2018-2019 State Officer Candidates

The State Officer Candidates will have a campaign table at the State Conference, near the Exhibit Hall entrance on Friday, March 9, 2018 before the Opening Session.  Each candidate will give a speech during the Opening Session. Voting delegates will cast their votes right after Opening Session.  The top eight candidates will be announced and sworn in during the Award Session on Sunday, March 11!

Raheem Ahmed, Heritage High School

In the past couple of years being involved with DECA has made me a better person. When I joined DECA my sophomore year, it was the best decision I ever made. DECA helped result in me planning to major in a business-related field in college along with medicine. Being involved with DECA has made me so confident, and has prepared me for so many other aspects in my life such as public speaking, as well as quick and creative thinking skills. I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I want to help promote to other students an amazing experience, as well as what shaped me to be the individual I am today.

DECA Activities:
DECA Executive Board- Heritage chapter
District 1 Conferences
State Career Development Conference

Environmental Protection Society- President
Model United Nations Club- Treasurer
Student Assembly
Mosque- Director of Communications and organizer of domestic events

Addison Barnett, Lake Orion High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer for many reasons. My first DECA event was the State Leadership Development Conference in 2017 and ever since that day, I knew this something I would love to do. This is a great opportunity to prepare myself for the future and better myself as a professional. I am a very proud member of Michigan DECA and I would be honored to have the chance to represent all of its members. As a State Officer, I would be able to improve my communication, leadership, creative thinking, and presentation skills in a way I would not be able to otherwise.

DECA Activities:
State Career Development Conference (2 years)
Districts (2 years)

Leadership class
National Honor Society
Tutoring Program
Dragon on the lake Dragon Boat Races
Soccer Team
Church volunteer- mission trips, summer camp

Emily Czarniecki, Westland John Glenn High School

Being a Michigan DECA State Officer would allow me to interact with more members, as well as promote DECA on a larger scale. It would give me the opportunity to use my position to help the members of Michigan DECA prepare more effectively for competitive events, which would help to increase our number of finalists at the International Career Development Conference. I hope to help the members of Michigan DECA set goals, work hard, and exceed their expectations.

DECA Activities:
VP of Career Development- Westland John Glenn chapter
District Council
State Leadership Conference (2)
Central Region Leadership Conference
District & State competitor- 3 years
State Finalist (2x)
International Career Development Conference

Varsity Swim Team- captain
Rotary Interact Club
National Honor Society

Olivia Huszti, Milford High School

As a freshman, Michigan DECA’s State Conference was very impressive to me and I was very interested in everything that Michigan DECA did. I would love to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I admire the work of the previous state officers, and I feel that I would be able to help contribute. Michigan DECA is a special organization because of the amazing people who work tirelessly to make it a better place. I want to become part of that team of people who go the extra distance and give back in every way they can.

DECA Activities:
DECA chapter officer- Milford

Cross Country team
Track team
Basketball team
Ski team
National Honor Society
Student Council
Volunteer- Adopt-A-Family, Milford Memories

Ila Iyengar, Northville High School

The leadership conferences and college/career booths have already given me the opportunity to network in a real life setting, and being a state officer would further expand my connections and opportunities. Also, I would be able to offer my set of skills to the State Officer Team of leadership, communication, and collaboration. These skills will help me effectively lead Michigan DECA. Just as Michigan DECA shaped me into the confident leader I am today, I want to use the platform of State Officer to encourage cooperation, leadership, and collaboration among chapters and members.

DECA activities:
State finalist- Apparel and Accessories Marketing
ICDC- Elevate Academy
Volunteer- Miracle Minutes & KONA Runs

Varsity Dance Company
MIT Launch Club
Track and Field
String Club
Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra
National Federation of Music Clubs
TedX Club President

Sarah LeBlanc, Greenville High School

Growing up, I was not confident whatsoever, and some may have even labeled me as shy. This all changed when I stepped out of my comfortable box, and I signed up for a marketing class, ultimately signing up for DECA. DECA challenged me in a way that I did not even know was possible, growing out of my shell and becoming that person that I am today. Now, I love talking to new people and leading a group, but if I would’ve thought about applying for this three years ago, I would have been completely mortified. I am a living example of what this tremendously beneficial organization can do for anyone. I want to help people find that within themselves and be the best that they can be. Because after all, in DECA it does not matter what size town you are from or your background; because everyone has it within them to be truly limitless.

