Clovis Leadership Summit: Shaping Leaders, Elevating Communities

Lindsay S. Fox, speaking passionately at the Clovis Leadership Summit, reflects on invaluable leadership lessons learned at the state capitol. (Photo Steven Sandage, Clovis Roundup)

June 21, 2024 —On June 20, 2024, the Third Annual Clovis Leadership Summit + Business, Food & Wine Expo, hosted by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, took place at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

The event delivered a day of inspiration and connection for local professionals, celebrating traditional values of hard work, perseverance, and community engagement. Attendees gained invaluable insights and networking opportunities to foster personal and professional growth.

The summit featured an array of compelling speakers who each brought unique perspectives and powerful messages. Keynote speaker Roger Crawford captivated the audience with his incredible journey from a physically challenged athlete to a motivational powerhouse. Crawford’s message emphasized that “Challenges are inevitable; defeat is optional,” reminding everyone in the crowd of the power of resilience and determination.

Equally impactful was Clovis native Lindsay S. Fox, leader of The Sojourner Group and former President and CEO of United Way Fresno and Madera Counties. Fox shared her personal journey and the lessons she learned growing up in Clovis, including attending Dry Creek Elementary, Clark Intermediate School, and being part of the inaugural graduating class of Buchanan High School.

Fox’s speech was a powerful reminder of the impact of small acts of kindness and the true essence of leadership. Reflecting on her childhood, she recounted a story from her days at Clark Intermediate School. She befriended a young boy who seemed lonely and hungry, a simple act that taught her profound lessons about empathy and leadership.

 “The more and more I listened to him, the more I cared about him,” Fox shared, her voice tinged with emotion. She made an extra sandwich for him every day, a gesture that illustrated her belief that “Leadership is about caring for people.” This early experience shaped her understanding of leadership not as a position of power but as a commitment to making a difference in people’s lives.

Fox’s dedication to community service and her journey of becoming a leader through empathy and action left a lasting impression on all who attended. Her words, “Sometimes, as leaders, when we show up in the space, that’s enough. You have people watching you all the time,” echoed throughout the event, emphasizing the power of presence and genuine care. Her commitment to equity and public service, fueled by her experiences in Clovis, was evident as she spoke about her early inspirations.

Matthew Sterling Grundy, another distinguished speaker, brought his expertise in organizational development and strategic planning to the stage. His insights into economic growth and poverty reduction strategies offered valuable takeaways for local business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The summit was more than just speeches; it showcased some of the wonderful qualities that make up the spirit of Clovis. The Business, Food & Wine Expo provided a platform for local businesses to connect with potential customers and partners, filling the venue with excitement as attendees sampled culinary delights and explored innovative business ideas.

 As conversations and connections flourished throughout the day, attendees departed with a renewed sense of purpose and a wealth of knowledge. The event not only highlighted the importance of leadership and innovation but also the profound impact of local heroes like Lindsay S. Fox.

For those who missed this year’s event, the stories and lessons shared will undoubtedly reverberate through the people of Clovis, inspiring future leaders and fostering a spirit of collaboration and empathy. The Clovis Leadership Summit, organized by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, has once again proven that when a community comes together to share knowledge and support one another, the possibilities are limitless.