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Take Your Seat at the Table

Empowering insights from a Summit Session

It’s an exciting time to be a young professional in Greater Omaha! Thanks to more than a decade of terrific leadership from the YPs that came before us, our current generation has the opportunity to give input on more decisions than ever before. With this privilege comes responsibility – and for that reason, we’ve created the Seat at the Table breakout session track at the Greater Omaha Young Professionals Summit. Our goal is to offer YPs insights that will empower us to contribute even more value when we are invited to give input, as well as educate YPs regarding the knowledge and skill sets proven leaders believe we must bring if we hope to retain our seat at the table.

Many YPs have ambitions of becoming leaders within their companies, requiring knowledge that makes one valuable within his or her company.Many of us also have a desire of becoming a leader in our community, which requires a different set of knowledge – an understanding of the civic issues and facts that are relevant in the important discussions that are ongoing in our communities. For that reason, we have three distinct topics for the Seat at the Table breakout sessions, which promote a well-rounded YP.

One of the sessions will feature an interview between David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber, and Mayor Jean Stothert, the first woman mayor of Omaha. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from Mayor Stothert regarding how we can get more involved in civics within our community, as well as engage our mayor via a Q&A opportunity that will conclude this session.

Another session will feature Jaime Berglund, senior director – Community Development at the Chamber, moderating a panel comprised of three prominent Omaha developers (Mindy Cook of Arch Icon Development, Jay Lund of GreenSlate Development and Mike Moylan of Shamrock Development). This session will help YPs learn about the important past and future development projects that impact Omaha. It will also help YPs gain a better understanding of not only the important role that development projects have on propelling the growth of our city and quality of life for our citizens, but also the factors that go into planning and executing a significant development project. If you want to learn more about community development or engage in a Q&A with Omaha development leaders, this session is for you.

The third session will be moderated by Clark Lauritzen, EVP at First National Bank, and it will feature a panel of the following CEOs: Jim Anderson (Gavilon), Derek Leathers (Werner Enterprises) and Craig Meier (Medical Solutions). Attendees will have the chance to hear directly from these corporate leaders regarding the knowledge that each of them believes has been invaluable to their personal success, as well as what they desire from their YPs who are invited to attend meetings with C-Suite leaders. In the same spirit of the other Seat at the Table sessions, it will conclude with a Q&A opportunity.

The majority of what it takes to be a leader – either within your company, or in our community – is a strong work ethic and a commitment to gaining knowledge and expertise that makes one uniquely valuable. But relationships are also an invaluable piece of the equation – and throughout each of our careers, I believe every YP is presented with moments to ask a captivating question or make a memorable comment. I’m challenging myself and all of my YP peers to reflect on the following questions:

  • If I have the opportunity to spend even a moment with an executive or community leader, would I be likely to have anything of value to offer that individual?
  • If the interaction came via networking and the conversation was surrounding a civics topic, would I have enough knowledge to participate intelligently?
  • What am I doing daily to advance my personal growth and knowledge to ensure I can differentiate myself from my peers?

If you have aspirations of becoming a leader, join us on March 3 for the Summit, and take your Seat at the Table.


-Blake Hoogeveen, YP Summit Programming Chair


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