By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Eastside senior to compete in international competitions
Placeholder Image

The son of two entrepreneurs, Melissa and Christopher Worton of Covington, Brian Worton is already following his parents’ lead. A senior at Newton College and Career Academy, Worton already owns his own business — a website and marketing firm — as part of the Entrepreneurial Business Incubator (EBI) program and is currently being mentored by County Commissioner Lanier Sims, owner of Dualdeko.

In March, Worton, a member of Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) participated in both organizations’ state-level competitions and will go on to the next level.

For the DECA competition, Worton attended the conference in downtown Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency and qualified to go on to ICDC with fellow Newton County student Jonathan Ramirez.

Worton’s area was marketing management, and he was given a scenario and 10 minutes to prepare his “pitch” to the judges. Then he waited, without a pen but able to look over his notes to prepare to meet with the judge. “Essentially I had to construct some ideas for a business and analyze analytics, create sample surveys to gather information about customers and their demographics in order to increase sales,” he said.

“The only time I was nervous was when I was waiting to start competing,” he said. “It’s intimidating to sit in a room with other competitors who will be on stage with you. By the time I walked up to the judges and greeted them, I was just anxious and ready to let out all the information and prior knowledge leading up to the event.”

During the judging, Worton was asked a question about the tools he would use to analyze website analytics and demographics. He said the answer dovetailed into his part-time work with The Covington News. “Here, I use Google analytics and other online tools to be able to analyze our web site numbers and what groups of people, such as “movie-lovers”, are viewing our website or what certain pages our viewers enjoy more than others.

“Because of what I do here on a day-to-day basis, I was confident to approach the judges with these methods,” he said. Worton will attend the DECA international conference to be held in Nashville in April, representing the school, the county and the state, with three other students in his event.

“I wasn’t very experienced at how competition plays out at a state competition as compared to regional,” he said. “I really think I can perfect how I perform during competition for nationals.”

With friends James Parsons and Tyler Darby, Worton competed in mobile application development at the FBLA competition held at the University of Georgia in Athens. The team placed fourth in their category at the state-level competition and will go on to the national competition in Atlanta in June.

Learning from parents

“Growing up under two entrepreneurs, I’ve learned the dedication and work ethic that goes hand-in-hand with being an entrepreneur,” he said. “I’ve realized that sometimes you can’t get a weekend off -- you have to work the weekend or you have to work late. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your own time in order to make customers happy, because when you are willing to help people when it is not convenient for you, people will be more willing to help you when it is not convenient for them – and that’s an important relationship to have in the world of business.”

The senior Wortons manage a rental car business in Atlanta and facilitate many of the rental cars for cast and crew of “The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “The Originals,” he said.

Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Worton spent the first four years of his life in Utah. By the time he turned six, his family moved to Georgia and soon came to Newton County, where he attended Ficquett Elementary School, Cousins Middle School and East Side High School before attending the Career Academy.

Worton recently joined the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce, but said that preparing for the competitions have made it difficult to do much marketing for himself. “I’ve been more of a freelancer lately. People come to me randomly when they need a logo or website design. I’ll work with them to increase my experience.”

He’s also done a number of logos for the school system.

He plans to work longer hours this summer, before starting at Georgia Perimeter College at Georgia State University in Newton County to save money by living at home and commuting to school. “Being able to attend college while maintaining my current job will give me a great deal of experience that will benefit me greatly.”

After Perimeter, “depending on how I’m doing as a businessman, I might want to explore transitioning into a school with a renowned business program, like Valdosta State,” he said.