Destinee Green said she was a sophomore at Licking Heights High School when she found her interest in business through DECA.

Destinee Green said she was a sophomore at Licking Heights High School when she found her interest in business through DECA.

"I really wasn't into business. I really wasn't into anything," said Green, 18. "I was just floating around, waiting for something."

Green said she joined the high school's DECA business and marketing program after learning the chapter, which is led by adviser Steve Varricchio, took field trips.

She said during the first meeting she attended, Varricchio was talking about technical business and marketing terms she didn't understand.

Now in her senior year, Green has a degree of expertise on such topics, evidenced by her new position as the state DECA president and the leader of a seven-member team that will plan events for the next two statewide DECA conferences.

She was elected president at this year's state conference Nov. 18.

"(The seven statewide officers) represent the 4,600 student members in the state," said Jerry Kuhn, the Ohio DECA adviser. "They will run the two statewide conferences. They run the opening and closing sessions and work as part of two board meetings a year. They represent Ohio DECA if there is a legislative day, where they will meet the governor, senators or congressmen."

Kuhn said the officers also attend district competitions.

Varricchio said Green's term as president runs through November 2016, when the new officers will be elected.

He said she would be expected to return from college for the 2016 conference to open the ceremony.

Varricchio said Green was in DECA training the week of Nov. 30 and returned to her high school classes Dec. 7.

She is the only state officer from central Ohio; the others are from northern Ohio and near Cincinnati.

Kuhn said DECA advisers are impressed with the new team of officers.

"We're delighted with what we've seen," he said. "They are a very dynamic and intelligent group of students. I've been with DECA 35 years and this is a very diverse group. That's one of our strengths; we've always been very diverse. We expect big things out of them."

Varricchio called Green "the most polished student leader I ever worked with" and said she is "a well-composed young woman who speaks very well."

Green said though she had never considered a career in business prior to joining DECA, she wants to complete a double major in marketing and advertising in college. She said she is considering several schools to attend in the fall.

After her undergraduate work is completed, she said, she wants to earn an MBA.

Green, who is nearly six feet tall, said she also eventually wants to open an online clothing store for tall women and become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

"I plan to be in college for a long time so that when I do get out and go into the workforce, I am ready," she said.

Green said she encourages students to join DECA even if they don't think business is in their plans.

"DECA is a very prestigious organization that colleges recognize and colleges are more likely to accept students who have been in DECA because they are academically and professionally prepared," she said.

DECA's mission is to prepare "emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe," according to the organization's website.