Last Thursday, February 8th, Urban Initiatives hosted its first Board Panel event. We were so fortunate to have Karen Gladstone and Board members Patrick Croke, David Mahoney, and Jimmy Samartzis join 20 Associate Board members at the offices of IMC for a great panel discussion on community involvement, philanthropic topics and professional development. We had an hour of panel discussion with UI Associate Board Vice President Greg Friend moderating the discussion followed by industry focused table discussions with the panelists and UI Builders Board members Annie Couyoumjian and DeJuan Lever.
The panel discussion was a robust and lively conversation with the panelists around their individual starts in their professions, community development and philanthropy. During this portion of the program, each panelist discussed not only their own motivations but how they view Urban Initiatives as a unique organization in Chicago. The panelists were also able to provide useful insights on the continued development of the Associate Board and UI as an organization, as both continue to evolve and grow. UI Board Member, Jimmy Samartzis offered advice to Associate Board members to take their UI experience and apply it to their workplace: “so often in companies you’re just there and mundanely executing the day to day, but I always encourage folks to try to have a bigger impact on your job.”
The table discussions allowed the opportunity for Associate Board members to engage in a more focused small group discussion with the panelists and table discussion leaders. In addition to fielding questions and expanding on the topics discussed in the panel section, everyone was able to network and get to know each other better.
The goal of the night was to engage the panelists and continue to build and strengthen the ties between the Associate Board and the Board of Directors. Panelist Karen Gladstone summarized the impact of community involvement by saying, “there is a significant benefit to picking your head up and seeing your broader world outside of your work.” The night was a great success and we look forward to more opportunities to connect our Associate Board and our Board of Directors. A huge thank you to IMC for hosting this event!