2012 Business Forum

by Pete Menjares on October 29, 2012

If I was writing a headline about the 2012 Business Forum our university hosted last week at the Fresno Convention Center, it might read “Fresno Pacific makes quality connections.”  The operative word here being quality. From the caliber of our almost-900 guests representing the top echelon of the local business community, to the content of the presentation, to the exceptional circle of sponsors, to the extremely professional execution of the event, every aspect of the Business Forum spoke to FPU’s reputation for doing things well.

Please keep in mind that this was my first experience with an FPU Business Forum—an event which has grown in attendance and reputation in the Valley over the last decade. I am not quite three months into my presidency, so it was with fresh eyes and untarnished perspective that I attended and participated. And I was very proud to be a part of it!

My history as a presenter and a pastor has given me plenty of opportunity to speak to large groups of people over the years. But I have to say that looking out at the sea of hundreds of Fresno-area business leaders, interspersed with a good many FPU faces, was an awesome experience. The scope of the Business Forum—which focuses on bringing in interesting and renowned guest speakers with something important and relevant to share with thought leaders in the Valley—is impressive. Does Fresno Pacific make an impact in the business arena? Judging from attendance at the Business Forum, I would say so.

Bob Burg, award-winning author and speaker, shared an authentic and well-received message on giving being the key to success. (For more on Bob’s presentation, you’ll find a recap and video on our news site. You can also visit his site at http://www.burg.com/.) He told me before and after the presentation that he was thoroughly impressed with everyone he and his team had dealt with from FPU. This event, he said—from the President’s Scholars who so graciously seated our guests, to the tightly-scripted program, to the dramatically-lit stage flanked by huge video screens—was professional all the way – high praise from someone of his experience and notoriety.

One of the highlights of the morning was sharing breakfast not only with some of our major donors and our speaker, but with our Paragon Scholars. These are bright, articulate students who deserve these kinds of opportunities. They may not blog about the experience, as I’m doing, but I guarantee it made as lasting an impression on them as it did on me. Quality has that kind of effect.