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SEO.com President Ash Buckles will volunteer as a judge for the DECA International Career Development Conference in Salt Lake City. The event will bring more than 14,000 high school students from around the world to compete in marketing, management, finance, hospitality, tourism and entrepreneurship.

“I volunteered as a judge for DECA in 2010,” said Buckles. “I really enjoyed it, so I decided to volunteer again. This year I will be a judge for the sports and entertainment marketing series event.”

The conference is on April 30 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. DECA is still seeking business professionals to volunteer as judges for more than 40 competitive events.

“It’s a great opportunity to help the next generation of business people and entrepreneurs,” said Shane Thomas, director of competitive events for DECA Inc.

DECA is a non-profit student organization catering to high school and college students who are focused on careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

“A lot of students have been working on their project since the very beginning of the school year,” Thomas said. “The sports and entertainment marketing series event is a role playing event.”

While role playing, students are given 10 minutes to read over a scenario. Each scenario poses a problem the student must solve. Judges are presented with the solutions.

Students compete for mostly recognition, though some events offer monetary awards.

“We believe it’s important to stay involved in the community,” Buckles said. “What better way to get involved than to take an interest in our future employees?”

SEO.com, a leading provider of search engine optimization services, stays active in education circles in Utah. The company has presented in various business classes at Davis High School, sponsored the BYU Marriott School’s Sales Idol Finals and hosted a conference at Utah Valley University discussing the ethics of search engine optimization.

“SEO.com has been a valuable source of information for use in my social media marketing class,” said Jeff McCauley, business teacher and DECA adviser at Davis High School. “They have provided insight that my students found interesting and useful.”

Buckles said that SEO.com is interested in seeing what these students will contribute to the business world as they enter the professional workforce.

“We want to offer our expertise to these students. We want to tell them why search engine optimization, social media and other Internet marketing strategies are important components to effectively running and promoting their business,” Buckles said. “It’s important to us to prepare them for success.”

He encouraged other businesspeople to volunteer as judges for DECA.

To volunteer, applicants should visit http://www.deca.org/events/judge. All volunteers will be provided free parking, breakfast, lunch and an onsite orientation session.

“It’s all about the students and to see hardworking students achieve their goals and work toward this accomplishment,” Thomas said.