San Ramon, California–October 11-12, 2013–California DECA hosted its Northern California Leadership Development Conference at the San Ramon Marriott. 208 students from 10 high schools across Northern California attended this event and had the opportunity to expand their leadership abilities, fine-tune their skills as competitors in DECA, and network with other students.
The conference started Friday afternoon with a keynote presentation by Kyle Scheele, a motivational speaker whose speaking has had an impact on students across the country. Kyle emphasized the importance of having a unique impact on others. After this presentation, attendees had the opportunity to attend one of five various workshops, two of which were conducted by the California DECA state officers. These workshops allowed members to improve their skills in areas ranging from teamwork to project planning.
To conclude the day, chapter presidents convened for a Presidents Council meeting. Presidents Council is composed of chapter presidents from chapters throughout California DECA. These dedicated individuals meet to discuss upcoming DECA events, share what practices have been effective at their respective chapters, and connect with their state officers.
Saturday morning began with a formal breakfast and etiquette training. DECA members participated in a hands-on presentation on dining etiquette that allowed them to practice these skills as they learned them. One aspect of DECA’s mission is to prepare professionally responsible leaders, and the skills that members gained in this setting marked an important step in this process.
The day continued with interactive sessions geared towards allowing members to improve as competitors in DECA. Attendees chose one of two pathways, based on their level of experience in DECA. Following these trainings, the conference concluded with a short closing session.
The response from members in attendance was very strong.
Lalyla Rocha, a chapter member at Arroyo DECA, recalled her experience saying, “I came out of LDC (Leadership Development Conference) with new information on business, new interests in competition, new connections with new friends, and an overall memorable experience unlike anything I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to start competing!”
Another chapter member from Arroyo DECA, Alan Gouig, shared similar feelings as he explained, “during LDC (Leadership Development Conference), I met so many new people and talking to some of the most amazing guest speakers! LDC was definitely a great way to kick off my senior year with DECA, and I’m excited to see what it has in store for all of us in the upcoming new year!”