Livability Editor-in-Chief, AI Expert to Keynote BRAC, Forum 225 Young Professional Event 

Day-long Young Professional Summit to focus on leadership, community development 

Baton Rouge, LA (April 2, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and Forum 225 today announced its keynote programming for the 2024 Young Professional (YP) Summit presented by Visit Baton Rouge on April 25. Amanda Ellis, Livability editor-in-chief, will serve as the morning keynote speaker, and Henry Hays, DisruptREADY co-founder, will serve as the lunch keynote speaker. Registration for the event is available at brac.org/ypsummit

As editor-in-chief of Livability.com, Amanda Ellis leads the site’s content strategy and voice, reaching millions of site visitors every year with content about the nation’s small-to-medium sized cities and why they’re great places to live. Ellis also directs Livability Media’s industry content for chamber, economic development and talent attraction professionals, including the Inside America’s Best Cities podcast, Let’s Talk Talent newsletter and regular research on American relocation habits

Ellis’s keynote, “Love Where You Live: Why It’s Better in BTR,” will focus on how young professionals make cities vibrant, compelling places people want to live in and be part of. She will explore how mid-sized cities like Baton Rouge are uniquely positioned to easily connect with movers and shakers, climb career ladders with less competition, or build a life in a more affordable place.  

The morning keynote presentation will be followed by a Baton Rouge young professional panel discussion with moderator Eric Dexter, vice president of civic leadership initiatives at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Discussion will complement Ellis’s keynote, showcasing Baton Rouge young professionals enhancing the region’s vibrancy through their careers and community involvement.  

Additionally, the event will host a lunch keynote presentation by DisruptREADY Co-Founder Henry Hays. As co-founder and CEO of DisruptREADY, Hays leads the effort to make AI simple and effective for business executives. To date, DisruptREADY has built custom Large Language Models (LLMs) in banking, healthcare, commercial real estate, state government, retail and chemical companies. As an adjunct professor at LSU’s Roger Ogden Honors College, he imparts his expertise by teaching courses on AI and LLMs, shaping the minds of future innovators. 

Hays’s address, entitled “Immediate Impact: AI’s Role in Shaping Baton Rouge’s Future,” will explore usage of AI in Baton Rouge and how young professionals can use this technology to enhance their creativity, boost business, or simplify tasks. 

Following these presentations, attendees will have three breakout sessions to attend and end the day with the Better in BTR Launch Party. 

Registration for the summit, which includes access to all programming, lunch, and the Better in BTR Launch Party, is $95 for BRAC investors, $120 for non-investors, and $60 for college student participants. YP Summit attendees will receive complimentary registration to the launch party. Individuals interested in only attending the launch party can register for $25. Registration for both events is available at brac.org/events

The YP Summit is presented by Visit Baton Rouge, and sponsored by Associated Grocers, Cox, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Nexus Louisiana, Ochsner, Turner Industries, USA Army, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, NAI Latter & Blum, and Wampold Companies. The Better in BTR Launch Party is sponsored by Visit Baton Rouge, LaPorte, Ochsner, Forte & Tablada, and GBR SHRM. Additional sponsorships are still available. Interested organizations can contact BRAC’s Senior Vice President of Investor Relations Emilia Henry at emi@brac.org for more information. 

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber   

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org

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