Katie Istnick, Leadership Programs Director (left) and Sean Tracey, Vice President of Local Area Program (right), sat down with our Marketing team to talk about the exciting Metro Leadership Visit to Salt Lake City, Utah on September 17. They were asked three questions below that are often asked by our members – and we wanted to share them with you!
Why Salt Lake?
Sean – 25 years ago, the population of Salt Lake County was just north of the 787,000 people that live in the Charleston MSA (tri-county) today. The decisions they made as a region around mass transit, planning, housing and talent development have shaped how they have continued to grow and thrive in 2019.
What are you most excited for the attendees to see?
Katie – Given that we, as a region, are on the precipice of building our first bus rapid transit line, I am most excited for our attendees to see and learn about the robust public transit system in the Salt Lake region. Overseen by the Utah Transit Authority and providing access from the airport all the way up to the mountain ski resorts, their system consists of commuter rail trains, light rail and bus rapid transit. MLV attendees will have the opportunity to actually get on and ride public transit as a group along with Utah Transit Authority leaders, which will be an awesome, hands-on, experience.
Sean – I am excited for great leaders from across our community to learn from their journey, to help us apply lessons learned and in some cases find validation in things we are already doing in our region. The power of conversation and relationships formed on these trips is exciting. I am also looking forward to the transportation session. 20 years ago, Salt Lake opened their first mass transit line (when their population was just north of the population we have today). Their system’s newest BRT line, which opened this year, averages 10,000 riders a day and learning from them will be relevant to how we continue to move forward with Low Country Rapid Transit.
What do you think will surprise attendees?
Sean – The existing tech industry, anchored by companies like Adobe, that have 2400 employees. Attendees will learn why they chose Utah as a headquarters location, who do they want to attract, challenges for bringing talent to Utah, retaining talent, diversity and inclusion, legislative work and much more.
Katie – I think first-time attendees will be surprised at the unique opportunity that this trip presents and the connections that are made. I also think attendees will enjoy, and be impressed by, Lassonde Studios, where the group will have the chance to tour and learn about during the trip. Run by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute through the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, it is just one of the amazing opportunities that the University is offering its young talent. This visionary concept exists as a large mixed-use space in the heart of the campus and provides young student entrepreneurs the incredible opportunity to live, learn, work, attend events, build products and launch their startups all in the same space.
Have we sparked your interest? Learn more about our upcoming Metro Leadership Visit in Salt Lake City beginning September 17 here