Archive for November 12, 2011

A Final Thank You

The Social Media Team would like to give a final thank you to our mentor, Jonathan F. Block, for supporting us throughout this venture and the TRI Leadership Team for putting on a great conference. Also, a shout-out to California DECA for hosting. Thank you everyone for your support! The Social Media Team hopes to see you again soon!

Thank You.

Ross Snyder


Thank You Video Link -

State Officer Interviews @ Leads Training

Victoria Caña and Brittany Lucero interviewing state officers at their “Leads” conference training!

Video Link –

Backstage Peek!

Social Media Interns, Victoria Caña and Brittany Lucero, give you a behind the scenes look of the WRLC 2011 staging during the preparations for the closing session! Get DECA!

YouTube Link –

Get FEEDBACK: How to do an AWESOME roleplay

After competition today, which hopefully many of you participated in, our judges offered an exclusive inside look into what exactly is going on in their minds during roleplays and presentations.

You want to snag that awesome roleplay and WOW your judge? You want to make your impression STICK in their mind? (word of caution: don’t chew gum. Judges hate that) You want to get that trophy or medal or ribbon? Well, it all starts with CONFIDENCE. You gotta walk in there, look your judge in the eye, introduce yourself and your role, give a firm handshake, and be ENTHUSIASTIC. If you aren’t excited about your roleplay, how do you expect the judge to be?

First impressions are key components of your roleplay and can really make or break your place in the judge’s mind (or paper). “You have about 3 seconds to make an impression.” So that’s it. You have 3 seconds to dig your own little niche in your judges mind and make sure that they remember you. Remember: you only have to see the judge once, but they have to see pretty much the same presentation way too many times.

Another thing: Get ORGANIZED. Walk in there knowing the structure of your presentation. And if you get nervous, just remember- the judges don’t know how your roleplay was suppose to go, so if you mess up or skip over something, don’t sweat it- just continue on.

“Think outside the box” If you really want to WOW your judge like no other, come up with a solution, an idea, a concept, that your judges have never thought of before. These guys are business professionals; chances are, they have already thought of a multitude of solutions to the problems at hand that you only addressed a handful of. So if you think of something totally out of their thought process, that will no doubt make a lasting impression in their mind.

So put it all together: confidence, organization, creativity = an awesome unforgetablle roleplay.

“The greatest marketing job you can ever do is marketing YOU.”

Cheers, and good luck to you all!


DECA University – Entrepreneurship

One highlight of WRLC 2011 was DECA University, and one session – Entrepreneurship – was run by David Gass. He is an alumni of DECA and has had much experience in starting multiple businesses and being successful at doing so.

I actually arrived about an hour late, but there was much to be said about the rest of the session. When I asked him what he would tell an aspiring entrepreneur if he could say just one thing, he said, “Take action. You can’t start business if you don’t take action.” Learning strategies and techniques from him was extremely insightful – it wasn’t just theory, but someone speaking from experience, and much of it. He presented a few important aphorisms to follow when considering starting a business:

- “Sometimes, it’s better you hire someone you trust rather than to hire someone with ability.”
- “Leverage: Do more with less.”
- “CLARITY equals POWER.”
- “Revenue is for vanity, but profit is for sanity.”
- “Measure business value with net worth, but your own value with self worth.”

Starting your own business may be a confusing and difficult process, but it’s really something anyone can pursue as long as they’re confident in their own abilities and persevere. Remember to speak with power and present yourself with certainty. Of course, nothing will work out perfectly every time; but with a little bit of determination, success will come your way.

DECA University – Entrepreneurship Majors

David Gass ran WRLC 2011′s Entrepreneurship workshop.

Before I dive into the workshop, I must provide a brief biography of the workshop’s teacher, David Gass.

-He used to be a DECA officer on the State and National level. 
-He started his first business at 15 years old selling fruit on the side of the road.  
-He’s owns 8 businesses, whether he owns and operates them or owns a portion through investment.
-One of his businesses involves buying and selling websites.

The program for his session was really interactive but he did have one rule, raise your hand before you speak. 
A major bonus was that there were scholarship opportunities for winners.

Key info from the workshop:

-The tool to conquer fear = confidence. 
-The fuel for confidence = ACTION.

-There is net worth and there is self worth.
-Net worth = Salary
-Self worth = True value and potential. It’s up to you and it can always change.
-Your net worth will stop growing based upon your self worth. David Gass inspired his students to GetDECA and set their self worth high!

