Session Descriptions

Session Descriptions for the 2016 Geno Auriemma UConn Leadership Conference

Secrets from Geno Auriemma

UConn Women’s Basketball head coach Geno Auriemma will discuss his secrets, strategies and winning formula for building winning teams during this lunch-time program. Having won 11 NCAA Division 1 National Championships, including an unprecedented four National Championships in a row (2012-16), Auriemma’s insights on team-building, preparation and approach to challenges easily extend beyond basketball to the competitive business world.

To the Hoop We Go: Watch Coach Auriemma in Action!

At this year’s conference the UConn Women’s Basketball team will hold a practice at Mohegan Sun, where participants can see Coach Geno Auriemma’s leadership style on the court as he leads his team. Grab one of the best seats in the house to watch our Huskies in pre-season!

Start with the Answer: A Presentation by CEO and Author Bob Seelert

“The first step in a business plan is to ‘start with the answer’ and then devote all your time and energy to work your way back to the solution.’’ That’s some of the advice that CEO and author Bob Seelert offers in his book, “Start with the Answer: And Other Wisdom for Aspiring Leaders.’’’ Seelert’s 40-year career is punctuated by a reputation as a turnaround expert. His experience includes a 23-year career with General Foods, where he served as president and CEO of Worldwide Coffee and International Foods. He will share his story of his journey from his smalltown Connecticut roots, to Harvard, to CEO of five different companies in three different industries. He has also served as a member of the board of directors of nine companies both in the U.S. and abroad. In his role as chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, a leading global ideas and advertising company, Seelert led the organization through a major transition that included board member shake-ups, a company merger and innovation in international advertising.

Shaking Things Up: Transitions from Multiple Perspectives

Join us for a panel discussion of business transitions, spearheaded by leaders of major media, fashion and financial companies. These progressive leaders will share their experiences with change at the individual, group, organizational, and industry levels. Their valuable lessons offer a blueprint in successful transitions that span many industries. Our panel includes: Steve Raab (President, SNY), Carol Juel (CIO & EVP, Synchrony Financial), and Wendy Kahn (Chief Executive & Brand President, Stuart Weitzman).

Never Stagnant: Publishing Executive Shares how he’s Retooled

Lincoln Millstein is senior vice president of Hearst Corporation and special assistant to the CEO. Considered a digital pioneer in newspapers (co-founding and New York Times Digital), has consistently embraced change. Recently he approached the Hearst CEO with an idea to combine products and introduce a package of new innovations, for which he is now building a new business model. Millstein, who is also a UConn graduate, will share his passion for change and his fight against business stagnation.

Buzzer Beater: A Presentation by WNBA President Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders is the new president of the WNBA, coinciding with the basketball league’s 20th anniversary. In her new role, Borders plans to strengthen the league and accelerate its growth. Her fascinating career has included serving as chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation and vice president of global community affairs for the beverage giant. She has also served as president of Grady Health Foundation, Georgia’s largest public hospital, where she oversaw a successful, five-year, $325 million capital campaign. Borders has also served as president of the city council and vice mayor of Atlanta.

You’re R-E-T-I-R-I-N-G? How to Plan a Smooth Business Transition for All

Bob Chauvin, who recently stepped down from his role as president of Tyco SimplexGrinnell, will share the keys to a successful succession planning strategy. In this honest discussion, Chauvin will discuss how he planned to retire, chose who would take over and when, and how he gracefully eased out of his commander-in-chief role. He will be joined by Aaron Saak, vice president and general manager, who will discuss what it was like to transition into their new leadership roles, and what went smoothly—and what did not.

What to do when Transitions are NOT Planned

This panel brings together two long-time business partners who will discuss fending off hostile takeovers, planning for the unexpected, and getting your team ready for whatever might come next. In 2015 Joe Papa spent most of the his time in what has been described as a “survival story” where he, as CEO of Perrigo pharmaceuticals, worked closely with Clint Gartin, Chairman of investments, Morgan Stanley, to fend off a hostile bid which did not put shareholders’ best interests first, nor in their opinion, help his firm’s growth prospects.

‘If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?’ with Gina Barreca

UConn English professor and bestselling author Gina Barreca has just published her tenth book, If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse? Barreca, who writes a column for the Hartford Courant, brings a delightful mix of humor and contemporary business dilemmas to this lunch-and-learn program. She has appeared on the Today show, Oprah, 20/20, CNN and more. “Barreca is a sharp analyst of women’s humor…observant, witty, acerbic and knowledgeable,’’ according to the LA Times.

The Muscle that Goes with the Title: What can Leaders Really Accomplish?

This panel will address some of the important ‘behind the scenes’ goals and action steps leaders can take that can have a lasting influence on their team and organization. From corporate social responsibility, community involvement, to service to others, the “head honchos” of an organization can influence much more than their company’s bottom line. Hear from Anne Diamond (CEO, UConn John Dempsey Hospital), John Fodor (Co-Founder, NextGen Recruiters) and Regina Black Lennox (Director of Philanthropy, Progressive Business Publications).

One Year Later: Is the View from the President’s Suite Still Sweet?

John Ciulla became president of Webster Bank and its holding company, Webster Financial Corp., one year ago. During this time, he has challenged his executive team to achieve new goals and put leadership into action. In this session, Ciulla will talk about the challenge he presented to his team and what leadership looks like from the office of a newer president.