the 2022-2023 State Officer Team
Washington DECA Officers are elected by their peers and represent Washington’s membership. The State Officer team develops a Program of Leadership for the year that aligns with the strategic goals of Washington DECA. Throughout the year the team interacts with DECA members to implement and enhance Washington DECA’s programs.
State Officers are also available to meet and visit with your DECA chapter as well as attend your events.
Meet The Team
Richland High School
>> Email Anika
Anika Halappanavar is a senior at Richland High School and is honored to be serving as the 2022-2023 State President. Have you ever leaped off 200-foot building and experienced the most euphoric feeling of being alive? Yeah, neither has she, but being in DECA comes as a close second! Anika is a four-year DECA member and has won First Place at Area Competition two-years in a row, received a perfect score on the Entrepreneurship Roleplay, and placed 3rd at State for Innovation Plan. Outside of DECA, she enjoys reading, dancing, biking, and spreading the DECA spirit!
Anika’s personal motto is to always spread kindness and show respect to all human beings. She is a reporter for her school’s broadcasting program, “Atomic TV”, and loves meeting and interviewing people from all walks of life. Her favorite color is of green, and she loves visiting new places. Anika’s favorite instrument is the guitar, and she has been playing it for the past six years. Her favorite artist is also Lana Del Rey!
While she was born in Norfolk, Virginia, Anika has lived in the beautiful evergreen Washington for the past thirteen years. Anika is also a huge science enthusiast and participates in the Regional, State, and International Science Fair. She aspires to one day become a scientist herself or work in the business field. For now, Anika strives to connect, empower, and lead you as a successful Washington DECA State President for the 2022-2023 academic year.
AREA 1 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF HOSPITALITY
Marysville-Getchel High School
>> Email Lujain
AREA 1 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF hospitality
Lujain Abushhiwa is a junior at Marysville Getchell High School and is greatly honored to be serving as the 2022-2023 Area 1 president. This being Lujain’s second year being part of DECA, her journey and experience within DECA have inspired her to pursue a major in the business industry. Competing in Business Law and Ethics Team Decision-Making and qualifying for SCDC have helped her continue to push in pursuit of her dreams. As a young kid, she has always wanted to be a lawyer and with the help of DECA, she hopes to become a Lawyer in the Business profession! Lujain dreams to attend Seattle U or New York University.
Lujain tries to maintain her involvement around school where she currently serves as the Vice President of her school’s Asian and Pacific Islander Student Union, the Secretary/Treasurer of her DECA chapter, and is an officer for Marysville Getchell’s Business and Marketing club.
Outside of Academics and DECA, Lujain consistently has a new set of hobbies. At this time, she enjoys taking walks and exploring the wonders of nature and now has taken a love for baking! Her favorite color is all colors, she enjoys all the bright colors that her eyes set on! Lujain is beyond honored and thrilled to be the 2022-2023 Area 1 President. She is extremely excited to meet, interact, and collaborate with members to make this year one of the best!
AREA 2 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE
Jackson High School
>> Email Abhyudai
AREA 2 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF finance
This fall, Abhyudai will be a senior at Henry M Jackson High School where he has been a member of DECA for 2 years now. In both of these years he qualified for SCDC, winning 7th place in Automotive Services Marketing at the Area 2 Conference in his first year and 2nd place in Hotel and Lodging Management at Area his second year.
This year, he is also part of his chapter officer leadership team, serving as the Creative Director! Outside of DECA, he is part part of his school’s robotics team where he serves as a Senior Programmer. Abhyudai’s target is to attain direct admission into the Computer Science major at University of Washington! He adds that, “DECA has shaped me into the person I am today, and just like it has made such a large impact on my life, I aim to make a large impact on DECA as a state officer!”
AREA 3 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Eastlake High School
>> Email Kiera
AREA 3 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF career development
As a senior at Eastlake High School, Kiera Foley is thrilled to serve as the Area 3 President for the 2022-2023 season! She has found joy in the multitude of events competed in from her first year as a freshman till now, including Travel and Tourism TDM, Hospitality Services TDM, International Business Plan, and Project Management: Career Development. Placing in the top ten in HTDM at the Zoom version of ICDC 2021, she is competitively experienced and has loved making connections with members within and beyond her chapter, especially as a co-founder and current lead of her chapter’s mentorship program.
Enabled by her leadership in DECA, Kiera contributes to other parts of her community as a Varsity Swim Captain, long-time Swim Across America fundraiser and swimmer, ESL volunteer at a Seattle non-profit, Casa Latina, and lover of tech exploration through coding courses and Computer Science Honor Society.
