, and because of our development programs, they now run multi-million dollar restaurants leading teams of more than 100 people,” Nemec said. “We’re excited to share those opportunities with DECA members and give them the tools to take charge of their futures.”


DECA is a career and technical student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs who are interested in careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition. DECA student members leverage their DECA experience to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders. DECA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 150,000 members in 4,000 high school and college chapters in all 50 United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and Germany. For more information about DECA, visit


Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 850 locations in 14 states and sales of more than $2.8 billion annually. Whataburger has 50,000 Family Members (employees) and more than 60 million customers who like to customize their Whataburgers just the way they like it. Visit or for more information. To apply for Whataburger jobs now, visit

Whataburger currently has restaurants in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, with plans to open restaurants in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.


Cindy Allen
Director of Sponsorships

As DECA’s director of sponsorships, Cindy’s responsibilities include developing corporate partnerships and serving as the liaison between DECA Inc. and its partnering organizations. Cindy also manages DECA’s scholarship program, coordinates advertising and exhibits, and works with special event fundraising activities. Cindy has worked for DECA since 1991.

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