LEADERS Magazine April, May, June 2023 Volume 46, Number 2

Page 106

INZERILLO

MILLEYARSHT

RESILIENCE

A PLATE OF HOPE

A NEW ERA OF SPACE EXPLORATION

PURPOSE

THE CITY OF EARTH

SUBRAMANIAM

ANDRÉS

THE FUTURE OF WORK

WOMEN LEADERS

LEADERS IN HEALTH

April, May, June 2023 Volume 46 Number 2
MONAHAN SHAPIRO
CHAO

HAPPY SPORT

Handcrafted in Ethical Gold

On the Cover

Gerard “Jerry” J. Inzerillo Diriyah Company

General Mark A. Milley

Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense

Adrienne Arsht

Samantha Boardman, MD

Raj Subramaniam FedEx Corp.

José Andrés World Central Kitchen

Jay Monahan

PGA TOUR

Angela Chao

Foremost Group

Louis A. Shapiro

HSS

Tony Robbins

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LEADERS (ISSN 0163-3635 ) is published quarterly by Leaders Magazine, LLC, a Sandow brand; www.leadersmag.com. Leaders Magazine, LLC, Sandow Media, LLC and their respective affiliates, directors, officers, employees, contributors, writers and editors (collectively, “Publisher”) accept no responsibility for inaccuracies, errors or omissions with information and/or advertisements contained herein. The Publisher has neither investigated nor endorsed the individuals, companies and/or products that advertise within the publication or that are mentioned editorially. Publisher assumes no responsibility for the claims made by the Advertisers or the merits of their respective products or services advertised or promoted in the publication. Publisher neither expressly nor implicitly endorses such Advertiser products, services or claims. Publisher expressly assumes no liability for any damages whatsoever that may be suffered by any purchaser or user for any products or services advertised or mentioned editorially herein and strongly recommends that any purchaser or user investigate such products, services, methods and/or claims made thereto. Opinions expressed in the magazine and/or its advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Publisher. Neither the Publisher nor its staff, associates or affiliates are responsible for any errors, omissions or information whatsoever that have been misrepresented to Publisher. The information on products and services as advertised in the publication are shown by Publisher on an “as is” and “as available” basis. Publisher makes no representations or warranties o f any kind, expressed or implied, as to the information, services, contents, trademarks, patents, materials or products included in this magazine. All pictures reproduced in the publication have been accepted by Publisher on the condition that such pictures are reproduced with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer. As such, Publisher is not responsible for any infringement of any third party’s intellectual property or other rights arising out of any publication. LEADERS® is a registered trademark of Leaders Magazine, LLC. © Leaders Magazine, LLC 2023. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher.

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“No one’s life is a smooth sail; we all come into stormy weather. But it’s this adversity - and more specifically our resilience - that makes us strong and successful.”
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 2 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2

The City of Earth

Gerard “Jerry” J. Inzerillo, Group Chief Executive Officer, Diriyah Company

38

Connecting People and Possibilities

Raj Subramaniam, President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Corp. 42

DRIVEN

Jay Monahan, Commissioner, PGA TOUR 46

The Strength of Diversification

John F. Barrett, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Western & Southern Financial Group 50

Proven Conservative Policies

The Honorable Brian P. Kemp, Governor of Georgia 52

United, Well Positioned, and Forward Thinking Richard A. Rosenbaum, Executive Chairman, and Ejim Peter Achi and Richard C. Kim, Co-Chairs of the New York Corporate Practice, Greenberg Traurig

54

Farming for the Future

Stefan Soloviev, Chairman, Soloviev Group

56

The Miami Miracle

The Honorable Francis X. Suarez, Mayor of Miami 60

Leading by Example Dave Liniger, Chairman and Co-Founder, RE/MAX 64

Building Relationships

Jonathan L. Mechanic, Chairman, Real Estate Department, Fried Frank 66

At the Center of Everything

The Honorable JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois 68

Helping People Achieve Their Full Potential

Raymond J. Manista, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, and Secretary, Northwestern Mutual 72

Defining Entrepreneurship

Stacy Spikes, Co-Founder and CEO, MoviePass 74

Investment Professionalism

Ned S. Offit, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Offit Capital 76

Bringing History to Life

Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Museum of the American Revolution 78

