Thursday, September 21st, we hosted the 10th annual Emerge Summit conference at The Sofia in Midtown. The conference was attended by over 300 young professionals across various career levels and industries all eager for the ‘Leading With Legacy’ themed day.
The mainstage awaits
After some morning networking over coffee, we kicked off the morning on the mainstage with special guest emcees, Erica Taylor (2014 Emerge Chair), Phil Tretheway (2015 Emerge Chair), Tashina Brito (2020 Emerge Chair), Joaquin Razo (2021 Emerge Chair) and Janette Cruz (2022 Emerge Chair). These previous Emerge Summit Chairs helped introduce this year’s EDGE speakers.
Engage Speaker Carissa Gutierrez (Director, Latino Center of Art and Culture) reminded us all what it truly means to be a leader and the power of how you ‘show up’. Develop Speaker Michael Lynch (CEO and Co-Founder, Improve Your Tomorrow) motivated us to “have a vision for your life”, “know failure is an opportunity to learn” and “constantly be developing and mentoring someone else”. Give Speaker Mac Clemmens (CEO, Streamline) shared inspiring stories about “giving” themed lessons from his life and how we can all create our legacy through giving. Empower Speaker Cate Dyer Spears (CEO and Founder, CGT Global) gave us a look into the world of gene therapy and how we can all “create big change in whatever you’re doing”.
But wait there’s more …
There was a brief intermission where we all were able to enjoy a surprise musical performance by The Band Hayez who performed the iconic song September by Earth, Wind & Fire. Everyone clapped along and cheered out loudly at the lyrics “Do you remember, the 21st night of September?”. A song truly befitting the day.
Following the mini-concert, CivicWell CEO Bernadette Austin and West Sacramento Councilwomen Verna Sulpizio Hull gave a warm and very personal introduction to their dear friend Keynote Speaker Quirina Orozco (West Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem) whom they loving referred to as ‘Q’. Qurina’s keynote was delivered virtually but the power of her words about overcoming her personal struggles with domestic violence and poverty growing up rang throughout the auditorium. Her tenacity and perseverance despite circumstances truly inspired us all to ‘change the world’.
Ready to seize the day
After an uplifting morning, conference attendees were invited to attend their first breakout session in a “choose your own adventure” format. During the day there were 28 different breakout sessions offered at various locations throughout midtown, all within walking distance of The Sofia. Sessions covered a range of topics including personal branding, mentorship opportunities, interview prep, career motivation, and beyond.
Attendees were also provided with a catered lunch at either Harlows, Barwest, Star Lounge, or Centro Cocina Mexicana. Young professionals were able to take advantage of networking and great dialogues before heading to two more incredible breakout sessions.
Always down to party
The EDGE 916 After Party brought attendees to Catina Alley for an evening of mix & mingling, music, 360 photos, great bites, and drinks. Breakout session hosts were even invited to join in the fun, continuing many of their great dialogues with interested professionals. Many individuals who were unable to join in the conference during the day came for the legendary mixer. After a day filled with personal and professional development, it was an absolutely perfect ending.
Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor UCDavis MBA, Gold Sponsors UCDavis Health, Sutter Health, and SMUD, Silver Sponsors Safe Credit Union, Raley’s, Kaiser Permanente, and CapRadio, and to all of this year’s sponsors. We’re also so grateful for all the dedicated planning by our Metro EDGE Leadership Council and volunteers. Kudos to everyone who made the 10th Annual Emerge one our region will remember!