Hundreds of young professionals from across the Tristate will gather for Cincinnati HYPE
's 11th annual Bold Fusion
event at Horseshoe Casino on Thursday, Aug. 13. The team behind the event is bringing together a group of speakers who truly encapsulate the theme of moving forward, both as individual professionals and as a city.
The lineup includes a keynote address from Robert DeMartini, CEO of New Balance
athletic shoes/apparel. His message promises to encourage attendees to not only "move" and stay active but also have the courage to "move and shake" within their communities by getting involved.
The event's ambassador speakers are all local indivuduals who plan to further highlight DeMartini's message.
Mark Jeffries, founder of GoVibrant
, will talk about his company's message of getting out and moving within your community. Dr. Chalonda Handy of Children's Hospital Medical Center will also speak at the event along with Chris Moore, creator of the transit app Bus Detective
Bold Fusion is and always has been half networking opportunity, half professional enrichment seminar. Over the last decade, however, the event has evolved along with the city itself. The dozens of young professional happy hours and network events we see every week were few and far between in 2004, when Bold Fusion announced its first event.
Julie Bernzott has been involved in the program since the beginning. At that time, Bold Fusion was the result of a brainstorm by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and focused primarily on drawing young professionals into local leadership roles.
"So much has happened in Cincinnati in 10 years," says Bernzott, senior manager of HYPE (Harnessing Young Professional Energy) programs for the Chamber. "Today, young professionals have a much stronger voice in the community."
Unlike 2004, Bernzott and her team don't have to find a speaker who offers young Cincinnatians a voice. In 2015, they already have one.
"We look for speakers that have a powerful message about career opportunities, community involvement," she says. "As a part of the HYPE initiative, we want to put on a great event for people to meet other people and connect."
The Chamber's HYPE program focuses on retaining young professionals in the city. With the many positive changes happening across Cincinnati's urban core, it's becoming easier and easier to convince talent to stay in the area.
"My job was a lot harder in 2006," Bernzott says. "Being excited about being here was a lot harder of a message."
Bernzott sees this year's event as sign of Cincinnati's rapid progression over the past several years, specifically since 2008. The speaker selections also mark a shift in focus from previous years.
"For the past couple of years, we've had authors as speakers," she says. "It's a totally different feel this year — (DeMartini) will actually share how he manages a company."
With Cincinnati's entrepreneurial spirit in full swing, his message will likely be well received.
Get more information about or register for the Aug. 13 Bold Fusion event here