The NJ Advantage

The Honorable Philip D. Murphy, Governor of New Jersey 80

DC’s Story

Adjusting Priorities to the New Global Order Richard Attias, Executive Chairman, Richard Attias & Associates 82
Precious Metals Andrew Sabin, Chairman, Sabin Metal Corporation 86
Contents The Show Goes On Adrienne Arsht 8 Sacrifice, Duty, and Honor General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense 10 A Plate of Hope José Andrés, Founder and Chief Feeding Officer, World Central Kitchen 14 A New Era of Space Exploration Senator Bill Nelson, Administrator, NASA 16 Part of the Glue That Holds the Nation Together Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution 20 Passion and Purpose Helio Castroneves, Four-Time Indianapolis 500 Champion, and Dr. Stephen Olvey, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine 22 Tough as They Come Travis Mills, Co-Founder, Travis Mills Foundation 26 Positive Psychology Samantha Boardman, MD 28 Entrepreneurial Passion Raymond T. Dalio, Founder, CIO Mentor, and Member of the Board, Bridgewater Associates, LP 30 Promoting Equal Opportunity Martin Edelman, Co-Founder, Jackie Robinson Foundation 32 The Power of Regret Daniel H. Pink 34 The Only Way to Survive Anna Deveare Smith, Director / Producer, The Anna Deveare Smith Pipeline 36 POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 4 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC 88

Specialization

Bob Knakal, Head – NY Private Capital Group, JLL 90

The Future of Work

94

Peter M. Fasolo, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Johnson & Johnson

April Hicks, Head of Global Talent Acquisition and People Strategy and Enablement, Bank of America

Kate Clifford, Chief Human Resources Officer, Accenture North America

Kim Fleming, Executive Vice President, Head of Human Capital Strategy and Insights, Truist

Maxine Carrington, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Northwell Health

Katy George, Senior Partner and Chief People Officer, McKinsey & Company

Betty Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton

Joe Machicote, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Premier, Inc.

A Servant of the Community

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, Peter and Mary Kalikow Senior Rabbinic Chair, Congregation Emanu-El

98

Crypto Education

Ric Edelman, Founder, Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals (DACFP)

100

Impactful Solutions and Data-Driven Insights

Vince Cole, Chief Executive Officer, Ontellus

104

Pleasure, Madness, and Freedom

Nicola Andreatta, Chief Executive Officer, Manufacture Roger Dubuis S.A.

106

A Focus on Quality and Relationships

David Jones, President, Connemara & Company

108

Helping American Businesses Reinvest in Themselves

Josh Fox, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bottom Line Concepts

110

A One-Stop Luxury Shop Hassan Chowdhury, Meta Fly Club

112

Elevating Paintings Eli Wilner, Chief Executive Officer, Eli Wilner & Company 114

Transformational Leadership

Louis A. Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, HSS

202

The Future of HSS

Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA, President, Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director, HSS

204

Purpose, Focus, and Culture

Justin R. Oppenheimer, Chief Strategy, Growth and Transformation Officer, HSS

206

The Core Value of Diversity

Stephen C. Haskins, MD, Chief Medical Diversity Officer, HSS

207

Research, Education, and Patient Care

Douglas E. Padgett, MD, Associate Surgeon-in-Chief and Deputy Medical Director, HSS

208

The People Experience Reginald Odom, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, HSS

209

Expanding the Reach and Impact of HSS

Tara McCoy, Senior Vice President, HSS and Chief Executive Officer, HSS Florida

210

Belonging and Excellence in Nursing

Paul Coyne, DNP, MBA, MS, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive, HSS

211

Innovation and Storytelling

Roy Danis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Conecuh Brands LLC

212 A Master of One

Jesse Bongiovi, Founder, The Hampton Water Wine Co.

214

122
CGCC
- USA 116
CHINA GENERAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“Resilience is something you learn through trial, sacrifice, and failure. It is learned, but only if you are truly willing to be vulnerable and to challenge yourself.”
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS5 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense

The Show Goes On

EDITORS’ NOTE Adrienne Arsht is a business leader and impact philanthropist. She has taken a leading role promoting artistic, business, and civic growth in the three cities she calls home: Washington, DC, Miami and New York. Her $30 million contribution to Miami’s Performing Arts Center in 2008 secured its financial footing. In her honor, the Center was renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. In 2012, her contribution of $10 million to Lincoln Center was recognized with the dedication of the Adrienne Arsht Stage in Alice Tully Hall.

