Young Leader Meeting

2020 Young Leader Empowerment Experience

9:30 AM

Virtual via Zoom

About This Meeting

The 2020 Young Leader Empowerment Experience is a digital spin on our signature annual conference developed by Young Leaders for Young Leaders.

Join us for a powerful morning as we explore how we can empower ourselves, others and our communities through impactful keynotes, thought-provoking and action-oriented breakouts, and of course, digital networking. Although 2020 has drastically changed the way we live our lives, we hope you will leave the experience empowered to make positive changes.


Empowerment Experience


Join the highest caliber under-40 crowd at the region's premier Young Leader event. Join us for a powerful morning as we explore how we can empower ourselves, others and our communities through impactful keynotes, thought-provoking and action-oriented breakouts, and of course, digital networking.

Check out our YouTube Playlist:

Sumreen Ahmad

Global Change Management Lead

CLOSING KEYNOTE – Empowerment for Change – Community: Leading in the New – In Pursuit of a Better World for All

Key Takeaways:

  • Leading organizational cultures that drive innovation prioritize the quest for empowerment at the core of their efforts. The role of the virtuous leader, with increased demand for compassion, vulnerability and courage to lead particularly in times of crisis.
  • Corporate social responsibility has heightened focus on the moral and ethical obligations of a company with regards to their employees, the environment, their competitors, the economy and back to the communities in which they serve.
  • Empowerment relies on a high degree of interconnectedness between individuals, businesses and communities. Partnerships between the public, private and non-profit sectors are no longer an option, they are essential.
  • At the intersection of the for profit and nonprofit sectors, we are better positioned to challenge the assumptions about the way things are and more importantly can and should be.
  • As business leaders, we have the added responsibility to model the behaviors and influence others to drive meaningful change.

Session Podcast:



Sumreen Ahmad is a Global management consultant with 20+ years’ experience in leadership development, human capital and organization design, journey and change management, and strategic planning. Sumreen currently serves as the Global Change Management Lead for Accenture, responsible for leading organization wide transformational efforts. Extensively experienced in mobilizing and leading global initiatives, Sumreen spearheaded the efforts to develop the professional standard for all change management practitioners worldwide. Sumreen is also a recognized expert in building inclusive, equal and innovative cultures and has spoken at a variety of industry conferences including; Working Mother Media, Diversity Best Practices and The Forum for Workplace Inclusion. Finally, Sumreen is committed to translating her professional skills back into community building by driving strategy development for the non-profit community and delivering youth leadership training. She has served as the Strategic Planning lead for Zaman International since 2011 – a SE Michigan based non-profit humanitarian organization that provides wraparound services to women and children in extreme poverty – recognized for the impact delivered as one of this years’ CNN Top 10 Heroes.

Jacob Brown

Optimize Agency

BREAKOUT SESSION – Empowerment of Others – Leadership: Fail Forward – Empower Others

Key Takeaways:

  • Your core values are what you lean into when put in stressful situations and it's also how you lead - your team, your family, and yourself.
  • Visualizing what you wish to do and achieve in life is the beginning of obtaining that very thing. Speak what you seek until you see what you've said.
  • Empowering others doesn't take away from your success or your growth - it enhances it.

Session Podcast:



Jacob Brown is an award-winning digital and creative director, leader and professional with over 15 years of experience within the digital, marketing, advertising, and automotive industries. He's worked with and for some of the most progressive companies in North America as well as abroad. He is addicted to brand evolution, allergic to status quo and learning something new every day. #FailForward

Greggory Garrett

CEO & Managing Director
CGS Advisors
Podcast Host
You, Me, and Your Top Three

OPENING KEYNOTE – Empowerment of Self: Success Is Not an Accident – Building Your Virtual Advisory Board

Key Takeaways:

  • An understanding of the different types of personal advisors that leaders typically keep in their inner circle.
  • Ideas and hacks for current and emerging leaders on how to develop their own advisors for their next brave leadership assignment.
  • Motivation to be brave by listening to and learning from the stories of leaders that walked this path before.
  • The impact of our instagrammable world on the loneliness gap felt by leaders.

Session Podcast:



Greggory R. Garrett is the CEO and Managing Director of CGS Advisors, a boutique strategy and innovation advisory firm. As such, he pushes the limits of corporate cultures by developing and implementing unique strategies that capitalize on technology-oriented disruptions to industries and markets. In 2017 he founded and chairs Connected Detroit Innovates, a membership-based “business renewal accelerator” made up of Chief Innovation Officers.

He is often referred to as a visionary leader who prides himself on recognizing common sense solutions for complex problems and motivating teams to reach well beyond typical boundaries to achieve greatness. Gregg is an experienced international keynote speaker & lecturer, he is the host of the business leadership podcast – “You, Me, and Your Top Three”, and he recently authored a best-selling business leadership book, Competing in the Connecting World.

