By: Gaby Becker, Editorial Staff ‘25

Recently, Indian Hills sent 40 students, from various grade levels, to the DECA State Competition in Atlantic City, NJ. DECA is a competitive business club which focuses on student leadership, public speaking, presentation skills, and entrepreneurship to formulate the most successful future leaders in business and hospitality.  Students had the opportunity to compete, raise suggestions, and collaborate with hundreds of other NJ DECA chapters. This was the second in-person DECA State Career Development Competition (SCDC) after 2 years of virtual DECA competitions. At this year’s Grand Awards Ceremony, over 15 students finished in the Top-7 in their events in the state, which qualified them to represent NJ DECA at the International Career Development Conference (also known as DECA Nationals) competition in Orlando, Florida. 

One of the top competitors, sophomore Brady Dransfield, who joined DECA only this year, commented on his experience at the state conference by explaining, “It was a fun experience to compete at a higher level especially with my friends. Walking around each day was eye opening to see how DECA was much more than just a role play.”

State qualifier, Krystal Mason, a member of the Class of 2024, stated, “Going to States was a lot of fun, and it was definitely worth the work. There was just something exciting about being in this competition with this giant community of students and peers.”

Advisor Ms. Fanale, the faculty advisor, states, “DECA’s  State Competition is a pinnacle and showcase of how DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools throughout the state of New Jersey. The competitors at this year’s state competition were competing against the best and brightest students from the entire state of New Jersey. I am incredibly proud and continually impressed by all of our participants and winners.” The state competition gave Indian Hills students the wonderful opportunity to showcase their business skills, network with peers, and overall learn the ins and outs of business through competitive roleplays and written event presentations. 

The following students will be representing Indian Hills and NJ DECA at the national competition in Orlando from April 22 through April 26. 

  • Tristan Casella & Brady Dransfield (​​HTDM: Hospitality Services Team Decision Making)
  • Caden Concepcion & Mitchell Folina (STDM: Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team Decision Making)
  • Luke Festa & Gabe Tafuri Del Vecchio (FTDM:Financial Services Team Decision Making)
  • Raina Saini & Jessy Strickland (BLTDM: Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making)
  • Nicholas Chiarmonte & Jun Wu (MTDM: Marketing Management Team Decision Making)
  • Tara Flynn (PMCG: Community Giving Project)
  • Grace Dietrich & Julia Lupean (IMCP: Integrated Marketing Campaign-Product)
  • Leah Renshaw & Louis Renshaw (STDM: Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team Decision Making)
  • Krishan Patel (RFSM: Restaurant and Food Service Management Series)
  • Gaby Bercker (Chapter Activities Project)

In addition, Krishan Patel, Class of 2024, was elected as the NJ DECA 2022-2023 Northern Region Vice President, taking the torch from previous NJ State Officer, Ryan LaDuca, Class of 2023. Drumbeats would like to congratulate DECA advisor Ms. Fanale, who has reached 25 years of dedication to DECA. It is her dedication and hard work that allows our students to flourish at DECA competitions and beyond, ready for a rich future.  

Looking forward in the DECA world, the national competition will be held in Orlando, Florida from April 22 to April 25th.