Recently, Arsht donated $10 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in support of the MetLiveArts performance series. This is the single largest gift to the Department of Live Arts and will fund Department activities that uplift and highlight themes of resilience through art.

In October 2022, Arsht donated $10 million to the Smithsonian Institution to launch the Adrienne Arsht Community-Based Resilience Solutions Initiative, a multi-year program to research tropical resilience and educate the public about the role resilience plays in shaping the world around us.

In April 2022, in Washington DC, Arsht an nounced a $25 million gift to endow the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council. The Center was founded in 2013 to focus on the role of South America in the trans-Atlantic community. In 2016, Arsht spearheaded the creation of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council, which was renamed in 2019 the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, with the $30 million Rockefeller Foundation gift that she matched.

Earlier in 2022, Arsht announced an $11 million endowment gift at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. This gift will support a fully paid internship program creating greater and more equal access to handson professional experience in arts management and administration.

Arsht is a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she established the Adrienne Arsht Theater Fund and

is Trustee Emerita of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is an Honorary Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Arsht is Executive Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is former President of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation and a former Board Member of the Blair House Restoration Fund. Arsht is Trustee Emerita of the University of Miami and an honorary board member of Amigos for Kids.

At the request of the then Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Arsht created the campaign Patrons of Diplomacy to establish an endowment for the preservation of furniture and works of art for the State Department. Arsht is on the Advisory Council of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) where she established the Roxana Cannon Arsht Law Fellowship, in honor of her mother, which focuses on domestic violence and other urgent family matters. She was the inaugural recipient of the DCVLP Champion of Justice Award for her outstanding contributions to the organization’s work to expand access to justice.

In 2022, The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht number 32 on its 2022 America’s biggest donors list, and Worth Magazine named her as one of the Worthy 100 of 2022. In April 2021, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Barry University, located in Miami. In 2019, Arsht was inducted as an honorary member of the Beta Gamma Sigma society by the business school at Georgetown University. She received an honorary degree from her Alma mater, Mount Holyoke College. Arsht was awarded The Order of Rio Branco from the Brazilian government in 2019 for her outstanding dedication to U.S.-Brazil relations and her vision toward Latin America. Additionally, Arsht was awarded the distinguished Order of San Carlos of Colombia, which was given to her by the direction of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos. In 2013, Arsht

was presented with the prestigious diplomatic honor, Orden de Isabel la Católica (Order of the Cross of Isabella the Catholic), from The King of Spain. In 2017, she was bestowed the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence recognizing her visionary and exceptional contributions to cultural and nonprofit institutions nationally. She is the only woman to have ever received this distinction. In 2006, Arsht received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in finance.

A 1966 graduate of Villanova Law School, Arsht began her Delaware law career with Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnel. In 1969, she moved to New York City and joined the legal department of Trans World Airlines (TWA). She then became the first woman in the company’s property, cargo, and government relations departments. Arsht moved to Washington, DC in 1979 where she initially worked with a law firm, then started her own title company.

In 1996 she moved to Miami to run her family-owned bank, TotalBank. From 1996 to 2007, Arsht served as Chairman of the Board. Under her leadership, TotalBank grew from four locations to 14 with over $1.4 billion in assets. In 2007, she sold the bank to Banco Popular Español. Arsht was named Chairman Emerita of TotalBank.

In 2008 she became the first, and still is, the only woman to join the Five Million Dollar Roundtable of United Way of Miami-Dade. Arsht’s other notable gifts include to Goucher College, creating the Roxana Cannon Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership, in honor of her late mother, a Goucher graduate; The University of Miami Arsht Ethics Programs; and a lab at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami. In Delaware, Arsht funded the creation of a Best Buddies chapter to specifically serve Hispanics and African Americans with mental disabilities.

She is the daughter of the Honorable Roxana Cannon Arsht, the first female judge in the State of Delaware, and Samuel Arsht, a prominent Wilmington attorney. Upon graduation from Villanova Law School, Arsht was the 11th woman admitted to the Delaware bar – her mother having been the 5th. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. She was married to the late Myer Feldman (d.2007), former counsel to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

RESILIENCE RESILIENCE
Adrienne Arsht
RESILIENCE RESILIENCE POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 8 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
An Interview with Adrienne Arsht

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership in the 21st century?

