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Refresh Leadership Simulcast Seeks to Build Better Leaders PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Stephanie Crider   
Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Express Employment Professionals takes its commitment to matching employers with qualified candidates seriously, but there is much more to this organization and its commitment to the community it serves. 

“We want to help local businesses and organizations grow and improve and consistently do well,” said Brad Loase, owner of Fayetteville’s Express Employment Professionals. 

For Loase, that means not only finding and providing qualified candidates to fill local and regional employment positions but also identifying and developing good leadership candidates for their clients. The Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast is all about that: building better leaders — leaders that will help businesses grow and prosper while moving communities forward through strong economic development and civic involvement. Scheduled for April 15, that is the purpose of the annual Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast. This is the event’s sixth year, however, this year, Loase has partnered up with Up & Coming Weekly, the Fayetteville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Fayetteville I-95 Holiday Inn and local sponsors to take it to another level. This year, they have added an all-day Shop Local Business Expo showcasing local businesses and organizations, a Leadership Keynote Luncheon featuring the notable Denise Ryan, a Leadership workshop  and a networking Leadership Reception co-sponsored by the Holiday Inn and Chamber of Commerce. And, with the exception of the Leadership luncheon, Express Employment Professionals and sponsors are hosting the entire event free of charge to the local community. Voluntary Donations of $10.00 will be accepted for the Kidsville News! Literacy and Education Foundation, a local nonprofit (501 c3) organization that provides free reading and educational resources to all K-6 grade students and teachers in Cumberland and Hoke Counties. 

 “Leadership is very important in motivating employees and growing communities. It is an ongoing process that we all have to nurture, constantly encourage and develop,” said Loase. “There are several things that people always bring up when asked about their jobs. One of them is what leadership qualities and capabilities does their supervisor or boss have; this has always been the key to of what makes a company or organization successful.” Any  business owner, manager, community leader looking to gain insights and a better understanding about leadership can gain from The Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast. 

This year’s Celebrity Guest Speakers are Liz Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Daymond John. They bring a variety of humor, valuable insights, fresh perspectives on leadership and management strategies all from very different life experiences and points of view.  “I am very excited about the line-up,” said Loase. “I have heard all three speak; they are all great speakers and each has a great message to communicate.” 

Liz Murray known for her memoir about her life, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness and her book My Journey from Homeless to Harvard which was a feature movie on the Lifetime Channel titled: Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story. Murray has taken that difficult experience in her life and now uses it to help others.”

Dan Aykroyd is an actor, comedian, screenwriter, musician and businessman. From Saturday Night Live to The Blues Brothers and Ghost Busters, Aykroyd has entertained America for the past four decades, but he is a keen businessman, as well. Aykroyd also co-founded a night club called the House of Blues in 1992. 

Daymond John is the co-star of ABC’s Shark Tank. He got his start in fashion and has since become a master of branding. “Daymond John embodies the American dream. He had an idea and went for it, and grew one of the biggest most successful enterprises in the world. He is amazing,” said Loase. “I think that each speaker will have something unique and valuable to offer attendees. This program has been very successful in the past and I think this will be our best Refresh Leadership Simulcast yet,” he added.

There is seating for 300, however, Loase noted that they expect a full house. Although the doors open at 7:30 a.m. for check in and the Continental Breakfast, the program will begin promptly at 8:30.  There will be breaks in between the speakers for networking and visiting the Shop Local vendors and sponsors. The Leadership Luncheon with Denise Ryan will follow.  “Denise always has a great message,” he said. “We are also going to recognize Kim Robertson for her leadership as Principal of  Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School and for being not only Cumberland County’s Principal of the Year but also the Regional Principal of the Year. She is currently competing for the North Carolina title.”

Ryan is excited to be back in Fayetteville and is looking forward to the event. “I started my business in Fayetteville. It is a terrific place not only to start a business but to do business. In a lot of places it is hard to break in but you can do that pretty easily in Fayetteville because there are so many resources and incredibly friendly and supportive people here,” she said.

 Following the luncheon keynote address, Denise will also conduct a seminar titled Survival Tips for Leaders. This will be followed by a distinguished panel of experts and the business reception. There will be prizes and surprises all day long. Important: If you go remember:  You must pre -register at www.refreshleadership/live or https://www.cvent.com/events/2015-refresh-leadership-simulcast-us-/registration-bc3b4af633454e7db955f1e815d1e258.aspx?r=d6b5fbce-250d-469a-8ed6-63328b130ccc&refid=NC-North%20

This event is free all day with the exception of the luncheon. Tickets for the luncheon are $45 for nonchamber members and $35 for chamber members. Luncheon tickets (if available) will be $45 the day of the event. To register for the luncheon, visit the chamber site at  http://business.fayettevillencchamber.org/events/details/2015-refresh-leadership-live-keynote-luncheon-with-denise-ryan-5551.

