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DECA excels at international competition

April 26, 2023

Nine Northwood students qualified as finalists in their respective events at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) — and two made it to the winner’s podium.

“Our students performed outstandingly well at the highest level of competition that DECA has to offer,” stated Advisor Patrick McElgunn. “They embodied the Northwood IDEA, applied what they’ve learned in the classroom, and infused their passion into their performance. I couldn’t be prouder of how our students showed up and represented not only our great state of Michigan, but Northwood University. Time and time again, our students are showing, on a national stage, the strength of a Northwood University education and the free-enterprise foundation that our school is built upon.”

Northwood had 15 students qualify for the ICDC, and of them, nine qualified as finalists in their respective events, including:

• Charlee Simanskey of Midland & Molly Dickinson of Alpena – Business Ethics

• Wilson Bragg of Gladwin & Andrew Coveyou of Petoskey – Financial Statement Analysis

• Lauren Waiss of Sturtevant, Wisconsin – Emerging Tech

• Sophia Schlatterbeck of Livonia – Professional Sales

• Kate Frank of Midland – Financial Accounting

• Ethan Ward of Jenison– Financial Accounting

• Jordan Barker of Howell – Sales Management Meeting

Of the finalists, five made it to the Top 10 in their respective events: Charlee Simanskey & Molly Dickinson, Lauren Waiss, Sophia Schlatterbeck and Ethan Ward.

Two went on to win or place in their categories: Charlee Simanskey & Molly Dickinson (first place) and Ethan Ward (third place).

“Molly and Charlee went head-to-head with students from Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin, Rutgers, University of Arizona and more, beating out elite Division I schools to take home first place,” McElgunn noted.

Additional recognitions for the Northwood DECA crew included:

• Kate Frank received additional honors for Outstanding Comprehensive Exam and Outstanding Case Study

• Jordan Barker received honors for Outstanding Case Study

• Lauren Waiss placed No. 6 overall in her event

• Sophia Schlatterbeck placed No. 7 overall in her event

 • Ethan Ward was the only student representing Michigan in the Top 10 for his event.

DECA is an association of marketing students that encourages the development of business and leadership skills through academic conferences and competitions. It prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

This competition was held April 15 in Orlando, Florida.

For more information about Northwood DECA, visit

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