Concord chamber nurtures tomorrow’s leaders

The Concord Chamber of Commerce has recently begun to focus more on providing professional development for its members, especially young professionals.

This year, we introduced the inaugural Young Professional Leadership Program – Community Builders Leadership Quest. Twelve young chamber members took the initiative to further their careers and learn leadership skills to better serve the community. They completed the program this June.

Over six months, leadership coach Robert Huffman focused on the strengths of each individual. He explored their “builder talents” and how to utilize these talents in the community and workplace. Every person has a different set of top talents, and these are what make each individual unique in how they lead.

For example, the top four builder talents of Melissa Rea, the chamber’s director of programs and marketing, are relationships, knowledge, independence and delegator. Building relationships is an important aspect of working for a chamber, so it is fitting that this is her No. 1 talent.

The group worked on individual presentations featuring a specific product, process or goal they would like to achieve personally or professionally. These presentations improved over time with feedback from peers in the group. They shared new ideas while they saw which leadership skills emerged.

The chamber also wanted to hear from young professional members regarding their expectations from chamber membership. Chamber staff sat down with a group of young members and discussed future chamber activities and programs specifically designed for the younger generations. The chamber wants to ensure that we are providing the programs and resources that our members want and need.

On Sept. 26, the chamber will host a three-hour “Manager Momentum” seminar with Huffman. I am sending two of my young staffers in the hopes that they will learn skills to help them one day become leaders at the Food Bank.

Young professionals are the leaders of tomorrow. We want to help them become board members, business leaders and community leaders. As a young-ish professional, I am grateful the chamber is investing in this group today so we can thrive in the future.

For more information on becoming a member of the Concord Chamber of Commerce, please visit or call (925) 685-1181.