A group of nine students from the DECA Chapter at Milford High School and Great Oaks Career Center recently won top honors at the DECA National Competition in Anaheim, Calif. The students and their marketing instructor Ed Pregitzer were invited to the Clermont County Commissioners meeting on June 16 in recognition of their achievements.
“We want to congratulate the Milford High School DECA team for their excellence,” said commissioner Ed Humphrey.
More than 13,000 DECA students participated in the event held from April 29 to May 3, in Anaheim, Calif.
In the retail marketing research written event, Courtney Thatch and Alyx Cole, received first place "Best in the Nation" with their 30 page marketing research report pertaining to the possibility of Hershey's Kisses developing a promotional campaign for "Sweetest Day" nationwide.
"We had to put together a marketing plan, develop packaging and logos and decide how to market the product," said Thatch. "We decided to target males who would be buying the Kisses as gifts."
They both received $1,000 for their winning entry and Thatch also received a $1,000 scholarship.
Milford seniors Adrienne Spuzzillo and Jessica Norton also received "Best in the Nation" for their marketing report on "How Can Milford Athletics/Sports Increase Attendance at Sporting Events?"
The two received $1,000 scholarships and all of the first place winners will have their reports published by National DECA.
In the international competition, senior Andrew Kitzmiller took second place for his report on how to increase/maintain sales at Kitzmiller Dentistry in Milford during these challenging economic times. Kitzmiller received a $500 cash award plus a $1,000 scholarship.
"There were 220 other students competing and he did his marketing research on maintaining sales during these challenging economic times," said Pregitzer.
Ryan Olson also placed second in the international competition for his report about how Milford Schools could implement a financial literacy program for students from junior high and high school. He completed against 110 students in the "Financial Literacy Promotional Project." He implemented his program within several schools in the Milford School District. He has plans to use his scholarship money at Ohio University in the fall.
Three students, Mark Swenson, Kyle Duffy and Bryan Nare, placed in the top 10 in the nation.
Swenson competed in the "Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series Event" and was required to complete a 100 question written test as part of the competition.
Duffy and Nare wrote a 30-page report focusing on how to increase/maintain sales at M & R Recycling in Milford.
"In my 35 years as marketing instructor we have never had as many first and second place awards," said Pregitzer, who will be retiring June 30. "This is the best year we have ever had in both the international and national competition. This is a great way to end my 35 years of teaching marketing education."
"I want to congratulate the students for their outstanding accomplishments, but I would suspect that there is an outstanding leader behind them," said commissioner Scott Croswell. "To excel in this type of competition, takes solid leadership."
DECA is an association for high school marketing students who are pursuing careers in marketing, management and entrepreneurship.