Meet Kyla Bryant, Metro Chamber Foundation Executive Director. Kyla originally started as the Program Coordinator of the Capital Region SBDC in 2017 and after a few well-deserved promotions is now the Executive Director of the Foundation overseeing all strategy, vision, and operations for the Foundation and its programs which include the MetroBusiness Center, Metro EDGE, Leadership Sacramento, Thousand Strong and more.
The MBC remains in good hands
Before her role as the Executive Director of the Foundation, Kyla served as the Director of the MetroBusiness Center (MBC), which was absorbed by the Foundation upon her promotion. Because of the MBC’s goal of upskilling, and providing essential resources to small businesses and entrepreneurs, it found a perfect home within the Foundation. For the last 15 months, Kyla has worked to strengthen the impact of programs with the help of the Foundation’s volunteer leaders and Program Managers, Savannah Fox and Jazmine Alop.
A shepherd for upskilling & workforce development
The work of the Foundation has a huge impact on our business community. A vital part of the organization, the Metro Chamber Foundation is key in developing leadership and the regional workforce. “The Greater Sacramento Region, like other regions across the country, faces ongoing workforce development challenges. The programs shepherded by the Foundation, staff, and volunteer leaders are poised to help address those challenges by upskilling community leaders and improving the pathways for career development through an equitable impact lens” explains Kyla.
Shout out to the Foundation volunteers
This feat would not be possible without the many passionate program volunteers. “The Foundation is supported by a large number of people who volunteer numerous hours and are financially generous to contribute to its success. As I have come on board, the biggest challenge has been to meet and get to know all of the wonderful people who engage directly and indirectly with Foundation programs,” explains Kyla. “I appreciate all the hard work they put into the programs and am continuously thinking through ways to ensure that they are feeling valued and know their contributions matter.”
A front-row view: seeing people come together
When Kyla first came to the Chamber in 2019, she saw how a highly in-person organization moved its operation to fully remote work for a significant period due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She was impressed by the way the team came together during a challenging time and supported each other as well as the business community we serve. “The energy and desire to be of service remains strong throughout the current team,” she shares.
Seeing individuals come together is one aspect of the work Kyla has come to admire which explains why one of her favorite memories came this year during the 10th Annual Emerge Summit. “It was so heart-warming for me to see the region’s young professionals join together to learn and be inspired by each other and the leaders who shared their journey.”
Empowering the next-gen
What most don’t know about Kyla is that in addition to being a brilliant leader, she is also a dedicated working parent serving as an inspiration to young women and of course, her daughter. The 2022 Metro Strive cohort was an initiative she designed as part of her MA of Leadership project through the University of the Pacific. Metro Strive was a program centered around upskilling female leaders and enhancing their toolkits. The program is undergoing a redesign, with the intention to relaunch for a more targeted audience in the future.
“I obtained my graduate degree during the pandemic (while pregnant!) and it was rewarding to see that work come to life and the impact it’s had on the participants,” she recalls. Her journey to motherhood has helped her career beyond championing the next generation of female leaders.
“Being a mom has helped my career in ways I never could have imagined. It has rounded out my leadership style and given me a perspective of how to care for others in the work I do.”
The impact of which is evident, as a recent 40-under-40 honoree and recognized for her Millennial Management style earlier this year.
In honor of the coming new year, Kyla has shared some of her goals and vision for 2024.
“One of our goals for 2024 is to continue to build out our programming to better reflect our regional reach. I am excited to collaborate with strategic partners to move forward the needle on bridging workforce development gaps, engaging a diverse pool of rising leaders, and providing support to businesses across the region,” shares Kyla.
We are so excited for all the tremendous things to come from Kyla and the Foundation team next year!