Students earn recognition at Minnesota DECA conference.


91 students from Eden Prairie participated in the annual Minnesota DECA State Career Development Conference in Minneapolis, MN, March 19-21, 2017.

During the school year, approximately 4,000 Minnesota DECA student members take part in the organization’s competitive events program, allowing them to compete in over 50 events focused in the areas of entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, marketing and other related fields. The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. After qualifying earlier this year, district winners put their talents to the test during the State Careers Development Conference. The DECA Advisor is Karen Brettingen.

Students receiving state recognition and advancing to international competition include:

  •      Abby Boehm, Hannah Brink, Hanne Considine-2nd place in Advertising Campaign Event
  •      Gabby Thomas-3rd place in Business Services Marketing Series
  •      Parker Hewitt-5th place in Business Services Marketing Series
  •      Bailey Dements, Charlie Klein, Parker Hewitt-1st place in Community Service Project
  •      Lillian Lewis, Hannah Luong, Brynn Meyer-4th place in Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan
  •      Charlie Klein, Matt Wasson-3rd place in Finance Operations Research
  •      Connor Lanahan, Chase Nerison-3rd place in Franchise Business Plan
  •      Lily Qian, Mira Subramanian, Inika Shetty-2nd place Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
  •      Caleb Martin-4th place in Hotel Lodging Management Series
  •      Elena Page, Gabby Thomas-1st place in Learn and Earn Project
  •      McKella Nordquist-3rd place in Marketing Communication Series
  •      Ri’enna Boyd-3rd place in Principles of Business Management and Administration
  •      Eric Friswold-4th place in Principles of Business Management and Administration
  •      Katie Haghighi-1st place in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
  •      Matt Goodburn, Ethan Jones-1st place in Sports and Entertainment Operations Research
  •      Joe Mendyke, Clayton Witherspoon-1st place in Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making
  •      Briana Collins, Sam Marsh-2nd place in Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making
  •      Patrick Yang-1st place in Start-Up Business Plan

In April, these students will travel to Anaheim, California to compete with 16,000 top students from around the world at the International Career Development Conference- the pinnacle of DECA competition.

Other top 12 finishers include:

  • Molly O’Laughlin in Advertising Campaign Event
  • Rehka Claus, Raquel Taborga in Advertising Campaign Event
  • Suvarna Nallamalli, Amy Wang in Advertising Campaign Event
  • Matt Goodburn in Apparel and Accessories Marketing
  • Miles Kelly, Nelson Linscott, Tommy Thurin in Business Growth Plan
  • Shelby Lyons, Sam Riedel in Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
  • Saurav Suryawanshi in Financial Consulting
  • Abhishek Aravalli, Tharun Rao in Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
  • Kady Mill in Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling
  • Emily Considine, Hannah Sirek in Hospitality Team Decision Making
  • Brynn Meyer in Hotel and Lodging Management Services
  • Parker Hewitt in Innovation Plan
  • Molly O’Laughlin, Inika Shetty in Marketing Management Team Decision Making
  • Matt Wasson in Personal Financial Literacy
  • Bowen Jiang in Retail Merchandising
  • Katie Rudin, Ingrid Norberg in Sports and Entertainment Promotion Plan

State only event top finishers include:

  • Logan McCarthy-2nd place in Employment Interview-Advanced Level
  • Tommy Hartle-3rd place in Employment Interview-Advanced Level
  • Dharshini Anugu-Top 12 in Employment Interview-Entry Level
  • Pate Hanson, Sophie Riebling, Arnav Suryawanshi-2nd place in Marketing Plan Product Area

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for 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 businesses and promote competition.

The Minnesota High School Association is part of a larger organization comprised of over 215,000 members from all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain. For more information about DECA please visit and