In praise of the entrepreneurial spirit

The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square

Celebrating entrepreneurship is the focus of MEDA’s 2022 convention.

The event will be held November 3-6 at The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Saturday evening’s keynote speaker, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, has over 25 years of international development experience. She is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant.

Nwenuli worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in the US and South Africa. Then she returned to Nigeria in 2000 to become the executive director of a foundation that supports young entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. For the past 14 years, she has focused on transforming the African agriculture and nutrition landscape.

Joann Flett, executive director at Seattle Pacific University’s Centre for Faithful Business, will deliver the opening message on Thursday evening.

The Center for Faithful Business is a leading think tank on the integration of faith and business.

The organization’s focus in recent years has been Faith & Co. This project has produced a series of short documentary films that highlight the struggles and triumphs of people living out business as their calling. It has also generated an online course on the integration of faith and business.

Ken Hochstetler, president and CEO of Everence Financial, will be the Sunday morning speaker.

Hochstetler is committed to supporting and enriching communities. He serves on the boards of two local organizations in Goshen, Indiana. A past treasurer of MEDA’s board of directors, he also served with many church-related organizations in Pennsylvania, where he lived before joining Everence in 2014.

A Friday lunch plenary session on food security will explore the risks in our global food system and what they mean for entrepreneurs.

As always, the convention will feature thought-provoking seminars related to business, faith, and international development.
Carissa Rempel, who works as a talent acquisition and public relations specialist for Vidir Manufacturing, will discuss women in manufacturing. Vidir has more than 200 employees and was chosen as one of Manitoba’s top employers for 2022.

Pennsylvania entrepreneur Brent Alderfer will tackle the climate crisis in a session explaining why he believes de-carbonization is a moral imperative.

John D. Roth will do a session on entrepreneurship and Anabaptism. Roth, a well-known Mennonite author and professor of history, recently took on a new role to spearhead publisher MennoMedia’s Anabaptism at 500 initiative.

MEDA staff will lead seminars related to important issues in the world of international development:

  • A partnership approach to equipping entrepreneurs will explain how partnerships are evolving. MEDA staff will explain the organization’s approach to partnerships. They will outline how partnerships will be used strategically to shape projects moving forward, and how this will better equip entrepreneurs for success.
  • Unlocking the potential of youth entrepreneurship in the Global South will describe the importance of agriculture to rural development. It will explain why 30 percent of MEDA’s efforts to create decent work for 500,000 people by 2030 are aimed at encouraging youth to enter the agriculture sector. It will also discuss significant challenges that need to be addressed to engage youth in the sector and ensure their success.

Other workshop sessions will explore:

  • The connection between servant leadership and forgiveness.
  • Gender lens investing: changing the landscape of investment in the Global South
  • The stewardship of creativity: reflections on beauty, transformation, and Mennonite entrepreneurs.

Convention venue The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square is central to downtown Lancaster and integrated with a world-class convention centre. It is located within walking distance of many entertainment and trendy dining venues.

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