LHWHS Students Earn Recognition at DECA International Career Development Conference

Four LHWHS students placed among the world’s best at DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC) held in April.

Senior Aidan Oiknine won first place for his Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan; he is the first LHWHS student to be named a DECA world champion in school history.

“I am honored that DECA, Inc. awarded my project first in the international competition in the Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan event,” Oiknine said.

“DECA provides a great platform for future business leaders to brainstorm and build ideas for review and feedback. I want to thank DECA, my Ladue High School advisor Mrs. Jessica Kennedy, and my teammates for all of their support.”

Oiknine also received a $1,000 sponsorship from Intuit for his winning business plan.

Senior Josh Wolk placed in the top 16 in the Integrated Marketing Campaign event and earned a top 10 exam score.

DECA also awarded Wolk the $1,000 Pat DiPlacido Memorial Scholarship.

Senior Erik Tkachenko placed in the top 16 in the Integrated Marketing Campaign event as well.

Finally, senior Kiernan Patton-Yarbrough placed in the top 20 overall in Sports and Entertainment Marketing event and earned a top 10 presentation score.

The LHWHS DECA chapter has now had a total of six individual international finalists throughout the history of its program as Oiknine, Tkachenko, and Wolk also placed as a finalist at the ICDC in 2019; the 2020 ICDC was canceled due to the pandemic.

Almost 13,000 DECA members competed during the conference in which students develop case study solutions, business plans, and presentations focused on career areas like marketing, business management, finance, and hospitality and tourism.

The competitive events are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development.

Around 1,000 business professionals from across the world evaluated DECA members’ concepts, ideas and projects against industry-validated performance indicators during the conference.

Visit the DECA webpage to learn more about the organization and the ICDC.