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2015 Young Professionals of Color Conference

Cascade Engineering is hosting a one-day professional development conference for young professionals of color in West Michigan on Wednesday, August 5, 2015.  Last year, the conference convened over 100 young professionals of color at Amway Global Headquarters in Ada, Michigan. This year, we are happy to have Herman Miller Inc. as the Platinum Sponsor and BL²END (Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions), returning as the Exclusive Young Professional Partner whose mission directly aligns with the purpose and intent of this conference.

The 2015 conference theme is Good is Not Enough: Excellence Should Be Your Standard. This year we will focus on how young professionals of color can lay a foundation of excellence in their careers and entrepreneurial endeavors. Leadership Consultant and author Keith Wyche will keynote the conference inspiring young professionals to be visible in their organizations and stay current in their profession and industry. In addition to the keynote, participants will take a deeper dive into the conference by engaging in small break-out sessions focused around leveraging and building their skills, knowledge and value, understanding the key elements of a successful career strategy, and how lessons learned from local entrepreneurs can be applied to their own professional journey.

Keynote Address - Good is Not Enough: Excellence Should Be Your Standard

Keith Wyche will discuss how for young professionals of color, moving up the ranks of any profession requires much more than having the right degrees and fulfilling your job description. You must know “the unwritten rules” to success. During this session, Keith will empower attendees to see themselves through the same lens from which their stakeholders and executive decision makers view them. Keith will share anecdotes and insights from his and his colleagues' journeys up the corporate ladder to provide real-world strategies for career advancement.


Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Blazing the Trail - Young entrepreneurs of color share their journey of how they started their own successful businesses and organizations in Grand Rapids. They will share their successes, trials, and triumphs as they navigated being an independent business owner in West Michigan.

Breakout 2: The Art of Negotiation - Leveraging Yourself, Your Skills & Your Knowledge - Participants will learn how to pull on their "untitled" talents to help them negotiate salaries and promotions in their careers. Participants will also learn how to identify and capitalize on their latent talents and skills.

Breakout 3: Career Paving: Creating and Understanding Your Career Strategy - Participants will learn some of the key elements of building a successful career strategy. They will gain insight into the when, how and why of job hunting, hopping, and career shifting.

Event Agenda

8:30 a.m.- Registration & Breakfast
9:30 a.m.- Welcome
10:00 a.m.- Keynote: Keith Wyche, Leadership Consultant and Author
11:30 p.m.- Book Signing – Good is Not Enough by Keith Wyche
12:00 p.m.- Lunch/Networking
1:00 p.m.- Break-Out Sessions (Each session will be 60 minutes- conference attendees choose 2 out of 3 sessions to attend) 
3:30 – 4:00 p.m.- Learning Dialogue and Wrap-Up

Herman Miller, Inc. Greenhouse
10201 Adams St
Holland, MI 49423