It was early late 2016 / early 2017 when I attended a panel on millennial and I had had it. There were NO millennial's in the room, and I was tired of hearing from older generations on their thoughts. I wanted to hear from an actual millennial and there were none to be found. Correction, there were a few, working the coffee stations and greeting people but no contributing tot the dialogue.
A month later, I sat in on another conference this one - on Diversity in the workplace, featuring surprisingly (or not surprisingly) a panel of boomer middle aged men - none of whom represented what one thinks of in diversity. Again, I left frustrated- how could this be? There are no successful millennial that are in the talent development industry?
A few weeks later at a Panel on the Beer Industry, I stared at a group of what you might call hipsters - a group of young guys spouting their take on the business of bear- I absolutely noticed an absence of anyone over 40. So, no one over 40 has had success in the beverage industry?
Does this sound familiar? One perspective being displayed? Only one group of people controlling a narrative? Bias left and right? Whatever happened to avoiding willful blindness - or more importantly allowing disagreement.
It occurred to me that panels are often a reflection of the group or topic and of course the organizer. I, however, wanted to capture multiple generations having a conversation and began a deep search to find a conference or a panel that would have it. As I spent over a year doing research- I had limited options. This type of panel format didn't exist and more importantly- WHY?
As I moved into 2017 I began taking this project more seriously. I have been blessed to have an amazing team of staff and mentors around me. It has been incredibly important to have different perspectives and points of view throughout this process. I don't ever assume I know everything and more importantly - finding a solid group around you that can challenge your conventional ideas is so important.
Dr. Maureen Orey and I met at a holiday party I hosted. I had a few simple rules- no playing blackjack with your business cards. Develop real relationships with a foundation of trust and respect. What resulted over the past few years of us meeting and nurturing a relationship - has blossomed into an exceptional business partnership, mentorship both ways, and a sharing of unique and often different perspectives. It was then that I realized- balance may be this unicorn we try to achieve- but perspective comes from multiple generations and honoring the differences between each person.
The Pentagon Panel was established to truly identify and have meaningful conversations and perspectives about topics in business and in life. Our first event, will be August 28 at 6:00pm in Downtown San Diego. Hosted by The Executives Women's Council at The University Club Atop Symphony Towers- we'll tackle the fun discussion of Women in Leadership- with a historic 5 Generation Panel- and a 2 Generation Moderation team.
I hope you will consider coming to support a project that I believe will truly change the landscape of panels, communication, and multi-generational dialogue in our local & global communities.
For more information visit: www.ThePentagonPanel.org
Maresa Friedman is a high impact strategist that works with brands, executives, of all ages. Known for her direct no bs attitude, GSD mentality and her ability to wrangle board rooms into submission. Maresa spends her days on the road as a certified speaker for a Google, and recently partnered with Forbes Education to get simple tactics she coined like Microtasking to help the masses GSD. In 2017, as the San Diego Wix Ambassador - Maresa led the a series free workshops & education for startups and entrepreneurs to build their web presence, more than 50 entrepreneurs got their sites off the ground. Named in the top 1% of Social Sellers on LinkedIn and voted Best of Strategy for LinkedIn ProFinder she also spearheaded a non profit competition that Forbes called "A one of a kind Non Profit Event". Maresa was recently named by People Maven as Best Public Speaking & Technology Influencer and is also a Top 10 Busines Travel Influencer. When she isn't on the road she is known by those closest to her by her other two titles - Wife & Mom.
Dr. Maureen Orey is an engaging international speaker, expert facilitator and executive coach, Dr. Orey's passion is to work with business leaders in local businesses, Fortune 50 organizations and non-profit associations . She helps them to stay afloat by improving their communication and leadership skills to build a diverse and resilient team. She is the published author of four books: 101 Ideas for an Influential Presentation (Learniappe, 2014), Communication Skills Training (ASTD Press, 2005 & 2015) and Successful Staffing in a Diverse Workplace (1995)
Dr. Orey is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), and was a Pilot Pioneer for that certification with the American Society for Training and Development. She is certified in Servant Leadership from the San Diego Leadership Institute, and is a certified facilitator of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Effective Project Management and Crucial Conversations. She holds a M. Ed from the University of San Diego, a B.A in Psychology from San Diego State University, and recently completed her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.
Her clients include Fortune 50 and 500 companies such as Boeing, Sony and Rolls Royce, as well as ATD, Scripps Healthcare, the US Navy, US Forest Service and more.. Maureen has been recognized as "Outstanding Instructor of the Year" by SDSU's College of Extended Studies, and the 2014 Finalist for Excellence in Customer service with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Born and raised in San Diego, Maureen is a proud mother of three children. She is passionate about achieving a great work/life balance. In an effort to stay fit and healthy Maureen has earned her Black Belt in Tang Soo Do, and is an amateur body builder in her spare time.. which lately isn't much!