Attendees at ACG Wisonsin’s annual Growth, Leadership and Human Capital conference in September benefited from networking opportunities and thought-provoking presentations, including one from an unannounced guest.
Prompted by the cancellation of a previously scheduled speaker, the chapter quickly secured political commentator, former member of the United States House of Representatives and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West as a worthy replacement.
ACG Wisconsin President Tom Walton, managing director of Hanley, Hammill, Thomas, announced the change during the event’s opening remarks.
“Col. West was in Milwaukee for a speaking engagement at Marquette University,” said Walton. “Members of the ACG Wisconsin leadership team met him serendipitously the night before and invited him to attend. Little did we know that he would later graciously accept an invitation for an unexpected speaking opportunity. His delivery was flawless and the message on the importance of leadership within the U.S. business community was powerful.”
Joining West for the conference’s signature TED Talk-style encore was Montage Talent CEO and interviewing technology expert Kurt Heikkinen, and author, speaker and human resources executive Susan Schmitt from Rockwell Automation. Together the three speakers offered innovative ideas on strategic business leadership and addressed top-of-mind talent development concerns.
Other program highlights included a presentation from Rita McGrath, author of “The End of Competitive Advantage” and an expert on strategy in uncertain and volatile environments. Doug Tatum, chairman of the Newport Board Group and ACG Global board chairman, followed, detailing his latest research on the middle market.
ACG Wisconsin member Richard Danning, CFO, MetalTek International, credited McGrath and Tatum with “challenging (his) thinking,” observing, “They were provocative without having to go over the top…I found them incredibly interesting.”