Upper school DECA attends LACE conference

Courtesy of Harker DECA


Michael Sikand

Feature keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple, addresses students about tips for success at LACE on Saturday morning. LACE was the upper school chapter’s first non-competitive conference of the year.

by Michael Sikand, Reporter

The upper school’s DECA chapter attended the organization’s Leadership and Competitive Excellence Conference (LACE) from Nov. 13 to 15 at the Doubletree Hilton in San Jose.

DECA students belonging to various Bay Area chapters congregated at the Doubletree Hilton to acquire professional skills, learn competitive excellence and participate in workshops involving a range of topics in the realm of entrepreneurship and finance.

In addition to learning about business topics, students had the opportunity to attend a dance, socialize with fellow attendees and watch a fashion show.

Though not a competitive conference, LACE provides students with skills needed to fare successfully in future DECA contests.

Juston Glass, Harker DECA chapter advisor and director of the Business and Entrepreneurship department, spoke about what students learn at the conference.

“Students learn how to network in a professional environment with people in industries such as fashion, hospitality, finance and marketing,” he said. “They also learn how to prepare for competitions, so when they compete with their business plans they can have a better foundation for competitive success.”

According to chapter CEO, Sophia Luo (12), Harker DECA now boasts over 120 active members, and is extremely popular among all grade levels, particularly freshmen. LACE serves as a perfect opportunity for new members to acquaint themselves with a conference environment.

Dolan Dworak (10), assistant executive director of Harker DECA, spoke about the advantages of attending the event.

“Students can learn many real-world skills that they can apply in both business and life,” he said. “I strongly encourage all freshmen to come to our other events to get on a path to business literacy.”

Saturday morning kicked off with a feature keynote by Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and pronounced businessman in the valley. He gave a presentation regarding tips for success in the business world, including the importance of mutual agreement and compassion in any professional situation.

Students also participated in workshops which addressed marketing, financial services, entrepreneurship, hospitality and competitive events included in future DECA competitions.
Freshman Andrew Chang reflected on his experience at his first DECA conference.

“It has been an extremely great experience since it is my first DECA meeting,” he said. “It prepped me for competition and I learned how the events work, along with being given some really good advice.”

The last day of the conference finished off with a breakfast, a keynote by young businessman Tarun Galagali, a conference flashback and closing words from the Silicon Valley DECA leadership team.

Coming out of LACE, Harker DECA is in gear to compete at the upcoming Silicon Valley Conference this January.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on November 20, 2015.