“Leadership is about an outward expression of caring for others,” said Congressman Scott Rigell during the 2016 Hampton Roads Leadership Summit. The summit, held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center was an effort to inspire and activate the next generation of civic leaders in the Hampton Roads region. Emceed by Hampton Roads Chamber President and CEO, Bryan Stephens, attendees of the summit heard Rigell’s take on leadership expounded on by various local leaders during a panel discussion.
Alisa Crider, Vice-Chair of Branding for the Hampton Roads Chamber young professionals organization, tHRive, and Public Relations Coordinator for Hampton Roads Transit, centered her discussion on developing the millennial workforce, recommending that every civic organization strive to include at least one young professional on their board.
J.D. Myers II, Senior Vice President and Region Manage for Cox Communications focused on the importance of developing a talented and diverse workforce. “Good talent is hard to find, good diverse talent is extremely hard to find,” said Myers, “but companies that have diverse talent outperform those that don’t.”
Panelists Thomas Frantz, a partner at Williams Mullen and John “Dubby” Wynne, retired President and CEO of Landmark Communications, Inc., focused on the strategic moves Hampton Roads leaders should take to move forward. Frantz stressed the importance of moving to a regional, or mega-region focus for “better opportunities for federal funding and attracting corporate investments” in Virginia and Hampton Roads. Wynne suggested additional volunteer leadership, where civic organizations are lead more like businesses, would help address some of the issues.
The keynote address, given by Alex Sheen, founder of Because I Said I Would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated built around making and keeping promises, delivered an impactful reminder that “doing what you can with have you have,” and keeping your word is the foundation of a great leader.
“This session today has been about creating leaders and creating a mega region that puts us on the map,” said Senator Mark Warner, “more than ever we need Virginians to engage.”
(Pictured: Bryan Stephens, HRCC President and CEO, serves as the emcee for the event.)