Student Krystal Gillespie of Prior Lake earns international honors from DECA


INVER GROVE HEIGHTS – Inver Hills Community College student Krystal Gillespie, a resident of Prior Lake, took third place in the Restaurant and Food Service Management competition of the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference held April 17-20 in Anaheim, Calif.

Gillespie was one of 1,200 students competing at the event, and was up against students from the University of Minnesota, George Washington University, Western Washington University and other two- and four-year institutions. In addition to the third-place overall award, Gillespie also was awarded a silver medal for role playing, a blue medal for earning finalist status, and a red, white and blue medal.

“Krystal put her skills to the test against tough competition, and ultimately proved herself worthy of global recognition,” said Inver Hills business professor and DECA co-advisor Yohannes Agegnehu.

“She has made the business division and the entire college community incredibly proud,” added Hamid Kazeroony, also an Inver Hills business professor and co-advisor to DECA.

Student Chelsea Miller of Eagan also participated in the international competition, in the Marketing Management division.

Collegiate DECA prepares students for careers in business-related fields by integrating skills learned in the classroom into real-world experience. Nearly 15,000 students and advisors participate worldwide.

The Inver Hills chapter of DECA was formed during the 2011-12 academic year. Local members have twice participated in regional competitions, with this being the group’s first trip to the international competition. The Inver Hills chapter plans to again host a local DECA competition in the fall of 2013, with the goal of identifying candidates to take to regional and international competitions in early 2014.

Inver Hills students who are interested in getting involved with DECA should contact Yohannes Agegnehu at or (651) 450-3250, or Hamid Kazeroony at or (651) 450-3474.

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