Running for State Office

Running for State Office is both fun and rewarding. The chance to serve Michigan DECA’s 8,800 members is an exciting opportunity and a big responsibility. Being elected as an officer is an honor… but serving entails a lot of commitment, hard work and dedication. Michigan DECA encourages potential candidates to talk to their parents, chapter advisor, employer, guidance counselor and principal to discuss the responsibilities involved in holding a state office.

Rewards of being a Michigan DECA State Officer include:

  • Personal satisfaction and growth
  • Development of life-long leadership skills
  • Travel to exciting places, and meeting new people
  • Plan the Michigan DECA State Leadership, District and State Career Development Conferences
  • Visit high schools and universities
  • Recognition for your chapter and community

The qualifications to run for a State Office:

  • Active membership in an affiliated Michigan high school division chapter
  • Must have held a responsible position at the chapter level
  • Must be a Junior in high school. (No other grades are eligible to run for a State Office, since State Officers can only serve during their Senior year in high school.)
  • Recommended by the chapter advisor and the school administrators
  • Have good speaking and writing skills

Once you become a State Officer, you will be allowed to compete in any individual event at the District or State level. You may compete at the International Conference if you are named as a qualifier at the State Conference.

What kind of training will I receive?

  • In April at the International Conference (attendance required), newly elected State Officers will attend training sessions. If you are competing, these sessions will be worked around your competition schedule.
  • In May, you will attend a training camp for State Officers (attendance required).
  • In July, you will attend the Emerging Leader Summit (attendance required).
  • Additional training will be available during State Officer meetings throughout your term of office.


What do I need to do?

The guidebook and forms will be posted in December.

  1. Study the 2021-2022 State Officer Candidate Guidebook.
  2. Register for the State Officer Candidate Screening before January 29, 2021 in order to attend the screening. The screening will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2021 in Lansing. The screening fee is $15. Payment may be made in advance or at the screening.
  3. Download and complete the 2021-2022 State Officer Candidate Application with the required appropriate signatures.  Bring the original PLUS four (4) stapled copies of the application to the State Officer Screening. Applications will not be accepted if they are in a folder, binder, report cover, etc.; only stapled copies will be accepted. Note: Only one copy of recommendations received are required in sealed envelope(s). Candidates are prohibited from opening any recommendations received by them in a sealed envelope. There will NOT be a copier available at the hotel, so come prepared!
  4. Attend the State Officer Candidate Screening on Saturday, February 6, 2021 in Lansing, Michigan.  The screening panel consists of current State Officers and Michigan DECA Alumni members. At the screening, potential candidates will be given a written qualification exam, participate in a candidate interview, present a 2 minute speech on “DECA, and what it means to me”, and participate in a skills activity. All candidates must pass the qualification exam and interviews.

What happens next?

  1. About a week after the screening, you will be notified if you have been approved as an official State Officer Candidate. Now you can start planning your campaign!
  2. Approved candidates are required to submit a description of the handouts and any small items you are giving away during your campaign on the Campaign Summary Form to the Election Committee by March 1st. This information will be reviewed, to make sure all activities meet the campaign guidelines. Read the Guidebook; it has all the details on what is and what is not allowed during campaigning at the State Conference.
  3. Approved candidates must EMAIL a one page (8 1/2” x 11”) black and white State Officer Candidate Flyer by March 1st that will be printed and distributed in a special packet for the voting delegates. Faxes of flyers WILL NOT be accepted!  Please email Mr. Parr your flyer.
  4. You will be provided a set of mailing labels to all current Michigan DECA chapters. Feel free to mail your flyer (in color or black and white), a letter of introduction and any other campaign materials to chapters.

What happens at the State Conference?

  1. You are required to attend a candidate meeting on Thursday. You must also bring one sample of each item you are planning on handing out or giving away at your campaign table to this meeting.
  2. Before the opening session on Thursday, you will be given the opportunity to pass out your campaign materials at your table. Plan on making a display for your campaign table, and recruit some friends to help you staff your table.
  3. You will give a 90 second speech during the Opening Session on Thursday evening.
  4. Voting happens right after the Opening Session. The top eight candidates that receive the most votes will be elected as Michigan DECA State Officers. Positions are based on the number of votes received, your desired office ranking from your application, and recommendations from your Chapter Advisor, the election committee, and outgoing State Officers.
  5. The new State Officer team will be announced and sworn-in during the Closing/Awards Session on Saturday.


If you have any questions about being a State Officer, your best resource is to contact a current State Officer. You can also contact Mr. Michael Parr, Michigan DECA’s State Officer Coordinator (and a past State Officer) at