Annual Leadership Summit expands to include non-GVSU students

GVL / Courtesy - Johnny Quirin
Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director of the Kids Food Basket and keynote speaker at the Leadershp Summit

Johnny Quirin

GVL / Courtesy – Johnny Quirin Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director of the Kids’ Food Basket and keynote speaker at the Leadershp Summit

Taylor Fussman

Grand Valley State University has always worked hard to give its own students leadership opportunities, but shifting the focus to other students is the goal of this year’s annual Leadership Summit.

College students from around the state have the opportunity to develop their own leadership skills in multidisciplinary aspects of this years’ Leadership Summit a statewide leadership conference that will be held on Feb. 20 in the Kirkhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

The event has been going strong for 19 years.

“Topics like personal branding, networking and self-marketing are so important in today’s ultra-competitive market,” said Suh Joon Lee, coordinator of the event. “Learning some of these skills can go a long way in making you stand out as a potential candidate.”

The day will consist of a keynote address, over 30 workshops for attendees to partake in, a leadership case study competition sponsored by Omicron Delta Kappa and various other leadership-related events.

Throughout the conference, students have the option to participate in themed tracks, which are composed of different workshop sessions and are used as a tool to help participants based on their interests and needs.

There have been some changes made to the Leadership Summit conference this year.

In the past, the majority of presenters have been from GVSU. However, this year’s conference will include presenters from different institutions, nonprofits and businesses in order to provide a wider range of perspectives and philosophies about leadership.

This year’s keynote speaker is Sam Davidson, a professional speaker, published author and social entrepreneur.

Davidson has spent nearly a decade starting companies and helping people launch their ideas, as well as speaking to college students, nonprofit professionals, or business audiences about leadership, entrepreneurship, service and the impact each has on the world.

In his keynote, Davidson will introduce students to “social entrepreneurship” by demonstrating how leaders can use their talents to benefit others.

Lee said the Leadership Summit conference will help students hone their skills as a student leader and learn valuable real-world applications.

“It’s a great opportunity to hear new ideas, develop new techniques and really maximize your ability as a leader in the context of our GVSU community,” Lee said.

Check-in for the conference starts at noon on Feb. 20 and the programs will run until 8 p.m. the same day.

Registration for the Leadership Summit is open until Feb. 19.

Payment is $20 for GVSU students or $30 for non-GVSU students, unless the student is part of a group that is sponsoring them.