December 13, 2017


Author: California DECA

In beautiful Phoenix Arizona, the state officer team attended the 2017 Western Region Leadership Development conference and had an absolute blast networking, developing as leaders, and enjoying all that Phoenix had to offer. The three-day conference began on November 16th and lasted until closing session on November 18th. Filled with inspirational speakers and invaluable leadership insights, the conference was a highlight of the year.
The conference started off with a bang on November 16th as opening session commenced. Five amazing keynote speakers captivated the audience with their stories on motivation, overcoming struggle, and much much more. The final speaker was particularly impressive. The audience sat stunned as Neva Lee Recla, an 8 year-old entrepreneur, walked out on stage. Jaws hit the floor as she described her journey from asking for business cards at 2 years old to founding her own business at age 7. Her message was that business isn’t something reserved for adults, it is something that teenagers and even kids can take on and excel at.
The next day, November 17th, marked the first day of workshops for the conference. These hour long workshops covered an incredible variety of topics. A few highlights were the amazing role play training from Curtis Haley, workshops on business professional dress and mannerisms from FIDM, and even the basics of social media marketing from STUKENT. After all the workshops, Friday night IGNITE lit up the conference as attendees gathered for an outdoor concert, complete with food trucks and games.
Finally, on November 18th, the workshops continued into the afternoon until excursions began. Of the excursions available, the state officer team chose the Phoenix Art Museum, known for its collection. The art was absolutely stunning and a presentation from a few of the staff on the value of design and aesthetics in business really connected it all back to DECA. The night ended with an closing ceremony with a few more remarks from keynote speakers.

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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