Kansas young professionals are ‘Achieving Heights’

Overcoming Obstacles Gov. Sam Brownback gives the closing remarks for the Kansas Young Professionals Summit last Thursday. Brownback, along with the keynote speaker Eric Alexander, shared messages on overcoming obstacles and negative influences.

Jordan Loomis / Washburn Review

Thursday, April 5, 2012 marked the third annual Kansas Young Professionals Summit at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center.

Hosting the event was Topeka’s young professional organization, Fast Forward. It drew a fair attendance.

“We ended up with about 350 participants,” said Paul Bossert, 2012 Fast Forward chairman. “It’s been a great turn out for such a wonderful opportunity to help attract young professionals.”

Eric Alexander, one of the summit’s key speakers and adventurer, ended up captivating his audience with his presentation.

“Alexander led the first blind expedition of Mount Everest,” said Bossert. “So his presentation talked a lot about overcoming obstacles and overcoming those certain kinds of people who say you can’t do things in life. He really tried to relate it to young professionals which was great.”

The entire summit, according to Bossert, was first put on in Reno County by the young professionals of Reno County.

“So it was in Hutch the past two years and then Fast Forward, here in Topeka, bid for it, so this year is our first year of hosting the summit,” said Bossert. “But we’re probably going to have it again next year.”

The closing speaker for the summit this year was Kansas governor Sam Brownback, who according to Bossert, wrapped up the conference by telling how important the young professionals are to the community and how they can help attract young economic development in the future. Brownback included some personal aspects of his life to help assure that he leveled with the young professionals present for his presentation.

Bossert, along with Erin Mohwinkle, another 2012 Fast Forward chairman, worked together to make the summit as professional as possible in a learning environment.

“The majority of our speakers were all executives,” said Bossert, “We do have some young professionals, but basically we’re focusing on people who have accomplished a lot in the business field and have some experience for other young professionals to help them connect and build a lot of established networking and business management.”