Ready, Set, Emerge!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

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Oprah often speaks of “aha” moments — those instances when everything makes perfectly good sense. It's one thing speaking about them, however, but to experience them occuring one after the other in a roomful of people is powerful. This was the scene at the inaugural Emerge summit held inside the Worthington at the Spanish Court on Saturday, March 2.

Emerge is the brainchild of growth and leadership coach Catherine Goodall, PR consultant and personal brand coach Naomi Garrick, and attorney-at-law and people developer Rochelle Cameron. The summit was a practical, self-empowerment workshop that had a clear goal — giving attendees the tools needed for them to become the CEO of their lives. To the self-help-averse this may sound like a bunch of woo-woo; however, the seven speakers allowed attendees to leave Emerge with a clear action plan on how to put a fulfilling life into action.

The summit kicked off with a seamless registration process, a Chas E Ramson breakfast buffet and professional headshots by Studio Craft. Moderator Terri-Karelle Reid got the crowd of almost 100 people ready to actively participate in a day of intense self-exploration. Within the opening pages of an accompanying workbook, the conceptualisers declared “Congratulations on making an investment in your most valuable resource — You!” This, coupled with Reid's upbeat welcome, framed the day as a not-your-average empowerment seminar.

Cameron opened the summit with a captivating presentation, “The Business of You”. In the presentation, she had attendees conduct a strategic review of their businesses which, fun fact; are themselves. From “bad mind” to procrastination Cameron had participants digging deep to unearth that which was keeping them from full self-actualisation. She was a tough act to follow, but the “emerging conversation” between entertainment maverick restaurateur and Dream entertainment director PJ Wright and Garrick held its own.

The armchair convo “It Was All a Dream”, between Wright and Garrick, revealed how Wright made his foray into the entertainment business and the Q&A afforded the audience further insight into how the entertainment maverick keeps his multiple projects on track. Another easy convo took place after a delicious lunch catered by Pink Apron. This time between Reid and NCB Capital Markets Manager of Regional Customer Experience and Channels Najah Peterkin. The “fireside chat” saw Peterkin addressing “How to Create Wealth by Paying Yourself First”. It's not everyone who can make sense of strategic financial advice and whether you're a single mother, new to the workforce or worried about retirement, Peterkin delivered credible strategies on saving and amassing wealth.

Question: Did you know that you're the walking and talking billboard for your personal brand? Let that sink in for a second. In “The Power of Your Personal Brand” attendees intently listened to Garrick's steps for creating and safeguarding their personal brands. From integrity and core values to presence on social media, the Emerge attendees thought deeply about developing personal brand mission statements and personal brand pitches. Garrick encouraged the audience to “keep adding your value chain and value ladder so that people see you as a leader”.

Main Event Entertainment CEO Solomon Sharpe went over his allotted time, but no one cared. No one. Not only did his “Flipping Your Life” presentation challenge attendees to step out, be adaptable and bounce back from disappointments, but it also made them ask the thought-provoking question: “Are you currently physically present at work but really planning your escape?” Sharpe is extremely engaging and his presentation was hilarious and honest. He has organically grown his event management company's business units “from the root to the fruit” and has sent the elevator back down for a number of young entrepreneurs.

Growth and leadership coach/business development executive Catherine Goodall debunked the adage “It's lonely at the top” by saying “If you bring people with you to the top it won't be lonely”. Simple enough. Goodall's presentation “Having a Leadership and Growth Mindset” had a holistic approach to leadership and focused on the relational approach needed to become an effective leader. From breaking down the defining moments in leadership to how to accept criticism, Goodall displayed why she's well-respected in her field.

Through a presentation entitled “Creating a Blueprint for Your Life”, Norbrook Equity Partners Executive Chairman Khary Robinson told attendees that “fear and failure are the biggest hindrances to success”. Robinson, a prolific business miner, shared his business failures with the audience and what he learnt from each in order to move on to the next venture. Robinson's blueprint includes studying successful people, ensuring that each win is bigger than the previous, learning from failure, surrounding oneself with business muses, and nurturing relationships. Robinson is also a big proponent of “paying it forward”, as giving time to those who need it teaches perspective, gives valuable feedback, builds support and attracts opportunity.

The summit ended with a networking cocktail reception and despite it being a long day, most of the attendees participated and made new connections in between sips of wines from Harbour Wines & Spirits and bites of delectable Banyan Foods jamosas. The well-executed event had a carefully selected team of presenters but what truly set the event apart was that it didn't give attendees a buffet of information that left them hungry for wisdom. Attendees left hopeful, not burdened with worry about how to take the next step. Emerge delivered on its promise of allowing participants to create actionable plans for their lives.

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