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South Forsyth High DECA students named finalists in national challenge
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Forsyth County News

SOUTH FORSYTH — Three high school marketing students in Forsyth County were named finalists in a national video challenge that took them to California to present their material in competition with two other teams.

Ben Braner, Alex Forbes and Jack Johnson are members of the DECA club at South Forsyth High School, which is the world’s largest chapter of the organization.

DECA is a club that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the world.

“[This] was the first year of the Herff Jones Marketing Results Challenge, and participation was strong,” said Shane Thomas, director of competitive events for National DECA. “These finalists should be very proud of their accomplishments.”

The three-student team traveled to Palm Desert earlier this month on an all-expense paid trip to present their research, promotional plans and outcomes to Herff Jones executives. They were accompanied by Katie Urbanovitch, DECA adviser at South, and Rebecca Bennett, the school’s yearbook adviser.

Over the course of three weeks prior to submitting the video into the challenge, the students conducted secondary and primary research among students, parents and focus groups and in individual interviews to figure out how to effectively market South’s yearbook to freshmen.

After research was gathered, five promotions were implemented. The team saw a large increase in yearbook sales after the promotions ran.

They then created a video detailing their procedures.

Once in California, Forbes, Johnson and Braner, all of whom are juniors, competed against two other finalist groups from Battle Creek, Mich., and Smithtown, N.Y. They also recorded promotional content for Herff Jones to use.

The team from New York was named the overall winner.