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Belmont Students Win Big at Collegiate DECA International Conference

Belmont University students had a highly successful year at the 2013 Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference, which was held April 17-20 in Anaheim, Calif. Twenty-five Belmont students competed in the international competition, with 23 of Belmont participants reaching the finals in their respective events, a phenomenal accomplishment given the participation of nearly 1,300 students from the United States and Canada.

College of Business Administration Dean Pat Raines said, “The performance of our College of Business Administration students at the International DECA competition was, once again, outstanding. Their problem solving skills, ability to collaborate and entrepreneurial talents prepared them for a championship performance.”

Belmont swept Entrepreneurship Growing a Business Event category for students who have started their businesses while still in school. Also, for the second year in a row, Belmont students had eight of the top 10 teams in the Entrepreneurial Challenge event and took two of the top three awards.

“Sweeping the top three places in the ‘Growing a Business Event’ speaks volumes about our program.  We focus on helping students start businesses.  This event is designated for students who have actually started their business while still in college,” said Management Professor and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Jeff Cornwall. Cornwall, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship Mark Schenkel and Center for Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator Lisa Davis serve as advisors for Belmont’s DECA team.

Below is the complete list of Belmont DECA awards:

Tom Haarlander (left, second place) Ross Hill (middle, first place) and Tim Weber (right, third place) earned the award for Entrepreneurship Growing a Business.

Entrepreneurship Growing a Business
Ross Hill — first place
Tom Haarlander — second place
Tim Weber — third place

Entrepreneurial Challenge
Eric Guroff, Taylor Fish, and Blake Mankin — second place
Ross Hill and Griffin Wendt — third place
Jeremy Gold, Riley Bauer, Elizabeth Rhyne — top 10 team
Charles Williams, Max Magura, Cole Auville — top 10 team
Tim Weber, Jen Baiada, Maya Asker — top 10 team
Matt Madden, Hillary Unis — top 10 team
Amy Ashida, Kylie Davis, Lauren Gunther — top 10 team
Gabe Zurek, Levis Padron, Jena Lavicka — top 10 team

The following students were Top 10 national finalists in their individual events:
Eric Guroff — Entrepreneurship Starting a Business (b-plan)
Hillary Unis — Entrepreneurship Starting a Business (b-plan)
Charles Williams — Corporate Finance
Maya Akser — Fashion Merchandising and Marketing
Lauren Gunther — Marketing Management
Kylie Davis — Retail Management
Max Magura — Sales Management Meeting

The following student was a national finalist:
Griffin Wendt — Marketing Management

The chapter also received the Presidential Leadership Passport Award, the highest recognition a chapter can receive. Team members Amy Ashida, Byron Glover, David Servodidio, Eric Guroff, Griffin Wendt, Max Magura, Nicholas Auville and Riley Bauer also receive an Academic Honor Award.

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.