Creating Access between YP’s and Seasoned Professionals

ac·cess [ ák sèss ]

  1. entry or approach: a means of entering or approaching a place.
  2. opportunity for use: the opportunity or right to experience or make use of something.
  3. right to meet somebody: the opportunity to meet somebody.

In 2005, a report by Next Generation Consulting included a survey respondent’s quote: “One ‘cool community’ factor that Brevard County lacks is the community leaders’ willingness to accept new and young talent into the community.”  The recommendation offered by the consultant to offset such a perception was to give Brevard’s experienced statesmen and young professionals exposure to each other through a ‘world café’ – where they can share ideas about the issues facing Brevard.  By offering a conversation, you broaden the base of voices engaged in community shaping decisions.

In a leadership role and in recognizing the opportunity to enhance the conversations between “seasoned statesmen” (and women) and our community’s young professionals, LEAD Brevard developed the signature event known as ACCESS.  It provides both a venue and a structured opportunity for YP’s to engage in candid dialogue with other leaders.  YP’s are encouraged to ask their questions and the senior leaders are invited to share the story of their professional ascent and what lessons they have learned along the way.

Meet the Dream Team

Now in its third year, Young Professionals of Brevard (ypB™) will host ‘Access 2011’ starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place. The goal of Access 2011 is to offer our county’s young professionals the opportunity for social networking with marquee business leaders in our community in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.  The leaders (as of February) planning to be present and poised to share leadership experiences at this year’s event include: Commissioner Robin Fisher, Chairman of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners; Richard Ennis, Executive Director of the Melbourne International Airport; Howard Lance, Chairman and CEO of Harris Corporation; Sheriff Jack Parker; Josh Field, President of SCB Marketing; Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton; Chas Hoyman, Partner, Hoyman Dobson; Ann Luke, Market President/Sr. Private Banker for Wells Fargo; Mark Mikolajczyk, President and Publisher of FLORIDA TODAY; Rob Rains, President, United Way of Brevard; Kendall Moore, Managing Partner, Space Coast Strategies; Dana Kilborne, CEO, Florida Bank of Commerce; and Paul Hanson, Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Bright House Networks.

So if you are a YP reading this article and want to have an insiders’ view of what makes leadership ‘tick’ and want to know more about the personal accomplishments of these leaders in our community, we invite you to consider ACCESS 2011.  It’s good business to learn what you can from those with experience, and how to use that experience to benefit your career and community leadership roles.

Staggering Impact

If you are a ‘seasoned statesman’ reading this and wonder why this matters, consider this sobering thought: If just the respondents of the Next Generation survey who said “they weren’t sure they would stay in Brevard County” left today…our community would lose $12,411,700 in taxable income and suffer over $86 million in lost economic impact (in 2005 dollars)!

As a sense of the event, community leaders participating as facilitators in 2010 said:

“Do more than what is expected.  The marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive.  When you’re working for someone else, you’re ultimately measured against someone else’s expectations – client or employer.  In order to differentiate your own worth, you can’t just meet their expectations you have to exceed them.” – Dana Kilborne

“THINK BIG.  You are limited only by the size of your thinking.” – Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton