BHS student, alumna take key roles at DECA Fall Leadership Conference


BURRILLVILLE – Members of the Burrillville High School chapter of Rhode Island DECA joined 400 business, finance, hospitality and marketing students at the annual association Fall Leadership Conference held on Friday, Nov. 3 at Johnson & Wales University in Providence.

The conference, designed to provide leadership skills and educate the members through a variety of workshops, included students from 15 schools across the state.

The event began with a presentation by Casey Charkowick, the owner of the Ramp Room, who served as the keynote speaker.  Students then attended their chosen workshops. Workshop presenters included: Fidelity, Men’s Wearhouse, Axis Wealth Partners, Top Golf, Marriott and The New England Revolution, among others. The students then had a chapter meeting along with lunch provided by JWU culinary students. 

Two of the day’s workshops, dubbed Leadership Skills and Time Management, were hosted by the DECA State Action Team, including BHS senior Kaitlyn Fleming. Both workshops were fully attended for three sessions each, and the students who participated were highly engaged. 

Fleming was later inducted as a member of the State Action Team for a second year in a row.

Another workshop featured a Burrillville native who graduated with the Class of 2010. Kassondra Rouleau is now employed by Top Golf and was among the presenters at the annual event. Fleming remarked on how mature and professional the students were during her workshop.

“They were fully engaged, polite and had lots of questions,” she said. 

The day wrapped up with closing remarks from the state officers, who provided information from their program of work. The officers shared their statewide community service project as well as plans for a statewide activity in December. 

District officials noted that the Burrillville DECA chapter will take the lessons learned at the conference, and incorporate those skills into their preparation for the state competitive events in February. If successful in February, the students will continue to the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Cali. in April. 

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