TUPELO – A sold-out crowd of 720 community leaders from all over Mississippi and parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Texas gathered at The Orchard to attend the Community Development Foundation’s one-day leadership conference, IGNITE.

IGNITE’s line up featured a diverse array of leadership speakers including former senior Vice President of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines, Ginger Hardage, who debunked five lies about organizational culture; New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin; and local chef and entrepreneur Mitch McCamey, who shared his story of success and performed a live cooking demonstration on stage.

 “CDF’s third annual 2020 IGNITE conference at The Orchard was a tremendous success today," said CDF Board Chairman Sam Pace said."700-plus attendees laughed, learned and absorbed principles of leadership that will benefit them at work, home and in their communities.'

Other speakers included author and humor engineer Drew Tarvin, who discussed the importance of humor in the workplace and how to get better results while having more fun; author of Uniquely You and Community Capitalism and CEO of Southwest Michigan First Ron Kitchens, who shared his inspiring leadership message about creating thriving multi-generational teams; and author of Moment Maker Carlos Whittaker, who concluded the day with a lesson on creating moments and the importance of living your life instead of letting your life live you.

The 4th annual IGNITE leadership conference is set for January 21, 2021. Visit igniteleadership.com for updates and ticket information.


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