On the Road Again

Typing on laptop, close-up
It started with a “Sandbox” experience, ended with sharing biggest takeaways and “ah-ha” moments, and packed in between were relevant panel discussions with business and city leaders from both Nashville and Frisco and even a team-building scavenger hunt with fun photos. The Leadership Exchange (LEX19), which took place October 16 through October 18, 2019, was a three-day trip designed to give an elite delegation of Frisco’s community leaders, elected officials, and business owners and leaders the opportunity to visit and study a high-growth city. The initial “Sandbox” experience by Advent gave our thirty-four business and community leaders the opportunity to think big and brainstorm about who we are as a city and where we want to go. While headquartered in Nashville, Advent knows Frisco well: they are the company that designed the experience around the Dallas Cowboy’s brand at The Star! Discussion topics included: challenges faced by both Nashville and Frisco such as attracting an age-diverse workforce; creative solutions to workforce challenges; redevelopment and revitalization; affordable housing; healthcare; parking and transit; arts, music, and entertainment. “It was truly an exchange of ideas. Last year, on our inaugural Leadership Exchange trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, we had designed the discussions to be primarily one-sided, where we werehearing from Scottsdale city leaders,” said Tony Felker, President/CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. “This year, we took the discussions to a new level. We gained great ideas and they learned from us. There will certainly be continued conversations with those we met in Nashville.” Much like Frisco, Nashville’s high quality of life, creative culture, and industry leadership makes the city an attractive destination for businesses to grow, expand, and maintain their operations in the region. Nashville, like many other cities across the country, continues to face challenges in housing affordability despite economic growth and expansion. Nashville is home to a diverse healthcare cluster with leaders in a number of industry niches that impact the overall community and economy. Regional collaboration was a theme that carried throughout all of the discussions. “I much appreciated the opportunity to spend some quality time with people I already know and the atmosphere to get to know a new group of community leaders,” said Will Sowell, Frisco City Councilman.  “Most importantly, the discussions gave me many thoughts and opportunities to consider on how we grow Frisco, provide for better opportunities, and cooperate in new and better ways with our regional partners.” In addition to the information exchanged, valuable connections were made between the attendees on the trip. “People that otherwise may not have been in the same room in Frisco, now share a common bond – to make Frisco the best place to live and work,” Felker said. Medical City Healthcare was the presenting sponsor for the 2019 Leadership Exchange trip to Nashville. Medical City Healthcare’s parent company, HCA Healthcare, is Nashville-based and one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, comprising 184 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, including surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers, and physician clinics, in 21 states and the United Kingdom. HCA Healthcare operates locally in North Texas as Medical City and specifically here in Frisco as Medical City Frisco. An in-depth discussion on healthcare took place in HCA Healthcare’s Corporate Headquarters. “We are proud to continue to invest in the Frisco community,” said Carlton Ulmer, CEO of Medical City Frisco. “We are committed to providing the highest quality, leading-edge treatment designed to help keep our community healthy and advance our mission to the care and improvement of human life. This partnership with the Frisco Chamber of Commerce and our parent company, HCA Healthcare, solidifies that commitment as we anticipate future growth in Frisco. We were honored to host this elite delegation of city and business leaders in Nashville as we strengthen connections and exchange best practices.” An evening welcome reception, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White – Centennial, featured Frisco’s own singer/songwriter Grace Tyler, and a visit by John Rich of the country music duo, Big and Rich. The final morning included a competitive team-building scavenger hunt throughout downtown Nashville. The scavenger hunt, sponsored by Frisco Station, created a fun atmosphere to help the attendees further strengthen the bonds made throughout the week. The Leadership Exchange experience will not end now that the delegation has returned to Frisco. This delegation, along with the members of the inaugural Leadership Exchange trip (LEX18), will join together to continue to exchange ideas and plan for the future of Frisco. “Something we heard over and over was the interaction of the business community in planning for the city and the community,” Felker said. “We know the Frisco business community already steps up in a big way and we need to continue to grow this group. This is the way we are going to affect change in Frisco.” Plans are already underway for the 2020 Leadership Exchange trip. Will you be on board?

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