Resilience, Passion, and a Sense of Humor. Resilience is surviving the crisis of the moment, changing the path, and adapting. A sense of humor gives you perspective and keeps you from tipping too far on either side. Passion speaks for itself.

What does quitting mean to you?

I don’t think of “quitting” as a negative. Quitting is a chance to adapt to circumstances. The one thing quitting isn’t is giving up. It is another word for changing direction and reassessing circumstances. Quitting, like failure, is a teaching moment.

Where did your interest in and passion for the study of resilience develop?

A large part of my interest in resilience came from the suicide of my sister, Alison. She was two years younger than I and, in 1969 at the age of 25, she was in the Soviet Union as a foreign-service officer and was taken by the KGB and accused of spying. The evidence was fake tape recordings. They released her the next day, but she came back shattered. She committed suicide when she was 29. From that I have tried to understand how being from the same family and raised so similarly, how we went on very different paths. Hers to despair and mine to optimism.

Do you feel that resilience can be taught or is it an ability that a person is born with?

Individual resilience is mostly genetic, but it can also be encouraged. You can learn from watching others, and decide, “I’m not going to give up.” There are also situations triggered by stress that can cause cell changes. This is called Epigenetics. This aspect of genetics shows how your behavior and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work for you as well as for future generations.

Performing artists are almost by definition resilient. They have a saying, “The show must go on.” I spend a lot of time talking to artists, and I like to ask, “Tell me times when the show had to go on.” There was Baryshnikov, who smashed his foot during a performance, and yet continued partnering the ballerina until the act ended. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the great French pianist, was performing when the piano started to move across the stage. The stagehands had forgotten to lock the wheels. The Show Goes On for each of us.

Will you discuss some of the experiences in your life when resilience was critical in overcoming challenges?

I often think of living as being like a little stream at the top of a mountain. As you go down, you find rocks or boulders in the way. You don’t stop, you just find a way around. I worked at Trans World Airlines in a department where they’d never hired a woman before, and they only hired me because a new law required it. The men would go to lunch every day without me and say, “we may have to work with you, but we don’t have to eat with you.” They did the same thing at conferences when they all went off to play golf. I didn’t want to be left out – this is where the leaders of my industry were. So, I put on a tennis outfit and showed up to drive the golf cart. I just found a way to be where they were.

What has made philanthropy so important to you and how do you approach your philanthropic work?

Philanthropy is part of my everyday existence. For me, the causes I support will be game changers. I learned the importance of philanthropy and making a difference from both my parents. Giving has been a family tradition and has been a core value from the time that I was

a little girl. We gathered as a family at the end of each year to discuss the causes we would support.

You are a major supporter of the arts. Why is this your passion?

My passion for the arts comes from my parents. There was always music in the house. My mother played the piano, and I took piano and ballet lessons. Every Saturday we would listen on the radio to the Texaco live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera. I was fortunate to go to the theater in Wilmington, Delaware and to New York City for shows on Broadway. I cannot imagine a world without the arts. When giving to the arts, you are preserving the essence of civilization for now and for hundreds of years to come. It is thrilling to know that a gift to the arts will be shared by people in a future we can’t even imagine. Art is part of who we are and helps define us. It has been treasured for centuries and will continue indefinitely.

Why are naming rights important to you as part of your philanthropic giving?

Putting your name on something lets the world know what matters to you. By making a naming gift you take a stand, and you show other people what you support. When I get a solicitation from any charity, I always look up the board members. I want to see who believes in this organization, and when I see it’s somebody I respect, someone whose core values I share, that tells me something about that organization. In the case of the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center, my gift told the community, “Take a second look.” The performing arts center was considered a white elephant at the time. It had been a financial sinkhole for years. But when I went ahead, the energy in the organization changed. Put your money where your mouth is and lead by example.

What advice do you offer to young people?

