Four Salem State University students placed in the top 10 in the world at an international business competition hosted by the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), in Orlando, Florida, which was held April 12 through 16.
DECA is an organization centered on its international business-focused roleplaying competition, which is held annually. The competition, which incorporates entrepreneurship, is divided into four categories: marketing; business management and administration; hospitality and tourism; and finance.
Salem State’s DECA chapter is made up of students Fred Kelley, Abigail Glidden, Kiah Heron, and Amilya Putzig.
Salem State DECA teammates Heron, 21, and Putzig, 19, both of Wareham, placed third out of 43 teams that participated in the Marketing and Communications competition where they were given an hour to dissect a case study and create a 15-minute roleplaying demonstration that was then assessed by a panel of judges.
“We all know the value of DECA and all the opportunities it can bring to its members,” Heron said. “Whether that be scholarships, networking, or competing and I believe that Salem State should have this opportunity.”
Glidden, 21, also of Wareham, placed in the top 10 of the 14 students who partook in the Managerial Marketing event where she had 30 minutes to read a case study and then create a 10-minute presentation based on her analysis. Glidden also excelled while taking a 100-question test, which contributed to her final score.
Kelley, 21, of Melrose, placed top 10 out of the 68 students who participated in the Marketing Management portion of the competition. Kelley’s high-ranking score was based on his performance during a test consisting of 100 questions regarding the fundamentals of marketing management.
Heron, Putzig, Glidden, and Kelley created the university’s first ever DECA chapter during this past 2018 fall semester, after which they qualified for the international competition at the statewide DECA conference, which was held at Bay State College this past February.
Kelley said, “I decided to form a chapter with Kiah Heron because there was not a chapter at Salem State. DECA is a nationally organized student organization and they help to set up chapters worldwide where there is interest in doing so.”
Salem State University Professor of Business Management Ken Mullane served as the university’s DECA faculty advisor for the 2018-2019 academic year and attended the international competition with the students.
“We are extremely grateful to the many generous individuals and groups who came together to help these students have this incredible opportunity,” Mullane said. “Our students competed against some of the best in the world and I’m immensely proud of their high achievement. We could not have asked for better ambassadors of SSU at this prestigious event.