Empowering New Business Leaders Experience RVA

For over four decades, LMR has served as Richmond’s premier community leadership organization, connecting, educating, and preparing area leaders to confront the challenges facing our region with an innovative spirit and a reliance on collaboration and partnerships.

Through our different programs, events, and workshops, as well as our flagship Leadership Quest program, we have supported and uplifted hundreds of leaders over the years from a wide variety of fields, from diverse backgrounds, and with different areas of focus.

We’ve been able to provide these resources because, above all else, we know how important it is to be responsive; to hear what’s happening on the ground, and to internalize the feedback we receive from participants and supporters from all across the Richmond Region.

In short, to adapt our programming to fit the evolving needs of the region.

It was that commitment that led to the creation of Experience RVA, our newest program.

Why Experience RVA?

There’s a quote from entrepreneur and philanthropist Quint Studer from his book Building a Vibrant Community that we feature prominently on the page introducing Experience RVA. I’d like to share here:

Communities spend a lot of time and energy attracting new businesses and employees. But we often don’t consider what happens once the leaders arrive…When individuals feel they belong to their community, they are more likely to become engaged.”

This quote speaks to so much of what we were hearing from business leaders in our community and approaches we were seeing other leadership programs embrace.

The idea is simple, as most good ideas are: thriving communities often attract business leaders from other areas who are eager to get to work right away, but wouldn’t these individuals be better prepared to serve their company and their community if they had a better understanding of the region they now call home?

We thought the answer was a resounding “yes,” and our supporters, friends, graduates, and funders agreed. And that’s how we began work on Experience RVA, a two-day, intensive program designed for business executives to gain a deeper understanding of the Richmond Region.

Through a highly curated deep-dive featuring issue expert speakers, off-site visits, and quality discussion, Experience RVA participants will gain vital insight into our region’s history, institutions, leadership, collaborations, and pathways to community engagement.

This is a tremendous opportunity for business executives who are either new to the Richmond area or new to their role to discover creative ways to further embed their business or nonprofit within the community.

Who Benefits?

But an important question remains: is there a benefit to the average Richmond resident?

And I would like to answer that by sharing LMR’s mission statement: “Leadership Metro Richmond strengthens our region by connecting diverse leaders and preparing them to serve.”

To us, that mission undergirds all that we do and drives every program, every partnership, and every project we undertake.

For us, Experience RVA begins with newly-arrived business executives learning more about how the Richmond Region works, the residents, the culture, the systems in place, different challenges, opportunities, and more.

But our hope and our goal is that the experience not only inspires our participants but that those lessons gather steam and the impact ripples out across the area.

If a participating executive has a more thorough knowledge of our community’s leaders, advocates, and changemakers, they know who to form relationships with in order to foster understanding and launch bold new collaborations.

If that same executive wishes to invest in a specific project or engage with a specific community or organization, they will have a more thoughtful understanding of the historical, cultural, and political realities that continue to impact the issue-area they hope to address.

And the list goes on.

Experience RVA is all about educating and informing new leaders, encouraging them to dig deeper, empowering them to engage more, and challenging them to use their leadership positions, in coordination with their communities, to have a positive and long-lasting impact.

We at LMR are proud of what we aim to accomplish with Experience RVA, and we can’t wait to get started.

Guest Writer: Eric Steigleder (LMR ’21), Principal, Eric Steigleder Consulting


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