‘A new take on an old event’: RISE Business Summit connects local entrepreneurs with industry leaders

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to rise to the occasion. 

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The RISE Business Summit on Sept. 8 at Dixie Convention Center provides cutting-edge business solutions for local entrepreneurs to grow their companies while learning from influential industry leaders. A diverse lineup of speakers will be sharing real stories about starting and growing a business, the opportunities they seized and the challenges they conquered. 

“It’s a new take on an old event,” St. George Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Don Willie said. “Things have changed so much because of COVID. One of the best things we can do as business owners and business leaders is just make sure we’re always on that cutting edge.”

Willie said event organizers are taking precautions to keep everyone safe and ask that attendees do their part by maintaining social distance and taking advantage of the hand sanitizers and masks that will be readily available. The chamber has also partnered with a health provider to offer on-site COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

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The chamber has traditionally organized a business summit in the fall. When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s event, Willie said chamber leaders used the hiatus to step back and evaluate what they wanted the next summit to look like. Their goal was to create an event that aligned with the explosive growth of the St. George area and the way the community does business. 

Recognizing that an entrepreneur’s most precious resource is time, Willie said they also wanted to deliver maximum opportunities for growth and knowledge over the course of a single day, running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The RISE Business Summit provides a wealth of valuable insight from industry leaders and tools to help entrepreneurs level up, with presentations from the trailblazing leaders of innovative companies, including Walker Edison, Rhone, Skywest, Pelion Venture Partners, Bondir, Colliers, Lovesac and more. In all, over 30 speakers will take the stage. Attendees also have access to six masterclasses and networking opportunities over breakfast and lunch. 

“I don’t believe we’ve ever seen this kind of lineup in Washington County before,” Willie said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear all these speakers together.”

The presentations on the main stage will make up most of the day, followed by masterclasses from 2-4 p.m. Willie said these 45-minute sessions are structured to give attendees actionable tools and resources that they can immediately start implementing in their businesses.  

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“You’re not going to be sitting through some boring lecture,” he said. “You’re going to be on the edge of your seat just trying to absorb all of that information.”

Although geared toward entrepreneurs in the community, Willie said the summit is an opportunity for Southern Utah to gain exposure on a regional and national level by welcoming business leaders from outside. He hopes to foster connections and collaborations between different industries. 

Over the last decade, St. George has grown rapidly and its business community continues to flourish despite the instability of the past year and a half. Willie said the chamber strives to stay on the cutting edge by thinking ahead and thinking big, too. 

“We’re not the one-stoplight town anymore,” he added. “As much as we can reminisce about the good old days, we also have to think about the future and make sure that our businesses are ready to tackle that growth head-on.”

The RISE Business Summit at the Dixie Convention Center will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration costs $125 for chamber members or $150 for non-members. Sign up today at stgeorgerise.com

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

• S P O N S O R E D  C O N T E N T • 

Event details

  • What: RISE Business Summit.
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Where: Dixie Convention Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George. 
  • Tickets: $125 for St. George Area Chamber of Commerce members; $150 for non-members. 
  • Resources: Website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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