DisruptRVA returns to VCU Business igniting innovation and well-being in the workplace
Author: Megan Nash
After a hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4th DisruptRVA information exchange returned with a bang on Wednesday, September 27.
Dually sponsored and hosted by the Institute for Transformative Leadership (ITL) and The Change Decision, the event gathered a mix of community members, faculty, staff and students, all driven by a shared goal: to make workplaces better for employees and the world.
The event featured a diverse lineup of 11 speakers, each delivering concise, impactful five-minute presentations, an approach reminiscent of the renowned TEDx format. With 15 slides at a brisk pace of 20 seconds each, presenters and attendees had their objectives: teach quick, learn fast.
The DisruptRVA speakers included:
- Amy Kocev, Learning and Development Manager, The LEGO Group
- Melanie Dorion, AGNP, Founder and Medical Director, Be Vital Healthcenter
- Kimberley Lewis Parsons, Founder and CEO, Bamboo Teaming
- Steve Perkins, Founder and CEO, Greenhouse Coaching
- James Wasilewski, Coach and Comedian, Haha to Aha | The Unconventional Fundraiser
- Kelley Powell Williamson, Chief Growth Officer, Wellist
- Gloria Gravlin, Director – Social Mobility, Capital One
- Kathy Claytor, Director of HR, Delta Dental
- Heather Turbyne-Pollard, CEO, Circle Center Adult Day Services
- Alexa Honeycutt, Student, Liberty University
- Suzanne Burns, Owner, Humble Haven Yoga
The event’s schedule was structured around significant moments, beginning at 5 p.m. with appetizers and drinks that set the stage for mingling and provided attendees an opportunity to engage with presenters. The official program commenced at 6 p.m., initiated by Dean Naomi Boyd’s, Ph. D. welcoming remarks.
Dean Boyd conveyed her excitement for the event’s theme, which seamlessly aligned with VCU Business’ year-long focus on disruptive innovation. “DisruptRVA perfectly mirrors our year-long focus on disruptive innovation. Embracing this change creates an environment for growth and ultimately positions VCU Business as a leading institution,” said Boyd. Todd Waldo, the Master of Ceremonies, skillfully navigated the event. The event was subdivided into three sessions, each accommodating four speakers with a five-minute time limit. Intervals between sessions allowed attendees to reflect and engage in discussions.
Each presenter offered unique perspectives and insights on pivotal workplace transformation topics ranging from introducing play into the workplace, establishing a ‘YES, AND’ culture, and how HR analytics can enhance various aspects of human resources management and employee well-being.
With a participation of over 50 individuals, both in-person and virtually, attendees raised a total of $3500 to support ITL’s ongoing leadership development initiatives, which include two seven-week professor and staff cohorts for leadership training.
“The event was a fantastic success,” said Chris Reina, Executive Director, ITL. “The speakers offered intriguing and novel ideas on how we can bring about more inclusive workplaces where everyone feels valued and experiences higher levels of well-being. Continuing with status quo leadership and organizational design will only result in further dis-engagement and stress. We need transformative ideas and transformative leaders to lead the way!”
Attendees closed the evening feeling energized and empowered, ready to initiate change in their respective workplaces with a renewed emphasis on employee well-being.
“Be on the lookout for future DisruptRVA events and get involved! We would love to hear from more speakers and host the event again at VCU in future iterations,” said Reina.
Event visuals and video recordings are accessible on the The Change Decision’s DisruptRVA website.
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