Leadership Conference features GHC faculty and keynoters

GHC faculty and staff women leaders share their experiences of being a woman in a leadership role during the Women in Leadership speaker panel. (From left to right: Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Lisa Jellum, Dean of Business and Professional Studies Melanie Largin, Professor of Communication Travice Obas, Cartersville campus Dean Leslie Johnson, Dean of Humanities Dr. Jessica Lindberg and Assistant Vice President of Academic Resources and Retention Michelle Lockett.)

Ashley Hall, Editor-in-Chief

The second annual Charge Into Leadership Conference was Friday, Oct. 14, on the GHC Cartersville campus. It was coordinated in conjunction with the GHC School of Business and Professional Studies and Student Engagement to bring strong leaders to the college and teach attendees how to use leadership skills to forge the life they envision for themselves.

The conference proceeded between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with three breakout sessions led by GHC staff and other speakers and two speaker panels: the Women in Leadership panel and the Entrepreneurship panel.

There were 96 total attendees with 30 of them being high school students hailing from the Youth Leadership Bartow program of the Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce.

Keynote Speaker George Mitchell tells the audience that they need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and stay motivated on their path. (Photo by Ashley Hall)

Shanika Turner, Associate Professor of Business Administration, said the purpose of the conference is to teach students about leadership.

“We give them many different examples of leadership with our keynote speaker, with our panels and our breakout sessions, and so, it’s really focused around leadership and showing great examples of leadership and how to be a great leader,” Turner said.

“We were very excited to be able to open it up to a little bit of the community to bring in some high school students so they could experience the Leadership Conference as well,” Turner said.

Keynote Speaker George Mitchell tells attendees of the Charge Into Leadership Conference the importance of work ethic. “If you work hard, you’re going to be blessed. Everything that you touch is going to turn to gold,” Mitchell said. (Photo by Ashley Hall)

The keynote speaker, George Mitchell, is an Atlanta native currently residing in California. He works in Corporate America in financial services and licensing agents to help with investment securities and helping families become financially independent.

“The biggest thing is understanding what you want,” Mitchell said. “I think the biggest thing is just really recognize what your weakness is but put a lot of focus on your strengths because your strengths are something that’s a part of you.”

Mitchell said that people need structure in their lives to be successful, and for him, that structure was band.

“You know how the military is, it’s very structured, everybody’s on one accord, and so, it just taught me a lot of discipline,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s the main thing that helped me become the great leader that I am today.”

Division Chair of Business and Professional Studies, Joy Hambrick, said that when it comes to making the most out of one’s free time, enjoyment is more fulfilling than obligation. (Photo by Ashley Hall)

Joy Hambrick, Division Chair of Business and Professional Studies, led a breakout session about having a healthy work-life balance.

“You’re learning as a leader, you’re supposed to be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the knowledge that I hope to impress on [attendees] is that that’s not a good life to live,” Hambrick said.

She said that leaders need to have a balanced life between work and leisure in order to give their best to their profession and their team.

Grace Belisle, a Woodland High School student in the Youth Leadership group, said “it was really interesting to see how balance is really, really important, and how there’s different types of balance and different things that you need to do to be in a satisfied position.”

H.A.N.K. Music and NYLA XO are both independent music producers who are married and own their own recording studio. Their breakout session, Mindset Mastery, breaks down how people can change their mindsets to focus on what they want out of life and how to execute that vision. (Photo by Ashley Hall)

Alec Morris, a GHC Associate of Science major, said that his favorite breakout session was Mindset Mastery led by H.A.N.K. Music and NYLA XO, independent music producers who own a recording studio.

“The most important thing that I could take away from their interview is to keep your passion on your mind and to always remind yourself of what your passion is because I feel like the main point in living is just to pursue what you love,” Morris said.

Morris added that while the conference provided good general information on leadership, he would have liked to see more in-depth guides on how exactly some of the breakout session leaders got to the point they are at today.

“I would want to apply the thing I learned here by having a more consistent schedule and just aligning what I want to do with what I actually do,” Morris said.


The Time Utility and Work-Life Balance breakout session gained a full audience. The topic of a healthy work-life balance has been controversial as of late with the trend of “quiet quitting.” (Photo by Ashley Hall)

Courtney Ringo, a GHC student pursuing a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management, said that she plans to use the things she learned at the Leadership Conference to help her earn a master’s in human resources.

“The No. 1 key to being a good leader is communication and listening skills,” Ringo said. “You know that, but you don’t really realize it until you hear all these really successful people explain some of the things and how – that really makes a huge difference.” Ringo added that she is going to become a better listener so that it will help her in her career and general life.

The women GHC faculty and staff making up the Women in Leadership speaker panel mingle in the Student Center lobby before the panel starts. (Photo by Ashley Hall)

Turner said that she is grateful of the faculty who led the breakout sessions and the panelists in the Entrepreneurship and Women in Leadership panels. She also stated that she is developing an entrepreneurship podcast called “The Loop” that will be available on the entrepreneurship webpage on the GHC website.

“That’s what I want students to see. If they have that passion and they really have that idea that they can really push for it and do it and be successful, just like the people here at the leadership conference,” Turner said.

“People should try these conferences out and things that the school offers because it’s actually pretty cool,” Ringo said.

The guests in the Entrepreneurship Speaker Panel shared their experiences with starting their own business or product and gave pointers to attendees for what to expect if they plan on pursuing similar endeavors. (From left to right: Shirlene “Ms. Juicy” King Pearson, Chad Conely, Raychel Jones, H.A.N.K. Music, NYLA XO, Matt Freeman, Marcus Freeman, Marcus T. Turner, Dr. Dena Turner, D.C. and Avery Pope.) (Photo by Ashley Hall)