-Trust is key, David Gass once hired someone to so accounting who didn’t know much on accounting due to the fact that he trusted him. He had previously been stolen from by other accountants.

-If you find there’s a market missing for something with potential demand, think about creating the market. sold black socks and nothing else for 3 years and had about $3.5 million in sales. Recognize demand, succeed. 

-If you want to think and speak with more power?
“Lose the words “think” “maybe” and “try” ” – David Gass 

-If you want to understand the power of words, visit

Jonathan Block and the Bow-tie

Some of you have heard him speak, and some of you have seen him do a headstand, but one common topic that involves Jonathan Block is the fabric around his neck.

He chooses to forgoe a neck tie and is always seen in a bow-tie. A lot of you have commented on it, but how many of you have asked where it starts from?

Today, an anwer was revealed. He told me an answer I didn’t expect. It started from convenience. Bow-ties are easier to pack in a suitcase. Toss them in the suitcase, and you’re good. Ties must be rolled to prevent wrinkles.

Convenience is your answer.

WRLC Side Adventures

Although my original intention was to lock myself in the Social Media Team’s Command Suite and work all night because my chapter had to leave for Seaport Village without me, that plan changed when my teammate Ross Snyder encouraged me to come to Seaport Village with his chapter. He told me not too work too hard and to have some fun, because this IS a DECA conference after all. We work hard and play hard!

I hopped on the bus with Pinnacle High School DECA from Arizona. I had no idea who they were, excluding Ross, so I can’t deny that I felt a bit of out place. However, that exclusion barrier was broken when their advisor, Mrs. Shea, introduced me to her students as the “friend from Nevada.” I was truly touched that she 1) introduced me,  2) introduced me as a friend, and above all 3) all of Pinnacle DECA waved hi and gave me a warm welcome.

A lot of interesting things happened on the bus: the Pinnacle DECA boys sang “My Girl”, Ross and I kept tweeting like maniacs, and we passed the carrier President Obama was on!

The restaurant we ate at was a place called Buster’s Beach House. I ordered chicken fingers and stared at Ross’s fries until I got the nerve to tweet “Staring at @RossSnyder’s fries…” After we were done, the waiter–who has worked at Buster’s Beach House for about 17 years–said: “I have never had a group of more polite, well-behaved teenagers at this restaurant.”


Enough said.

I eventually found my the rest of my chapter, but once that happened, a series of unfortunate events occurred. It started raining, the trolley we were waiting for took a good 40 minutes to arrive, and the transfer trolley we got on afterward stood still for another 40 minutes.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, my chapter actually recruited a random man on the trolley to join DECA! Marketing skills FTW? He told us he was 25, washes cars for a living, and wants to turn his life around.

We told him DECA can do that for him.

Although there were some negative aspects of my WRLC Side Adventures, it was on overall memorable experience.


Back tour – The in’s and out’s of the T&C Resort


While you were wrapping up your last panel event, half of your social media team was given a back tour about the in’s and out’s of the Town and Country Resort. Patti Bareno, the resort’s Senior Conference Services Manager, dove into the details of what goes behind signing up the conference and business from the hotel’s end.


The most important thing I learned on the tour was that even though the resort could have accommodated more guests this weekend, Town and Country Resort finds a balance of catching revenue while balancing a win win situation for the resort and it’s clients.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is an edited version of the notes that I took on my iPad while walking and listening to Patti. The order is random, but the information is interesting.

Look out for the secret fact toward the end. A/C issues…


Conferences start in the sales department. Conferences are typically booked years in advanced. A reason for this is that both ends of the deal have to negotiate terms. Some of these things are amenities and accommodations.


After the sales department does their bit, Patti Bareno( then takes over to ask the details about the people coming.

Some things she needs to know are:

Who should she pay attention to? Who’s in charge? Who’s important? Ex. Speakers, Directors, VIPs, etc.


Here is a list of details I learned that were interesting but I didn’t have much to say about:

  • A master account is arranged and pays for breakfast, security, etc.
  • A schedule of events is a day by day program and how it’s set up.
  • The ballroom is set up days in advanced due to audio/visual technologies.
  • WRLC received upgraded audio due to an event that used the equipment on Wednesday and it was cheaper for the hotel to upgrade WRLC rather than paying a crew to tear the equipment down and set up again.
  • The crew sets up chairs in a manner that allows the crew to split the ballroom by simply moving the floating walls.
  • All the linens for the hotel are stored in one HUGE linen closet. No joke, it’s huge.

