Leadership Summit presented by Buckeye Broadband continued with Real Good Ventures’ Sara Best, who presented The Leader Rebuild. Best used a car as an example: You might regularly tune up your car by rotating its tires, getting its oil changed, and fixing parts here and there. These tune ups are a way to prevent a major malfunction. So, shouldn’t we be doing the same with ourselves? Best talked attendees through how to “diagnose” any problem areas in our professional and personal lives and how to address any issues that are slowing us down or hindering our performance.
Kirby Brendsel, assistant vice president of Welltower, welcomed attendees to the first event of Nov. 10 with Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace. Brendsel discussed how to encourage inclusivity and diversity in attendees’ own organizations and talked the importance of creating a work environment where everyone feels welcome and heard.
Leadership Summit welcomed Dr. Patrice McClellan, or Dr. P, to discuss Doing the Right Thing: Allyship and Advocacy at Work, on Nov. 11. Dr. P educated attendees on the matrix of oppression and how this impacts our daily lives, even if we don’t realize it; the barriers that prevent many of us from becoming an ally; and the journey toward being an ally for any given community. We learned how to stand for equity rather than oppression and how to challenge prejudicial messages – not reinforce them.
Nov. 11 attendees then talked to each other in smaller groups to engage in meaningful conversations in the Leadership Summit breakout sessions. Attendees chose between Parenting in a Pandemic, during which panelists discussed challenges they’re facing with childcare, schooling and other parenting challenges during the pandemic; Freelancing + Gig Economy, in which Stough and Stough Architects’ Lyndsey Stough led a discussion on turning your passion project or side hustle into a business; and 10 Ways to Improve Your Wellbeing, which gave attendees tangible tools to improve their wellbeing that day.
Nov. 12 followed up with Toledo Mindfulness Institute’s Jenn McCullough’s Mindfulness Practice for Positivity and Equanimity During Challenging Times. McCullough expanded on the ideas introduced in our first session, including how to be mindful and present rather than zoned out or escaping. With these tools, McCullough helped attendees to spark their creativity, affirm what actually works rather than what might feel good in the moment and learn to nourish themselves in the future.
Nov. 12 ended with a Happy Hour with Fifth Third Bank’s Alex Gerken. Gerken, a former EPIC Toledo member himself, offered advice to young professionals in attendance and discussed what helped him on his journey to become the leader he is today.
On Nov. 13, the final day of Leadership Summit presented by Buckeye Broadband, EPIC Toledo was joined by Mark Ostach (and a furry friend!) for Courage to Connect. In a world that is right now filled with social distance, masked faces and lots of screens, it’s as important as ever to be courageous in showing empathy, emotion, and restoring your own and others’ energies. Ostach led a truly emotional and restorative session – the perfect way to end a week filled with discovery, passion and personal growth.
As 2021 approaches, reflecting on the challenges and successes of 2020 was key to the success of Leadership Summit 2020. With mental health challenges related to the pandemic and heightened conversations regarding inclusion and diversity in the workplace, we look forward to seeing what our young professionals do next.