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Meet the Summit Speakers!

The OpportUNITY Summit is just around the corner, and we couldn't be more excited about the fantastic speakers we have lined up for you!  

From social entrepreneurs to nonprofit and local leaders, each speaker brings a unique perspective and expertise on how to use cross-sector collaboration to tackle our region’s biggest issues.

Emceeing this year’s Summit is Sara Lomax, president and CEO of WURD Radio, Pennsylvania’s only African American-owned talk radio station, and co-founder of URL Media, a network of Black and Brown-owned media organizations that share content, distribution, and revenues to increase their long-term sustainability.

Sara has interviewed countless community leaders and activists, giving her a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our region, and brings that same curiosity and insight to the OpportUNITY Summit. She will challenge the audience and speakers with thought-provoking questions and facilitate meaningful conversations to help us create positive change in our communities.

The Summit’s program features two engaging sessions where you’ll have the opportunity to hear from leaders from across the country. Here is just a small taste of what you can expect from these inspirational speakers.

Better Connection for Better Collaboration  

In this session, you will hear from John Kania and Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend as they outline how forming deeper connections and collaboration can help us uncover new approaches to the most intractable challenges.  

John Kania is co-author of the influential article "Collective Impact" and a recognized expert in the field of social innovation. He has spent his career working to build collaborative networks that can create lasting change in communities across the globe. At the OpportUNITY Summit, he'll share insights on how we can work together to tackle complex social challenges and create a more sustainable future. 

Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President of the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, is a passionate advocate for youth education and workforce development. She has spent years building partnerships across sectors to create opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. She'll discuss the importance of investing in our youth and strategies for creating pathways to success. 

(Pictured left to right: John Kania, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend)

Collaboration in Charlotte 

 In this session, you will hear from local leaders Clay Armbrister, Blair Stanford, and Malcomb Coley from Charlotte (pictured left to right), North Carolina, as they share the successes and challenges surrounding the Charlotte Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative 

Clay Armbrister, President of John C. Smith University, is a recognized leader in higher education and has a wealth of experience working to prepare students for careers in the 21st century. He'll discuss the role of education in creating a more equitable society and share insights on how universities and employers can work together to create opportunities for students and graduates. 

Blair Stanford is the Executive Director of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council under the Foundation for The Carolinas. She has a wealth of experience managing teams responsible for economic growth and prosperity in the Charlotte Region. She will share lessons she’s learned in her tenure and paths we can use to create similar prosperity in our region.  

A Partner at Ernst & Young, Malcomb Coley’s expertise spans many industries, including retail, mining, and insurance. Malcomb is actively involved with various boards, including the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, the United Way of Central Carolinas, and UNC-Wilmington, and is wholly committed to the building and development of his community. He will use his experience and expertise to speak on the importance of community engagement and how businesses can create meaningful impact.

(Pictured left to right: Clay Armbrister, Blair Stanford, Malcomb Clay)

At the OpportUNITY Summit, learn from and network with these innovative and inspiring leaders around the country. Register and join us on May 11th! 

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