W.A. Lettinga DECA team wins state competition

Davenport University’s DECA team from the W.A. Lettinga Campus brought home an impressive number of awards in 13 events during the state competition in Grand Rapids in early February.

“The team’s winning mix of new and returning students and Davenport’s commitment to Excellence System competencies helped the team create and present viable, thorough case studies and entrepreneurial plans that impressed the judges and helped them outshine competitors from colleges and university across Michigan,” said Suzanne Gut, Collegiate DECA Advisor and Associate Professor.

Collegiate DECA at DU provides leadership development and career opportunities to students in a variety of majors.

“You don’t have to be a business major and you don’t need to have experience with high school DECA to join and compete with us,” said Breanna Miller, a student from Grand Haven, Michigan. “I am a nursing major and I had never heard of DECA before my freshman year at Davenport. The skills that you learn through DECA are applicable to any and all career paths and are so valuable.”

Miller is the chapter’s president and is headed to the international competition for the fourth year in a row. She placed first in the Travel & Tourism category.

Zachary Lingen, a computer science major from Prospect Heights, Illinois, has been involved with DECA since high school.

“This month’s competition was my second time representing DU against other universities,” Lingen said. “I took home my third plaque and medallion while representing DU. It felt phenomenal to have a tangible representation of the hard work and preparation that goes into these competitions.”

DU’s 16-member DECA team defended titles in Accounting, Event Planning and Sales Manager events.

In April, these students will compete at the international conference in Washington, D.C., where 2,000 students, advisers and industry leaders will be in attendance.

Additionally, 16 DU alumni and staff helped coordinate and judge events, strengthening DU’s commitment to education.

DU congratulates the DECA team for its success and the following students who received awards:

1st Place Awards

  • Breanna Miller — Travel & Tourism
  • Breanna Miller and Jaymie Puskarich — Event Planning
  • Tyler Mauer — Hotel and Lodging

2nd Place Awards

  • Drew Boatright — Accounting
  • Zac Lingen — Sales Management Meeting

3rd Place Awards

  • Aylin Aguiar — Banking & Financial Services
  • Cassidy Baker and Mackenzie Bell — Business Research
  • Paul Chittenden and Tyler Mauer — Entrepreneurship (Starting a Business)
  • Trevor Miedema — Accounting

Top 6 Finalists

  • Aylin Aguiar and Alycia Van Drunen — Business Ethics
  • Joe Mazza — Marketing Management and Professional Sales
  • Lance Menard — Retail Management
  • Drew Boatright and Lance Menard — Financial Statement Analysis
  • Calvin VanBemmel and Trevor Miedema — Financial Statement Analysis


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