Student Voice

President’s Leadership Conference hosts local business leaders

President+Sanchez+speaks+to+students+at+the+President%27s+Leadership+Forum+before+the+arrival+of+the+guest+speakers%2C+Dianne+McKay+and+Scott+Harris.+McKay+serves+on+the+Board+of+Trustees+and+co-owns+Mustang+Marketing+with+Harris.%0AMoorpark+College%0AFeb.+11%2C+2017+Photo+credit%3A+Martin+Bilbao
President Sanchez speaks to students at the President's Leadership Forum before the arrival of the guest speakers, Dianne McKay and Scott Harris. McKay serves on the Board of Trustees and co-owns Mustang Marketing with Harris.
Moorpark College
Feb. 11, 2017 Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

President Sanchez speaks to students at the President's Leadership Forum before the arrival of the guest speakers, Dianne McKay and Scott Harris. McKay serves on the Board of Trustees and co-owns Mustang Marketing with Harris. Moorpark College Feb. 11, 2017 Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

President Sanchez speaks to students at the President's Leadership Forum before the arrival of the guest speakers, Dianne McKay and Scott Harris. McKay serves on the Board of Trustees and co-owns Mustang Marketing with Harris. Moorpark College Feb. 11, 2017 Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

By Martin Bilbao

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President Sanchez hosted two local business leaders during his monthly President’s Leadership Forum on Friday, Feb. 10. Speaking to a group of the students, the business leaders offered advice on effective management and the pursuit of happiness.

“Define your own success,” said Scott Harris, co-owner of Mustang Marketing. “I think it’s the most critical thing you can do to leading a good and satisfying life. Figure out what kind of life you want to lead and then go and chase it, whether you plan on being a leader in life or not.”

As co-owners of Mustang Marketing, Scott Harris and Dianne McKay drew from their past businesses and life experience to offer wisdom to aspiring leaders at the forum. Held every month, the President’s Leadership Forum gathers a group of students to analyze success and model leadership in the past and today.

“Find people in your life who you think are successful and talk to them,” said Harris. “Go interview as many people as much as you can. The more you do it the more you will learn.”

McKay who is also a member of the Board of Trustees, offered anecdotes of her experience building a company with her father, only to then take it on by herself, after his passing. Her epiphany was to surround herself with quality people.

“It can’t be all me,” said McKay. “I must hire a staff that’s confident and quality enough that it’s not me that’s always out here.”

During the two hour long discussion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Harris and McKay fielded questions from the audience of thirteen students. According to Sanchez, McKay was selected to speak because of her membership on the Board of Trustees. Harris, on the other hand, was selected because of his business connection to McKay and because he takes part in a book club with Sanchez.

“We’re very fortunate to have two great guest speakers today,” said Sanchez.

Each student in attendance was recommended to participate by a faculty member. Azad Azani, an 20-year-old political science major, learned about the forum through a friend who was already involved. Interested by what he heard, Azani, submitted his transcript and resume for consideration and shortly after joined the forum. According to Azani, most meetings involve discussing material that was previously assigned as reading.

“We don’t typically have guests come see us,” said Azani. “I think these are much more productive.”

Kovame Konan, a 23-year-old business major, also found the meeting productive. He particularly enjoyed the emphasis on defining your own success. This approach validates how he has been living his life. At the end of the meeting he reflected on the speakers’ advice.

“It’s good to know that there is more out there to do and there’s room for improvement,” said Konan. “That’s what this is all about. It’s about learning and improvement.”

As the meeting ended, McKay emphasized a willingness to fail and learning from mistakes as essential for personal growth. Harris, on the other hand, returned to his theme of defining one’s own success everyday.

“At the end of the day do you feel fulfilled?” said Harris “Did you get stuff done that you are proud of?”

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