Meet State Officers


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Samyak Sawale | State President

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Sam Sawale is a senior at Skyline High School, set to graduate in 2019 with his I.B. Diploma. Officially, he has been enrolled in DECA for two years, although his commitment and interest stems from middle school. In his first year, Sam attended the International Career Development Conference and placed within the top ten in the Sports and Entertainment Operations Research event.

Outside of academics, Sam is actively involved in many roles in his community as a leader, a teammate, and a friend. He has served as the Treasurer of his class council for the past three years, and is approaching his Eagle Scout. He is currently pursuing his black belt, and plays free safety and wide receiver for the Skyline High School football team. On Tuesdays you can find him tutoring kids at the Sammamish Library.

Sam plans to attend Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania or Foster at the University of Washington and study international business relations with a specialty in foreign diplomacy. Sam has a hidden talent of telling the worst jokes at the worst times. He believes DECA creates opportunities for people to grow as well as learn more about the business field and he aims to create unity within the Washington DECA family.


Caroline Diemer | Area 1 President & Vice President of Career Development

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Caroline Diemer is extremely excited to serve as your Area President! She is currently a junior at Arlington High School where she served as Vice President of Chapter Membership her sophomore year of high school for her chapter. She will be doing running start at Everett Community College, which will allow her to graduate with her Associates degree. Through DECA she has learned skills that will help her throughout life, some of the most prominent being communication, delegating, and flexibility.

After high school Caroline hopes to attend W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State and major in Entrepreneurship after which she will pursue her license for makeup and esthetician work.

Outside of DECA, you can find Caroline on the volleyball court, hanging with friends and family, or traveling at any given chance. 


Drew Brennan | Area 2 President & Vice President of Career Development

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Drew Brennan is a student at King’s High School, where he will be a Senior in the fall of 2019, serving as the Area 2 DECA president. Growing up, Drew’s family would always tell his that he was going to be ‘the businessman’ in the family. While they said so endearingly, he perceived business as a boring career pathway, and was much more interested in working outside with the landscaping. When Drew joined DECA as a freshman, he found that business would truly enable him to turn his passion into a fulfilling career. He has been a member of King’s DECA for three years, and has been an active participant and leader within the chapter. He has placed first in the Business Services Marketing Series at Area competition three years in a row, placed sixth place at SCDC last year, and competed at ICDC.

Drew hopes to attend either the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington or Marshall School of Business at USC, where he plans on studying entrepreneurship and marketing. After college, he plans to spend a few years working abroad, gaining experience before returning to Seattle. Ideally, he would then obtain an MBA at the University of Washington while opening an urban plant nursery.

Long term, Drew plans to open a small business in an under-resourced Seattle neighborhood, where he can add a space of beauty with his nursery. He hopes to offer many different community resources within his business, including large study spaces open for an after-school tutoring program.



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Emily Rowe is a senior at Mercer Island High School and serves as the Area 3 President. She joined Mercer’s DECA program as a freshman and has since competed in Financial Services, Hospitality and Tourism, and Entrepreneurship. She also serves on her chapter’s DECA board.

Emily has taken accounting, marketing, and advanced marketing courses and plans to attend a business school such as the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington to attain a degree in either marketing management or accounting.

Outside of DECA and school, Emily serves her community by working as a barista at her local Starbucks and leading the 6th grade girls small group for Mercer Island WyldLife.

DECA has helped Emily develop many significant skills such as public speaking, problem solving, and critical thinking. Emily is excited to share her passion for DECA with others during her term.



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Rohan Vaidya is a senior at Issaquah High School and the Area 4 DECA president. A DECA member for all four years of high school, Rohan believes DECA is a way of life. A DECA role play enthusiast, Rohan was the only sophomore from his school to finalize at ICDC. Outside of role plays, he enjoys serving with Issaquah High School's amazing DECA board! Outside of DECA, you can find Rohan working with the non-profit Strong4Sam, as the youth president and an executive board member, which supports innovative and groundbreaking pediatric cancer research at Fred Hutch. Here, he enjoys hearing the stories of courage and determination from patients while helping them share their story to make a difference. Rohan hopes to be able to continue to help similar children in a future profession.

He encourages all potential members to join DECA because it's not just a business co-curricular organization: it's a family. Rohan says, "With so many amazing people supporting you, it's possible to achieve anything you want. Not only can you achieve anything you want, but you will have fun the entire time - that's the allure of DECA."



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Taylor Kalka is a senior at Kentwood High School in Kent, WA and the current Area 5 President. She has been a member of her high school’s DECA chapter for 4 years, serving as a chapter officer her junior year.

Outside of DECA, one of Taylor’s other passions is dancing. Competing on her high school’s varsity team, the group has gone to state every year, bringing home top 3 finishes. Being an officer on the team for 2 years also gave her the opportunity to attend a leadership camp in Texas twice. While there, she was able to make connections and expand her knowledge of leadership techniques. Taylor has also been a member of Kentwood’s National Honors Society for 4 years. She has served in many community service projects including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Taylor hopes to attend the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and obtain a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Taylor credits DECA for teaching her to have a strong work ethic and preparing her for her future. She is excited to see what this next year will bring!



