I knew that I was going up before an energetic group when I started talking to the Create WV steering committee prior to my talk. This message from their website captured what I sensed in our conversations:
Here a diverse community of West Virginians comes together to create a West Virginia that thrives on innovation, artistic vision, connectivity, diversity, entrepreneurship, technology and growth. In short – a West Virginia for the New Economy. But it's more than that. Our vision is not to try and replicate what others have done. It's to forge a dynamic new West Virginia that is rooted in what has always made West Virginia great. It's the combination of the simple beauty of our surroundings and the soulful strength of our unique history with 21st century tools to share our strengths with the world, and to invite them to share with us. It's about welcoming the new in the context of what's already great about West Virginia. Join the discussion. Share your ideas. Create West Virginia!
My talk in Roanoke, WV for the Create West Virginia Conference was the 44rd state that I’ve talked in. If only NH, CN, RI, DE, LA and HI would call. My wife Betinha would really like for HI to call in February!
The group that organized Create WV did so in record time. They pulled together 56 different speakers, organized seven different tracks (Arts, Entrepreneurship, Diversity, etc.) with seven sessions in each track in less than 4 months.
In my almost 300 talks around the country I’ve yet to see a more enthusiastic and engaged group than what I saw in Roanoke. I hope that they keep the ideas and enthusiasm going. They have a wonderfully beautiful state that could and should become much more creative.