“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Lou Holtz
While this quote may seem like a cliché, it captures how Carolinas AGC has reinvented itself over the past year. None of us could have predicted or expected the challenges we would see in 2020. A few short weeks after our 2020 CAGC Convention, COVID-19 immediately changed all of our lives. Our CAGC Family, including the staff, membership and committees responded to the challenge. With an adjusted strategy, they changed and delivered through completely new online formats. They offered podcast, webinars, virtual luncheons, virtual happy hours, connect & learns, and the popular Summit, was even virtual this year. Not only did the team deliver the valued content provided in previous years, but also helped membership, and Young Leaders specifically, navigate the “new normal” of life with COVID 19.
Within the overall CAGC group, the Young Leaders adapted as well. We transitioned to online content, providing a virtual Young Leader Workshop, several roundtable discussions and finished the year strong with a virtual Young Leader Conference that hosted 125+ participants. We had keynote speakers Jennifer Pharr Davis and Rorke Denver, who gave great insight on how to persevere through tough times. I heard from many of our 2020 Young Leaders members how much they enjoyed this free, membership benefit.
To provide some background, the Young Leaders Program is designed to build the next generation of leadership within Carolinas AGC. The program provides a platform for emerging leaders to compare experiences (professionally and personally), expand their network, build leadership skills and give back to the communities they live and work in. Ultimately, the experience provides a new perspective each young leader can apply within their current role. This is especially important during challenging times like 2020.
Personally, I benefitted immediately from the online content. Roundtable discussions helped me understand and appreciate that my industry peers were going through the same challenges, such as managing a young family and adjusting to working from home. As an example, I was working from my closet and appreciated knowing other young leaders were doing the same (Traci)!
Looking forward to 2021, CAGC plans to celebrate its 100th Anniversary during their 101st year in November 2021 in conjunction with the Young Leader Conference at The Westin in Charlotte. The Young Leaders calendar for next year includes a new program, “Lessons with an Industry Leader,” where the YL’s will have an opportunity to have an open conversation with a CAGC Industry Leader regarding work, life, and anything else YL’s could benefit from. We will host our first “Lessons with an Industry Leader” virtually in February, but then hope to offer a hybrid option as the year goes on. We are also planning our Annual Team Building at the Whitewater Center in June, our reception at the Summer Summit in July, and hope to host various YL networking events throughout the Carolinas.
The 2020 YL Action Team will remain in place for 2021, but we are always looking for Action Team Partners to help us make our events a huge success. We have some great things on the horizon, and we will need all the help we can get! If you are interested in serving as an Action Team Partner, please contact Chelsea Andujar at email@example.com for more information.
Through everything that we’ve experience this year, the Young Leader membership remained strong, exceeding 200 members despite the reality that we could not meet in person. Thank you all for support and enthusiasm! We cannot wait to see you in 2021!
Adam Pfanmiller, McGriff
Chair of the Young Leaders 2020-2021