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Area 6 President Piper Schirm is a senior at Richland High School. Officially, she has been a DECA member for the past 3 years, but having a DECA advisor as a mom means that she has been in DECA her whole life.

Piper has competed at the Area and State conferences in Retail Merchandising. She also participated as a member of the Gold certified SBE project and competed at ICDC the last two years. In 2016 she attended the Emerging Leader Series in San Francisco and is now serving as her chapter’s President.

When she is not participating in DECA or working as an Intern at GESA Credit Union, you will most likely find her at the farm with her horse Sass.



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Levi Brinkley is a Junior from Bethel High school in Spanaway Washington and serves Area 7 DECA. Although he attends classes at Pierce College, he still serves in leadership roles throughout his chapter and school. He has been involved in DECA for four years and has worked in his school’s student store. As a sophomore and junior, he qualified for ICDC and participated in the SBE and THRIVE programs. This year, Levi is competing in Hotel and Lodging Management in his Area, in which he placed third his junior year.

After graduating from high school and Pierce College, he hopes to transfer to California Polytechnic University to major in Hospitality and Tourism. Using the skills gained from DECA and college, Levi hopes to work for Disney as a hotel manager. If he could tell one thing to new DECA members, it would be, “keep working hard towards your dreams and goals.” Levi believes the skills you learn in DECA can go directly into your job and your future.



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Sam Fleckenstein is a senior at Olympia High School the 2018-2019 Area 8 DECA President. As a 4-year DECA member, he has competed in Business Law & Ethics Team Decision Making, Human Resources Management Series, Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making, Start-up Business Plan, and multiple online events. With a passion for leadership, he serves as his Chapter President, the Class of 2019 Treasurer, and as a Washington State Senate Page. He also serves as the president of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization he created to bring together Christian youth in his community through sports. Sam is a strong believer that sports can bring communities together, and he competes in Cross-Country, Track & Field, and Crew.

Sam is a lover of everything business and is always striving to learn more about finance, economics, accounting, and investing. You can often find him reading over stock charts, while listening to investment podcasts. In fact, he is currently in the process of writing a book about finance and economics from a teenage perspective.

Along with his other responsibilities, Sam works as a dishwasher at the Hama Hama Oyster Company with aspirations of one day attending NYU or Columbia University and rowing with their boys heavyweight crew team. He looks forward to studying Financial Economics with the goal of one day becoming a Stockbroker.



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My name is Samantha Murray, I am the Area 9 President and I attend Kelso High School and will be a junior in the fall of 2018. I have been a member for 2 years. I joined DECA to improve my leadership skills, before DECA I was very shy. DECA allowed me to get out of my shell by running for my school office. My first year in DECA I served as a class representative, while this year I served as competition coordinator. I have received lots of recognition from being in DECA throughout my school, community, and working many school functions and community events.

For college, I hope to attend ASU to obtain a degree in Business Law and play on the ASU softball team. This officer position means so much to me, giving me the opportunity to improve mine and so many students DECA knowledge. Although using my own leadership skills to inspire others to join and further themselves through DECA is what truly inspires me.



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D’Andre Vasquez is a senior at Cascade High School and is thrilled to serve as the current Area 10 President. D’Andre is a 3-year DECA member, during which time he has served as his chapter’s Vice-President. Two of D’Andre’s most memorable moments during his time in DECA include competing at ICDC in Anaheim, CA as a first-year member, and experiencing WRLC in Phoenix, AZ. D’Andre competes in the sports and entertainment marketing event (SEM). He wants to take his passion for marketing to the next level at Gonzaga University, where he plans to major in Marketing with an endorsement in International Business. With this education, D’Andre hopes to fulfill his dream of developing his own business while traveling the globe.

Outside of DECA, D’Andre spends his time serving as Cascade’s ASB President and a member of the wrestling and soccer teams.

D’Andre believes that DECA is a great organization that further develops all members’ professionalism and communication skills. He credits DECA to opening many doors for him and believes it will do the same for all members. D’Andre looks forward to furthering and building new relations with members as this year’s Area 10 President.



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Haley Milligan is a senior at Mt. Spokane High School in Mead, WA and serves as the Area 11 President. She is a four-year DECA member, qualifying for SCDC every year in roleplay events, including Individual Retail Merchandising and Team Decision-Making Sports & Entertainment Marketing. She is a DECA officer within her chapter as well as a head manager of her school’s DECA student store.

Haley serves in multiple organizations, such as National Honor Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Teen Board, and YMCA Camp Reed. One of her biggest achievements, which taught her perseverance, was completing a 220-mile bike ride with her fellow counselors-in-training to become a junior counselor at YMCA Camp Reed.

Outside of school, Haley dances with Dance Arts Academy as a leader within their elite competitive company. Having danced for 14 years, she performs in jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop at the regional, state, and national level. She also enjoys being outdoors, going to the movies, and traveling to new cities. After high school, Haley aspires to attend the University of Washington or UCLA, majoring in either business administration or political science. Haley is excited to share her leadership and communication skills gained through DECA with her chapter and state members and looks forward to the coming year!

To learn more about the success and accomplishments of Team Unite, review their Annual Report for the 2017-18 DECA year.