Students Win Big at Collegiate DECA International Conference

Belmont students showed their business and leadership skills with their best ever performance at the 2012 Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference, which was held April 21-24 in Salt Lake City. Twenty-nine Belmont students competed in nine events at the international competition, with 25 of the Belmont participants reaching the finals in their respective events, a phenomenal accomplishment given the more than 1,200 students overall who competed. Belmont students swept the Entrepreneurial Challenge category and placed first in two of the nine events.

Management Professor and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Management Professor Dr. Robert Lambert and Center for Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator Lisa Davis serve as the advisors for Belmont’s DECA team. “This is the hardest working team we have taken to compete and the results are the fruits of their efforts,” Cornwall said. ”Our students were working through most of the night on their business ideas and pitches.  We are so proud of every single member of this year’s team.”

Below is the complete list of Belmont DECA awards:

Entrepreneurial Challenge
1st  — Julia Cecere, Ross Hill, Zach Hughes
2nd – Jason Rardin, Shannon York, Tom Haarlander
3rd – Nathan Tennant, Clark Buckner, Jennifer Stevens
Top 10   Shannon Leahy, Sarah Beairsto, A.J. Marino
Top 10   Katie Tierney, Mandy Strader, Jena Lavicha
Top 10   Eric Guroff, Matt Madden, Felicia Deas
Top 10   Josh Gilreath, Areej Rabie
Top 10   Michelle Keil, Chelsi Leverenz, Linda Wu 

Restaurant and Food Service Management
1st Clark Buckner

Entrepreneurship Business Plan
2nd Julie Cecere
Top 10, Josh Cypher
National Finalist – Michelle Keil

Travel and Tourism
3rd A.J. Marino

Business Ethics
Top Ten – Mandy Strader, Lindsey Ricker

Corporate Finance
Top 10 – Areej Rabie
Top 10 – Tom Haarlander

Marketing Management
Top 10 – Jennifer Stevens

Advertising Campaign
Top 10 – Nathan Tennant

Human Resource Management
Top 10 – Felicia Deas

Collegiate DECA is the college division of DECA, Inc., whose mission DECA is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. More than 15,000 students from 200 college campuses participate in the organization. Collegiate DECA enhances the student’s college experience by providing recognition and leadership activities directly related to academic study.


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About Belmont University

Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the sixth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of more than 6,900 students who come from every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, a fact made evident in the University’s hometown, Nashville, where students, faculty and staff served more than 243,000 hours of community service (valued at more than $5 million) during 2012. With more than 80 areas of undergraduate study, 22 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon.
For more information visit www.belmont.edu