December 17, 2016


By Drew DuBoff ‘19
Culinary Arts & Food Service Management;
Restaurant, Food, and Beverage Management, Sommelier Minor

            The Collegiate Leadership Academy (CLA) took place primarily at the Wyndham New Yorker, in New York City, New York from November 3rd through November 5th. The driving force behind the reimagined experience this year was a desire to connect students to DECA’s National Advisory Board Members. As always, DECA places a huge emphasis on networking, evident by the choice of Alan Katzman, Founder and CEO of Social Assurity, as the keynote speaker in the introduction ceremony, who talked about the importance of building positive social media accounts, especially the professional network LinkedIn.
            The following day, the tracks separated and were lectured through touring throughout the city. This year’s focus was SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) Strategies, and every track had lecturers that talked about how they used those strategies to address changes in their respective markets. The case studies also reflected those strategies.
            Those in the Entrepreneurship in Sports & Entertainment Track heard from Scripps Networks and M & M Productions, which was the product of a DECA entrepreneurial project. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets presented to the Finance + Accounting Track. The Marketing + Communications Track listened to speakers from Vector Marketing and Marriott International, Inc., with the latter resulted in a tour of their Marriot Marquis property. The Hospitality + Tourism Track was enlightened by Vector Marketing, the National Apartment Association Education Institute, and Equity Residential. They then toured The Beatrice, one of Equity Residential’s luxury apartments in Chelsea. Finally, Tailored Brands, Men’s Wearhouse and the recently acquired Jos. A. Bank, spoke to the Business Management + Administration Track.  
            At the closing ceremony, JWU had three students as a part of the winning team in each track. Representing Business Management + Administration was Deleita Gysai, representing Entrepreneurship in Sports & Entertainment was Roy Sylvander, and representing Hospitality + Tourism was Thu (Aimee) Dinh Minh Tran.
            Now that #DECACLA is a wrap, look forward to the Northeast Region Competitive Events Conference hosted on campus on February 10th, and #ICDC2017 in Anaheim, California.