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DECA’s Career Development Competition a Success

From April 27 through May 2, 36 high school students and their advisors from Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School participated in DECA’s 63rd International Career Development Conference Competition in Anaheim, CA. By participating in this conference they joined over 14,000 other DECA student members using this conference to test their business skills and grow professionally from across the United States, Canada, Guam, Mexico, Germany, and Puerto Rico.

Eleven students placed in the top ten out of 150 teams in their competition led by Jason Feldman, Matt Melnyk and Josh Seiden, who took first place in the Learn & Earn Project Competitive Event.

Josh Seiden of Plainview and close friends Jason Feldman and Matthew Melnyk of Old Bethpage had the drive and determination to give back to the community through a creative charity event they called Stand Up For a Cause. As members of the DECA the three students planned, organized and implemented a comedy show last year that featured professional comedians, several large sponsors and plenty of raffle prizes to be won. At the conclusion of their event Seiden, Feldman and Melnyk donated over $3,500 to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.

However, as they encouraged community members and peers to stand up for a cause and fight for something they believe in, these three students began to prepare a presentation based on the marketing and organization that went into their event.

The three then presented their project in Anaheim and were awarded a first place trophy and were announced as the top team in the world in their competition.

Their event, which was sponsored by Otis Spunkmeyer, will entitle the three to scholarship money and will also allow for their manual to be published for all to see. Seiden, Feldman and Melnyk have already begun planning their Second Annual DECA Stand Up For a Cause which will take place on Friday October 2, 2009 at 7 p.m. in the Plainview Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy Auditorium and are currently seeking sponsors to fire up their fundraising efforts.

When asked about the experience Seiden quickly responded, “We are great friends and this event has only strengthened our friendship. But what we want to show others is that helping out around the community can be fun and rewarding and we hope to educate our fellow DECA members, students and even members of the community about the importance of giving back to the community. DECA has allowed us the opportunity to do great things and for that we are very grateful.”

For more information on the three young men and their project, or for ways to get involved be sure to check out their website at

Other individuals and teams, who placed in the top ten in their competitive events, include the following:

• Kevin Chon – Business One-on-One Event (Principles of Marketing)
• Sara Feldman, Priya Mistry, and Danielle Sorkin – Community Service Project)
• Ian Bernstein and Ellie Brandon - Entrepreneurship Promotion Project
• Ronni Englander and Ali Mendelsohn – Financial Literacy Project
Other participants of this DECA competition are:
• James Hwang – Business One-on-One Event (Principles of Marketing)
• Joshua Geier, Joseph Lipsky and Scott Migden – Community Service Project
• Tyler Gullo and Rachel Lewis – Creative Marketing Project
• Sara Greenberg and Alyssa Kaden – Creative Marketing Project
• Craig Gendjoian – Entrepreneurship Participating Event
• Steven Underweiser – Entrepreneurship Participating Event
• Eric Heymann and Jordan Shwide – Entrepreneurship Written Event
• Spencer Wunsch – Internet Marketing Plan Event
• Amy Nicholas, Susan Pollack and Jamie Schechner – Business and Financial Services Marketing Research Event
• Lyndsey D’Errico and Alexis Sotirhos – Business and Financial Services Marketing Research Event
• Michael Barkoff and Ethan Ruhalter – General Marketing Research Event
• Gary Schwaeber and David Schweitzer – Hospitality and Recreation Marketing Research Event
• Adam Getzler, Maggie Liang and Adam Rabinowitz – Retail Marketing Research Event

Thanks to DECA advisors Sue Rachell, Michael Secko and Lindsey Mandell and Scott Lieberman for their efforts and dedications to these DECA members.