DECA has helped Kiera realize that passion and practicality are not antonyms. The dynamic DECA environment coupled with her diverse experiences, passions, and connections have been a driving force for Kiera’s desires to further what she loves. Currently, Kiera hopes to double major in Data Science and Spanish, preferably at Georgetown University or Tufts, and earn an MBA after with a concentration in international business. She would love to see herself eventually working in business analytics abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, and later in the non-profit sector focusing on tech-quity in terms of language barriers.
AREA 4 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Skyline High School
>> Email Kartik
AREA 4 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF career development
Kartik Arora is a senior at Skyline High School, and is honored to serve as your Area 4 President in his fourth year of DECA. His experience in DECA has helped him foster connections with members across the country and learn professional skills from industry leaders around the globe. He has competed in Operations Research every single year of high school, brought home glass from ICDC, and been crowned State Champion three times. More importantly, he has found his passion in the business field, and strives to share it with everyone.
He hopes to graduate college with a dual degree in economics and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and build a career in management and technology. He hopes to use his skills to spark a positive change in the world, and have fun while doing it.
Outside of DECA, Kartik enjoys serving his community as an Eagle Scout and instructor of martial arts. He holds a black belt in Taekwondo and Arnis, and spends many afternoons training at the studio. Kartik loves music, and has been studying classical piano and theory for over a decade. He is an enthusiastic fan of nature, and often explores the outdoors, going on hikes through Tiger Mountain. He also has two dogs, named Goofy and Pluto!
Kartik was born in Kansas City, and has lived in Washington for the last eight years. He wishes you success in your endeavors, and hopes to help you pursue your ambition as the 2022-2023 Area 4 President!
AREA 5 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF LEADERSHIP
Hazen High School
>> Email Akhil
AREA 5 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF leadership
Akhil Srinivasan, a senior at Hazen High School in Renton (home of the Seahawks), is excited to be your 2022-2023 Area 5 President. Akhil has been a member of DECA for three years, and has won 1st place in Area Competition, is a two-time SCDC competitor, and an ICDC qualifier.
Three years of membership have been extremely rewarding for Akhil, with the opportunity to travel around the country, and expose himself to real life business scenarios. Though his first year was intimidating, as he had never even worn a suit before, much less learned about business, he has grown to cherish and appreciate his DECA community, and strive to go above and beyond. He strongly believes that the rewards of DECA are unmatched, and seeks to bring this opportunity to as many people as he can.
Outside of DECA, Akhil is a varsity cross-country athlete, a two-time half-marathoner, and a soccer player for over 12 years. He is a member of National Honor Society, and loves to learn, from math and history in school, to the geography and cultural diversity of the world. Akhil loves to travel; he has been to 14 countries and 9 different states, and boasts a souvenir pin collection containing every place he has visited. Born and raised in the Seattle area, he loves to hike with his family and explore the Pacific Northwest. He is also a huge Jeopardy fan–he loves trivia, and memorized the countries, capitals, and flags of the world in 6th grade.
Akhil desires to spread kindness and help others in every way possible; as an aspiring leader, he seeks to bring and encourage diversity and equity. He is thrilled to serve members of DECA across the state as your Area 5 President.
AREA 6 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF LEADERSHIP
Richland High School
>> Email Chris
AREA 6 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF LEADERSHIP
Born in Iowa City, Iowa, and finding a home with Richland High School’s Class of 2023, Christopher Kim has been a proud member of Washington DECA since freshman year up to the moment you’re reading this. Not only is he excited and honored to serve the amazing chapters of Area 6, but he’s also ready to serve along with his fellow Washington DECA State Officers, to make your experience with the organization to be superb. In his current DECA run, he has qualified for SCDC 2020 along with SCDC 2022 in the Entrepreneurship series. Also in 2022, he qualified for ICDC with his SBE team.
Outside of DECA, Chris has been the Class of 2023 Sophomore President, the German Club Publicity Manager, and an Officer for the Environmental Club. Within the Drama Club he has joined the Officer team in becoming a Publicity Manager. Additionally, he’s acted, Stage Managed, and Assistant Directed. Not only that, but he can also play the Saxophone.
However, with every step taken in a direction outside of DECA, there was a drive to serve the very organization where it all began for him. To him, DECA has given him the confidence, the knowledge, and the skills that motivated him to push himself into the unknown by taking chances while still making smart decisions.
Although the future is uncertain and goals change, one thing he can guarantee is that he will give it his best in serving Area 6 and Washington DECA.
AREA 7 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF LEADERSHIP
Puyallup High School
>> Email Isabelle
AREA 7 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF leadership
Your 2022-2023 Area 7 President is a senior at Puyallup High School! Isabelle has a passion for DECA and spreading the love for this amazing program. She is a two year member and has qualified for SCDC for the 20 page business plan event.
