BHS DECA Breaks County Record for Winners; Advancing to International Competition in April

By Trina Runner on March 20, 2017 via

It was not “business as usual” at the 2017 West Virginia DECA Career Development Conference and Competition, held in Charleston last weekend.  This year, Bridgeport High School DECA had more winners than any time in the history of the event, bringing back 20 students who qualified to advance to the International Career Development Conference and Competition in Anaheim, CA next month.
After volunteering countless hours to help create a store in Richwood, West Virginia, Brook Russell and Jeffrey Chalfant documented their community service project for flood victims and won first place in their category at states.  Chalfant also won a $500 scholarship for being a finalist for WV DECA Student of the Year after demonstrating leadership and commitment to the organization throughout the year.
Christina Guirguis placed first in the Start-Up Business Plan category with the same business idea with which she will compete on March 18 as a finalist for the WV High School Business Plan Competition.  Guirguis is up for a $10,000 scholarship for her efforts in the statewide contest and anticipates opening the business for which she wrote the business plan.
Caleb Brinson, Talen Wagner and Antonio Spatafore placed first for their Buying and Merchandising Operations category for creating awareness and promotion of the Chick-fil-a app, increasing traffic to the app and making suggestions for updates and co-branding strategies.
An online music service referral service earned Lilah Kimble and Brooke Driscoll first place in the Innovation Entrepreneurship Plan category.  The duo created a service similar to Angie’s List that would allow clients to rate and recommend musicians for events.
By participating in a role-play simulation, Logan Crayton earned 2nd Place in the state for his Professional Selling skills.  As a salesperson, he was to close a sale of drones for use in the real estate industry and he did so without a hitch.
The Financial Literacy Promotion Plan developed by Jake Runner and Tanner Cava allowed them to place 2nd in the category.  The plan integrated  basketball skills with a financial literacy education program for students in area schools.
Rheannon Freeman and Carlie Crayton took healthy living to a new level with their café aimed at fitness enthusiasts.  The International Business Plan 2nd Place winners proposed a small health-focused café housed inside of existing fitness facilities such as Planet Fitness.
The Bridgeport High School Prom Fashion Show proved to be the inspiration for 2nd Place Advertising Campaign winners Lexy Ford and Sydney Rockwell.  The duo orchestrated every part of the show this year, including all promotional materials and advertising.
As the youngest members of DECA, BMS students Molly Runner and Dakota Swiger placed 2nd in the state with their Hospitality and Tourism Operations Project.  Their proposals made recommendations to boost tourism in areas affected by the floods and provided resources, recommendations and co-branding in order to increase tourism in those areas.
Alden Smith, Ella Flowers, and Gia Salentro qualified for the Thrive Leadership Academy, a 3-day intensive program held during the International Competition that promotes strong communication skills and business networking opportunities. 
The entire BHS DECA Chapter also won awards for Chapter Campaign, Membership Campaign and Service Awards.  They will now advance to the International Career Development Conference and Competition in Anaheim, CA the last week of April. At that conference, they will be among 18,000 competitors from all 50 states and nine countries.  They will also have the opportunity to earn nearly half a million dollars in scholarships and secure internships with top companies in America.
The group will be honored at the April 18 Harrison County School Board Meeting and will be raising funds to enable them to travel to California.  Any organization or individual who would like to donate may contact Advisor Trina Runner at  Upcoming fundraisers include taking pictures with Belle from Beauty and the Beast at Monday’s Main Street Mondays and hosting a Park Lane Jewelry Bingo at the Harrison County Senior Center on Tuesday at 5:30.

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