More than 150 professionals gathered at The IDEAL Conference hosted by Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) on September 18-19 at The Garland in North Hollywood. This one-of-a kind, sold out event was a remarkable opportunity for business owners and non-profit professionals to ignite, discover, engage, advance and level up through 40+ inspiring speakers and 20+ powerful sessions! Attendees from all types of industries, from across California, combined to create a highly successful inaugural conference!
“As leader of a large non-profit in Sothern California, with over 1,000 employees, I noticed that most of our staff were either traveling out of state or driving to downtown Los Angeles to attend a conference. The San Fernando Valley was missing a professional development opportunity that’s local and cost effective. After strategizing with my team, we decided to take action by hosting the first local and affordable conference of this kind in the Valley,” said Dr. Michael Olenick, CCRC’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “Taking on a challenge and seeking growth opportunities is part of CCRC’s culture and history. In the past 15 years of its 40+ history, CCRC has tripled in size, growth and impact. This is largely due to the entrepreneurial spirit of the agency’s leadership.”
CCRC kicked off The IDEAL Conference with an Exclusive VIP Roundtable. Led by experts in leadership, strategic growth, technology, and advocacy, the VIP attendees were able to connect and learn in an exclusive and intimate setting. “As leaders, we are not always able to step out and invest in training, but I thought the roundtable discussions covered topics that are really relevant to our day to day operations, and each topic really built on one another, essentially creating a sandwich, that was very digestible. I was able to take these tools that were very practical and I can’t wait to implement,” Andrea Castellanos, an attendee from Chrysalis in Los Angeles.
Attendees were energized as they started day two at our Small Business & Non-profit Summit where Councilmember Paul Krekorian welcomed the audience. An opening panel on Coalition Buildingfollowed and was full of noteworthy talent including moderator Dr. Michael Olenick (CCRC), Pete Weldy (Silicon Valley Community Foundation), Jackie Thu-Huong Wong (GRACE), Karla Pleitéz Howell (Advancement Project California), and Donna Sneeringer (CCRC). The panel shared the tools and importance of small entities coming together to form a larger voice to engage with elected officials. “Candidate education it is a tool non-profits and philanthropy can use to work with candidates during the course of political campaigns to make sure these organizations are talking about the issues that matter to them – before the candidates get elected,” held Pete Weldy.
When we built The IDEAL Conference, our plan was to offer six tracks in Marketing, Leadership, Technology, Business Development, Policy & Advocacy, and Research – giving attendees the flexibility to customize their sessions based on their individual needs. Some of the most popular sessions included: Getting Accountability Right, Building the Bench, Journey Based Selling, Leading from the Middle, and Hashtags and Spam: Legal Consideration for Online Marketing! Sharing her thoughts, Ashia Dillard, an attendee, “The IDEAL Conference has been wonderful. We have met so many people that are involved in organizations that are truly changing hearts and minds. On top of the people I have met, the instructors have been phenomenal sharing with us how we can motivate our team, ways we can philanthropic, and ways we can advocate.”
In today’s economy, most consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Xers, prefer to support businesses and brands with a proven track record of corporate social responsibility. During the Social Good Panel and luncheon, an esteemed panel discussed the importance of integrating social impact programs into the DNA of an organization or private company. Led by moderator Warren Riley (NPO Solutions), attendees heard from companies who were able to scale their business by implementing a purpose business driven model, including Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter (The Mother Company/Tell Stella), Jessica Salinas (Headspace, Inc.), and Rhea Trinanes (LA Promise Fund).
Social impact and the ability to come together as non-profits and businesses to ignite change continued as we closed the conference with our keynote speaker, Shiza Shahid. Known across the world as an advocate for equality, education and social impact, Shiza captivated everyone with her story of growing up in Pakistan, the “second worst place to be born as girl”, being namedTIME’S 30 Under 30 People Changing the World, and one of Forbes “30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs”. The audience was visibly moved as Shiza shared her work as the Co-Founder and Founding CEO of the Malala Fund, and her journey with Malala from being shot by terrorists to visiting the White House and then becoming the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The IDEAL Conference would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors including Pacific Premier Bank, Bolton & Company, Cresa, S&L International, VenBrook Insurance Services, AK Vending and Coffee Services, Envision Consulting, Matadors Community Credit Union, Hilton Los Angeles/Universal, Saenger Associates Executive Recruiting Consultants, The Gift Mint, Ultipro, Bleenk Marketing, Sprint, Staples, American Eagle, Best Promotions, Peach and Creative Bridge.
We also want to thank all of our esteemed speakers for sharing their time, talent and knowledge of today’s hottest topics!
The IDEAL Conference brought together the best and brightest industry leaders from across California and professionals who to want to level up. Together, we tackled some of the most prevalent challenges we face in today’s society. As mentioned by many attendees, it was truly the ideal experience.