Greater Oklahoma City Chamber “Elevates” Careers
Vol.8 Issue 4
Oklahoma City Convention Center

Have you ever wanted to enhance your career, but didn’t know where to begin? The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber recently held an event at the new Convention Center downtown, called “Elevate.” This professional development conference hosted two keynote speakers and twenty-eight break-out sessions, where attendees could learn how to improve their skills. Sessions ranged from creating a culture of inclusion, and championing equitable advancement, to developing your cultural competency, in naming a few. It is important for each employee who wants to excel, to demonstrate that they want to improve through training.

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is one way to communicate with management about potential opportunities in professional training. It is important for each individual to demonstrate that they want to improve by expressing and researching their training needs. With the strong support of Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) leadership, it is especially important for all individuals, including those of diverse ethnicities and abilities to pursue their own career goals.

Breakout Session One – Jennifer Maynard, M.S., Artio Services, Improving Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Resolution Through the Arts

Employees can seek out professional training, and then share potential opportunities with their supervisors. The recent “Elevate” program in Oklahoma City inspired several employees in attendance to share their sentiments.

James (JE) Smith from the FAA Academy said, “I found all of the presentations to be very insightful and I garnered some useful tools to implement in my daily routine as a manager.” He continued, “Overall, I picked up some gold nuggets, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone seeking professional development perspectives outside of the MMAC.”

Breakout Session 2: Matthew Palmer, Heartland Payment Systems, Leading People Unlike Yourself: How to Thrive as a First-Time People Leader

Paige Teel from the Office of Facility Management described this event by saying that it was, “Engaging, motivating, and inspiring with lots of information on how to excel in your career and personal life! I thoroughly enjoyed each session and would highly recommend others to attend. It definitely exceeded my expectations!”

Kelly Petty from the Enterprise Services Center enjoyed the track, Championing Equitable Advancement most. She learned about mentorship vs. sponsorship while stressing the need to be inclusion-intentional. She adds, “I learned a lot that I will definitely use in my day-to-day world, and I would eventually like to join a mentorship program.”

Matt Taylor from the FAA Academy said that Elevate was, “A must-go-to event for anyone wanting to sharpen their leadership skills. It’s essential to invest in yourself and take time to reflect. This event had many great tracks, and I believe there was something for everybody.”

Dr. R. Murali Krishna, Integris Heath, Keeping Balance: Mind Brain Skills and Resilience Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Life

Shelly Fuller from the Office of Facility Management was also in attendance and had this to say about Elevate. “The topics of the breakout sessions spanned subjects which widely appeal to the business community such as leadership, influence, sales, business growth, workplace culture and diversity, and personal health & wellbeing. The speakers were informative, and thoughtful, with an interest in passing their insights on for the betterment of the community.”

Jeffrey J. Martin from the Enterprise Services Center said, “The breakout session speaker choices were very diverse and connected with many different audiences and learners. This conference was a great way to network with other business professionals around the local Oklahoma City area. I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to attend!”

Stephanou Yonkeu from the FAA Academy enjoyed the Elevate event as well. Of the nearly 30 break-out sessions, Mr. Yonkeu thought the session Moving Beyond Politeness was especially enlightening. By the end of the class, he concluded, “I learned that Oklahomans rely on politeness to conduct business. While it often helps maintain the status quo, politeness as a contingency does not automatically lead to progress. The collective, brave, uncomfortable, and safe dialogue proved to be one way of pushing the politeness envelope to get to strategic diversity, equity and inclusion in our undertakings.”

Elevate Keynote speaker Linda Clark: Elevating the Ask: The Art of Transforming Perspective Through Inquiry

Rebecca McBride from the Enterprise Services Center described the event as empowering and motivating. “The two Key-Note speakers were great,” she said. McBride continued, “I went for the managing my team track, and each breakout session had a different theme with different presenters. Between the four sessions, I took something from each to apply to my current position.”

Elevate Keynote Speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Celebrity Psychologist, Creating the New Normal

Attendance in events like ‘Elevate’ are paid for through the individual’s organization. So, it is important for employees to research and coordinate with management for approval. As presenter Tee Hicks from Gannett and the Oklahoman says, “Ask, and Ye Shall Receive,” when considering what to add to our toolkits. One of the most important things about your career is getting the conversation started.

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