November 20, 2013

Leadership Development and Competitive Excellence in Silicon Valley


San Francisco, California–November 15-17, 2013–California DECA held its annual Silicon Valley Leadership Development and Competitive Excellence Conference. This event provided opportunity for DECA students from across the Silicon Valley area to take their leadership skills and abilities as competitors to the next level.
The conference began with a keynote presented by author and motivational speaker Jill Esplin. Her presentation gave insight on finding strengths and weaknesses and using this knowledge to become a better leader and teammate. The first night of the conference concluded with chapter activities.
Saturday morning began with a visit from Food Network star Chef Jeff. The day continued with presentations from several more industry professionals including Ro Khanna, Cheng Peng, Gagan Biyani, a representative from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising,  
Following these presentations, members attended competitive event training sessions. These trainings were geared towards preparing members to be successful at upcoming DECA competitions.
Sam Khan of Lynbrook DECA described the competitive events training saying it “…enriched my knowledge about competitive events and how to be successful in them.”
Several DECA alumni who are currently attending college attended this conference and shared how DECA has helped them achieve their goals. The three alumni that spoke to members are currently attending Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California Berkeley.
Sunday morning, technology entrepreneur Carl Mehta shared his experiences with members. Following this presentation, chapter presidents had the opportunity to announce one goal their chapters have for the coming year to the rest of the attendees.
Victor Kao of Gunn DECA shared the impact the conference had on him saying, “As we are a new chapter, SV LDCEC (Silicon Valley Leadership Development and Competitive Excellence Conference) was extremely useful and gave our members a feel for what DECA is really about.”
Silicon Valley DECA members will meet again for the Silicon Valley District Career Development Conference, which starts on Friday, January 3 in San Jose.

About California DECA
California DECA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Career and Technical Student Organization, endorsed by the California Department of Education. With over 4,500 members in 59 schools throughout California, California DECA works to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. For more information about California DECA, visit


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California DECA