CCEDC ConNEXT, a Complementary Initiative to VISTA Millennial Superstars, Working to Ensure a Bright Future for All in Chester County

Ashkan Negahban
Ashkan Negahban, an Assistant Professor of Engineering Management at Penn State Great Valley, is a member of the inaugural class of VISTA Millennial Superstars. Image via Paul Patton, Wilmington University.

To complement the debut of VISTA Millennial Superstars last February, the Chester County Economic Development Council launched CCEDC ConNEXT, an initiative that aims to nurture these elite individuals by integrating them into opportunities that will enable them to impact and influence business and social growth in Chester County .

A new crop of these next-generation leaders will be revealed on Monday, Dec. 14, when VISTA Today unveils its second class of VISTA Millennial Superstars. Only a few days remain until the deadline, midnight on Nov. 2, to nominate an individual to become a VISTA Millennial Superstar.

Members of the inaugural class of VISTA Millennial Superstars have been active with CCEDC ConNEXT, which has found ways to meet virtually amidst the pandemic to discuss issues relevant to the county’s future.

CCEDC Program Manager Komeil Nasrollahi has been facilitating ConNEXT meetings.

“We had our first meeting in February, and the group was asked about what issues in the community were important to them,” he said.

Considering that VISTA Millennial Superstars are accustomed to breaking down the walls of society, there was no shortage of topics for discussion.

“Affordable housing, the cost of childcare, public transportation, etc. were just a few of the issues raised,” said Nasrollahi. “We tasked the millennials with describing the problems, identifying stakeholders, and providing solutions.”

Then, the pandemic hit, and it forced the millennials to make a slight pivot.

“They narrowed their focus to two issues: how to help families and small businesses during COVID-19, and how to make Chester County more diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” said Nasrollahi.

Two of the VISTA Millennial Superstars – Chris Acker and Michelle Legaspi Sanchez – then volunteered to present those topics to the CCEDC’s Board of Directors.

Acker, the Director of Business Systems and Operations at Evolve IP, discussed helping families and small businesses during the pandemic, while Legaspi Sanchez, the Executive Director of the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls, talked about making the county fairer and more just for everyone.

“The board was very receptive to their presentations,” said Nasrollahi.

Do you know someone who fits the bill of a VISTA Millennial Superstar, someone shattering expectations and doing remarkable work in his or her profession or community? Click here to submit a nomination.

Have questions or want to know more about the program? Check out our FAQs by clicking here.

Sponsors are still being sought for the program. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to learn more about the various opportunities available to partner with VISTA Today on its second installment of VISTA Millennial Superstars.

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