Dixie State’s DECA, formerly ‘Distributive Education Club,’ students advance, compete internationally

ST. GEORGE — Of the 35 top “academic athletes” from Dixie State University that participated in the two-day Utah state-level DECA Career Development Conference competition, all 35 qualified to compete at the International Career Development Conference, which will be held April 14-22 in Orlando, Florida.

“Getting 35 students to Orlando is no small feat,” said Bryon Geddes, DSU DECA advisor and marketing instructor. “Giving each and every student a chance to compete internationally has been one of my many goals over the past five years. DECA is a remarkable incubator for testing the strength of experiential learning. We improve each year and send these students into the world much better prepared.”

In the DECA  originally Distributive Education Clubs of America Utah state-level competition, DSU students competed in 19 of the 22 total competitive categories and combined to take 73 percent of the total awards for those events. Of the 35 students who competed, 33 students earned honors on the stage at the award ceremony. This year, senior Broc Hafen, from St. George, who is double-majoring in business and Web design, leads DSU’s DECA chapter.

“I am honored to be a part of this organization at DSU,” Hafen said. “We are taught by the example of our advisor to love to learn and seek for ways to make a difference here at Dixie State University and in the world when we graduate.”

Among this year’s top finishers were Alex Bennett and Jackson Ream, who won first place in the Business-to-Business competition as well as Financial Statement Analysis; Andrew Herrin and Kayla (Northrup) Herrin, first place in Business Research; Emily Fisher and Josh Puchlik, first place in Emerging Technology; Riley Packer, Cindy Pu and Jacob Rix, first place in Entrepreneur – Growing a Business; and Annie Simkins, first place in Retail Management.

Students of the Dixie State University DECA group, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News
Students of the Dixie State University DECA group, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

The following students will represent Dixie State in the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando:

  • Ashley Beck
  • Alex Bennett
  • Joshua Boggess
  • Patrick Boyle
  • Dantzel Butler
  • Karina Caballero
  • Jaden Cox
  • Jordan Cox
  • Taylor Crosby
  • Sacha Davis
  • Deric Deede
  • Derek Ence
  • Hunter Evans
  • Emily Fisher
  • Garett Garcia
  • Elisabeth Geddes
  • Broc Hafen
  • David (Karl) Harrison
  • Andrew Herrin
  • Derek Johnson
  • Tia Lyman
  • Kimmy Montoya
  • Kayla (Northrop) Harrin
  • Riley Packer
  • Cindy Pu
  • Joshua Puchlik
  • Sydney (Radulovic) Garcia
  • Jackson Ream
  • Taylor Ricker
  • Jacob Rix
  • Shaun Russon
  • Sheldon Shelley
  • Annie Simkins
  • Cord Skeen
  • Jonny Snow
  • Jackson Tann
  • Felicia White
  • Karman Wilson
  • Hillary Wotring

“Our DECA participants are indeed academic athletes. However, what makes their success so extraordinary is that they are all ‘walk-ons,’” Geddes said. “None of them were recruited to come to join DECA or to compete with DECA scholarships. Their extraordinary success comes from their hard work and determination, a superior Dixie education, and the generous support of our local community.”

About DECA

DECA is an international not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. Its membership includes over 200,000 students in all 50 of the United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain. The United States Department of Education and state, district and international departments of education authorize DECA’s programs.

Ed. note: Headline revised April 13 to include the acronym DECA. The organization adopted the acronym in the early ’90s in lieu of Distributive Education Clubs of America, according to local chapter websites.


  • For information about DECA, contact Bryon Geddes at 435-879-4339 or at [email protected]

Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • jwb76 April 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I just thought I would point out to the writer that the term title of Distributive Education Clubs of America was dropped clear back in 1991. The organization kept the acronym of DECA, but is known as “An Association of Marketing Students.” Too bad the writer didn’t do his or her research. These are a great group of students that represent Dixie and Utah so well!

    • Joyce Kuzmanic April 13, 2015 at 5:35 am

      We see your point, jwb.
      In the body of the report, it stateA, ” … DECA — originally Distributive Education Clubs of America ….” We avoid acronyms in headlines that are not universally familiar, and considered that while DECA is recognized within academic and business circles, it may not be understood across the board.
      A review of the original branding of the organization as DECA in the early ’90s indicates the acronym was used in conjunction with “An Association of Marketing Students.” That no longer appears on the organization’s website or in its branding guidelines; but perhaps the expression is still used.
      No offense was intended and we appreciate the input; I am revising the headline, thank you so much.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | StGeorgeNews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.