Executive Leadership Institute Panel

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On August 1st, CBI’s President and CEO Denise Booms-Pepin spoke on a panel at the Executive Leadership Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan. This was an all day event hosted by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. Topics discussed touched on today’s marketplace, workforce and the future of our communities. Denise was joined on the panel by these esteemed people:

  • Carol Cruz – Senior Director, North American Procurement Operations at Kellogg
  • Reginald Humphrey – Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity at General Motors
  • Floriza Genautis – CEO at Management Business Solutions
  • Jinny Bromberg – President at Bromberg Translations
  • Carole Valade – Editor at the Grand Rapids Business Journal

What do you see is happening in the marketplace today?

Market, meaning Retail sales? Stock? Industrial? One thing is for certain; B2C, B2B, M2B, you name your connection and they are all digital. Focus on how these transactions are done: It’s called a cross-device journey (TV-Laptop, tablet, phones, etc.). For sure a mobile device, which is a wireless communication device typically with a connected cell radio.

Marketplace — do you have a sneak peek into the future?

Mobile commerce will be taking over. This means CBI’s mobile management, communication consulting, etc. are very serious. Therefore, clients invest in CBI for cost savings, technology prowess and the best analytics in the industry.

What does the workforce look like today?

First, I am proud to see the talent coming from CBI’s core corporate geography region in Grand Rapids. CBI’s current demands in today’s workforce are very dynamic, entrepreneurial, and diverse. Dynamic means having an understanding of the business cycle, thinking about people, the planet, and knowing profits take care themselves. Entrepreneurial means we need to take measurable risk and make investments, fail and most of all win. Today’s workforce needs to have a good understanding of finance, technology, sales, etc. When I say Diverse, I’m not only talking about more women in business roles. I strongly believe that for companies to compete and grow they need the brightest and best in a true global sense. The best ideas come from all walks of life, cultures, and geographical regions. Continue to look for the best! Continue to think global and act local.

What do you see our communities looking like in the future? 

Think about this: Cities have video surveillance of all business owners. In Plano TX, Bernie can look at his cash register, cooks, customers, and servers anywhere in the world while utilizing all this with high definition from mobile phones. Have you heard of IBM Watson? The internet of things integrates billions of people onto connected sensors; 13 billion today and an expected 29 billion by 2020. This delivers data that transforms businesses, connects cars and cognitive IoT. This will aid us in our homes, businesses and allow for an even greater freedom to travel, resulting in economic value of more than $11 trillion by 2025. Our communities will operate in a whole new ballgame.

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