Don’t give up. Persistence is key – and you may change the world. Don’t take the word “no” personally – because it isn’t personal. Don’t over commit – there is always someone else who can do it. “No” is a complete sentence –except when it isn’t. “Yes” is an opportunity –except when it isn’t.•

Adrienne Arsht at the dedication of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 9 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
Adrienne Arsht with her parents, Roxana Cannon Arsht and Samuel Arsht, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Sacrifice, Duty, and Honor

EDITORS’ NOTE General Mark Milley is the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. Prior to becoming Chairman on October 1, 2019, General Milley served as the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. A native of Massachusetts, General Milley graduated from Princeton University in 1980, where he received his commission from Army ROTC. He has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the past 42 years which include command of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division; Deputy Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division; Commanding General, III Corps; and Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command. While serving as the Commanding General, III Corps, General Milley deployed as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. His joint assignments also include the Joint Staff operations directorate and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. General Milley’s operational deployments include the Multi-National Force and Observers, Sinai, Egypt; Operation Just Cause, Panama; Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti; Operation Joint Endeavor, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; and three tours during Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in political science from Princeton University, General Milley has a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and one from the U.S. Naval War College in national security and strategic studies. He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.

Did you always know that you had a desire and passion to serve in the military?

I am a product of the Greatest Generation where both my mother and father served in World War II. My father fought with the 4th Marine Division and participated in the assault landings at Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. My mother was in the Navy and was stationed at a hospital in Seattle taking care of

the wounded coming back from the war. They were both very patriotic Americans and they raised me in that manner. My father saw a lot of combat, but he very rarely talked about specifics. Yet, they both always spoke about service and a personal duty to our Nation.

I am also a product of the 1960s and 1970s. I grew up in a very patriotic neighborhood in the Boston area where most folks served in World War II. All around me, I saw men and women who sacrificed for others and who committed their life to their community. My formative years growing up were during the Vietnam War. I remember the protests and the public unrest. One of my earliest memories is of President Kennedy’s assassination. This was a very turbulent time and that shaped my world views on sacrifice, duty, and honor.

All these factors gave me a deep sense of service. I knew that I was very lucky to be an American. I knew I was blessed to attend a good high school and college. At my very core, I felt that I had opportunity, and it was my duty to pay it forward to others through service. Yet, I did not intend to make the military a career. I did not intend to stay four and a half decades. I just intended to serve, and I think that comes from my father and mother.

How did your career journey prepare you for the role of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

I never set my mind on becoming a General Officer and I never imagined serving in this role. I was never focused on something that might happen 20 or 30 years in the future. If you do this, then you risk losing sight of your priorities today. You cannot become a senior leader in any organization unless you master the basics and develop a true command of the foundational skills. The basics of shooting, moving, communicating, protecting, sustaining, and training were important to me as a Lieutenant and they are still important in my role as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Never forget the basics.

I also owe everything to my commanders, Sergeants, and mentors. I was very blessed to have amazing noncommissioned officers and company and battalion commanders as a young Army officer. They were a wealth of knowledge honed through many years of experience.

Their competence and character molded me over time. No one ever gets anywhere alone. As I grew in rank, I was blessed to have senior mentors. I learned by watching them, listening to them, and following their example. I would not be sitting here today were it not for their advice and mentorship.

How has the military shaped your views on leadership and teamwork?

Obviously, the military has impacted my worldview because I have spent my adult professional life in uniform. Although, I also owe a lot to my parents, family, teachers, and coaches. At Belmont Hill, our hockey coach Ken Martin put steel in our spine. He taught our team to face challenges head on and to come away with our integrity intact. Ken Martin was the winningest coach in Massachusetts history, but you would never know that fact. He was a man of deep humility who never bragged about himself. Our hockey team was built in Ken Martin’s image of humility and living by example. He demonstrated that success is not about personal accolades, but is about team achievements. Leadership is about the impact you have on others and the legacy that others leave behind. Ken Martin’s example has stuck with me to today.

Belmont Hill, Princeton, and the military also taught me what it truly means to be a citizen of this country. They all taught me that this country is an idea. It is an idea enshrined in our Constitution, our founding document in this experiment in liberty we call the United States. It is an idea that many soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardians have sacrificed for and that all of us in uniform swore an oath to support and defend.

This idea says that you and I, no matter who you are, are free and equal in the eyes of the law. It does not matter if you are male or female. It does not matter if you are Black, White, Asian, or Indian. None of that matters. It does not matter if you are rich, poor, famous, or common. Whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, or you choose not to believe at all – none of that matters. What matters is that you are an American. You are going to rise and fall based on your merit – your skills, knowledge, and attributes. You are going to be judged by the content of your character, not the color of your skin. E Pluribus Unum; the motto of our country – from the many come one. That is the fundamental organizing principle of what

RESILIENCE RESILIENCE
General Mark A. Milley
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 10 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
An Interview with General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense

it means to be American. That is how we, as Americans, should all lead and that is what this Nation is truly about – that all Americans are free and equal with opportunity to enjoy the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

How critical is it for the military to continue to adapt and innovate to be prepared for the threats of the future?

