“Confluence was initially created by the Future Industries Initiative, and both of these efforts are the results of Rome-Floyd 20/20, our community-wide strategic plan,” stated Doc Kibler, Chamber Chairman of the Board, State Mutual Insurance Company. “We recently began implementing of Part III of Rome-Floyd 20/20 which recommends new tactics to continue diversifying our local economy. Confluence helps our community identify these emerging and innovative sectors.”
Confluence will be the ninth event of its kind held in Rome since 2000. Formerly called “SpecTechRome,” short for “Spectrum of Technology Symposium,” the event was renamed and re-envisioned in 2012.
“The goal of the event is to impact local culture by encouraging innovation and creative problem solving,” added Conference Committee Chair Tonya Davis, BDD Consulting Services. “Confluence achieves this purpose by exposing an audience from all aspects of the community to inspiring ideas, businesses and processes and by showcasing disruptive ideas and experiences.”
“Confluence is about bringing together business executives, technologists, educators, entrepreneurs, students, and artists to create an environment for innovation,” adds Steering Committee Chair Willis Potts, Temple-Inland, retired. “The event involves a confluence of ideas and industries that position our community as a thought leader for the entire region. The Conference Committee has done a fantastic job assembling a line-up of top-quality speakers that will benefit the entire region, and I am delighted to be a part of this effort.”
The opening keynote speaker for the event, Mr. David Burkus, is the founder and host of LDRLB, (pronounced “leader lab”), a podcast that shares insights from research on leadership, innovation, and strategy. He is assistant professor of management at the College of Business at Oral Roberts University, where he teaches courses on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizational behavior. His work on leadership, creativity, and innovation has been published in numerous scholarly journals and practitioner publications. He is also a contributing writer for 99U, Creativity Post, and the Harvard Business Review blog. As a presenter, he has spoken on leadership and innovation to a diverse set of audiences, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to the U.S. Naval Academy. His most recent book, The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Ideas, was released earlier this year and will be the topic of his presentation.
“David is the perfect keynote for this event,” adds Charles Howell, Floyd Medical Center, Conference Committee member. “His new book explores how new and creative ideas are generated and accepted. For businesses, he will share how to encourage teams to create innovative ideas that build a sustainable competitive advantage. For education, he will share how to foster creativity among our youth and cultivate innovative students. For local innovators, entrepreneurs, and artists, he will share how new ideas can be more easily recognized and accepted. David’s message regarding new ideas resonates with the Confluence mission to cultivate a culture of innovation and creative problem solving in all aspects of the community.
Ticket sales have been launched and can be purchased through the event website confluencerome.org, where a full agenda is also available. Additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Sponsorships are also available.
“The Future Industries Initiative serves to identify innovation and technology related opportunities for the community,” adds Dr. Craig McDaniel, Technical College System of Georgia, Chairman of the Future Industries Initiative. “We are excited that Confluence will provide this opportunity for our local thought leaders to exchange with thought leaders such as David Burkus.”
Chaired by Dr. Craig McDaniel, Technical College System of Georgia, the Initiative also includes the presidents from Rome’s five colleges and universities (Berry College, Shorter University, Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Georgia Regents University), representatives of the newly re-established Georgia Tech regional office in Rome, the CEOs of Rome’s three medical institutions (Floyd Medical Center, Harbin Clinic, Redmond Regional Medical Center), the headmaster of Darlington school, Rome’s private international boarding school, the superintendents of Floyd County Schools and Rome City Schools, the two co-founders of the Initiative, Dr. J. Paul Ferguson, retired president and CEO, Harbin Clinic, and Mr. Frank Barron, retired, Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
The Confluence Conference Committee members include:
Conference Committee Chair Tonya Davis, BDD Consulting Services
Robin Abney, Harbin Clinic
Lamante Attaud, TENDO technologies
Jessica Bittle, Cevian Design Lab
Chris Carey, Logical Systems
Robert Darville, Ph.D, Shorter University
Steve Devine, Petz Enterprises
Robert Finley, NS Korp
John Grout, Ph.D, Berry College
Nancy Griffin, Communities In Schools
Charles Howell, Floyd Medical Center
Jo Hibberts, Georgia Power Company
Nina Lovel, VenueDog.com/Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Steven McDowell, Old Havana Cigar Company
Holly McHagge, Claremont House Bed & Breakfast
Sammy Rich, City of Rome
Ryan Simmons, Brand RED Studios
Noah Simon, Floyd County
Joel Wall, OnBoxx
Phil Wilson, OTR Wheel Engineering
The Confluence Steering Committee members include:
Steering Committee Chair Willis Potts, Temple-Inland, retired
Stephen Briggs, Ph.D, Berry College
Kenneth Davis, MD, Harbin Clinic
Peter Hjort, Southeastern Mills
Anne Kaiser, Georgia Power
Doc Kibler, State Mutual Insurance Company
Rick Mills, International Paper
John Quinlivan, Redmond Regional Medical Center
Leonard Reeves, MD, Georgia Regents University
Rick Sargent, Peach State Labs
Interested individuals can also contact Lowell Pratt, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.291.7663.