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17,000 DECA Members Prepare for College and Careers During International Virtual Conference

Marcus Lemonis of CNBC's "The Profit" to deliver keynote discussion

Ramkishore Annachi, DECA's Southern Region Vice President, virtually delivers his opening remarks during the #DECAICDC Grand Opening Session.

RESTON, Va. - April 19, 2021 - (

​The DECA International Career Development Conference kicks off its core week in a virtual format on April 19 at More than 17,000 DECA members registered to participate, with all 146,000 members invited to join, an added benefit included with their DECA membership, in their quest to prepare for college and careers.

"The virtual format, combined with the generous support of our conference partners, provides a unique opportunity for us to offer many of the conference highlights to our entire membership this year in the spirit of access and inclusivity," said Frank Peterson, executive director of DECA Inc. "We encourage all our DECA members to participate this week as they prepare to become emerging leaders and entrepreneurs."

The #DECAICDC will spotlight DECA's top student performers from all 50 United States, Canada, China, Guam, Puerto Rico and Spain. It will also highlight innovative business partnerships that empower these emerging business leaders and future entrepreneurs to tackle the challenges of an ever-evolving and persistently difficult economic landscape.

During the school year, DECA members take part in the organization's competitive events program, allowing them to compete for local and regional titles. The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students' academic understanding and skills development. The top state and provincial winners will now put their talents to the test during the program's final round of competition virtually. Businesspeople from across the world are evaluating DECA members' concepts, ideas and projects against industry-validated performance indicators.

"All DECA members should be commended for their resilience and grit to participate in DECA's competitive events program this year," said Christopher Young, chief program officer of DECA Inc. "Even through the uniqueness of the past year, DECA members have taken their learning to the next level as they prepare to lead us through the many challenges ahead."

DECA's connection to business, one of its key guiding principles, provides DECA members realistic insight into industry and promotes meaningful, relevant learning. Best known for breathing life back into struggling small businesses on CNBC's The Profit, Marcus Lemonis will deliver the keynote in an interview format. A successful entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist, he will share everything from his favorite moments on The Profit to advice to DECA members for building a personal brand, the importance of diversity, how to be successful and more.

DECA's corporate advisory board is comprised of more than 60 nationally and internationally recognized businesses and organizations including AT&T, Facebook, Hilton, Intuit, Marriott International, Men's Wearhouse, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Retail Federation Foundation, Piper Sandler, Publix, U.S. Army, Universal Orlando Resort and Walgreens.

These companies work with DECA to industry-validate its curriculum, recruit talent to careers in their industry, tap into the attitudes and opinions of the teen-market and provide community engagement opportunities for their associates.

DECA will name its top international performers during its grand awards session on May 6. Nearly $170,000 will be awarded to DECA members in competitive events awards and scholarships, and hundreds of DECA members received registration grants courtesy of the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.

For more information, contact Christopher Young, CAE, Chief Program Officer at DECA Inc. at

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