Key Takeaways from Lt. Governor's Young Professionals Conference

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Posted by Laura Beth Breaux on 10/25/2017

On October 12, members of EYP joined over 100 professionals at Devon Tower for Lt. Governor Todd Lamb's Young Professionals Conference. This day-long, annual event was a great way for young professionals to interact and network with people in all types of industries, as well as hear from some inspiring business leaders in Oklahoma. 

The event began with free professional headshots (provided by Hymer Photography) and networking. Attendees enjoyed lunch while Lt. Governor Todd Lamb shared opening remarks. Afterwards, young professionals had the opportunity to choose two breakout sessions to attend throughout the day. Topics included:

  1. "Climbing the Corporate Ladder" - Panelists discussed how young professionals can earn their spot at the table with C-suite executives.
  2. "The Informed Young Professional" - Panelists discussed how news has evolved for this generation of professionals and the importance of being informed.
  3. "Oklahoma's Innovation Economy" - Panelists explored the growing entrepreneurial opportunities in Oklahoma, including start-up environment as well as state and workforce opportunities and challenges.
  4. "Be Heard Without Being Elected" - Panelists answered the question of how young professionals can have a voice in policy without running for office.

Attendees also enjoyed discussions on the OKC Thunder, Philanthropy and Oklahoma's beer scene. Below are some of the key takeaways that EYP's got from the conference. 


Matt Boydstun

"The biggest take-away I had from the conference was that you have to find your passion; work isn’t work if you love what you do. Every successful person we heard from—and we heard from some very successful people—started with a passion and built their career from that.

A few other random tidbits:

-Find a mentor and take the lead in that relationship—put in the effort.
-Accounting is important; be able to find the story in the numbers.
-The Law of Indirect Effort: your networking will rarely payoff in a direct way. Referrals and business will come through multiple layers of connection.
-No one owes you anything. You have to work hard. “Embrace the grind.” I am replaceable.
-Executives must be trustworthy, knowledgeable, and social; two-out-of-three might get you to the top, but you won’t stay for long.
-We live in a culture where you can cold call business and political leaders and ask them to lunch.
-Be available to political leaders. Make yourself an expert they want to reach out to."

Bryan Clifton

"I attended the breakout session with Catherine Sweeney of the Journal Record, Ben Felder of The Oklahoma, and Clifton Adcock of The Frontier. My favorite takeaway was that local politics, news, and business have a greater impact on the life of most Oklahomans that what is happening at the national level."

Jessica Lyle

“While attending the Lt. Governor’s Young Professionals Conference I quickly picked up on a key theme throughout the day – Grow Who You Know.

During the “Climbing the Corporate Ladder” breakout session, the panelists gave key pointers on qualities that young professionals should embody - such qualities included trustworthiness, talent and honesty. Another great tip from INTRUST Bank Market President Tom O’Keefe was to have your own personal vision statement for the future. He stated, “How do you know where you want to go if you don’t know where to go?”

In the “Be Heard without Being Elected” session, the discussion on public policy was very intriguing. The panelists were three very bright young professionals who have dominated in the public policy arena. The number one tip I took away was “Show up and be likeable – opportunities will find you if you are present.” David Lewis, VP of Franchise, Express Employment Professionals.

If I had to sum up the experience with my all-time favorite tip, it would have to be from ESPN NBA writer, Royce Young, “Commit and Embrace the Grind”.

Haley Schulman

"I loved hearing Joel Irby of Stonecloud Brewing speak. As a fellow member of the up and coming West Village district of OKC, the opening of Stonecloud and repurposing of the historic Sunshine Cleaners has been an integral part of the development and awareness of this growing and vibrant district. Stonecloud's imprint on OKC goes far beyond a cold beer." 

Dan Slusarchuk

"I went to the panel of journalists specifically to hear from the Journal Record's Capitol Reporter Catherine Sweeney because I listen to her on KGOU's NPR station every week.  The topics ranged from sensational headlines attracting readers to uncovering inhumane prison conditions resulting in unpunished murder.  I also chose to attend the innovation panel.  This topic is one I feel strongly about and Joshua Fahrenbruck brought it home with OK Innovate's initiatives.  Basically if you want to start a business, your in the right state to do it.  The challenge is funding and there are several organizations actively working on that."


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