Gregg supports the entrepreneurial and venture capital communities. He is a top-ranked, lead mentor in the Techstars global accelerator network. He sits on several advisory boards for private companies in the USA and Canada and invests as part of the Enterprise Innovators Angels Club in Detroit Michigan.

Prior to founding CGS Advisors, Gregg was the Chief Strategy Officer for IT & Innovation at Volkswagen Group of America. As such, he developed and led the Strategy and Innovation practice for one of the largest automotive companies in the world. His teams defined the corporation’s strategy for how to apply IT, developed and managed innovation programs focused on “the connected world”, and managed a set of support functions including market research, business planning, and a corporate venture capital program.

Before his time at Volkswagen, Gregg led the development and execution of the Corporate Strategy department and reestablished and operated the Marketing and Business Development functions as a Sr. Vice President for T-Systems North America (Deutsche Telekom’s business division). Before assuming this role, Gregg led a consulting group for gedas USA. During his tenure at gedas, Gregg was instrumental in launching the Enterprise Architecture Interest Group, a cross-industry consortium focused on advancing the practice of Enterprise Architecture. Prior to joining gedas, Gregg was part of Ernst & Young’s and Cap Gemini’s management consulting practices based in the United States. Gregg’s academic training includes a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State’s Broad School for Executive Management and a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from Oakland University, as well as certificates from Upsalla University (Sweden) and the Helsinki School of Economics (Finland).

Gregg is a “maker”: he founded his first firm at the age of 16, a collegiate lacrosse program by 20, and his first industry consortium by 29. Gregg is a teacher: he authored a Harvard Business School case, has spoken at over 75 global conferences, and continues as adjunct faculty and guest lecturer at several business and engineering schools. Gregg loves to lead: beyond the for-profit advisory boards, Gregg volunteers on several university boards, a not-for-profit association, and has been coaching lacrosse at all levels of the sport since he was 14 years old.

Gregg has received numerous professional and civic accolades. He is a member of Oakland County’s 2015 40 under 40, a recipient of Oakland University’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award, and a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, amongst others.

Lee E. Meadows

Professor of Management
Walsh College

BREAKOUT SESSION – Empowerment of Others – Leadership: It's Called Leadership for a Reason!!

Key Takeaways:

  • How to lead to empower.
  • How to self assess for leadership skills and areas for improvement.
  • How to develop team members to maximize their leadership skills.

Session Podcast:



Lee E. Meadows is a Professor of Management at Walsh College and a Consultant with over 30 years of experience working in the field of Leadership Development.

His practical experiences include having worked at Michigan State University, General Motors, the Kellogg Foundation, EDS, A.T. Kearney Consulting Services, Con-Way Transportation Services and Davenport University Eastern Campus.

He attended Michigan State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters in Counseling and a Ph.D in Higher Education.

He currently serves as board president for 3 non-profit organizations.

When he is not teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, management and Human Resources for Walsh College, he is developing leadership programs for several organizations.

He publishes monthly articles on his LinkedIn page and remains active in working with youth.

He is the author of the business leadership fable: Take the Lull by the Horns: Closing the Leadership Gap and the Lincoln Keller Mystery Novels.

Mariam Noland

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

BREAKOUT SESSION – Empowerment of Others – Leadership: Leading Change – Empowering Yourself, Others, and Community

Key Takeaways:

  • Insights around philanthropy and its tie into developing yourselves, others, and community.

Session Podcast:



Mariam C. Noland became the founding president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, in 1985. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has distributed approximately $1.1 billion through more than 71,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties.

Noland has had extensive experience leading community foundations. She joined the staff of the Cleveland Foundation in 1975 where she served as program officer and secretary/treasurer. In 1981, she became vice president of the Saint Paul Foundation, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Prior to her work in the foundation field, Noland was on staff at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, and Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio.

She currently serves on the boards of trustees of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Downtown Detroit Partnership Inc., and the Bipartisan Policy Center (in Washington DC). She previously served as the vice chair, board of trustees, Henry Ford Health System and served on the board of trustees of Independent Sector and of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Noland also chaired the board of trustees for the Council of Michigan Foundations and served as vice chair of the board of trustees of the Council of Foundations.

She was named 2015 Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News and received the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award. She was also honored with the 2010 Women and Leadership in the Workplace Award and the “Others” Award of the Salvation Army.

Ms. Noland obtained her Ed.M. from Harvard University and her Bachelor of Science from Case Western Reserve University. She and her husband, James A. Kelly, live in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.

Share This Meeting