In 2015 we aggressively expanded into Manatee County and partnered with an organization called Palmetto Build and other local churches. What an amazing year we had as we hosted another Joe Gibb’s Game Plan for Life with over 800 in attendance and a one day marriage conference, now entitled Art of Marriage “Live” where we again had nearly 350 in attendance. With that said, we have over 10 new venues and small groups started through these events.
In October of 2015, we hosted our first CITYCommit Leadership Series breakfast for marketplace and community leaders. Jeff Kemp, an 11 year NFL quarterback and V.P. of Family Life, keynoted our first breakfast with 210 in attendance. This again allows us to initiate roundtables and small groups in our businesses, communities and churches. We anticipate our Leadership Series to be a quarterly event.
This was a year of expansion. First, we grew to 25 locations in the Sarasota/Manatee County area with our reach becoming 350 weekly and over 2,000 annually.
Secondly, our Regional Speaker Series Breakfasts became a popular and well attended events as we had 250+ at all 3 breakfasts with speakers Mark Merrill, Steve Shenbaum and Ed Kobel bringing Truth and encouragement.
Finally, the most interesting new venture became evident as local churches asked us to develop their men and marriage initiatives and establish CITYCommit locations within their congregation. We are so honored to serve the local churches in this capacity and become partners in strengthening men, marriages and leaders.
With the growth of weekly attendance near 500 at 40 locations in Manatee/Sarasota counties, the church partnerships (6 different churches) and the emphasis on multiplying existing locations led to the growth in 2017.
The Speaker Series Breakfasts are now going to demand a change in venue due to the growth of attendance as we had Jeff Kemp and Tim Johnson, both former NFL players, share encouraging words to our attendees.
The marketplace/business community is becoming more interested in the CITYCommit paradigm as owners/leaders have a desire to provide “belonging” and a positive company culture for their employees. We are excited to serve the marketplace with a simple and reproducible model for encouragement and transformation within their organizations and look forward to 2018.
As the marketplace became a focus, we introduced Transformational Leadership Conferences to our region with nearly 500 attending 4 conferences during both years. With a partnership with the JOYFM and Ford Taylor, our goal was to introduce foundational principles of effective leadership in an interactive conference. This began to pave the way to our goal of impacting the marketplace.
Our partnership in the Recovery Community strengthened as we partnered with Celebrate Recovery/Purpose Houses to integrate our paradigm into the structure of this highly effective ministry partner. The outcome has been incredible through establishing New Community on Thursday nights with over 100 attending our collaborative efforts.
Covid…no more needed to be said. However, the “pivot” we made online (like most companies and organizations) has proven to be the WIN we were not expecting. Our reach is now national and international with Zoom calls including locations in Atlanta, Alaska, Indianapolis, Birmingham and even India! Although it’s not ideal, God has used it to virtually and virally expand our influence.
Now with 4 additional Zoom groups and our Thursday morning Digital Coffee conversation, we are influencing more and more people with encouragement, connection and leadership principles for our practical lives.