About Us

The Early History of DECA

DECA has a rich and successful history at both the state and international levels.

The Development of DECA

During the period between 1937 and 1942, when cooperative programs in marketing education (distributive education as it was called then) were becoming more widely established, students in these marketing and distributive education classes began to form Distributive Education Clubs. This spontaneous effort on the part of students and teachers occurred simultaneously throughout the country.

Students Were Employed

First, distributive education students were employed away from their school campus at business training stations during the afternoon at a time when many of the other students in their school were involved with the school’s extracurricular activities. The distributive education students were, therefore, missing a very important part of school life. Second, these students of distributive education had a common interest—their great personal desire for professional and personal growth. Third, they felt the need to belong, to develop professionally and socially, and to be a part of a group.

Clubs Began to Form

Clubs began to spring up all over the country. These local clubs adopted many names—Future Retailers, Future Distributors, Future Merchants and Distributive Education Clubs. Between 1941 and 1944, as the number and size of local clubs were growing, they began to realize the need for a more organized way to communicate with each other. A few states held statewide meetings of Distributive Education Clubs. By 1945, a few states had officially organized state associations and began holding state conferences.

National DECA Forms

In 1946, the United States Office of Education invited a representative committee of state supervisors of distributive education to meet in Washington, D.C., with representatives of the USOE and the American Vocational Association (now ACTE) to develop plans for the national organization of Distributive Education Clubs and to prepare a tentative constitution and an organizational chart. As a result of this preliminary meeting, the national organization was launched, and the first Interstate Conference of Distributive Education Clubs was held in Memphis, Tennessee, in April 1947. At that meeting, delegates from 12 states unanimously adopted a resolution to form a national organization. The second national conference, held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1948, saw the adoption of the constitution and the official name, the Distributive Education Clubs of America, designated DECA, and the acceptance of 17 charter member states. These were: Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

National Headquarters Established

In 1953, a national headquarters for DECA was established in Washington, D.C., with the help of the American Vocational Association.

State Officer Alumni

For over half a century, Nevada DECA has selected student leaders to serve as the State Officers for the organization. Explore some of the past State Officer Teams (Click here)

Executive Officer Alumni

The most prestigious student leadership position in DECA is serving as a member of the international Executive Officer Team. Nevada’s Executive Officer alumni:

  • 2012-2013: Victoria Caña, Western Region Vice President

Students of the Year

Each year, Nevada DECA awards its Student of the Year honors to the DECA student who best embodies the leadership and professional skills developed by the organization Explore past Students of the Year below

  • 2016-17: Kennedy Villegas, Valley High School
  • 2015-16: Katerina Schoenegger, West Career & Technical Academy
  • 2014-15: Luz Diaz-Ontiveros, Sunrise Mountain High School
  • 2013-14: Joshua McGuire, Desert Oasis High School
  • 2012-13: Cristal Montes, East Career & Technical Academy
  • 2011-12: Victoria Caña, Southwest Career & Technical Academy
  • 2010-11: Denisse Labori, East Career & Technical Academy
  • 2009-10: Antares Vargas, Northwest Career & Technical Academy
  • 2008-09: Amanda Johnson, Legacy High School
  • 2007-08: Ashleigh Sprague, Liberty High School

Advisors of the Year

Each year, Nevada DECA awards its Advisor of the Year honors to the DECA advisors who achieve excellence in their support of the organization and its members. Explore past Advisors of the Year below:

  • 2016-17: Lisa Withrow, Valley High School
  • 2015-16: Terry Ertman, Basic High School
  • 2014-15: Mike Escobar and Shannon Harrison, Davidson Academy
  • 2013-2014: Gabe Silva and Drew Burton, East Career & Technical Academy
  • 2012-2013: Patti Buono, Veterans Tribute Career & Technical Academy
  • 2011-2012: Perry Annett, Southwest Career & Technical Academy
  • 2010-2011: Geoff Demaio, Advanced Technologies Academy
  • 2009-2010: Tina Fulks, Desert Oasis High School
  • 2008-2009: Sandra Goodwyn, Mojave High School
  • 2007-2008: Don Schumaker, Spring Valley High School

Chapters of the Year

Each year, Nevada DECA awards its Chapter of the Year honors to the DECA chapter who demonstrates excellence and growth in their chapter through the Chapter of the Year awards program. Explore past Chapters of the Year below:

  • 2016-17: East Career & Technical Academy

Competitive Event Sweepstakes Winners

The Sweepstakes Award is given every year at SCDC to the chapter with the best overall performance in competitive events. Explore past Sweepstakes Winners below:

  • 2016-17: Davidson Academy
  • 2015-16: Davidson Academy

Honorary Life Membership / Distinguished Service Awards

The Honorary Life Membership award is the highest level of recognition given by Nevada DECA. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions and support of DECA’s partners and supporters. The Distinguished Service Award is given to DECA advisors and partners with a significant, vibrant history of DECA support. Explore past award winners below:

Honorary Life Membership

  • 2010: David Gass, Business Credit Services

Distinguished Service Award

  • 2016: Jamie Hillen
  • 2014: Michelle Dodds
  • 2008: Brock Taylor