Fundamental change is occurring right now. At this very moment, a fundamental change in the character of war is underway. The nature of warfare is not going to change. It is immutable. It is still a political act. It is a decision by humans to impose their political will on their opponent through the use of violence. However, the character of war – how, where, and with what weapons and technologies wars are fought – is changing significantly, and it is changing rapidly. Advancing technologies, including ubiquitous sensing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, long range fires, and new space capabilities, are profoundly changing the character of war. With the advancements in these technologies, we must also modernize our military systems to capitalize on these capabilities. The country that can harness these technologies and integrate them together with strategy will have a competitive advantage in the next war. The organizations, weapons, and doctrines of the militaries between 2025 and 2050 will be fundamentally different than what we see today.

The United States is facing two global powers, China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities. Both countries intend to fundamentally change the current rulesbased global order. Therefore, our military and our Nation must adapt. The United States must continue to grow our competitive edge in the military domain, but also in diplomacy, science, technology, and economic vitality. We must focus our time and energy to strengthen our Nation. These are very difficult and potentially unstable times. Yet, conflict is not inevitable. Our military

might makes war less likely by allowing us to deter across the spectrum of conflict. Keeping America strong and specifically ensuring our military remains the most powerful and capable force in the world is absolutely critical to keep our country secure and the world more stable. How important has resilience been throughout your career?

Grit is one of the most important character traits in life. I have been through many challenges in life and the ability to deal with the stress and tough times is what got me through. We must never lose sight of our North Star and never sacrifice our ethics and morals. The people who excelled around me were not the smartest, strongest, or fastest. They were not the people that always looked the best on paper. They were not always the people with pedigree. They were the people who truly understood sacrifice and maintained their moral compass. One of the biggest predictors of success was having the character traits of resilience and grit. These individuals developed these skills through repeated trials and repeated challenges. Only through true struggle can you learn to master emotions, manage stress, and push through your mental limits and stay true to and stay centered on your moral compass. At the end of the day, it is worth remembering that we all came from dust and unto dust we shall return, and it is your resilience and your character that will be your legacy with all those you touch throughout our short lives on this earth.

Do you feel that resilience can be learned or is it a trait a person is born with?

Resilience is something you learn through trial, sacrifice, and failure. It is learned, but only if you are truly willing to be vulnerable and to challenge yourself. Military training does this very well through basic training, tactical schools, and exercises. You will fail in these controlled environments so that you can learn how to address challenges, both internally and externally. This builds up “scar tissue” so that when you are in

uncontrolled environments, like war, you know how to manage stress and you know how to take a punch and keep moving.

Yet, the military is not the only place to learn this. Sports and school are very important for the development of our youth. In my case, it was hockey, baseball, and football. Part of this growth is learning to be a member of a team. These activities teach you that when you get knocked down, you get back up. It teaches resiliency, teamwork, and humility because you are always making mistakes. You learn from these mistakes. It also teaches you to strive for excellence and to play by the rules within the boundaries that are set.

What do you tell young people about pursuing a career in the military?

I would encourage those who are interested in the military to consider joining, but military service is not for everyone. It is extraordinarily hard and requires you committing to a cause greater than self. Service to our Nation does not have to be in the military, and I do think we should all serve in some capacity whether in business, government, or nonprofits. I believe we should all keep in mind our obligation to society, our obligation to our community, and our obligation to others. There is more to life than making a buck and we should be motivated by a higher calling. All our Nation’s freedoms – freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion – are paid for in sacrifice and blood of those that went before us. We must honor that sacrifice. We must reflect on these privileges no matter what we choose to do in life.

I always tell young people two things. One, never lose sight of your North Star. What matters is your integrity. What matters are your values. Your integrity and values – your character – are more important than anything else. Do not ever lose sight of your inner core, your North Star. There will be many challenges in life. It will not be easy. There will be criticism. There will be pain and suffering. No matter what happens –never turn your back on your North Star.

