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SGForum returns in person to go “beyond the blueprint”


The Network for Young Professionals held its third annual edition of the SGForum on June 11 at the Gillioz Theatre. The half-day forum marked the first return to in-person events for the YP group, and more than 200 Springfield-area young professionals took advantage of the opportunity to network, engage, and learn about how they can go “beyond the blueprint” to build a better version of themselves, their workplace and their community.

The day began with an opening keynote presentation from Jeremy Pietrocini, a senior consultant and executive coach with Gallup. He shared his insights into the importance of having people with different strengths to complement each other in the workplace – and not being afraid to lean into your own strengths.

He told the group to think of themselves as stars, with their strengths as the points. If you focus on your weaknesses, he said, you’re just filling in the spaces between, and taking away from what makes you the unique star you are.

The opening keynote was followed by sessions with Michelle Houghton and Kate Alsup, co-founders of the weekly podcast The Bravery Board, who talked about Building Your Brand – finding what makes you come alive and putting your ideas into practice to make your community better.

Next up was a panel discussion led by Network Vice-Chair Dee King, who spoke with area young professionals who each have a different but successful take on networking. They covered a wide range of approaches, from the idea that networking can happen anywhere to how you approach networking if you’re naturally an introvert.

The panel was followed by a presentation from Tim Rosenbury, the city’s Director of Quality of Place Initiatives. He talked about why Place Matters, and he offered updates on projects and initiatives around the city that are intended to make Springfield a better place to live and more competitive for jobs and investments.

The day concluded with a closing keynote from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. The mayor, who also visited Burrell Behavioral Health’s Crisis Center during his trip to Springfield, talked about his journey from law to public service, the importance of not always taking the easy path, and how to connect with the work you do and ask if you’re really making a difference in the lives of others.

Thank you to all the young professionals who took the time to participate in this year’s event and make the effort to learn a little something about themselves and their community. And special thanks to all the companies who sponsored the day’s event!

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