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Over 300 young professionals from across all industries gathered at The University of Texas’ Rowling Hall for a day of learning, exploration, action, and development at the second annual LEAD Summit on Friday, February 15, 2019. Participants had the opportunity to hear from over 35 presenters in the areas of professional development, community and civic engagement, and personal growth.

Young professional leaders attended the summit from organizations like: City of Georgetown, Texas Mutual Insurance Company, Austin Energy, Ascension | Seton, H-E-B, Dell EMC, St. Edward’s University, American Red Cross, and Camp Gladiator.

“The LEAD Summit is a big part of who we are at the Austin Young Chamber,” Alyssia Woods, President & CEO of the Young Chamber said. “Everyday we see the commitment, passion, talent and drive of young professionals in the Greater Austin community, and we wanted to create a space that brought them together in collaboration with top business leaders, community experts, partner organizations, and local chambers because we know that when we work together, when we collaborate, we can move the needle on important issues facing business and community and provide opportunities for young professionals to LEAD…both now and in the future. The LEAD Summit is our mission at work.”

The LEAD Summit kicked off with a welcome from emcee, Koy McDermott and Young Chamber Co-Chair, Reese Cisneros. McDermott then facilitated a powerful conversation with community leaders Patricia Hayes, Owner of PVH Consulting, Earl Maxwell, CEO of St. David’s Foundation and Heather McKissick, Senior Vice President of Community Impact at University Federal Credit Union. They shared how they find balance in their lives by staying true to their values. One of the most inspiring statements came from Maxwell, when he said, “We should embrace bringing our whole selves to work. But I can’t let you go without telling you, that no success at work is worth failure at home.”

After the morning session, participants had the option to attend one of five morning breakout sessions including:

  • ChangeMaker: Beyond Disruption
  • Why Leadership Matters
  • The More You Know
  • Stop Networking, Start Connecting
  • Leading From Your Values

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Over lunch, three ChangeMakers who are making an extraordinary impact on the greater Austin community were honored. Read more about the impact Lewis Conway, Jr., Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, and Karen Ranus are making and why they are so deserving of this recognition. Austin Young Chamber Co-Chair David Bean and CEO, Alyssia Woods also spoke about the Young Chamber’s new vision which is for Austin to be the most talented, collaborative and community-focused workforce in the nation. Programs like the LEAD Summit are a great example of the Young Chamber working toward this important vision.


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During the afternoon breakout sessions, participants learned from panels and lectures like:

  • Maximizing Mentor Relationships
  • Building Skills, Growing Careers
  • Building a More Functional Democracy… By Becoming A Leader Within It
  • Comprehensive Calendar
  • Stop Thinking About What Others Are Thinking About You

Thom Singer, professional speaker and author of 12 books, provided the closing keynote. His presentation was titled Cooperative Significance: Being an Influential Leader at Work (and Beyond). His spoke about how true significance come from truly connecting with others, from building real relationships with others. You are not significant if you get a retweet or a like or if someone follows you. You become significant through shared experiences with others. He also talked about how important it is to build relationships across generational lines because we can all learn a lot from each other.

After our keynote, everyone was invited to the LEAD Unplugged Happy Hour sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. The impactful conversations from the day continued over drinks and light bites.

Thank you to everyone who made this day possible!


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Sponsors for the LEAD Summit included:
City of Georgetown, Texas Mutual Insurance Company, Texas MBA Program and Texas MSTC Program, Austin Energy, Baylor Executive MBA | Austin, H-E-B, Holtzman Partners, Ascension | Seton, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, vcfo, Invited MBA, University Federal Credit Union, Capital Metro, Community Impact Newspaper, Triple 8 Management

Event Partners included:
AMLI Residential, ATX Video Marketing, Austin Business Journal, Brown Distributing Company, joyböl, Kesos Tacos, Print Shoppe

Community Partners included:
Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Greater Austin Black Chamber, Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, West Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Area Urban League of Young Professionals, Austin Habitat Young Professionals, Downtown Austin Alliance, Friends of the House, Leadership Austin, YNPN Austin, Young Women’s Alliance


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