Topics of Discussion

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Leading in the 21st Century: What are the questions CEOs are asking themselves?

Ecolab’s purpose is to make the world cleaner, safer and healthier – protecting people and vital resources.  To deliver on that purpose, Ecolab’s 2015 strategy calls for: 1.) Uncompromised customer focus 2.) World-class global talent and leadership 3.) Superior technology and innovation and 4.) Market-recognized one Ecolab.  

What keeps Jim Miller, President of Global Service & Specialty Sectors, up at night is how to deliver on those strategies to win in the U.S. food service industry.   How to achieve a strong ROI on IT investments, particularly with customer-facing technology?  How to evolve the role of IT in the organization?   How to break the tendency of managers to hire and promote others just like themselves?  How to break down business silos, and get people to work together and operate as "one company”?   

Ecolab’s approaches and experiences in trying to answer these key questions will provide insights and perspective relevant to anyone in business today.

Thursday, June 7th

Plenary Session I: The IBM Transformation - Leadership and Succeeding in the Global Market

Tom Watson Jr. famously said: "If an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself, except its beliefs."  Looking back, IBM at its best has always embraced the future and transformed to meet new challenges and opportunities.  

Over the last decade, IBM has again re-defined itself by capturing new markets, inventing breakthrough technologies and building an organization able to deliver superior results over the long term.  Mark Loughridge, SVP and CFO, Finance and Enterprise Transformation will share insights about how IBM is making the process of transformation an integral part of the company's operations.    He will focus on leadership, the shift to higher value, operating as a globally integrated enterprise and IBM's 2015 Roadmap providing clarity about our business model, objectives and key factors driving performance.

Plenary Session II: Looking Beyond – Opportunities in Turbulent Times

Agustin Carcoba, CEO, GE Capital Franchise Finance, will go over relevant megatrends and how these are creating volatility and opportunities at the same time. The next decade the world will continue to experience volatility related to the divergence of growth in emerging vs. mature market growth, resource scarcity, on-demand consumer customization and social networking. Traditional business models relying on stable market growth, mass marketing and control hierarchies will be challenged. However those businesses who evolve their value propositions to address these trends will enjoy fast profitable growth. The conference will address the growth and safety paradox that the winners of the new normal will have to thrive in.

Plenary Session III: Happiness and Leadership – They’re Cut from the Same Cloth

Real happiness is not about always being in a good mood or the absence of setbacks and challenges.  Happiness is about making choices that lead to a predominant and underlying sense of well-being and contentment that sustains us even in times of difficulty and crisis.  Interestingly the choices that lead to happiness are remarkably similar to the choices that lead to effective leadership.  In fact happiness and leadership are both founded on choices that lead to meaningful purpose and effective relationships.  Doug Smith will discuss a number of choices that enable us to find both greater joy in life and enhance our ability to lead.   

#Networking Luncheon: Lessons on Leadership –  A CEO’s Perspective  

Gail Letts is a Region President and CEO for SunTrust Bank in Richmond Virginia, where she manages a team of 850 people in Commercial and Retail Banking, as well as Private Wealth Management. She also serves at the region’s community ambassador representing over 4500 teammates in the Central Virginia region.  With nearly 30 years experience in the financial services industry, Ms. Letts has learned several valuable lessons throughout her career to share with other business professionals. She shares these lessons with practical advice and humor.  

When asked, what does it take to be a successful leader, Ms. Letts shares her "10 lessons of leadership”. These lessons include personal integrity, executive presence and managerial courage.  Ms. Letts doesn’t believe there is a "road map” to success; however, her leadership tips will help better navigate the journey.

#Plenary Session IV : Finding a Balance: Energy, Technology and Leadership

When it comes to investing in the electric grid and the technology behind it, there is no single right answer. Yesterday’s perfect solution may be seen as folly tomorrow. In the absence of certainty, a balanced approach to investing is required. Successful managers also bring a balanced approach to leadership. Progress Energy CIO Dede Ramoneda will share how a flexible approach to leadership can steer an organization through uncertainty and on to its long-term goals.

National Society of Hispanic MBAs