Conference ignites spark in area business and community leaders


TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Hundreds of community leaders spent the day learning how to use their talents and gifts to impact more people in their areas of influence.

The annual Ignite Leadership Conference attracted 750 people to the Orchard Church in Tupelo.

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he Community Development Foundation sponsored the event, which included nationally known speakers.

That event was modeled after a similar event in Michigan, organized by one of the speakers.

Ron Kitchens is president of an economic development consulting firm and has been working for years with CDF and local leaders to help them lead and manage more effectively.

Kitchens authored a new book called “Uniquely You” and he had a message for leaders at the conference that relates to everyone.

“Each of us are born and hardwired to be incredible, but if we try and be copies of something else, if we look at Instagram and think, I have to have a million followers or I’m not a relevant person, we spend our life, despondent, depressed and disengaged.  And “Uniquely You” says, you are special, embrace who you are and do the hard work to be incredible,” said Kitchens.

This is the fifth time Kitchens has visited Tupelo.

A group from Texas was at the Ignite Conference. They plan to hold a leadership conference in their town modeled after Ignite.

Organizers of the conference said Ignite was for employers, employees or anyone who wanted to achieve more and make a positive impact on their local community.

“This is all about learning traits and ways to go about becoming a better person, business ideas, concepts, putting it all together because we are investing at CDF and through the Ignite campaign, in our community ,” said Dr. Sam Pace, CDF Chairman.

“Being a part of it, meeting everybody, everybody is kind, respectful and also having ability to listen to these amazing speakers, I’ve been able to sit and spend time with them yesterday and today, more excited about listening to them, actually,” said Mitch McCamey, local entrepreneur.

This is the third annual Ignite Leadership conference.  Next year’s conference has been set for January 21.