As DECA Inc.’s assistant executive director of corporate and external affairs, John Fistolera is responsible for developing strategic partnerships that drive DECA’s mission of preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA’s strategic partners include the members of its National Advisory Board (NAB), Congressional Advisory Board (CAB) and DECA’s public affairs media partners.
John joined the DECA staff in 2004 as director of corporate development and assumed his current role, which focuses on broadening DECA’s development, government relations and public affairs reach, in 2011. He was a member of DECA in high school and served two terms as president of California DECA and one term as DECA’s National President.
Before joining the DECA staff, John was the legislative director of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a joint-action agency of community-owned electric utilities in northern California. As legislative director, he worked with members of the NCPA staff, the NCPA Commission and NCPA’s contract lobbyists to develop legislative strategy. John also held primary responsibility for executing that policy through state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies and broadcasting it through various media outlets.
Prior to his work at NCPA, John was on the professional staff of California’s state legislature, where he advised members in both the state assembly and senate. He left in 1998 to serve as deputy director of policy and communications to California’s senate minority leader. John also worked on several political candidate and issue campaigns in California, including the re-election campaign of Governor Pete Wilson.
John holds a bachelor’s degree in integral liberal studies from St. Mary’s College of California.