Session Descriptions

2019 Conference

Leading Your Business and Employees Through Unprecedented Change

One of the most difficult challenges any leader can undertake is steering a business, and its employees through a major acquisition integration, a corporate spinoff, or a merger. United Technologies is doing all three, simultaneously. The company is integrating Rockwell Collins in the largest aerospace transaction, and spinning off two multi-billion dollar industry leaders (Otis Elevator and Carrier), while merging with defense leader Raytheon to become the premier systems provider to the aerospace industry. Akhil Johri, UTC’s Chief Financial Officer, will share his leadership strategy during these transitions.

  • Akhil Johri, President and CEO, Otis Elevator Company
  • Discussion with John A. Elliott, Interim Provost, University of Connecticut

You’ve Got Mountains of Data: Now What Can You Do With It?

From the perspective of two very different industries, these panelists will focus on how they use data, lots of data, to help understand complex situations, make difficult decisions, and hold themselves and their teams accountable.

Can Employee Success in Handling Complexity & Ambiguity be Measured?

What’s one of the traits that YouTube seeks in its employees? You might be surprised to learn that it is the ability to handle complexity and ambiguity. This discussion will focus on the importance of dealing with complexity in a fast-moving, dynamic organization, where 400 hours of content are uploaded every minute!

How Can You Develop Authentic & Collaborative Leadership?

In a world that is changing rapidly, how can you be the kind of leader that your employees trust, respect, and turn to in times of uncertainty? Both of these executives have experienced industry turmoil during recent years and will share their personal and professional strategies for steering the ship on stormy seas.

The Tools You Need to Build a Sustainable Organization

Sustainability initiatives are about reducing negative impact while positively impacting the environment and lives of those you touch. Both Stanley Black & Decker and the CT Girl Scouts are committed to making a difference in their community by providing their employees, clients, and customers the tools necessary to build a better future.

Messaging, Storytelling, and Communication

Communication is one of the most complex and powerful tools that an organization has at its disposal. Alicia will address new ways to inspire, instill brand loyalty and increase sales while Jim will add to this panel by discussing the juxtaposition of having to communicate while at the same time keeping company data private and safe. His many years at the FBI add a whole new dimension to this conversation.

Making the Hard Calls

During her career, Dawn Hudson has been at the forefront of two very large, diverse, and visible organizations, the National Football League and PepsiCo. In both organizations she has had to manage major “situations” both behind the scenes and in the public eye. Dawn will discuss how leaders have to juggle both perceptions and reality, and empower their employees to drive change.

  • Dawn Hudson, Former President, Pepsi North America, Chief Marketing Officer, National Football League

Embracing Disruption

Industry disruption is a monumental challenge. Some say it’s like leading people down a dark hallway; and that people will be afraid. But you, as a leader, cannot be reluctant to embrace change and the growing pains that accompany it. Join WWE Co-President George Barrios as he shares his experience, and often emotional journey, leading media disruptions, including at the New York Times, and ultimately embracing digitization at the WWE.

Listen to the Finance Experts: Innovation is an Unmistakable Financial Strategy

These two top CFOs will share the mindset that investing in innovation is one of the smartest choices that executives can make, regardless of financial climate. When times are uncertain, people turn to the CFO because they control the purse strings. Understanding your role in the company’s future, and seeing innovation as an essential as part of your financial strategy is necessary for survival and ultimate success.

  • Jon PedersenSenior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, iHeartMedia Market Group
  • Patrick HarrisFinancial Consultant, COO, LA Urban League, Former Chief Financial Officer, LA Lakers
  • Interim Dean David SouderFaculty Moderator, Universtiy of Connecticut

For Entrepreneurs, Complexity, Uncertainty, and Ambiguity are Called ‘Wednesday’!

West Hartford native Geoffrey Tracy is a chef and co-owner of Chef Geoff's Deluxe Hospitality, a restaurant group with eight locations in and around Washington D.C. A Georgetown University theology graduate, he went on to earn a second degree at the Culinary Institute of America, then opened his first restaurant at age 27. In a recent interview, he said there has never been a better time to be a diner in Washington, "but there's never been a more competitive time to be a restaurant owner." Tracy is married to CBS News' Norah O'Donnell.