Gilk takes seventh at state DECA

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 3/22/00.

Steve Gilk Steve Gilk placed seventh at the state DECA competition in the Hospitality and Recreation Marketing Research category. Gilk competed on Mar. 5, 6, and 7 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. 1,200 students spread out among five possible categories to compete in this event.

Gilk, a senior, was one of eight PAHS students who qualified for the state meet through his placement at districts. The other students were: Robert Bartell, Laurie Barten, Sarah Brauchler, Heidi Burg, Eric Habben, Sarah Ryan, and Sheri Stang. Gilk was the only student from Paynesville to qualify for finals once at the state meet.

Gilk's project focused on Hill Top Family Restaurant. Using a survey he prepared himself, he came up with a promotional plan for the restaurant. He used customer comments, owner interviews, and his own research to form his plans, which were explained in a 30- page report. The report consisted of text, graphs, and photos of the restaurant, and followed guidelines outlined by DECA.

First, information on Hill Top customers was presented, along with background information on the restaurant itself. Gilk then went on to explain his promotional plan, which was centered around using the Internet to reach a wider range of customers. Also included were ways to implement the plan.

Gilk's report was read by DECA judges and advanced him to the finals, where, in an interview, he discussed his project. Following that, he received a seventh place plaque and medal. The top three places advanced to the national competition later this spring in Louisville, Kentucky.

Although the project was part of the DECA class, most of Gilk's work was done on his own time. Instructor Wally Erickson hopes that in the future, DECA projects can be tied in with the new graduation standards, so that more class time can be used to work on them.

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