Lake Forest College graduates Tom Steen ’18 and George Vidas ’16 attended the second annual Campbell Trophy Summit, which was held at Stanford University in California from August 22-25. Steen and Vidas joined other standout collegiate football student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions at the event.
The Campbell Trophy Summit, hosted by the National Football Foundation is a new yearly tradition intended to bring together young leaders with successful CEOs and entrepreneurs. The event serves as a tribute to Bill Campbell who coached at Columbia University for six seasons between 1974 and 1979 and also became known as the “Coach of Silicon Valley” for the director roles he served at Apple, Google, and other software developing companies.
Access to this event is invite only, consisting of those who have been nominated by their collegiate head coaches as possible award recipients for not only their successes on the field, but also for their leadership, work ethic, academic success and commitment to improving themselves. All 2017 nominees as well as former nominees were invited to attend.
While attending the summit, attendees were introduced to a multitude of guest speakers, including CEOs from Intuit, Google X and more. Each of the guest speakers discussed what an impact Bill Campbell had on them, and attempted to pass along that wisdom to each of the young men there who could gain from their experiences. Along with learning from guest speakers, attendees had the chance to attend a career expo, which allowed for networking with established and successful companies such as Bank of America, Chegg, Google, and Intuit, as well as new and emerging companies. Those who attended also participated in teambuilding activities with their fellow attendees, such as touch football and scavenger hunts.
“I am from a small DIII college that not many people know, and are surrounded by individuals who played at huge colleges. But we realized that we are not so different in terms of how we carry ourselves as leaders,” said Steen when asked what his largest take away from the event was. When asked the same question, Vidas replied, “I learned that relationships are key. The speakers each came to speak with us due to their positive relationship to Bill Campbell, and this has inspired me to be better at being proactive in new relationships, and maintaining the ones I already have.” Both alumni spoke to the magnitude of helpful advice given, and the ample opportunity to grow in both their careers and their personal leadership abilities.
Steen currently works in the Advocate Condell emergency room, while he prepares for the MCAT. In the future he plans to be an emergency room doctor, but he dreams of opening a food truck. Vidas worked at Charles Schwab after graduation, but most recently started a new position at Merrill Edge within their supervision team, and hopes to continue growing in that position.