2024-2025 State Officer Candidates

On Thursday, March 14, 2024, the State Officer Candidates will be meeting with chapter voting delegates at their campaign tables. And don’t forget, each candidate will be giving a speech during the Opening Session! After that, it’s time for voting delegates to cast their votes and we’ll be announcing the results during the Award Session on Saturday.

Want to know more about each of the candidates? Check out the Spring edition of Spotlight on DECA!

Ronak Ailawadi
Ann Arbor Skyline High School

I'd like to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I want to try to bring some of my ideas (and enthusiasm) for DECA to the state level. I hope to encourage more cooperation between DECA chapters. I hope to foster an increase in future leaders in the business field.

Militza Algredo-Huerta
Howell High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I know that DECA is constantly seeking ways to improve, and I have some ideas that I want to bring to the table from all of the experiences that I have had both within DECA and other external organizations.

Brianna Barbre
Lakeview High School

To me, being a DECA officer is not just a title. I believe being a DECA officer is showing your leadership, exemplifying your skills and ethics, and having high standards and goals to complete, and to have the dedication to complete them. I want to be a DECA officer because I want to show the person I can be, to show my hard work and dedication, and to show what DECA means to me. 

Aneesh Burri
Lakeshore High School

I found something I was passionate about, and became confident for once in my life. I created and strengthened priceless relationships through DECA, had irreplaceable experiences and garnered so many professional skills.  As someone who's life changed because of Michigan DECA, I feel like I owe it to the organization to do what I can to help it grow and give other students the same experience and impact I was given, and I can do that by serving as a state officer.

Ryan Carrannanto
Milford High School

DECA has been a highlight of my high school journey. I would love to share my experiences and effectively advocate for Michigan DECA. I believe that I can use my leadership and communication skills to increase membership, open new opportunities for aspiring DECA members, and help Michigan DECA prepare to succeed at the international level.

Meera Desai
North Farmington High School

 I want to be a state officer so I can give back to an organization that has given me so much. Throughout my DECA experience I have learned so much about the marketing community and strategies whilst improving my communication and presentation skills too. Ultimately, serving as a DECA State Officer allows me the chance to ensure that others can enjoy the same DECA experience that I had.

Carter Hostetler
Grandville High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA State Officer to give members the same opportunity I was given my freshman year, which is to increase their participation and develop their own interpersonal skills through competition.

Emily Jacobs
Hartland High School

I want the amazing opportunities that have been made available to me to still exist for the incoming freshman and to be as excited as I was. DECA has been a consistent source of happiness and pride for me and I wish to deepen my commitment and involvement, serving at the state level.

Mahaksh Jinna
Farmington High School

I want to be a DECA State Officer because it is a very good opportunity to grow as a person, learn more about leadership, and also because DECA has been a big part of life since freshmen year. Joining DECA has introduced me to the many aspects of business which I've garnered an interest and passion for, and hope to pursue when I'm older in my career. My passion for DECA has grown and becoming a State Officer offers me a chance to help grow and give back to a community that has taught me so much these past few years.

Devin Marvin
Petoskey High School

I have envisioned becoming a Michigan DECA State Officer since the beginning of my DECA career, my freshman year. Seeing the role State Officers played in making DECA at all levels so great inspired me to take a larger role within my own DECA chapter. Now I want to take a major role at the state level to continue and further the success and greatness that DECA has had in my life to all those around me. DECA is truly the greatest organization I have been a part of. 

Ilija Mitovski
L'Anse Creuse North High School

I want to be a Michigan DECA state officer because I care a lot about the DECA organization as it is one of the best clubs in my opinion by trying to teach students how to be a top employee at a company or how to run a company by teaching students how to problem solve through situations and how to present solutions. I feel DECA should be pushed more actively at schools and we should try expanding our influences to many more chapters as we prepare to send students off into the world of business.

Milan Patel
Birmingham Seaholm High School

Since I was a freshman, I have looked up to the DECA State Officers. I admire their leadership and passion, and I want to be a State Officer because I want to influence other individuals like they’ve influenced me. I believe I can guide others to be the best they can be.  I want to leave my mark on the DECA community. I think by partnering with nonprofits that aim to contribute to a positive future for Michigan, I could create a legacy of high school community engagement that can support local and small business in new ways.

Ansh Shah
Northville High School

Throughout high school, I have built a passion for DECA and leadership; serving as State Officer is a wonderful way to combine both of those. DECA has given me so much, and I want to give back even a fraction of what I have learned. By exhibiting leadership and initiative, I believe I can lead Michigan DECA members by example. 

