In May, more than 400 young game changers gathered for United Way of Central Maryland’s Emerging Leaders United (ELU) Young Professionals Conference.
The sixth annual, day-long conference was a sell-out, and featured a series of panels, workshops and presentations based on advancing personal, professional and social change.
The President of Johns Hopkins Hospital and founding Co-Chair of ELU, Redonda Miller, kicked off the day and urged attendees to embrace their unique position to drive change both within their corporations and as individuals.
“The potential of our Millennials is enormous. You are socially connected and engaged. You embrace diversity. You are confident and know how to make yourself heard,” said Miller.
According to one attendee, “The ELU Conference provided me with the ‘ah ha’ moment to reignite my passion and drive to give back to the community and to stand up to make a difference.”
A diverse and energizing array workshops covered topics including social innovation, entrepreneurship, advocacy, goal setting, networking, time management, community outreach and more.
“When energetic and hopeful professionals convene in one place, the passion is palpable. This is what happens every year at the ELU conference,” said an attendee.
The day’s final event was a panel discussion on the rise of an innovation economy in Baltimore. Panelists included Plank Industries’ Tom Geddes, Innovation Village’s Richard May, Emerging Technology Centers’ Deborah Tillett and Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures’ Christy Wyskiel.
“It’s been terrific seeing so much learning, networking, and philanthropy all under one roof today. That’s what ELU’s all about. We all have our own paths, and ELU is where these paths converge to create something powerful,” said Whitney Harmel, ELU Vice-Chair.
United Way of Central Maryland also recognized the “Philanthropic Five” award winners—five young game changers who are leading the way for social impact in their communities through volunteering, mentoring and philanthropy in central Maryland. This year’s winners are:
Congratulations to the winners, ELU members and all attendees for their willingness to change the odds for the better in their communities and beyond. “If you’re worried about Baltimore’s future, be encouraged. What’s coming is unstoppable and destined. It’s us,” said conference attendee, Heidi Klotzman.
Special thanks to the event sponsors: CareFirst, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Loyola University, Comcast, Wells Fargo, BrightView, The Shelter Group, BGE, M&T Bank, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Saul Ewing, Ayers Saint Gross, First National Bank, GBC, PNC Bank, WR Grace, Venable, Kastendike, Transamerica and Randstad.