Aside from DECA, Isabelle is a highly competitive pitcher for club and high school softball. She loves hiking, her friends and family, business, photography and cooking with and for the people she loves. Isabelle plans on attending a university in the South and majoring in Business Finance. Isabelle wants to work hard to become a successful entrepreneur but wants to give herself the background in finance to become prepared to achieve that goal.
Isabelle looks forward to help serve her fellow DECA students and cannot wait for the upcoming year!
AREA 8 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
River Ridge High School
>> Email McKenzie
AREA 8 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF marketing
McKenzie Waters is an incoming Senior at River Ridge Highschool and your 2022-2023 Area 8 DECA President. McKenzie has been an active DECA member for the past three years. During her three years in DECA she has served as her chapter’s President since 2020, competed in Apparel and Accessories, Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling, and Student Based Enterprise. The past two years she competed in HTPS placing first at her Area 8 competition both years. She is a three time SCDC attendee and a one time ICDC attendee.
Outside of DECA, McKenzie is the Captain of the Varsity Girls Tennis Team at her school and enjoys traveling, days on the lake, and hanging out with her friends and family. She hopes to become a Dermatologist and further her career at the University of California Los Angeles.
McKenzie’s personal motto is “YOLO”. While this is typically said by the general public before negative decisions, she sees it as an opportunity to go do something that matters. Moments before she finally decided on pursuing a State Officer Position, she was pondering on if it was something she should do due to the massive commitment it was. She thought about all of the amazing opportunities it would provide her so she said “YOLO” and went for it! She encourages all of the 11,000+ Washington DECA members to try it out and go for something outside of their comfort zone.
As the 2022-2023 Area 8 President, McKenzie looks forward to connecting the members of Washington DECA and inspiring growth within each and everyone.
AREA 9 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF HOSPITALITY
Kelso High School
>> Email Kirra
AREA 9 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF hospitality
Kirra Anderson is a four year DECA member from Kelso, Washington. She is a senior at Kelso High School and a sophomore at Lower Columbia College. Kirra is thrilled to serve as Washington DECA’s Area 9 President during the 2022-2023 school year.
Throughout her DECA journey, Kirra has worked closely within her chapter to strengthen member retention and maximize member potential. She attended SCDC her freshman and junior year and WRLC her sophomore year. During the 2020-2021 school year, she earned the title of Kelso High School Chapter President. She was proud to have increased membership during the challenges of COVID.
Along with DECA, Kirra is involved with National Honors Society, Pep Club, Art Club, and is a Senior Class officer. She is currently obtaining her AA-DTA and plans to transfer to Arizona State University to earn her BA in Forensic Science. Her goal is to become a Forensic Technician or Crime Scene Investigator. Outside of school, you can find Kirra at her favorite hiking locations, seeking out up and coming artists to attend concerts, or at the movie theater watching the latest Marvel movie. When it comes to DECA, she likes to quote Captain America’s infamous line, “I can do this all day.”
Her passion for DECA has become insurmountable over the years and she hopes to share her passion with the rest of Washington DECA. Kirra prides herself in welcoming everybody and being an advocate for all members. She knows that she will look back at these years and be thankful for the friendships she has made and the memories that will last a lifetime.
AREA 11 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
Clarkston High School
>> Email Sophie
AREA 10 PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT OF marketing
Sophie Henderson is elated to serve as the Area 11 President. Sophie is an involved Senior at Clarkston High School in Clarkston, Washington. She participates in basketball, tennis, National Honor Society, ASB, Distinguished Young Women, and of course, her personal favorite, DECA. Sophie serves as her school’s Exec Board Secretary, DECA Chapter’s VP of Leadership, and her school’s National Honor Society Chapter Public Relations Officer.
Outside of school, Sophie enjoys playing piano, Girl Scouts, and doing Crossfit. Sophie has been a top seller of Girl Scout cookies since 6th grade. Starting at her local level, then regional, state, and most recently, the National top seller of cookies donated to the military and second in total cookies sold in the nation.
Sophie was inspired to join DECA in 4th grade, when a family friend did a Chapter Project that educated fourth graders about entrepreneurship and encouraged them to create their own dream business. Sophie vividly remembers thinking, “I want to be like her.” Sophie has qualified for SCDC for the past three years, and qualified for ICDC her junior year, placing second in her team’s event at the State Competition. As empowering as that is, Sophie’s favorite part of DECA is the people she has met and the life-long memories she has created alongside them. Sophie also feels so blessed to learn under her Chapter’s incredible Advisors.
Although Sophie is keeping her options open, she hopes to become a Husky and study Business Administration at the University of Washington. Ultimately, her goal is to own a company that makes the world a better place.
Sophie cannot wait to see where this DECA journey will take her and is so excited to serve you!