2006-2007 State Officer Biographies

Michele Cumpston
Secretary/Treasurer

Michele Cumpston, your Oregon DECA Secretary / Treasurer, is a junior at Clackamas High School. She attends a second year marketing and management class at the Sabin Center, where she is a third year DECA member. Michele gained a deep passion for DECA early on as she attended DECA-related events and even ICDC. This was her second year attending ICDC where she competed in the apparel and accessories management level event.

Outside of DECA, Michele is also involved in many other extracurricular activities. She is a second year active member of National Honors Society and a first year member of Key Club. Michele enjoys giving her time back to the community, doing volunteer work for both organizations, as well as with the youth group of her church.

Michele is employed year-round at a Golf Course where she works as a salesperson in the pro shop, is a starter, and handles payroll. On occasion, she also assists in the restaurant’s bar and grill. Ironically, however Michele is not a golfer.

Very involved academically, Michele is enrolled in several honors and advanced classes. She especially enjoys her marketing class, of course, and is a forth year Spanish student. Michele maintains a high GPA and has been inducted in to both National Honor Role and Who’s Who Among American High School Students. She looks forward to graduating and pursuing her interests in both law and business at Stanford University.

Michele enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Her favorite activities include: shopping, volleyball, running, watching movies, listening to music, playing pool, bowling, and dancing. She also loves to travel and sightsee with her parents Rob and Karen and their German Shepard, Cosmo. 

Michele is eager to serve Oregon DECA as Secretary / Treasurer. She looks forward to seeing all of you succeed and helping Oregon DECA to have another excellent and exciting year.


Nico Casarez
Publicity Director 

Nico Casarez, your state Publicity Director this year comes from Cascade High School and is a fourth year member of DECA. In his chapter he has served as, chairmen of the annual holiday art and craft show which benefits Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, as well as competitions vice president of the chapter. Nico is a dedicated employee of Cascade’s student store and avid supporter of local DECA chapter involvement. 

Outside of DECA, Nico is involved in Student Council, serving as Cascade’s new ASB Vice President and as a member of Model United Nations, Link Crew and Choir.   At the age of eight, he established a very successful sno-cone stand that was even licensed through his local city. It was this through this experience that he had come to understand not only what it takes to run a business, but it also laid the ground work for both his passion to work with people, as well as serving as a leader. 

Nico’s family has always been there for him and he attributes his success to their love and support. Nico describes himself as charismatic, loud, outrageous, and from time to time hilarious who always strives to get the job done. He loves to listen to classic rock music, hanging out with friends, being active within his church and will stop at nothing to put a smile on your face. 

Nico has a strong, fiery passion for politics which he hopes to establish as a strong career. His experience meeting and working with state legislators, as well as top government officials has further motivated him to work towards this goal and career. 

Nico is excited about the upcoming year because of the excellent group of motivated members to serve and a great officer team beside him. He can’t wait to come together, make it happen, and build Oregon DECA tradition of excellence.


Kara Williams
District I VP 

Kara Williams was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived in Lake Oswego her whole life. Her family consists of five members including her two older brothers, and parents. Her father works as an accountant for a construction company and her mother works for Younglife. Kara’s eldest brother is in his third year of college at the University of Oregon and her other brother is finishing up his senior year of high school. All of her family has attended the University of Oregon and she hopes to carry on the tradition and become a fighting duck.

Kara is a junior at Lake Oswego high school this year and is a goalie for her state champion lacrosse team. She has been a member for four years, enjoys traveling and playing with her Lacrosse team. In Kara’s spare time she also is very involved in Younglife and her church. Kara is a Younglife student leader and participates actively in her area’s club. At school Kara has been a class officer as well as a class senator. She is a store manager for her schools student store and is involved in her schools Hip-Hop club, Zoo club, and Art club.

Outside of school Kara enjoys being a teenager. Rarely does she have a spare moment to experience the wonders of high school, but when she does, she loves to shop, and hang out with her friends as much as any other teenage girl. Kara also has an extreme passion for music. She is open to any type and believes that music is tangible passion. Traveling is another hobby of Kara’s and loves to be as close to the sun as possible. Her plans for the future include attending the University of Oregon and majoring in business, and receiving a minor in sports marketing. 

To all of Oregon DECA Kara thanks you for electing her as your District I Vice President, she is looking forward to a great, fun filled year.


Karissa McDowell
District II VP

Your District II Vice President, Karissa McDowell comes from Willamette High School and would like to say thank you to Oregon DECA for giving her this opportunity to serve. DECA is such a huge part of her life, and she is very excited to be more involved. 

Karissa has been in DECA since her freshman year. In 2004 she attended Nationals in Anaheim. The hard work to get there and the excitement of winning was something she will always treasure. Karissa’s transition because of DECA has gone from a shy and quiet little freshman, to a vibrant, professional and personable senior who can’t wait to see what the marketing world has in store for her. 

Outside of DECA, she is also very involved in her school and community. She is active in her church and says “without God in my life I would never be where I am at today. He has blessed me with so much, and I am extremely thankful for every bit of it.”

Karissa has played soccer since kindergarten and currently plays year round for Willamette High School. Soccer is a lot of hard work and conditioning, but in the end just being able to step onto a field and play the game is incredible to her. She also coached a boy’s soccer team last spring and is involved in LINK, a club dedicated to helping freshman through their first year of high school, and the National Honor Society.

DECA has helped shape Karissa into a person with an insight to the business world and even assisted her in earning a job as a high school intern at Washington Mutual Bank. It is Karissa’s hope that everyone across our great state can become more involved in DECA and find new ways to learn and grow from the many opportunities that surround us. 


Matt Bogatay
District III VP 

Matt Bogatay is your Oregon DECA 2006-2007 District III Vice President. He comes from the great city of Klamath Falls and is a junior attending Klamath Union High School. Matt is excited to be working with Oregon DECA throughout this year.

Matt is particularly known for his interest in entrepreneurship and seeking out new business opportunities. He is known for taking ideas and skills and turning them into a competitive business. At the age of 14 Matt had an ambition to start his own business, which within a short period of time he turned into reality. At this time Matt’s business is located online at www.paintballsupply.us. Matt has an extensive list of tasks to make the company grow successfully in the future. With his love and passion for his business he plans to be online to serve clients for years to come. This past yearMatt wrote a 30-page e-commerce manual on PaintballSupply.us that he took to Dallas, Texas for Nationals!

Matt has grown and come to the realization of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the business world today he contributes the opportunity to apply his abilities and entrepreneurship knowledge in DECA. He has said that “the primary way that he came to starting his own business was because of an immediate impact that his marketing business classes and DECA gave him.”

Over the past three years Matt has attended many DECA events including Western Region Leadership Conference, State Career Development Conference, New York Experience, and ICDC. Matt’s overall experience in these has been tremendous as he has built a range of knowledge because of his attendance at such conferences.

Matt hopes to be accessible for every chapter and DECA member. He is available and would be more then happy to visit your chapter for any DECA events.