Harshitha Sudhakar
South Lyon High Schools

DECA has shaped my high school experience. The knowledge, experience, friends, and connections that you make along the way are really special. I want to be a DECA State Officer because I want others to experience this as well and connect so many more students to DECA and enable them to have an amazing DECA experience. Being a DECA State officer means that I will get to engage and work with many different people, plan activities for Michigan DECA, and learn new things about leadership and teamwork.

Tanvi Tyagi
Jackson High School

I know that if I become a State Officer, it will be an eventful journey with many new experiences that will ultimately shape my character and strengths. And I want to repay for this personal growth by helping advance and expand DECA as a whole. I specifically hope to use my role of State Officer to increase DECA’s business partnerships. I believe that with the right sponsors, we as an organization can become an easily recognizable international sensation.

Nicole Utz
Forest Hills Eastern High School

I am eager to be a Michigan DECA State Officer because I am passionate about fostering leadership, innovation, and professional development among all MiDECA members. Through this role, I aspire to contribute to the growth of DECA by implementing initiatives that empower students to excel in business and marketing. Serving as a State Officer will allow me to make a meaningful impact on the DECA community, supporting and inspiring fellow students on their journey to success.

Micaela Wagner
Portage Central High School

As a Michigan DECA State Officer, I will gain the opportunity to grow and help out a non-profit organization for the greater good. I will be able to assist an organization that has grown my skill sets and given me long-lasting memories since freshman year. Also, I will be able to connect with many individuals and gain knowledge from their experiences and differences. As a State Officer, I will have the ability to work together with individuals and gain new lasting friendships.

Running for Office

The chance to serve Michigan DECA’s 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.


Running for and holding a State Office is exciting and challenging. The rewards are many:

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

Interested individuals should:

  • Talk to your parents, advisor, employer, and principal to discuss the responsibilities and activities.
  • Obtain permission for absences from school, work, and family activities.

Interested individuals MUST:

  • Be an active member in an affiliated Michigan High School Division chapter.
  • Be enrolled in or be a completer of a marketing, management, finance, hospitality, or entrepreneurship program during your Junior and Senior years of high school.
  • Have held a responsible position at the chapter level.
  • Candidates may only run in their Junior (11th grade) year of school.
  • Be recommended by the chapter advisor, parents, chapter members, and school administrators.
  • Be the only candidate from your DECA chapter (chapters may only have one candidate).
  • Have good speaking and writing skills.
  • Complete the required forms (See the application process for specific instructions):
    • Register for the Candidate Screening
    • Complete the online Candidate Information Form
    • Complete the Candidate Signature Packet with two letters of recommendation
  • Attend the State Officer Candidate Screening Interviews in East Lansing, Michigan.
  • Follow the Michigan DECA State Officer Campaign Guidelines (in the Campaign Guidebook and other details will be sent once you are approved to run for office).
  • Agree to the State Officer Code of Conduct (in the Candidate Signature Packet).

What kind of training will I receive?

  • Once elected at the State Conference, training will be provided during the following required conferences: the International Career Development Conference, the CTSO State Officer Workshop, and the DECA Emerging Leaders’ Summit. 
  • At the International Career Development Conference (attendance required), you will be assigned to several officer training workshops and voting delegate meetings.  If you are competing, these activities will be scheduled around your competition schedule. Please note, due to the activities and commitments required of you as a State Officer you will not have much time to spend with your chapter at the conference.
  • Additional training will be available during State Officer meetings throughout your term of office.


Application Process


Before Monday, January 29, 2024

  • Study the Candidate Guidebook for complete rules, regulations, and information about running for office.
  • Candidates must register for the State Officer Candidate Screening by completing the Candidate Screening Registration Form with their chapter advisor. Completed forms are to be scanned and emailed to Ms. Day at Michigan DECA by January 29, 2024.
  • Michigan DECA will email each candidate’s advisor a Recommendation Form designed for chapter advisors when we receive the candidate’s screening registration.

Candidates must complete the online Candidate Information Form by January 29, 2024. This form collects basic information of the candidate and will be shared internally only by Michigan DECA and the election committee. Information needed for this form includes:

  • Basic contact information for candidate and parents (phone numbers, address, etc.)
  • Clothing sizes
  • Information about DECA conferences attended, DECA chapter activities, community activities, and your future goals and plans.
  • Rank of your State Officer position preferences. Note: Potential candidates will not select a specific office to run for. The Election Committee will slate up to sixteen candidates based on the candidate application and screening process. The State Executive Council will consist of eight officers.


