#Life@Acacia: Simmons Leadership Conference Energizes and Inspires

By Lisa Crewe | Posted on May 10, 2018

Acacia was well represented at the Simmons Leadership Conference, the premier women’s leadership conference in the world, with 11 employees in attendance. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day surrounded by some of Boston’s best and brightest, including my Acacia team members. Each session I attended was inspiring, and served as a reminder that we need to continue to elevate women’s voices — in the workplace, in STEM and at Acacia — to help pave the road to success for everyone.

Simmons Leadership ConferenceThe team representing Acacia at the Simmons Leadership Conference

I know I wasn’t the only one who left the conference feeling recharged and motivated! Some of our attendees shared their biggest takeaways from the event:

Nuzhat Alamgir, Talent Branding and Campus Programs Manager

“The session led by Raquel Eatmon, CEO of Rising Media LLC, stood out to me in particular. During her keynote she broke down 10 relationship building techniques to master networking events. One thing Eatmon said on the topic of engagement stayed with me, ‘if you aren’t inspiring or informing, you’re not a resource.”

Janene Asgeirsson, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

“Personally, I got a kick out of a statement made by Roopa Unnikrishnan, head of strategy at HARMAN International. During her speech she said, ‘Don’t roll your eyes. Engage.’ As a lifelong eye roller, this spoke to me! It’s better to be a part of the solution than lamenting the problem.”

Patricia Tervo, Configuration & Hardware Release Engineer

“Nely Galan, former president of entertainment at Telemundo, led a session that energized the whole room, ‘The Adelante Movement.’ She impressed on attendees to:’‘make fear and failure your best friends. Fear is not a fact, hold on to the things that scare you anyway;’ ‘Power is taken, not given;’ and, ‘be louder and braver, lead by example and pass the torch!'”

Xun Zhang, Principal Engineer

“Whitney Johnson, Co-founder, Rose Park Advisors’ Disruptive Innovation Fund, shared the following slide during her keynote. I think it provides a great roadmap for each phase of successful career development and is something everyone can apply to their careers, regardless of role or industry.”

Personal Disruption Framework

Ruby dela Torre, Senior Reliability Engineer

“Our whole team was impressed by Edie Weiner’s insightful keynote titled “A Break with History, and our Collective Impact.” Weiner is the president and CEO of The Future Hunters and one of the nation’s top futurists. She shared an interesting idea:

“Mankind is at the forefront of creating a new civilization, civilization alpha. Civilization alpha is at the technological frontier, when mankind has the potential to create or destroy a planet. While it is quite scary, it also enables us to feel more responsible. We need to put more thought in our actions, as they have great consequences for the future of our planet.’ Her bottom line was that we have to adapt to all the changes that are happening around us. We need to liberate our minds from old assumptions and institutional biases and evolve.”

Valeria Arlunno, System Applications Engineer

“Edie Weiner had some interesting insights into the different ways male and female brains process information. She said the male brain is efficient, it understands the problem and focuses on solving the problem. But the female brain is effective, tacking the problem from many different angles before claiming it’s solved.”

Renee Pianka, Chief Human Resources Officer

“While each of us left the conference with their own set of takeaways, I think we all left with a commitment to pay this information forward, sharing it with the other women in our personal and professional lives. This was a terrific conference, one of the best I’ve attended, and I’m looking forward to next year’s!”

Well said ladies! Did you attend the conference? What was your experience like? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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