Monday, August 12, 2013


Guest post from EMERGE 2011 alum Allison Daskam.

What is EMERGE? It’s a question that I’ve been asked often, and the answer depends on the person asking. When I started the EMERGE Program in 2011, I wanted to hone my leadership skills. It turns out I was in the perfect place to accomplish that goal, but not in the way I expected.

A key component to EMERGE is defining your core energy. It’s akin to a personality test, and the answer was clear for me. I’m highly analytical and hence defined as a Maven. I expected my analytical skills to be the foundation for my growth as a leader, but the relationships I formed in EMERGE have proven to be equally (if not more) influential. Being in the midst of people who are pursuing excellence is contagious. The people I met through EMERGE have motivated me to challenge my definition of professional success, put my values into action, and become more active in my community.

EMERGE 2011 alums Brandon Wollerson and Allison Daskam

At a recent EMERGE event, there was a photographer handing out whiteboards with the phrase “EMERGE is…” for guests to fill out and hold for a photo. My friend Brandon and I grabbed the boards, and I thought for a moment before writing, “EMERGE is... Brandon.” Personally, I can’t think of a better answer. Brandon is passionate about making Austin a better place, he works tirelessly in our community, and he inspires others to do the same. He is EMERGE.

Brandon is just one of many dear friends who have become the most important part of my EMERGE experience. And coming from someone who prefers data analysis to a networking event, that’s saying a lot.

EMERGE is finding your passion.
EMERGE is understanding your values.
EMERGE is becoming part of a family.
EMERGE is me.
EMERGE is Brandon.
EMERGE is you.

Allison Daskam is Chief Communications Officer at Any Baby Can and a graduate of Texas A&M University and the Communications Leadership SPIN Academy. Leadership Austin is currently accepting applications for the EMERGE 2013 program through Thursday, August 15.

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