Cleveland Chiropractic College’s Los Angeles campus hosted the 8th Annual Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) Leadership Conference on May 21-22. The star-studded chiropractic weekend featured more than 20 of the professions most elite doctors as speakers in what organizers called “the largest and most high-profile leadership conference to date.”
More than 100 students from nearly every chiropractic college in the country were in attendance. That included 16 from CCCLA and 10 from CCCKC. The annual event rotates between the various chiropractic institutions, and this year the conference came to Los Angeles. Spearheading the event was CCCLA student and SACA chapter president Reyhaneh Baha. She served as chair for the conference and was assisted by an organizing committee that included chapter officers Heidi Henson, vice president; Hakeh Afshar, treasurer; and Shah Soleimani, Sports Council representative; as well as fellow CCCLA student Adam Mazzeo.
The CCCLA campus, in its 100th year, served as a proud and proper location for SACA members to network with and engage each other in candid discussions about the chiropractic profession. Attendees heard opening remarks Friday night from Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, who spoke about chiropractic and the Cleveland legacy. Other speakers highlighting Friday night’s activities were Dr. Mike Flynn, president of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC); and Dr. Stan Holm, president of the World Congress of Chiropractic Students (WCCS).
Kicking things off Saturday morning were introductory remarks by several Cleveland alumni, including Dr. Lance Cohen ’09, Dr. Michael Perusich ’99 and Dr. Glenn Johnson ’85. Then, keynote speaker Dr. Denis Waitley, one of the nation’s most respected authors, lecturers and productivity consultants, took the stage. A former member of the U.S. Olympics Committee, Waitley shared his views on high-performance human achievement and the role chiropractic plays in that regard. Other featured speakers Saturday were Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA); Dr. Leonard Faye, co-founder of the Motion Palpation Institute (MPI); and Dr. Brian Kelly, president of Life Chiropractic College West.
Sunday’s offerings included a “Future Leaders” breakfast, a Q&A panel and breakout sessions. The highlight of the conference’s final day was a session led by Dr. Mark Losack, a retired U.S. Marine Colonel and faculty member at Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS).
Baha said she the feedback she received was “highly positive” and that she was “extremely proud” to be part of such an inspirational event.
Most of the students said the vision, experience and wisdom of the speakers and the ACA leadership had a huge impact on them,” Baha said. “A lot of hard work went into planning and carrying out this event and I am so proud of the turnout. I can truly say that this was one of the best things I have ever been involved with, and I know we really changes lives and inspired some great new leaders.
CCCKC students Jessica Tallman and Angela Boyazis shared Baha’s enthusiasm about the conference and its benefit to all who attended.
“The focus of the conference was on positive thoughts, forward thinking, the power of unity and leadership,” Tallman said. “One of my favorite quotes used during the weekend was by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who said: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.’ This reminds me that if we are to be involved in the profession and reach our full potential, both as individuals and as chiropractors, it starts with the habits we form now, right here in school. The conference truly inspired me to reassert my efforts as a leader, both in the classroom and for chiropractic.”
“Attending the leadership conference was an inspirational and eye-opening experience,” Boyazis said. “We were privileged to hear lectures by so many leaders in our profession, and to be amongst a truly dynamic group of students from other chiropractic colleges. I have definitely grown as a leader and have a stronger passion for chiropractic. My spirit has truly been renewed. I urge all students to get involved and support the profession!”
Henson, who serves as SACA’s national legislative chair, summed up the impact of the conference in a column she wrote for the organization’s national newsletter. Her words reflected not just on SACA students and the profession, but also on the CCCLA community.
“The honor of hosting this conference in Los Angeles marks the culmination of all the dreams from this year’s CCCLA SACA executive board to build a lasting legacy of leadership and excellence for years to come,” Henson wrote. “Their ability to see the bigger picture toward enhancing the leadership potential of SACA students from around the country clearly demonstrates the high quality of service embraced by the chiropractic leaders of tomorrow.”
Embracing what the future holds is good advice, for SACA members and the chiropractic profession as a whole. Attendees at the 2011 SACA Leadership Conference took a big step toward that goal, and will put their best foot forward in the days and months ahead until they meet again for the 2012 conference.