Second, we must always remember our commitment to the U.S. Constitution. It is the single document that gives meaning to who we are as a Nation. It established not only the government, but it also established our value system. It laid out the rules and it laid out the limits for our society. It is the very idea that is America. My dad hit the beach at Iwo Jima where nearly 7,000 Marines died in only 19 days. That is an incredible cost. Think of the thousands of lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Go back to the days of the Revolutionary War and Civil War and the thousands that were killed in those battles. People have given their lives to protect and defend the idea that is America and to protect the Constitution. I have been in a lot of combat and many of my soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of liberty. We must always be true to the cause for which they died – the cause of supporting and defending the Constitution. Their sacrifice shall not have been in vain. The Preamble also says that we are to pass this liberty on to our posterity. So, no matter what, we should all serve, and we should all protect and defend that idea that is America.•

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General Milley visits with a veteran at the Iron Mike Ceremony at La Fiere Bridge in Normandy, France, on June 5, 2022

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A Plate of Hope

EDITORS’ NOTE Chef José Andrés, born and trained in Spain, moved to the U.S. at age 21. He soon settled in Washington, DC, and began volunteering at DC Central Kitchen, where he started to think big about philanthropy. Over the course of his career as a chef and restaurateur, he saw the role of cooks – and the power of food –to change the world. This path inspired Andrés to found World Central Kitchen in 2010 after a devastating earthquake in Haiti, with the support of his wife Patricia, as well as his business partner, Rob Wilder, and his wife Robin. Since then, he’s pursued a mission to fulfill the words of John Steinbeck: “Wherever there’s a fight so that hungry people may eat… we’ll be there.”

INSTITUTION BRIEF World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a nonprofit organization that is first to the front lines providing fresh meals in response to crises, while working to build resilient food systems with locally-led solutions. Applying a model of quick action, leveraging local resources, and adapting in real time, WCK (wck.org) has served more than

250 million nourishing meals around the world. When disaster strikes, WCK’s Relief Team mobilizes with the urgency of now to start cooking and serving meals to people in need. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of local restaurants, food trucks, and emergency kitchens, WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. To support regional economies, WCK prioritizes purchasing local ingredients to cook with or distribute directly to families in need. WCK knows that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope, especially in times of crisis.

What was your vision for creating World Central Kitchen and how do you define its mission?

I went to Haiti in 2010 after the devastating earthquake and there began, in many ways, the story of World Central Kitchen. After a disaster, food is the fastest way to rebuild our sense of community. We can put people back to work preparing it, and we can put lives back together

by fighting hunger. Food relief is not just a meal that keeps hunger away. It’s a plate of hope. It tells you in your darkest hour that someone, somewhere, cares about you. That has been our mission since the beginning.

Will you provide an overview of World Central Kitchen’s work?

We are the first to the front lines to feed those in need in times of crisis. We put boots on the ground as soon as we can, whether it’s to respond to a hurricane that hits the Gulf of Mexico, wildfires that rip through Northern California, or the devastating earthquakes that recently hit Turkey and Syria. We act with the urgency of now because when you are hungry, it cannot wait until tomorrow.

How critical has it been to build such a strong team for World Central Kitchen?

Many times people ask me how we are in so many places, so quickly, but that is because World Central Kitchen is not just me – it is we the people. We are lucky to have an amazing team who are inspired to be a part of our mission, and in turn, they inspire me each and every day. I like to think that we have the biggest reach of any organization in history, because every chef, every restaurant,

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José Andrés An Interview with José Andrés, Founder and Chief Feeding Officer, World Central Kitchen
“Food relief is not just a meal that keeps hunger away. It’s a plate of hope. It tells you in your darkest hour that someone, somewhere, cares about you.”
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Chef José Andrés maps out plans in Ukraine

every food warehouse, every volunteer wanting to help – they are all a part of WCK, they just don’t know it yet. Each and every one of us has the spirit of WCK inside – we just need to embrace it.

What are the keys to being successful in providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises?

Many complex problems have simple solutions. This is important to remember so we don’t get overwhelmed and lose sight of our most powerful tools – hope and empathy. Whatever crisis we are faced with, it begins by looking for what we can build on quickly. What do we have in front of us? Is there a kitchen that was spared, and can we cook there? Are there restaurants that can get cooking? Are volunteers ready to get going? Instead of spending a long time planning, you just have to show up, jump in, and get to work.

How is World Central Kitchen working to build resilient food systems with locally-led solutions?

