TINA L. SCOTT
Earlier this year, Merrill High School DECA and Business students were invited as guests to the Governor’s Business and Economic Development Conference in Madison in February for a chance to participate in this year’s timely theme: “Tackling Economic Challenges.”
“Students learned about the forces and people driving Wisconsin’s industries, cities, logistics, and tourism,” said Olivia Dachel, DECA Advisor at MHS.
They had the opportunity for “networking with Stephanie Klett, former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and Discover Wisconsin Hostess; Dennis Winters – Wisconsin Chief Economist; and other members of the Wisconsin Economic Development Association,” she said.
“From the trip, I got an opportunity to network, and to meet many great and powerful people in business and economics,” said Jack Hoock, MHS Senior and DECA member who will be attending NTC for Business in the fall.
“I learned how important and fun tourism is,” said Maya Paulus, MHS student/DECA member, “And how much of an impact it has on our communities.”
“I enjoyed networking with all the economic related professionals and diving deep into economics,” Elizabeth Schmidt, MHS DECA student said.
“The trip to the Governor’s conference has given unique insight into the inner-workings of the economy and the world of business,” added Brendan Blystone, another MHS student and DECA member who attended with the group.
Afterward, the students also met with Representative Calvin Callahan, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly who represents the 35th Assembly District which includes all of Lincoln County along with western Langlade County and portions of Marathon, Oneida, and Shawano Counties. Callahan gave them a personal tour of the Capitol building and then discussed possible careers in public service, as well as policy and government topics, with the students.
“I enjoyed getting to sit and talk with Rep. Callahan and getting to know how he got where he is in his life,” Paulus said.
“I enjoyed diving deep into how politics work and how legislation is debated,” Schmidt said.“Rep. Callahan not only taught us a lot about politics and government, he gave us valuable life lessons about the future and our careers,” Hoock added.
“I was glad to have the opportunity to show them around the building. Thanks for making the trip and meeting with me and my staff!” Rep. Calvin Callahan said.
He added that he was pleased to meet with the students “and hear about their plans for the future, as well as share a little bit of advice of my own.”