Phoenix, Arizona, nicknamed “Valley of the Sun,” was home to over 2,500 DECA students on November 14-17 as a part of the 2013 Western Region Leadership Conference. Your State Officers and members from Granada DECA were able to “Rise” as they embarked on a journey filled with keynote speakers, leadership workshops, networking, and competition!
Judson Laipply, star of the viral YouTube video, “Evolution of Dance,” was the keynote speaker for Opening Session held at the U.S. Airways Center, which is home to one of the Phoenix Suns NBA franchise. It was such a cool experience sitting in a huge basketball arena among such aspiring DECA members and leaders. Judson was able to remark on life tips and impressed the audience with his fantastic dance moves.
The next day, members were able to take exams for their competitive events and attend many workshops, including sessions lead by Phoenix Suns representatives and other industry professionals. DECA students flooded the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency, networking with each other and building their leadership skills. At night, they filled up the U.S. Airways Center as the Phoenix Suns faced the Brooklyn Nets.
On Saturday, tensions were high as roleplay competitions commenced. Afterwards, the day was free to attend workshops and partake in excursions around downtown Phoenix, including the Kingpin Challenge, an “Amazing Race”-type scavenger hunt, where participants had the opportunity to win a $100 cash card for each team member. Your State Officers took part in the three-hour long challenge and were able to win the cash prize! Finally, during the Closing Session, DECA members were dazzled by magician Dennis Watkins, and competitive event results and excursion winners were announced.
Overall, WRLC was a blast and the State Officers would like to thank the Arizona State Officer Team and Western Region Vice President, Trevor Dickerson, for being such great hosts! Members definitely grew tremendously as leaders, and we encourage you all to “Go!” at next year’s WRLC held in our own backyard: Anaheim, California!