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ELS Sponsors Hear from Ben Carson

By Amanda Morad | June 4, 2014

Dr. Ben Carson speaks to ELS sponsors.
Photo by Alex Perry

Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) has been rallying the business community of Hampton Roads, Va., for teaching on leadership and best practices for several years now. But the monthly luncheons wouldn't be possible without support from season sponsors.

Acknowledging their important role, Regent hosted a sponsor appreciation lunch on Thursday, May 29.

"Our sponsors make world-class speakers available to the Hampton Roads community," noted Ann LeBlanc, Regent's vice president for advancement. "Their partnership with Regent in our Executive Leadership Program makes it possible for us to have speakers of the highest caliber come to our campus."

This year's season included national news correspondent Gretchen Carlson, Congressman Randy Forbes, and international media mogul T.D. Jakes, among others.

"I am inspired by our sponsors' commitment to their employees for increased productivity and leadership," LeBlanc said. "It is an investment in them and our area that makes a great impact."

The featured speaker at the luncheon was a treat for sponsors: Benjamin Carson, M.D., emeritus professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Carson is perhaps best-known for pioneering the first successful separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins in 1987, but is currently making headlines as a political commentator and New York Times best-selling author.

Four of his books, Gifted Hands, THINK BIG, The Big Picture and Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life; a fifth book, America The Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, was a New York Times bestseller, and his newest release, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future, is currently on the list.

"Most people are afraid because America is no longer a land of liberty, and that has to change," he said. "But we have to believe it can; we have to work hard, and we have to be brave."

Carson discussed the rise and fall of Detroit as a pattern of warning for the rest of the nation when corruption and unsustainable debt overwhelm an economy. He also noted the importance of informed voting and of conservatives sticking together on the issues that matter.

"Unity made the difference for the Revolutionaries," he explained. "That same determination is what can save us now."

ELS sponsors represent a variety of local and regional companies including presenting sponsor, Towne Bank, Cox Communications and Bon Secours Health Systems.

"It's an incredible platform," said sponsor Rob MacDonald of MacDonald, Plumlee & Overton. "Obviously, when I say Ben Carson's coming or Mike Huckabee's coming, it's an easy draw.... The speakers, even though it's in a large group, seem to have the opportunity for such a personal presentation. It provides for this region a unique opportunity to learn about a particular subject with depth and insight at a level that's just not available anywhere else."

This is MacDonald, Plumlee & Overton's third season of ELS sponsorship. Having been regular guests before they jumped on board as partners, MacDonald and his colleagues weren't strangers to the event.

"We'd seen its importance, been excited about what it brings to the area, what it brings to the community, and we look forward to continuing our support next year," he said.

Learn more about ELS.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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