Before February 2, 2024

  • Complete the Candidate Signature Packet and gather the required signatures and recommendations. The original copy must be brought to the State Officer Candidate Screening on February 3, 2024. No scans of the signature packet will be accepted, these pages must be the originals signed by all parties.
  • Each candidate must submit two recommendations using the Recommendation Form found on the last page of the signature packet. Suggested resources for these recommendations include school officials, teachers, counselors, employers, community members and leaders, etc. Recommendations may not be provided by the DECA chapter advisor, parents, relatives, or classmates. Recommendations should be received by the candidate in a sealed envelope, and may not be opened by the candidate.


On Saturday, February 3, 2024

  • All potential candidates must attend the State Officer Candidate Screening on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in East Lansing, Michigan. 
  • Candidates that do not attend will not be considered.
  • The completed Candidate Signature Packet and Recommendation forms must be turned in when you arrive at the screening. 

 Each candidate will participate in the following on Saturday, February 3, 2024:

  • Candidate Interview
  • Deliver a two-minute presentation on “DECA and What it Means to Me.” The audience is the screening committee, and the purpose of the speech is to convince the committee of your belief in DECA and its goals and your dedication to the organization. The speech should be viewed as a sales presentation on your behalf.
  • Participate in an evaluated interpersonal skills activity.
  • Take a written examination.
  • Photos will be taken for use on the website and in Spotlight on DECA.

State Officer Screening Policies

  • Candidates must submit the required materials by the posted deadlines.
  • Chapters may not have more than one candidate for state office.
  • A DECA blazer (optional) and/or other suitable professional dress is appropriate.
  • The Election committee will evaluate each candidate during the screening process on the criteria provided and may slot a maximum of sixteen candidates to run for state office.
  • Potential candidates will not select a specific office to run for. The Election Committee will slate up to sixteen candidates based on the candidate’s combined applications and screening process. The State Executive Council will consist of no more than eight officers.


What happens next?

  • The election committee will approve candidates to run for office, who will be notified.
  • Prepare your campaign. After being approved by the Election Committee, you will receive guidance and regulations for your campaign.
  • Review responsibilities and commitments of office.
  • Review the election process.
  • Candidates cannot post anything about their campaign or that they are running for office until they are given approval and posting regulations after they have been approved to run for office. Candidates may post on social media according to the guidelines provided.
  • No materials may be sent to chapters or voting delegates prior to the State Conference.
By February 21, 2024:
  • Approved candidates must EMAIL a one-page (8 1/2” x 11”) State Officer Candidate Flyer by February 24th that will be distributed in a special packet for voting delegates. We will contact you with the email address to send the attachment.
  • Email the completed Campaign Summary Form to Ms. Day by February 21st.
At the State Conference:
  • Attend the Candidate Briefing meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2024, at Huntington Place.   If your competitive event orientation interferes with the Candidate Briefing, you will be excused from the orientation.  You will need to report to the event’s check-in desk on Friday at the first time listed in the program for your event, in order to pickup your competition schedule.
  • You will need to bring with you the following items to the Candidate Briefing.  Candidates who are missing any of the required materials will not be allowed to open their campaign table.
    • A copy of your completed and current Campaign Summary Form 
    • A bag containing one of each promotional item that you plan on distributing at your table.
  • NEW for 2024:  The Michigan DECA Advisors’ Council has asked for campaign booths to be redesigned so candidates have an opportunity to speak with the voting delegates. To accommodate the new direction for campaign displays, the following changes will take place:
    • Campaign displays will be in room 330 Huntington Place. 
    • Each candidate will be assigned to one 10’ round table for their display.
    • Chants, marches, music, shouting, noisemakers, and demonstrations are not allowed.
    • Only Voting Delegates, Candidates, Advisors, and Campaign Workers will be allowed into the room. All Voting Delegates must have the ribbon attached to their nametag to enter.
    • You may enlist 1-2 chapter members to assist with your campaign table at the State Conference.  The candidate is responsible for the actions of his/her campaign workers.  Please advise them of all rules and regulations.  Campaign workers must also be registered to compete at the conference. 
    • Each candidate must have an Advisor or Chaperone in the campaign room during the hours of the campaign.
  • Candidates will give a one-minute greeting during the Opening Session at the State Career Development Conference.  Candidates must use a normal speaking voice.  If a Candidate yells into the microphone, their microphone will be turned off, their time will be cut short, and will be escorted from the stage.
  • No campaigning can take place after the Opening Session at the State Career Development Conference.
  • The election will take place following the Opening Session.
  • Election results will be announced during the Award Session on Saturday morning.

If you have any questions about being a State Officer, your best resource is to contact a current State Officer.