Key facts about the kitchens at the hotel:

  • The banquet kitchen is used to accommodate the ballroom whether the amount of people ranges from 40 to 4000.
  • There are about four sub kitchens.
  • Recently, the banquet kitchen served a conference that required breakfast, lunch, and dinner for around 4000 people recently.
  • The hotel has a bakery for cakes, desert, pastries and etc.
  • There is a special kitchen for cold food production.
  • In the cold kitchen, chefs set up baskets that re meant to be delivered to VIP’s.
  • We were able to see the kitchen for the hotel’s upscale Trellises cafe. It was grand.
  • All 5 restaurants have their own kitchen.

On the tour, I was able to see the front desk, which I wouldn’t have seen because DECA members did not individually check in. I wish I would’ve checked in here as an individual because the hotel drives their gusts along with all luggage to their room in their motorized carts.


The hotel is completely family owned and is now on it’s third generation. This means the first owner was the current owner’s grandfather. As opposed to corporate or franchised hotels, Town and Country Resort can take extra special care of it’s conference guests. For example, they can comp many VIPs with free parking passes and other accomodations.


LOOK OUT! There are Info boards located throughout the Resort that have a map, your location, and a program of events posted daily.
COOL FACT: DECA was the main guest among the guests.

On the map, the brown buildings are guest rooms and the yellow buildings are conference spaces.

The resort has around 1000 conference spaces. To put that into perspective, we only took half the rooms.



Everything with bookings for conferences are fair and negotiable.

An example is the resort allows guests 15% down slippage with rooms.
That means, if a guest books for 100 rooms and only needs 85 on the day, the resort pardons the shortage and only charges 85 rooms. However, if the gust booked 100 and only fills 70 rooms, they still pay for 85.


A look in personal hospitality:

Patti keeps track of favors others do for her.

DECA agreed to set up a day late so the resort could book an event that generated high revenue for the resort.

She’s happy to accommodate those who accommodate her.


More quick facts about the hotel:

  • Town and Country Resort was the first convention center/hotel In California.
  • Employees eat in their own dining room for $1!
  • From the hearing impaired, the visually impaired, to the physically handicapped; the resort accommodates anyone needing a little bit more
  • The resort has the ability to receive freight from it’s 2 loading docks.
  • GES decorated our exhibit.
  • The next convention is for the Dairy Farmers of America.
  • The marine core ball had a dance floor, those men love to dance.

We got a sneak peak into the men and women of the resort fix major problems. John, the Chief Engineer, let us see his workspace and told us about his work.

“Anything breaks, we can fix it.” -John

The ac unit in the ballroom was broken today . The ac tech ordered the replacement part and fixed it between 12:15 and 2:30 while we went to lunch.

The Magical Pin

Yeah, that’s right. This blog is about my magic pin. Last night, yours truly and the rest of the WRLC Social Media Interns finally met and developed our plan of action for this conference…as well as announcing the winners of our Wild Card Challenge. If you’re friends with any of us on Facebook or follow any of us on Twitter(which you totally should by the way..refer to for our info) you probably noticed our unusually high level of activity this past week. This was due to the challenges given to us by our rockstar of a mentor, Jonathan Block. The winners of this challenge Victoria Cana and Vincent Velez who did an incredible job promoting this conference won the opportunity to be the voice of Western Region DECA for the duration of this conference and thus will be controlling their Facebook and Twitter pages. But…they weren’t the only ones to win something awesome….Jonathan threw in an extra prize, a runner up that received something very special, magical in fact(you see where this is going?) an all star pin that apparently had magical powers. By simply flashing this pin to others, one can get anything their heart desired. Key cards, extra chairs and even wifi hot spots! I know, pretty awesome stuff.

The title of runner up was given to me, and with it the magical pin. I won because of my blog video, apparently some people actually found it funny(yay!) While we’re on the subject, I’d like to give a special shout out to all of the people who shared and liked my video. I really appreciate the love, so thank you.

–Warning: This is about to get super cheesy–

Yes, having the pin has been awesome, but in reality, all of you can have your very own metaphorical magic pins. It’s a little thing called confidence. In DECA, confidence is key. Whether you’re speaking to important people, giving a speech or doing a DECA role play, confidence is one thing that will always give you a head up on the game. Aside from DECA, this is also extremely true in life. Being confident(do not confuse with cocky) in any situation makes you seem reliable and more importantly influential. It’s the influential people in the world that have the power. So, if you haven’t already connected those dots, confidence=power. I hope you all learn a ton during this conference, harness your inner magic and GET CONFIDENT.