DECA prepares leaders

Clayton Villemarette Special to The Citizen
Pictured are Doug Laiche, Central Region Vice President; Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator for La.: Clayton Villemarette, La. DECA State President.

DECA is an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. My name is Clayton Villemarette and I became a DECA member during my junior year of high school of which I held the office of Vice President for my school's chapter. After my first year of involvement, I pursued the opportunity and became Louisiana's DECA State President. My roles and responsibilities include setting up and running conferences throughout the state by which members are enlightened about the many areas of DECA and how they can become better members. I am also involved with building membership enrollment throughout the state. I was recently recognized at an Ascension Parish School Board meeting where by Superintendent Patrice Pujol congratulated me upon my involvement with DECA and wished for me future success with the organization.

On July 21-24, I attended the Emerging Leader Summit in Washington, D.C. I attended numerous workshops and conferences from which I learned how to become a better leader for my state. I also learned how to communicate to others the importance of not only being dedicated members, but, in turn, influencing them to become future leaders as well. While on Capitol Hill, our team had the pleasure of meeting with Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. She expressed her gratitude for our involvement with an organization that helps create entrepreneurs and leaders in Louisiana. Besides being a tourist, I attended a Major League baseball game and on the plane ride home, I had the distinct pleasure of conversing with Representative Bill Cassidy.

My plans for this year include building DECA membership in Louisiana. I will not only be visiting public high schools but private high schools as well. Another plan is to visit middle schools to get them involved with DECA. We are also hoping to facilitate new fundraisers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I'm looking forward to preplanning our DECA Fall Conference, our Pelican Sports and Marketing Conference, as well as our Louisiana State Conference. It shall be an exciting year for me and my team as we begin the school year with DECA.

If you are a student, teacher, principal, business owner, or member of the community and would like to get involved with DECA, please contact my advisor Rae Broussard at for more information.