Basin Electric employees judge North Dakota State DECA competition


Shauna Laber, Basin Electric senior property and right of way specialist, and Jennifer Krogstad, Basin Electric manager of records management, stand at the podium of the 2018 North Dakota State DECA conference. This year’s theme was “Limitless.”

More than 400 high school students gathered in Bismarck March 12 for the 65th North Dakota State DECA Conference.

DECA is a leadership organization for students with an interest in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. The organization focuses on  leadership development, community service learning, career awareness, and social responsibility.

A large part of the conference is focused on the competitive events program, where students present their business ideas and solutions, while participating in one of 50 competitive event categories. The evaluation process involves industry professionals servings as judges.

Five Basin Electric employees volunteered their time at this year’s conference by serving as judges, joined by 115 other business professionals from the community. The employees reviewed students’ business plans, scored written and oral presentations, and provided feedback for improvement. They also reviewed students on their teamwork, communication, planning, and problem solving skills.

Jennifer Krogstad, manager of records management, and Shauna Laber, senior property and right of way specialist, assisted as judges at the conference. Both Krogstad and Laber had a connection to DECA that led them to want to volunteer. Krogstad participated in DECA in high school and Laber’s daughter is a current member of DECA at her high school.

Krogstad says her participation in DECA in high school helped her choose her field of study in college. She believes DECA is an important organization as it prepares our future workforce. “These students are going to be in situations someday where they’ll need to use critical thinking skills and present to an audience. What better way for them to practice this than in front of a group of business professionals,” she says.

Krogstad says she was impressed with the students’ presentations. “To see how bright and articulate they are just amazes me. We saw high school juniors coming up with marketable business plans for international companies,” she says. “The amount of time and work that they put into their plans and to see how excited they were to present them, made the event so enjoyable.”

Laber says volunteering for DECA holds both educational and professional value. “It’s a pleasure to team up with leaders in our community to evaluate the skills of these talented young adults. I appreciate that Basin Electric supports the volunteerism of its workforce participating in these types of direct impact events,” she says. “It’s nurturing the talent of our community and future workforce.”

Laber adds that she has seen the positive impact DECA has on students firsthand. “My daughter is in DECA as a freshman and I can see her blossoming as the result of this club and all of the good work they do,” she says.


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