On January 18th and 19th, Torchbearers hosted their opening retreat to welcome the Class of 2019 and returning members to a new year. This annual two-day retreat acquaints new and returning members to each other, their leaders, and the vision of the organization as a whole.
Over the snow touched weekend, they focused on instilling their recently formed purpose statement of igniting young change makers to shape Akron. On Friday evening members gathered in the newly reimagined Bounce Innovation Hub, which served as an ideal setting for the buzz of energy amongst the group present. The former B.F. Goodrich plant has been transformed into a space for entrepreneurial innovators to have access to the essential support they need to establish their start-ups in their respective industries.
As the night progressed, Torchbearer members also gained understanding surrounding the signature Park East Project. This collaborative community project will be a year-long initiative with several partner organizations involved in the overall development of the Akron Community. Samantha Coldwell, 2019 Torchbearer President, introduced the project and a gave a high-level overview of the organization’s participation in meeting key goals. Akron leaders Dan Rice and John Judge spoke of how the project was born, priorities for the project, and the specific role members of Torchbearers will play over the year. They shared the vital message that this is a project meant to build trust amongst shared spaces in the Akron Community. Every aspect of the project has been instilled with bringing in the residents directly impacted by changes in the shared Park East space. Torchbearers specifically is working to build a fitness trail that serves as a way to keep park visitors engaged with the spirit of Akron along the towpath.
The next morning, Torchbearer members gathered in the Considine wing at Akron Children’s Hospital. The building’s name sake William H. Considine, was honored at Torchbearers 2019 Anniversary event, held on February 21st, 2019. The day was filled with team-building, orientation to the organization’s goals and strategic plan implementation, and brainstorming surrounding The Park East project. In the spirit of building trust with the residents of Park East, any ideas generated will be shared with the community for their final approval.
“This is a really good group to be a part of! Having been a part of the Marketing and Communications team, I can tell there is a level of energy and engagement that shows this group is willing to bring their best to the community table,” says Zinga Hart, Marketing and Communications Co-Chair for 2019. Torchbearers wrapped up their event by imploring that members know that what you get out of Torchbearers is based on the effort you are willing to invest.