October 10-12 | Greensboro, NC

Young Smart and Local: A talent network organized by
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Across the nation, cities are realizing that talent will drive their ability to grow.

Small, mid-size, and large metropolitan areas have developed different strategies for building their talent pipelines: from focusing on college access and completion to engaging and retaining students studying at local institutions.

Young, Smart and Local is a two-day conference designed to inform and engage leaders from higher education, business, government, economic development, and community organizations on best practices around talent growth and attraction.

Campus Philly, the nationally-known talent retention initiative in Philadelphia, and Action Greensboro, a national model for collaborative philanthropic investment in economic development, hosted this conference in Philadelphia on April 9th and 10th, 2019. In partnership with Greater New Orleans, Inc., and Campus Tulsa, the conference was hosted for its second year in Greensboro, NC from October 10th to 12th, 2022.


Monday, October 10, 2022

1:30 – 3:00 pm

Conference check-in and Networking

3:00 – 3:45 pm

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Opening Remarks: Cecelia Thompson, Action Greensboro and Jennifer Kebea, Campus Philly

Welcome Remarks: Congresswoman Kathy Manning

3:45 – 4:30 pm

Panel: Equity & Inclusion – A Pulse Check on Progress

Panelists: Jonathan Long, VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce; Randy Williams,  VP and Associate Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Associate Professor of Education, Elon University; Taylor Cobb, Co-Managing Partner of Reify Solutions

Moderator: Tawanna Black, Founder and CEO, Center for Economic Inclusion

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Steal This Idea

Brief lightning talks from cities showcasing a successful initiative, kicking off the conference with inspiring stories from across the country.


5:00 – 7:00 pm

Mayor’s Reception & Panel

Mayors from Greensboro, NC and Tulsa, OK will reflect on what talent growth has meant to them as city leaders at a reception and panel discussion.

Moderated by Lucas Grindley, Executive Director of Next City

7:00 pm

Dinner in LeBauer Park

Dinner for purchase at food trucks and park kiosks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Bus transportation from the Downtown Hyatt to UNCG.

8:00 – 8:45 am

Breakfast and Networking

Sponsored by Greater New Orleans Inc.

8:45 – 9:00 am

Steal This Idea

Brief lightning talks from cities showcasing a successful initiative that can be replicated elsewhere. 

Presenter: Daphine Barnes, HBCU Innovation Internship Program, Greater New Orleans Inc.

9:00 – 9:50 am

Breakout Sessions

Session 1: Universities Evolving with Workforce Trends

Panelists: Dr. Stephanie Luster-Teasley, NC A&T State University College of Engineering; Valerie Hernandez, VP Talent Acquisition, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

Moderator: Dr. Brittany Mercado, Elon University Love School of Business

Session 2: Affordability of Place: The Impact of Wage Trends and Cost of Living

Panelists: Susan Koehn, VP of Talent and Industry Partnerships, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce; David Reeves, Executive in Residence at Marquette University and former President of OpenGov

Sponsored by Livability

10:00 – 10:50 am

Breakout Sessions

Session 1: Connecting and Supporting Underserved Talent Populations

Panelists: Kenneth Mayes, Institute for Veterans and Military Families /Onward to Opportunity; Bramley Crisco, Campus Greensboro; Daphine Barnes, Women in the STEM Economy, Greater New Orleans Inc.

Moderator: Kyle Farmbry, President of Guilford College

Session 2: New Models of Earn While You Learn

Panelists: Paris Woods, YouthForce NOLA; Perry Sholes, Corporate Internship Leadership Institute (CILI) ; Lark Jackson, Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT)

Moderated by Ann Flynt, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro 

10:50 – 11:30 am

Networking Break

11:30 – 1:30 pm

Lunch and Keynote

How Anchor Institutions Drive Impact for their Regions

Patrick Harker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, will discuss the economic impact of anchor institutions – higher education and hospitals – on regional economies. Anchor institutions are among the largest employers in many regions and can drive economic development and growth. With changes in both healthcare delivery and the higher education landscape, these sectors may also be facing significant disruption. President Harker will speak about the role anchors play in regional economies. His speech will be followed by a moderated discussion between President Harker and University of North Carolina at Greensboro Chancellor, Frank Gilliam.

Sponsored by Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Livestream sponsored by NC Carolina Core.

2:00 – 2:50 pm

Breakout Sessions

Session 1: Measuring and Benchmarking Talent Retention & Attraction

Panelists: Kate Pangallo, Director of Talent Strategy, Indy Chamber; Wade Britt, Managing Director, Bâton Global; Jen Kebea, Executive Director, Campus Philly

Moderator: Gareth Blayney, Account Executive, Lightcast 

Sponsored by Lightcast 

Session 2: Cradle through Career Pathways 

Panelists: Charrise Hart, Ready for School; Ready for Life; Jonathan Gardner, Gardhouse; Meka Sales, The Duke Endowment 

Moderator: Brandon Oldham, George Kaiser Family Foundation  

Sponsored by Ready for School, Ready for Life

3:00 – 4:00 pm

So What will Happen to Downtown?

Close to half of office workers (42%) have not returned full time to their offices. Stories abound predicting the demise or transformation of the central business district. This panel discussion will feature a national expert on the downtown office market in conversation with experts from cities working to improve their downtowns in light of a hybrid schedule for most office workers. Attendees will come away with data and ideas about the future of downtowns in the era of work-from-home.

Panelists: David Downey, President, IDA; Ian Anderson, Senior Director of Research, CBRE

Moderator: Christopher Chung, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Sponsored by Downtown Greensboro Incorporated

4:00 pm

Wrap Up & Happy Hour

Join conference attendees at South End Brewing for Happy Hour.

6:00 pm

Dinner Around Town

Dinner on your own or with conference guests.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Bus transportation from the Downtown Hyatt to UNCG.

8:00 – 8:45 am

Breakfast and networking

Sponsored by Campus Tulsa

8:45 – 9:00 am

Steal This Idea Session: Brief lightning talks from cities showcasing a successful initiative that can be replicated elsewhere

  • Presenter: Rebekah Kantor, Tulsa Tomorrow 
9:00 – 10:30 am

Marketing Your City for Talent

Mini Keynote; Allie Maniglia, Manager, Talent Attraction with DCI and Patience Fairbrother, Vice President, Brand & Digital Strategy with DCI.

Rapid fire presentations and discussion with: Bob Ross of Choose Topeka, Cecelia Thompson of Boomerang Greensboro, Jessica Raby of NCTriad.com and Dominique Clarke and Daisha Batson of Tulsa Remote.

Moderated by Justin Harlan, Managing Director of Tulsa Remote.

Sponsored by Development Counsellors International (DCI)

10:30 – 11:30 am

Closing Keynote: The Future of Work is Flexible

Charlie Warzel, co-author of Out of Office

The future of work isn’t completely remote, or completely in-person, or whatever difficult, exhausting situation you endured during the pandemic. The future of work is flexible: in location, but also in the blocks of time we dedicate to the job. That flexibility has the potential to make the workforce more inclusive than ever: to people with child and eldercare responsibilities, for people outside of major urban areas, to women and disabled workers and people who, forever whatever reason, do their best work when not tethered to an office desk for a set number of hours every day. Building on hundreds of interviews with “knowledge” workers, managers, and CEOs from different sectors, this talk will focus on rethinking the building blocks for a resilient, productive, and engaged workforce. 

11:30 am – NOON

Ah-Ha Moments and Closing Remarks 


Book Signing








UNC Greensboro


Greensboro Chamber of Commerce