CANTON, OH (June 22, 2010) – Last week, an invitation-only group of more than 100 leaders, including representatives from the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce's ystark! young professional initiative, participated in a first-of-its-kind intergenerational summit at the newly renovated Crowne Plaza in Independence. The purpose of the summit was to blend senior and junior leaders to identify priorities to help the region become a talent magnet and reignite its economy. The group, half of which were young professionals, and half experienced, senior leaders, was comprised of state, county and local politicians; presidents and senior executives from the region’s top employers; and leaders from dozens of the region’s young professionals’ organizations. Attendees included representatives from Brunswick Companies, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Foundation, Dominion, FedEx Custom Critical, Federal Reserve Bank, First Energy Corp., Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Cleveland RTA, Hahn Loeser, Lubrizol, Notre Dame College, Oswald Companies, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Sherwin Williams, Swagelok, St. Luke’s Foundation, Team NEO, Third Federal Bank, and The Timken Company. The morning session was facilitated by Molly Foley and Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting (Madison, WI.) NGC’s research was used used in developing the ystark! initiative in Canton to assist in retaining and attracting young professionals. The group committed to:
  • Working across generations and being inclusive in their approach to solutions
  • Being positive about the region’s opportunities and its future. Jacinda Walker from the City of Cleveland said, “We are tired of the negativity about this city.” Nathan Moore, VP of AXA Advisors added, “When we hear others ‘talk trash’ about Northeast Ohio, as leaders we will counter with something positive, to reframe the conversation”
  • Supporting candidates for public office who share their priorities: P-16 Education Reform, strong downtowns in our city centers, and connecting students to the region’s opportunities
Action plans for the next 90 days were established in several key areas, and will be posted on the group’s LinkedIn group page: Northeast Ohio Young Professional Leaders. “We’re not trying to start a new group or a new initiative,” stated Gary Shamis, managing director of SS&G and one of the meeting’s organizers. “We simply wanted to start a new dialogue – to get both generations of leaders to the table. The morning was very successful in achieving that.”