DECA Activities:
VP of Fundraising- Greenville chapter
Leadership Conference
District Council member

National Honor Society
Volunteer- retirement facility

Zoe Ling, Novi High School

As someone that grew up feeling as though I was not great at anything, that I did not belong anywhere, joining DECA really changed my life. I finally found something that I loved and that I was good at. It was a place of belonging for me. Last year, I walked into the State Career Development Conference with an optimistic mindset; excited, but not expecting anything from competition. The following day, I preformed the best role play I have ever done. It gave me a sense of achievement that I had never felt before, and I would love if everyone in DECA would be able to participate in the same great conferences I was able to attend. I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer to allow other people to have the experiences that I was able to enjoy. To give them a great time at all the conferences and discover their own love of business.

DECA Activities:
VP of Human Resources: Principles at Novi High School
District Conference
State Conference
International Conference

Relay for Life- team captain
Philharmonic Orchestra
Robotics team

Izabela Martini, North Farmington High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I want to encourage more high school students to be a part of the most amazing organization; DECA. As a member I not only developed my love for business, but I also got the opportunity to travel and network with incredible people from all over the world. Up until the year I joined my chapter board, we were not doing much to inform our students about what DECA really is. People were simply told that DECA is a marketing club, which I believe does not even begin to explain what DECA is. As a State Officer, I want to ensure that every school is truly informing their students about what DECA is and all of the amazing opportunities it provides.

DECA activities:
International Career Development Conference 2017- School Based Enterprise
Vice President of DECA- North Farmington chapter
State Career Development Conference- Hospitality Team event

Aqua-Tots- Master Water Safety Instructor
Active Class Board member (3 years)

Kiara Peterman, Greenville High School

Being a part of such an amazing organization and being able to hold such an honorable position will create many more opportunities. I want to be a state officer because this past year, DECA has helped me put myself out there, which is something I would not normally do. As a state officer, there would be so many members that would help me improve my public speaking and leadership. Having this role would allow me to share my ideas with all of the chapters instead of just one.

DECA Activities:
DECA State Leadership Conference

Soccer Team- captain
H.O.N.K.- Helping out new kids

Genevive Remsing, Maple Valley High School

I want to give back to Michigan DECA for helping me realize my talents and helping me improve them. Also, I want to help others get more involved so they can have the same great experience I have had with DECA and so they can reach their full potential as a young business person.

DECA Activities:
SCDC- 2 years
State Leadership Conference
VP of Career Development- Maple Valley chapter

Kalamazoo Heat- AAU basketball team, captain
FFA member
Volunteer- elementary art class

Thomas Saad, Livonia Stevenson High School

DECA has helped me find myself, to become the person I am today. The organization has helped to shape what I want to be when I grow up and it has helped channel my love for business and entrepreneurship. Through DECA I have learned plenty about what can and will be used for my future career in business, as well as becoming a future leader in the industry. As a state officer, I want to make sure that every student who comes through DECA experiences the same passion that I have experienced, and to reinvent them just as I have.

DECA Activities:
District Level Competition
SCDC qualifier
Mentor for other DECA classmates
State Leadership Conference

Cross Country team- Captain, Varsity Honors
Stevenson Intramural Model United Nations

Emily Stando, Milford High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer so I can give back to DECA and its members, what DECA has given to me. DECA is an incredible organization that has allowed me to gain skills and have opportunities that I would not be able to get anywhere else. As a State Officer, I would be able to further encourage those in Michigan DECA to use all the opportunities DECA has to offer, as well as encourage those who are not in DECA to join. Everyone that participates in DECA knows it is an amazing and enriching program and I want to be able to help it continue to grow as a State Officer.

DECA activities:
Active DECA member (3 years)
VP of Communications
State Career Development Conference (3 years)

National Honor Society
Spanish Club
HOT Robotics Team- Communications sub-group
Varsity Swimming Team
Varsity Bowling Team

Jean Xiong, Northville High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I believe holding office would establish a symbiotic relationship between myself and Michigan DECA. I feel I have a lot to offer as a State Officer, and if I were to win office, I have a lot to contribute in running Michigan DECA successfully and continuing to make improvements. Michigan DECA would also play a large role in helping me improve myself as a person, a leader, and a businesswoman by allowing me opportunities to take on challenges and meet new people.

DECA Activities:
Communications Chairwoman
Community Relations Chairwoman
State Career Development Conference

HOSA- Biomedical Debate Event leader
Model United Nations- Secretary of Communications
Rotary Interact
National Honor Society
Band- Color guard captain
Michigan New Century Chinese School- teaching assistant volunteer
Tang Soo Do- second degree black belt