“Remember to keep calm and professional in the storm,” said Jon Gregory, Executive Director of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, to a group of local high school students on Wednesday night. “Because if you want to do anything innovative or start something that requires change, you will have nay sayers and it may upset people. However, if you believe in what you are doing and believe it will make a difference – stay calm and move forward.”
Gregory recently addressed students from Bear River and Nevada Union high schools as the first speaker in the second season of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s Speaker Series. The series brings business education – through access to business leaders and real-life leadership experiences and advice – to local high school students.
“Jon did an amazing job talking to the students about business success,” said Rea Callender, Fairgrounds CEO. “I was also impressed with the students for their level of participation and questions. It is exciting to see these kids with their whole lives in front of them, and it’s encouraging to be able to provide them with tools to help them along the business path.”
In addition to serving as Executive Director, Gregory is a General Partner of the Green Screen Institute’s Virtual Reality Accelerator Investment Fund. He has spent 25 years in innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital and angel investment, and economic development – with unique knowledge of what it takes for communities and regions to grow an economy.
In addition to sharing his own life experiences, Gregory outlined things to consider when beginning a career, including lifestyle, geography, wages, housing, flexibility, benefits, upward mobility, and stability. He also emphasized the various types of business opportunities from big corporations to small businesses to government work to nonprofits to entrepreneurs.
In sharing his advice with the students, he offered several keys to success – taking initiative, looking proactively for win-win situations, perceiving employment through the lens of the employer, knowing the importance of networking, not giving up, understanding our own strengths and weaknesses, being professional and courteous, and having a daily plan.
The second season of the Speaker Series will feature six speakers, one each month, and will run through April. Upcoming speakers include Mike Naggiar, owner of Naggiar Vineyards and Winery; and Caroline Beteta, CEO of Visit California.
New this year, in addition to opening up the series to all high school Fair exhibitors, the Fairgrounds Foundation is offering two scholarships to individuals who meet the scholarship criteria, including attending five of the six speaker series dates.
About the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation: The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s mission is to support and improve the community’s Fairgrounds, and to support youth in agriculture. For information, visit NevadaCountyFair.com/foundation/.