Anaheim, California—November 30, 2014—The 2014 edition of the Western Region Leadership Conference was held in Anaheim, California. Throughout the conference, all of our attendees enjoyed the various programs happening in every ballroom and salon across the conference site.
Thursday night kicked off the conference with an amazing WRLC GO! Opening Session, featuring University of Southern California’s A capella group, the SoCal VoCals. DECA Inc.’s former executive director, Dr. Edward Davis, also spoke at the opening session, retracing his lifelong journey with DECA. The audiences also laughed countless times with keynote speaker Kevin Wanzer, who empowered all students to make positive choices one laugh at a time.
Friday featured a series of GO Talks, where students listened to accomplished speakers and entrepreneurs talk about their experiences. The speakers all motivated students to seek self-improvement, such as Julie Carrier, who spoke about empowering young women to be more confident, and Bob Burg, a New York Times Best-selling author, who spoke about being a GO Giver to create happiness for others as well as for the students themselves. WRLC attendees also participated in a DECA Disney Night on Thursday, spending quality time bonding with fellow chapter members.
DECA Downtown was featured on Saturday morning, where conference attendees visited various exhibitor booths that gave members exposure to opportunities after high school. In addition, participants in the DECA Garage pitched an existing business, a product idea, or a business idea to conference attendees, who were able to “invest” in the businesses they found innovative using DECA money.
The conference wrapped up with the closing session Saturday night, which began with a Shark Tank of the top 3 groups from the DECA Garage. These groups pitched their business ideas to the sharks, including an actual angel investor and an investment bank director, and responded to their questions. The winning team—from California DECA—took home a check for $2,500. In addition, Dr. Seuss’s step-daughter, Audrey Geisel, connected with the audience members through a special moment when she read from Oh, the Places You’ll Go in a video, encouraging DECA members to chase after dreams.
The conference was a phenomenal success, and we thank all the chartered associations and chapters for making it to Anaheim!