Connect Marquette hold annual Professional Development Conference

Published: Oct. 4, 2019 at 6:54 PM EDT
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Connect Marquette’s annual

draws people from all around the Upper Peninsula and the Great Lakes region.

The conference provides a unique opportunity for business professionals in all stages in their career especially young professionals to broaden and deepen their professional presence, according to Rachel Barra, Connect Marquette Conference Chair.

"We had a workplace culture panel, digital marketing panel and we have two speakers that spoke on sustainable business and another on life-long learning," Barra boasted.

The keynote speaker Bill Hawker, former executive for the Packers, Lions and the Bears offered his insists on success. He is currently the Director of Business Development at


"You've got to be able to separate yourself from the competition. I think that's one of the things that sets s apart. having the full service agency. We’ve got a really good team of graphic designers and video content producers that help spate us from traditional print and signage company," Hawker declared.

Hawker also highlighted the importance of networking and building your brand.

"Put yourself out there. You’ve got to develop your brand. Put your brand out there. / Let people know who you are. Talk about your brand. Everybody used to talk about the elevator speech. It's now become a twitter speech. How can you tell somebody about yourself in one scented, who you are and what you do," Hawker advised.

The expert ice breakers from Double Trouble Entertainment also demonstrated ways to cast aside personal doubt and step outside of your comfort zone.

Because one of the keys to growing your business is expanding that network which often comes down to chance encounters.

"It’s about finding people in their network that maybe have a relative or a friend or a neighbor that is with the company that you maybe want introduced to and that you may want to do business with," Hawker asserted.

This is one of the flagship events for Connect Marquette but the organization meets on the first Friday of every month.

"Tonight after this conference we'll be at Barrel and Beam to have a really casual networking opportunity where you can come meet people have a couple drinks and talk about what going on a t works,” Barra concluded.

to learn more about Connect Marquette.