Blog: Christianne Sims

Fusion, a networking and leadership group for young Detroit professionals, has a spot at the table at the upcoming Mackinac Policy Conference. Its director, Christianne Sims, will be discussing the group's goals for this important gathering of the state's business, civic, and political leaders.

Post 1: Clichés Don't Begin to Describe Us

Young talent. Young professionals. Emerging leaders. Next generation.  Is it OK that I say that I really dislike all of these monikers?  I am "young" but I'm not a teenager and I have been in the workforce longer than most would think. I’m a "professional" but I know I'm more productive if I wear sweats to work (only after hours or on the weekends. )  I'm a leader but I'm not emerging. Leaders are constantly developing themselves, not metamorphosing in some cocoon waiting for the moment to become The Boss.  And by me being here in present day, I’m part of a Now Generation, not the next one. The next generation would be my future kid.
As the director of a "young professionals" organization, Fusion, how then do I describe the group of people that I’m trying to connect?  As I mentioned before, the Now Generation is one way. I like Generation F, the Fusion generation (a tad bit self-serving) which is the Gen X, Y, and Millennials.  
So what is Fusion? Fusion is an economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber. Most think of economic development as physical buildings and development. The other side of economic development is the human capital side. Without people to work in those buildings and consumers to buy goods and services, why even have the infrastructure if there is no one there to support it? Fusion's role is to attract, retain and connect the talent that will support the other side of the ED equation. As the first regional membership organization dedicated to engaging Southeast Michigan's talent mix and showcasing the region, Fusion has grown 400% in the first three years.
The membership is diverse and represent all areas of the region. There is no age limit to Fusion but it is "younger" thinking and all "professionals" can participate, even professional students. Members drive the organization and without their dedication to transforming the region and Fusion, it would not be where it is today. But it’s just getting started.  Fusion will continue to connect talent, businesses, and the community together to build relationships between all industries and generations of leaders.
Just this year we have placed members on the Oakland County Business Roundtable and the Chamber's PAC Advisory Board. Seven of Crains Detroit Business "20 in their 20s" 2010 Class are Fusion members.  And for the third consecutive year, Fusion is part of the Mackinac Policy Conference.
We welcome all to work with us in making Detroit, the region, a better place to live, work, play (I had to throw the cliché LWP in at least once.)

Tomorrow: Fusion's Place at the Mackinac Policy Conference