–This post was written by Lauren Snow, member at the Metropolitan State University of Denver chapter–
The Region 8 Summit was held at the Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, Colorado April 5-7th 2013. The Metropolitan State University is located on Auraria Campus, which is the home to two other institutions: The Community College of Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver. Delegates from Region 8 chapters stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriott, which is located right on Auraria campus. This hotel opened in the fall of 2012 and is unique in that it offers a modern and upscale lodging choice to visitors of Denver, while serving as an extensive learning laboratory for the hospitality students on Auraria campus. This Summit welcomed attendees from Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, North and South Carolina, and of course, Colorado.
Day 1: Upon arrival, delegates registered at the hotel and spent some time settling in and getting to know each other. Everyone was asked to wear something representing their school. We all then reconvened in the beautiful Tivoli building to enjoy a welcome dinner. We were honored to have Harriett Watkins and Dr. Antonio Ledesma as our keynote speakers at the welcome dinner. After dinner, delegates were escorted to the Art Walk on Santa Fe. This is a free event that happens on the first Friday of every month where art galleries and shops along the historic Santa Fe drive open late to showcase art and music.
Day 2: We began Day 2 with breakfast in the lobby of the hotel. After breakfast and late registration we headed over to one of the classrooms on campus. We received the headquarters update from our Regional Director, John Dingfelder, and then split up into our breakout sessions. There were three sets of sessions. The sessions that were offered ranged from finding out what your leadership style is to building a fool-proof resume. In between our break out sessions we took a break for lunch in the historic Tivoli Center which is the student union on the Auraria campus that each university shares. During our meal Dr. Hal Miller, the region 8 Council of Advisors representative, gave an energetic and motivating speech on how the pillar of leadership affects us as Golden Key officers and members. He explained that how we develop in our roles will affect our transition to life after college. The remainder of breakout session resumed after lunch.
We had special guest speakers during the Summit service project. The delegates gathered and brought their donations for a local non-profit we decided to support: Urban Peak. Two representatives from Urban Peak came and spoke to the delegates about what they do and how they can help once they get home. The present members then tied together fleece to create blankets to donate to the agency. After the blankets were made, the delegates had free time until dinner.
We all got dressed up and headed back to the Tivoli for our closing dinner. This dinner included great food, acknowledgements and a special keynote address from W. Scott Lewis, JD and partner for NCHREM, systems-level solutions for safer schools and campuses. After dinner, the delegates were free to explore Denver and get to know each other before they left in the morning.
Day 3: Day 3 only left enough time for breakfast; one-on-ones with Headquarters representatives John Dingfelder and Melissa Decell who sat with a representative from each school to discuss future plans, any questions and information pertaining to chapter standards. And finally it was time for our goodbyes.
The Summit was an incredible experience and I know that everyone involved has been strengthened. I am grateful to have been a part of this event and I look forward to reading about more successful Golden Key events in the future.