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Ensign College Students Move on to National DECA Competition

Updated April 19, 2023*

In its efforts to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to be career-ready, DECA hosts annual competitions on the high school and collegiate level. With hundreds of competitors from both 2- and 4- year institutions participating in collegiate events, the competition is fierce.

Since joining DECA in 2014, Ensign College students have progressively topped their 4-year university counterparts. Of the 36 Ensign students who participated in the state DECA competition held at Weber State University in February, 33 placed in one or more events. For 21 students, it was their first Collegiate DECA event.

Ensign College swept the Entrepreneurship—Growing Your Business category, with Kimberly Sadleir taking first place, Lindsay Holcomb taking second, and Tony Hovey placing third.

Ensign students also took first place in the following events: Entrepreneurship—Starting a Business (Hiro Miyagawa and Rebekah Asagra), Business Research (David Molina and Diego Molina), Emerging Technology Marketing Strategies (Sanna Weggersen), Fashion Merchandising and Marketing (Gaby Gaytan), Human Resource Management (Liliane Tixiliski), Event Planning (Gaby Gaytan and Sanna Weggersen), Financial Statement Analysis (Nicholas Araujo and Sam Tragante), and Marketing Communications (Daniel Armada and Denise Konate).

Says Ensign College DECA advisor Brent Andrus, “The advance preparation (both spiritual and academic) required to excel in these competitive events is intense—with applied projects connecting students with mentors and clients, and practicing presentations more than 6 months ahead of the competition. Each and every award earned reflects a tremendous amount of effort, skill and teamwork—all traits that flourish in the skills-focused approach at Ensign College.”

First-time participant Nicholas Araujo says of his experience, “The result brings recognition, but only the process builds character. The preparation for the event helped me see that working with similar-minded people from different backgrounds allows great things to happen. This would not be possible without the great assistance we received from the amazing faculty at Ensign College.”

Gaby Gaytan won two first-place medals, but she almost didn’t participate. She relates, “After two years of excuses and many fears, I set the goal to participate this year. Today I realized I should have experienced this before because my thought of not being enough was very wrong. I'm beyond happy for my journey at Ensign College and for this opportunity I had to prove myself wrong!”

The winners from Ensign will now move to the next round of competition at the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) next month in Orlando, Florida. Last year Ensign students brought home more first place awards than any other school in attendance, including many big-name universities. The competition is expected to be just as intense this year.

If you would like to learn more about DECA at Ensign College or find out how you can help support these students, please reach out to Brent Andrus at

*Update: April 19, 2023

After competing in the final intense rounds of the Nationals Conference in Orlando on April 18, with many events boasting 40 or more participants (the Sales Challenge had 150), the results are in! 17 of 32 participating Ensign College students went to the final round, with 8 competitors finishing in the Top Ten of their events!

Additionally, following rigorous applying, testing, and interviewing for the position, Ensign College student Denise Konate was elected National Executive Vice President for Collegiate DECA, and will serve through the 2023-24 academic year.

Ensign College Top Ten finishers:

  • Emerging Technology Marketing Strategy—Sanna Weggersen
  • Entrepreneurship Growing Your Business—Lindsay Holcomb—3rd place
  • Entrepreneurship Growing Your Business—Kimberly Sadleir
  • Fashion Merchandising and Marketing—Barbara Joseph
  • Financial Statement Analysis—Abraham Olivares and Juliana Cortes (team)
  • Human Resource Management—Liliane Tixiliski
  • Professional Sales—Anthony Hovey

Congratulations to all of the competitors for their excellent work!

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