Essay: Make your mark

Megan Blackwell, marketing manager at Otto Construction, is the 2018 Sacramento Metro Chamber Young Professional of the Year and served as communications chairperson and co-chairperson for Metro EDGE.

Young professionals are helping drive Sacramento’s renaissance

By Megan Blackwell

Sacramento is in the middle of a once-in-a-generation renaissance, and at the heart of it all, young professionals are the drivers, the doers and the champions that our city needs.

Over the course of a decade, Metro EDGE has created a space for the next generation of leaders to support the growth and development of our region. And with a bright future on the horizon for our city, there is no better time to join.

Metro EDGE’s mission is to engage a diverse network, develop critical business skills, give back to the community and empower leadership. Through volunteer leadership opportunities, monthly networking forums and educational seminars, as well as the annual Emerge Summit, Metro EDGE is inspiring change and encouraging civic engagement as personal and regional priorities evolve.

With my fellow EDGErs, I want to give back to a community that we love. Metro EDGE has provided us with the place, time and team to do it—together.

My EDGE story began in 2010, shortly after the organization was founded. I joined to become part of something bigger than myself. They say it is all about who you know, and that could not be more true than in Sacramento. EDGE connected me to like-minded young leaders. I was surrounded by people who wanted to do more, be more and see more.

In true Lady Bird fashion, I left Sacramento briefly in 2014 because I thought it was the best thing for me at the time. I was lucky enough to telecommute for my job and stayed connected to Sacramento. Being away only made me realize that my heart belonged to this city. And EDGE was ready to welcome me back so I could replant my roots, develop my new path and blossom into a community champion.

During my four years on the leadership council, I witnessed the organization proactively address our city’s challenges and issues. It is important for young professionals to engage in these high-level discussions and debates. They raise families, purchase homes, vote in elections and become civic leaders. Through Metro EDGE, I was able to establish a platform for our next generation of leaders to develop—not just for now, but for decades to come. It cultivated a group of emerging leaders who are not afraid to fail—exactly what’s needed by a forward-thinking, progressive city on the rise.

This year, Metro EDGE will celebrate a decade of success. If you are committed to making our city a great place, consider joining Metro EDGE, attending the Emerge Summit or participating in a monthly event.

Could I have found success without Metro EDGE?

Maybe. But I can wholeheartedly attribute my career path development to it. I know that I’m a better person with incredible friendships, a more prepared and connected employee and an incredibly passionate Sacramentan because of it.

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