Prayer Walk Brings Community Together As One PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Stephanie Crider   
Tuesday, 24 March 2015

“Give me your tired, your poor, 

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

Inscribed on the statue of liberty

A nation of independent thinkers, adventurers, entrepreneurs and lovers of freedom, America consists of every stripe and color of humanity. It is this diversity that makes America strong and unique, full of promise and potential. Sadly, these differences that should make our country stronger also divide us and throw up barriers between people and communities — even churches. Ask most Americans if this is their dream for their country and their children and the answer will likely be “No.” Yet here we are, divided by race, denominations, socio-economic status and more. It is hard to believe that this is what is right for America and her citizens. Jeremy Wright and Craig Morrison don’t believe this is America’s destiny. Neither do the 15,000 or so participants in the As One Prayer Walk on April 11. Thousands will gather at Festival Park for a prayer walk through downtown Fayetteville. There are no dividing lines here. Everyone is welcome.

“We decided to call this the As One Prayer Walk because it is all inclusive,” said Event Spokesperson Jeremy Wright.  “We are separated enough already. We want a movement that looks like the body of Christ should look.” 

Judging from the response, Wright and Morrison are not alone. Busloads of people are scheduled to come from Georgia and Florida and requests for lodging information have come from Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Clearly, there are many who consider America worth their time and prayer.

“The park opens at 9 a.m. There will be music and singing. The prayer walk starts at 10 a.m.,” said Morrison. “For the participants, this will be a silent walk, but there will be pastors and chaplains at every station praying aloud.”

The stations are scattered throughout downtown and include the Veterans Memorial, where participants will have the opportunity to pray for service members and their families; veterans and their families; and military leaders. 

The next stop is Fayetteville City Hall to pray for local leaders and also state and national leaders.

The walk stops at the Cumberland County Detention Center to pray for persons incarcerated and their families.

At the Market House the prayers are for racial diversity and for all racial barriers to be broken down.

Educators, students, teacher and the homeless will be the focus when the walk stops at the Headquarters Library.

As the walk returns to Festival Park, the focus turns to spiritual leaders. Singing and a short praise and worship ceremony rounds out the walk.

“The walk is about two miles. For kids or people who would like to participate but cannot walk that far, we have a station in Festival Park they can come to and pray and participate in the prayer walk that way,” said Morrison. 

The As One Prayer Walk is about more than just one day of prayer, though. While it is a celebration event, this is about a bigger movement to bring God’s people together to make a difference in the world around them. Breaking down the walls that divide them is just one piece of the equation. 

“This really is a unifying event,” said Wright. “I was at McDonalds on Skibo Road earlier this year. I am a black guy, but I saw an older white couple come in wearing the As One T-shirts and I had to go over and talk to them. We were automatically united because of our shared experience.”

Morrison shared a similar story. “About two months after last year’s walk, I was at the mall and saw someone wearing an As One T-shirt. I went over and said ‘Hello,’ and it was like we were family. We shared stories and I introduced them to my family. This is what we want to see all over. It is all about relationships.” 

There are indicators that change is on the horizon and that barriers are falling down. 

“God’s people know what we should do but it doesn’t always happen that way,” said Wright. 

It seems that more and more, local pastors are inviting each other to visit and preach at churches throughout the community. They are building relationships between the congregations. Organizations like Operation Inasmuch and Habitat for Humanity have always brought people together, but Wright and Morrison see God working here, too, and in a very personal way.

“One of our church partners donated an acre of land. We donated it to Habitat for Humanity. They are going to build four homes on that land. It is all interconnected,” said Wright. “We were praying about how to make a difference, someone else was praying about what to do with this plot of land, people at Habitat were praying about building homes for families and families out there were praying for a safe place to live. It all came together because of prayer.” 

“Operation Inasmuch started here and has gone around the world,” said Morrison. “People are working together, people are coming together and doing good in the name of Jesus.”

Most any believer will testify to the power of prayer, and the same is true for Wright and Morrison and the other initiatives they support. 

Walk the Halls is a another silent prayer initiative that takes place the day before school starts. Participants walk through the schools and pray for the students, teachers, administrators and for the entire campus. 

“Two days before Walk the Halls, we only had two campuses to pray for,” said Wright. “Within just a day we were able to add more and more campuses and on the day of the event, we had 13 campuses. We will be doing it again when the year-round schools start in July and the traditional schools start in August.”

With the As One Prayer Walk just around the corner, on April 11, there is still time for pastors to register their churches or register to pray at one of the stations. There is time for individuals to plan to attend. T-shirts are available at the website www.asoneprayerwalk.org. Morrison encourages all participants to purchase a T-shirt not only as a show of unity on the day of the walk but as a way to stay connected throughout the  year with others who participate in the event. Visit the website and follow the As One Prayer Walk on twitter, Facebook and instagram. 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 March 2015 )

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