By Ronak Parida, DLE Marketing/Content Creator Intern, Junior at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Four Berkshire-based professionals who will connect in a few weeks at the DLE 2022 Leadership Immersion share their expectations for their experience. Read their stories.
Erica Barreto, one of the DLE’s newest members, feels the Leadership Immersion can take her to new heights. The recipient of a grant to attend through her employer–the Berkshire Black Economic Council–this executive assistant looks forward to getting a leadership boost. “As a young professional woman of color, there are always barriers in the workplace. I want to build more trust in my capacity to lead.”
One schedule highlight for Erica is the opening session Create Connections From Differences with Dr. Lynne Vincent of the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management. She hopes to gain a new perspective on creativity. “I’m interested in finding creative and innovative ways to adapt to challenges by leaning into my resilience.”
DLE Membership Committee member and President of Boatman Shoes, AJ Bowman is ecstatic to attend an in-person event for 2022 and gain new communication skills. “Growing up, I always had a slight stutter to my speech, so I am very tuned into public speaking. Communication is a key skill that opens doors, especially when you own a company.” Fortunately for AJ, a lineup of world-class speakers awaits to open up the world of communication through their presentations, breakout sessions and small-group coaching.
DLE member Lauren Russo, a financial advisor at Berkshire Money Management, was the very first registrant for the Leadership Immersion. She recognizes the impact of DLE programs on professional development, noting the selection of six DLE leaders as 40 Under 40 Berkshires winners last month.
Admitting that she does not have much formal leadership training, Lauren looks forward to gaining new techniques and tools. “I am a young female financial advisor and there’s been a lot to overcome to present myself as a confident person, especially when there are clients twice my age and approaching retirement.”
A big draw for Lauren is the in-person format of the Leadership Immersion. “The fact that it is in-person is a big motivating factor; I do not get as much out of a virtual webinar. Being in-person allows me to focus and think in a whole different way.”
Kamea Quetti-Hall has been hard at work since returning to the Berkshires after graduating from Occidental College in Los Angeles recently. Her new job as Communications Coordinator at the Berkshire Black Economic Council is her “first step” into the professional world. “It’s a huge learning curve,” says Kamea of her transition into the workforce.
She plans to seize the dividends of networking that the Leadership Immersion offers. “One of my goals is to expand my network within the Berkshires, and I am excited to meet as many people as possible.”
Kamea is heading to the Nov. 4-5 event with an open mind and compares herself to a “sponge,” ready to soak up everything she can regarding professional development.