PEORIA – Approximately 250 professionals came together in Peoria to learn more about developing and growing leaders in their own businesses and organizations at an event organized by State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria).
“The interest and the demand for this event was clearly strong,” said Sen. Weaver. “This is part of our mission to help foster the growth and development of tomorrow’s leaders in our communities.”
Senator Weaver’s Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Conference offered attendees the chance to hear from and network with leaders in business, education, and numerous other fields.
Caterpillar Vice President Tana Utley served as the keynote speaker along with a panel of local leaders that also included Peoria Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat. The speakers offered insight on their own experiences leading major organizations and discussed how to foster growth of new leaders.
“The young people are the future, so if we get the young people involved, not only in politics but in economics, the community can’t help but grow,” said participant Jesse McGown Jr.
“The benefits are sharing and collaboration and corroboration. It’s the ability to bring all those minds with great creativity and problem solving together, to create a brighter future for our young people. This is a great opportunity to do that,” said Dr Marla Brady, owner of MBC Consulting.
After the panel concluded, the event shifted into a reception format to allow time for participants to meet and network with others in attendance.
“We need to know who our next employees are so if we are around the potential new leaders, we get to help groom and we get to help mentor and we get to pick the crème de la crème,” said Christine Bare-Kemper, Director of Business Development for Core Construction. “So the people who are here showing that initiative are the ones we want in our workforce in the future.”
Senator Weaver hopes to continue to grow the event as an annual tradition.
“My hope is that we are able to not only help our current leaders continue to develop and grow, but to also build the foundation that allows them to grow the next generation of leaders that will eventually take over in their own organizations and communities,” said Sen. Weaver. “I hope people take away that while some of our communities have had rough times, as leaders we can never be a victim. We have to step up and decide how we are going to improve ourselves so that we can improve our families and our communities.”