October 19, 2013

Southern California DECA's Leadership Development Conference


Los Angeles, California–October 19, 2013–California DECA hosted its Southern California Leadership Development Conference at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing (FIDM) campus in Los Angeles. 57 members from 5 DECA chapters attended the event in order expand their knowledge of business, network with fellow leaders, and gain insight into the fashion and merchandising industry.    
Curtis Haley, a leadership trainer from Tri Leadership Resources LLC, presented the opening keynote in which he explained how surviving cancer has changed the way he views the world. Neel Karody, a member from Martin Luther King DECA, shared the impact Curtis’s message had on him saying, “Curtis Haley’s keynote was inspirational and has taught me to not take the simple things for granted.”
Following the keynote, FIDM college representative Heather Glast spoke about the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) DECA challenge. The FIDM DECA challenge prompts members to forecast the next big trend in fashion; this forecast must be based on research and participants are to present to FIDM executives via video entry. The FIDM DECA challenge is one of many ways in which DECA connects to business and allows students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to a real-world situation. Miss Glast’s presentation concluded with a tour of the FIDM campus.
DECA members also had the opportunity to practice the presentation skills that they will employ in the coming year at DECA’s competitive events. Members divided into two groups, one focusing on the basics of DECA’s competitive events and the other focusing on more advanced techniques.
This event also featured a Presidents Council meeting. Presidents Council is composed of the chapter presidents from almost every DECA chapter in California; these members meet in order to forge a stronger connection between the state and chapter level, as well as discuss what practices are proving to be most effective for chapters throughout the year. At this event, chapter presidents discussed upcoming events and membership recruitment strategies.
The event concluded with a presentation by Margarita Oreta and Apoorva Panse, two of California DECA’s state officers in attendance. This presentation focused on written business plans and problem solving.
Southern California DECA members will meet again at the Southern California Career Development Conference, January 10-12, 2013.

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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