Packers Pro Shop Student Employees Place In DECA Competition

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Six students employed at the Packers Pro Shop recently attended DECA's state-wide Career Development Conference in Lake Geneva, Wisc. DECA (Distributed Education Clubs of America) is an organization of high school students actively involved in the study of marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

Viewed as an integral part of the total academic program for all marketing students, DECA is unique among student organizations in that it is co-curricular. It provides many different opportunities for students to extend and reinforce their learning in economics, marketing, communications, mathematics and the application of information technologies.

The mission of DECA is to enhance the co-curricular education of students with interests in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. DECA helps students develop skills and competence for marketing careers, build self-esteem, experience leadership and practice community experience. DECA is committed to the advocacy of marketing education and the growth of business and education partnership.

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The Pro Shop for the past seven years has been providing local high school students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience as employees in their operation at Lambeau Field. The students work both in the retail store located in the Lambeau Field Atrium and also in the near-by warehouse.

"These kids are amazing," said Kate Hogan, Director of Retail Operations for the Packers Pro Shop. "They are motivated, hard workers and they are all very friendly and outgoing. They love the DECA competitions. They get involved and enjoy working with each other. It's fun to hear them talk about the competitions and what they learned. It's also a wonderful bonus for us as we get experienced young men and women who know how important it is to bring the right work ethic to our business."

Below is a list of Pro Shop students and how they placed in the WI DECA's Career Development Conference.

**Travis Vanden Heuvel - Senior at Southwest

Zach Champeau - Senior at Southwest**

Travis and Zach competed in the Sports and Entertainment Occupational Series team event at the Management Level. They medaled in all three events -- Occupational Test, Marketing/Advertising Role Play, and Communications Role Play -- while posting the highest score in the state. Travis and Zach also were one of seven teams representing Wisconsin in this category at the National Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif., last April. This is the first year that Travis has competed in the conference.

Zach also qualified for nationals in a second competition by writing an 80-page Gold Student Manual detailing selected DECA Chapter projects completed over the course of the past school year.

Ben Cline - Senior at Southwest

Ben competed in Sports and Entertainment Marketing and medaled in the Communication Role Play portion of the event. Ben also qualified to attend the National Career Development Conference in California by submitting an 80-page Gold Student Manual detailing his accomplishments in DECA over the past year.

Melissa Wiesner - Junior at Preble

Melissa competed in Sports and Entertainment Marketing. She and her partner medaled in their role play, in which they were required to analyze a survey and develop suggestions of how a minor league baseball organization could improve in areas of parking, concessions, and items related to the Pro Shop. Melissa's on-the-job experience at the Packers Pro Shop helped her in this particular role play as she has had experience working with sports fans.

Dustin Butch - Senior at Southwest

Dustin competed in Retail Management, medaling in role play by achieving a score of 95 out of 100. Dustin also advanced to the national level based on his Gold Student Manual, which showcased a collection of pictures and descriptions of his involvement with DECA over the past year.

Andrew Van Handel - Junior at Ashwaubeon High School

Andrew competed in the Sports and Entertainment Occupational Series team event at the Management Level. Andrew and his partner, Joe Decker, placed 4th overall. Andrew's on-the-job experience has allowed him to continue pursuing an education in the sports marketing world while his job at the Packers Pro Shop proved to be a valuable resource in competition.

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