LEADERSHIP & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The first and only event of its kind in West Texas, join us for the
Abilene Young Professionals Leadership & Development Summit. Activate curiosity and cultivate professional, personal and community growth through intentional development.
"AYP Leadership Summit is a conference designed to catalyze personal and professional develop and to assist those interested in growing and empowering a strong Abilene community. This event will not only help expand your professional network, but, you’ll walk away leading with a purpose, and adding value to your organization and to your career." - Samantha Baker, First Financial Bank
The theme "UNCHARTED" comes to the planning committee after observing life as a young professional amidst a global pandemic. The 2021 YP Summit will focus around moving forward and overcoming adversity. You can expect compelling keynote speakers, thought-provoking breakout sessions and specially designed opportunities to connect with fellow young professionals.
SPEAKERS & SESSIONS
Finding The Strength to Move Forward:
In difficult seasons, one of the hardest things to do is find the strength to move forward. When your life's purpose, career, and business depend on your ability to thrive while leading and serving others, no matter the circumstances, you must be equipped and encouraged to make your next move your best move - no matter what!
This empowering keynote encourages resilience amid adversity and provides participants with tools and resources to find their strength to prosper during their various pursuits.
Stay tuned to our social media pages as we announce each session and speaker!
STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR YOUR CAREER
THE SIDE HUSTLE
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS:
Alejandro Barrientos - A true born West Texan, Chef Alejandro started with one goal in mind. When he and his wife Stephanie, opened up their first solo food concept it was to bring unique and exciting flavors to their hometown. Over the years going from one food truck to two food trucks and eventually opening up a brick and mortar, they did just that. Chef Alejandro received his degree from the local college and earned his chops in the culinarily field by serving all of the West Texas area.
The restaurant has won several awards and recognition form The James Beard House in New York City and you can catch the Chef on a episode of Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network.
Aliza Gomez Brooks - Aliza Gomez Brooks is the founder and CEO of Blank Space Handmade, a company specializing hand-poured candles with customizable labels. Full-time, she is an Occupational Therapist, Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist and Team Lead at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Abilene.
Brandi Terry - After graduating from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Animal Science, Brandi furthered her education at Tarleton State University where she received a M.S. in Agriculture and published research focusing on IVF in cattle. In 2010 she and her husband, Kacey, moved to Abilene and soon after Brandi started her professional career as the Agriculture Professor for Cisco College. In her 10 years with Cisco College she has been very involved and served on various committees in addition to being the Meat Judging Team Director, Agriculture Professor, and recently took on a leadership role as the Pathway Leader for Agriculture and Business. In 2020, she decided to pursue her own business and launched b. marie bakery, which is a home-based bakery specializing in from scratch custom cakes and sweet treats. Recently, she launched a new personal project called Farm to Baked.
THE ENNEAGRAM AT WORK
Jennifer Smothermon - A Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Supervisor, Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Jennifer has been in practice at the Ministry of Counseling and Enrichment for over 20 years. There, she works with individuals of all ages, couples and families, and she serves as the Director of Development and as the Coordinator for Graduate Interns from 2 universities. She was appointed to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists in 2008 by Gov. Perry and was appointed to chair the board in 2016 by Gov. Abbott and continued to serve both on the board and on the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council until 2020. Jennifer is currently the President-Elect for the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. She is a clinical fellow in multiple professional associations and has had the opportunity to speak to numerous local, state, and national audiences on a variety of mental health and regulatory issues. Locally, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Junior League of Abilene, where she is currently a sustainer, and she is in leadership in the PTO and PTA at her children's schools. By far, her most important roles are that of wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
DEFINING YOUR WAY
Justin DeLoach - Originally from the small town of Littlefield, Texas, Justin moved to San Angelo and attended Angelo State University, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. After college, Justin held a variety of roles in the community where he gained valuable experience in donor relations and development.
Justin joined the staff of Children’s Advocacy Center of Greater West Texas, Inc. in 2018 and oversees fundraising and development as Chief Development Officer, working with donors to help build a strong base of support for the mission of CAC. Justin has a passion for using his talents to connect donors and community members with the work of CAC and sharing the great impact their gift has for years to come. He desires each individual to know the legacy they are building through their support to give hope to children and families in our community.
PAYING IT FORWARD
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
WOMEN'S EXECUTIVE FORUM
The Women’s Executive forum will explore challenges and opportunities many women face as leaders. This thought-provoking session aims to showcase many obstacles women face juggling careers while empowering all in attendance to seek mentorship and leadership opportunities.
The Women’s Executive Forum will feature Kaylie Banda of Front Bank Odessa, Major Tamekia Payne of the United States Air Force, Susan Wade of Hendrick Health, and Marelyn Shedd of First Financial Bank.
THANK YOU 2021 SPONSORS
Why are you attending Summit? To grow personally and professionally? To get more engaged in Abilene helping to make it the City you want it to be? You’re not the only one. The Abilene Young Professionals Leadership Summit would not be possible without businesses who care about the same things young professionals do - the community.
Because of businesses and organizations like these, we can make a difference. Please join us in thanking them.