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Reflections from Chas Emerson, Scholarship Recipient

What an incredible experience! This is my third time attending Convening Leaders and each time I spend the flight home thinking of all the phenomenal experiences that I have had over the last few days. 

Thomas Brag and Ammar Kandil remind us that when we embrace uncertainty suddenly, we have options we could not even imagine. Allyson Felix shared how short-term goals can be just as transformational as long-term ones and that we can speak up even if we aren’t feeling confident. Adam Grant shared his research about how humans are good problem solvers but bad at rethinking when we needed. Those are just a few of the keynote speakers’ takeaways. 

The education sessions covered topics from sustainability to contract negotiations.  Personally, the sustainability conversations were a wake-up call that we, as an industry, MUST do better, and become leaders in the movement.  

Often, I leave a conference and I think they either did the networking and fun stuff well or they do the education well. Convening Leaders is the exception. Visit Columbus knocked it out of the park with the Four Seasons of Columbus opening reception and A Night of Music and Fashion featuring John Legend. Both events were amazing and also fostered an environment to meet friends and clients alike. 

As I mentioned,  I spent my hours traveling home reflecting on my experience and these are my takeaways…

1.  While technology makes it easier than ever to be connected, we cannot replace the power of live events.  With that in mind, though, we have to be willing to innovate.  

2.  We MUST do a better job in sustainability generally, there are not only financial costs involved, but our quality of life is on the line. 

3. As difficult as COVID was for all of us, we need to remember that, now more than ever, relationships and communication are the keys to successful events.   

Thank you for selecting me as a scholarship recipient. This experience is one that I shall recall for many, many years to come. If you have the chance to attend or are on the fence…My advice – take the leap! You won’t regret it.   

heartlandpcmaorgReflections from Chas Emerson, Scholarship Recipient