DECA seeks help to attend conference

A young university organization is asking the community to help students attend an upcoming conference.

The Heidelberg University Collegiate DECA organization has been established for the past two semesters, with seven members and growing.

According to Katelin Romick, president of the Heidelberg School of Business DECA and chair of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, the organization prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges for career fields in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

“We are a first-year collegiate program and this is our second semester so far,” Romick said. “Our responsibilities are to learn about these career tracks and to apply this newly learned knowledge, along with skills developed, to succeed at competitive conferences.”

Earlier this year, Romick said, the organization participated in the fall ENGAGE conference, meeting other DECA chapters, advisers and officers in New York City.

“It was also able to give us an inside look into what our first competitive conference would look like,” he said.

During ENGAGE, Romick said, students participated in tours of Equity Residential, Greystar, Marriott and Men’s Warehouse. They then had to create a marketing plan to pitch to the executive officers of the companies.

DECA chapters attend two conferences per year, one in the fall and one in the spring — the International Career Development Conference. The ICDC is to take place April 11-14 in Washington, D.C.

“This conference is the biggest one of the year,” Romick said. “It is a very competitive conference and we compete in many different tracks.”

Competitions include in business management administration, finance and accounting, marketing and communication, entrepreneurship, hospitality and tourism, and events take place in these categories.

“We are really hoping to achieve our fundraising goal in order to attend this conference,” Romick said. “The experiences gained and success attained will be the platform for our future success.”

Romick said DECA conferences typically are more expensive than other organizations or club’s conferences.

For instance, Romick said, the year’s funding from the School of Business allowed two members to attend. The organization receives $1,000 per year.

“It is very important to participate in ICDC and we will work as hard as we can to get there, but we would really encourage and appreciate support from the community to help our efforts,” he said.

Romick said their organization is not all about the money, but appreciates any support the community can afford.

For more information about the organization or to donate, email Romic at or call (440) 429-9022.