Leadership Bend: Day 2

By: Aly Waibel, Leadership Bend Class 2016

Day two of Leadership Bend got off to a great start on Oct. 15 at the ultra-modern headquarters of Five Talent Software at 1001 Tech Center on Southwest Emkay Drive.

The class was warmly welcomed by our host, Preston Callicott, owner of Five Talent, who described the building and its growing importance in the tech community in Bend. Five Talent shares the building with the BendTECH coworking space, Stackhouse Coffee & Spirits and several other prominent companies. It is a hub of business and entrepreneurial activity in Bend, Callicott explained.

Converted from an old forest service building, the location of Five Talent received an especially dramatic makeover: The ceilings were raised and the walls were removed to create the collaborative and open workspace.

The 1001 Tech Center was recently featured in Portland Business Journal as “the heart of Bend’s burgeoning tech scene” (click to read full article).

Other morning visitors included Dr. Knute Buehler, State Representative of District 54, and Gene Whisnant, State Representative of District 53. Buehler and Whisnant spoke about politics with our group and answered questions in a conversational format.  Our lunch was spent at a fascinating City Club luncheon forum, a panel discussion entitled “The High School Story: What Do Graduation Rates Tell Us and Can We Move the Needle?” In a discussion later in the day, several Leadership Bend class members commented on the passion and integrity they heard in our community’s educational leaders.

Back at the 1001 Tech Center, we attended the unConference,which included a speed networking event sponsored by OSU-Cascades and an open-pitch competition for the Bend Venture Conference.

We spent some time with Jillian Taylor considering our strengths as leaders and were also visited by Dino Vendetti, founder of Seven Peaks Ventures, who took time to answer questions from our class members. Vendetti echoed Callicott’s morning welcome and further explained the tech scene and his vision for a collaborative and thriving environment that will attract top tech talent to Bend (not a difficult task with the landscape and lifestyle easing recruiting efforts). Bend is quickly becoming a destination for more and more individuals who work remotely and independently.

To sum up, day two of Leadership Bend was full of interesting, thought provoking conversation and activity. Many thanks to our host, Five Talent Software, and to the day’s guests and speakers who graciously shared their ideas, visions and insights into the Bend community.

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