The Future: Bring it!

Posted on November 8, 2013

In the wake of Create WV, I followed up with the great connections I made on a personal and on a business level. The three days in Richwood were well spent, living the Utopia that we are striving to create West Virginia into.

The keynote speakers had a lot to offer – and were very approachable. They painted a realistic picture of the Mountain State, but also gave a glance at a future of opportunity and chance. Dr. Thomas Fry of the DaVinci Institute stated that I was about four years ahead of the curve in my decision to take my business on the road, working from home and from co-working spaces.

Dr. Gregory Bowman, JD – the professor of law at the West Virginia University College of Law – stated that I could be one of the four entrepreneurs that turn the economy in West Virginia around, a humbling statement that will make me strive for the growth and well-being of our state even more. I enjoyed Dr. Naomi Stanford’s insight on how we should all be teachers and students alike so that not a skill does go unused – and Jon Gensler’s definition of leadership as ‘disrupting your own people at a rate they can stand’ really spoke to me.

I met with Bob Henry Baber – a Mountain State poet, artist and activist – and discussed American poetry. He presented me with an original piece of memory art, and thanked us for using a piece he dedicated to Richwood – which is on permanent display at the Public Library – as the cover artwork of the Create WV program. I played the Blues with Lady D. out of Beckley along with fellow attendees and a great combo from Charleston. And I discussed diversity in WV from an immigrant’s perspective with Korean-Americans, African-Americans, Irish-Americans and representatives of the Jewish community.

I am looking forward to my continued role as an organizer for CreateWV – it is exciting to learn about the communities we will take the conference to, as they are the building blocks of a successful future in the Mountain State. I thankfully look to Rebecca Kimmons for providing great leadership, she tirelessly made sure that while thinking at 30,000 feet we were grounded in our actions and made things happen. And Jeff James’ positive and analytical mindset fueled the conversion from a ? to a ! too often to recall.

If you ask me what made Create WV 2013 a success, there can be only one answer – mayor Bob Johnson and the people of Richwood, who gracefully prepared a place where the conference on the future of diversity, entrepreneurship, technology and education gave the 230 attendees and the organizers a glimpse on how exciting, rich and diverse our future can be!

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