LIMA — It’s a well-known fact that many Lima natives are leaving for larger markets, taking their entrepreneurial skills and innovative ideas along with them. But the folks behind Dream On, an evangelical nonprofit production company and missionary group founded in Wapakoneta, hope they can inspire the next generation of business leaders to grow their dreams right here in Lima.
Dream On will be holding its first leadership conference, Dream On: Lima, at Veterans Memorial Civic Center next Thursday, April 18.
The conference will feature nationally syndicated radio host Ken Coleman, inventor and “Shark Tank” winner Tom Burden and entrepreneur Jason Duff, founder of Community Storage & Properties, Ltd. and COMSTOR Outdoor, Ltd., as keynote speakers.
Local business leaders will share their insights during breakout sessions throughout the day, too. Those sessions will follow the conference’s theme of dreaming big, locally. One such session, for example, will explore how to help the next generation pursue their business goals. Another will look at the analytical side of dreams and goal setting.
The conference was inspired by conversations Dream On president and co-founder Benjamin Swartz had with local business leaders, who had observed the trend of young professionals believing they had to leave Lima to build a business or pursue other professional goals.
“We were just talking about the area, friends we knew that had dreams and had taken them elsewhere to ‘larger cities’ where they thought they could make them work better,” Swartz told The Lima News. “We felt that any dream can be started here in this area and can be maintained. We wanted to address that thought process of needing to take your dreams elsewhere … and say hey, here in Lima we can dream right where we’re at.”
While the conference is targeted at business leaders and professionals, Swartz said he hopes to see college and high school students attend, too.
“It’s going after that mindsest of people in this area, that you can pursue your dreams right where you’re at,” Swartz said.
The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Civic Center. General admission tickets are $79.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.