Ford places fourth at DECA Nationals

Natalie Ford

Tabor College sophomore Natalie Ford (Fort Collins, Colo.) took fourth nationally in Human Resource Management in the National Collegiate DECA Conference. She also placed eighth in “presentation”. After being named a finalist on April 15, the final results were shared on Thursday, April 22.

Ford, who is now a two-time state champion, also received the following for her performance.

  • Top performers on the exam and presentation in Individual Case Student Events received a silver-ribbon medallion.
  • All finalists received a blue-ribbon medallion.
  • The top 10 finalists all received an international finalist medallion.

“I was so excited to get the opportunity and I love to compete,” Ford added.

Tabor College began its DECA (formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America) chapter during interterm 2020 and Ford was one of its inaugural members. The organization’s mission is to “prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management through high schools and colleges around the globe.” 

Ford, who is a social work major, chose Human Resource Management because of the human interaction that is connected to her career field.

The competition brought schools from across the country, allowing Ford to compete against students from Wisconsin, Utah State, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Kansas Wesleyan and Wyoming, among others.

“It’s definitely exciting and it was crazy seeing who I was competing against in our Opening Ceremonies,” Ford said. “There were students from Canada too and just a lot that came from business schools… it’s really cool to see that and be able to talk to them about what they’re doing with their career.”

Dr. Melinda Rangel, who is an associate professor of Business Managementat Tabor College, leads its chapter of DECA and is proud to see Ford become its first national finalist.

“Natalie has had exceptional success as a DECA member,” Rangel said. “I’m so proud of her accomplishments.”

Having not been a part of a DECA chapter before attending Tabor, Ford encouraged current and future students to explore new opportunities.

“Especially as a freshman and sophomore, try something new and get involved,” she said. “I have a lot of other things I’m involved in and I enjoy every one of them even though they aren’t in my major. Your life will be devoted to what you want to do, but here you have the opportunity to compete and participate and it looks good professionally too.”