We work with local partners – restaurants, food trucks, caterers – to be able to reach as many people in need as possible. After Hurricane Maria, it was Puerto Ricans feeding Puerto Ricans. For the last year in Ukraine, it has been Ukrainians feeding Ukrainians. In Turkey right now, it is the same. We see communities coming together to share resources and work as one kitchen to feed the people. That is what we mean by locally-led – seeing what resources are already in place and helping those who supply the food chain and make food in their communities get back to work doing what they do best.

How do you define success for World Central Kitchen?

Success is a child who does not go to bed hungry. It is handing someone a warm bowl of soup in the cold night of winter. It is seeing a local restaurant reopen its doors. It is a family in need that realizes their neighbors have not forgotten about them. It is seeing the best of humanity come out in the worst of times.

World Central Kitchen has been on the front lines of many crises. Are you able to take moments to reflect on the impact that the organization has made and the lives that it has touched?

My good friend and mentor, Robert Egger, who founded DC Central Kitchen in 1993, said to me that it seems charity is about the redemption of the giver when charity should be about the liberation of the receiver. It is what you see on the front lines – it is about dignity and respect.

What role has resilience played in your life?

Emergencies force you to solve shortterm problems of food and water with energy and efficiency. You do not have time to get stuck in planning to the point where you do nothing. The truth is, sometimes, many times in fact, there is no perfect solution, but you keep going and then you realize, wow, by doing, by not stopping, that resilience is the solution.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in pursuing a career as a chef?

My father showed me the power of fire, and that controlling the fire was more important than the cooking itself. Every young chef has the urge to get in and cook on day 1, but if you back up and really learn to control the fire, then you can do any cooking you want. It is the advice I come back to again and again, many years later.•

Chef Andrés serving in Florida following Hurricane Ian Chef Andrés preparing meals in India
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“Success is a child who does not go to bed hungry. It is handing someone a warm bowl of soup in the cold night of winter. It is seeing a local restaurant reopen its doors.”

A New Era of Space Exploration

EDITORS’ NOTE Senator Bill Nelson was sworn in as the 14th NASA Administrator on May 3, 2021, tasked with carrying out the BidenHarris administration’s vision for the agency. Nelson chaired the Space and Science Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives for six years and the U.S. Senate for 12 years. He then served as the Ranking Member of the full Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Nelson was recognized as the leading space program advocate in Congress. In 2010, Nelson and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) passed the landmark NASA legislation that mapped out a new future for NASA and set the agency on its present dual course of both government and commercial missions. In 2017, Nelson and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) authored the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which expanded NASA’s commercial activities in space. During his time in Congress, Nelson was a strong advocate for NASA’s Earth science programs and authored numerous pieces of legislation to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change. Nelson was also a vocal proponent for STEM career training and education programs to create and fill the jobs of the future. In 1986, he flew on the 24th flight of the Space Shuttle. The mission on Columbia orbited the earth 98 times over six days. Nelson conducted 12 medical experiments including the first American stress test in space and a cancer research experiment sponsored by university researchers. Nelson has served in public office over four decades, first in the state legislature and U.S. Congress, then as State Treasurer. He was elected three times to the United States Senate, representing Florida for 18 years. His committees included the breadth of government policy from defense, intelligence, and foreign policy to finance, commerce, and healthcare. From president of 4-H to international president of the Key Club in high school, Nelson has always known the importance of investing in your neighbors and community to create a better future. Nelson continued to serve his community and country while in college at the University of Florida, Yale, and University of Virginia Law School through various service organizations and school leadership positions. He served on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army.

AGENCY BRIEF The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s civil space program and the global leader in space exploration. The agency has a diverse workforce of just under 18,000 civil servants, and works with many more U.S. contractors, academia, and international and commercial partners to explore, discover, and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity. With an annual budget of $23.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, which is less than 0.5 percent of the overall U.S. federal budget, NASA supports more than 312,000 jobs across the United States, generating more than $64.3 billion in total economic output (Fiscal Year 2019). At its 20 centers and facilities across the country – and the only National Laboratory in space – NASA (nasa.gov) studies Earth, including its climate, the Sun, and the solar system and beyond. It conducts research, testing, and development to advance aeronautics, including electric propulsion and supersonic

flight. NASA develops and funds space technologies that will enable future exploration and benefit life on Earth. NASA also leads a Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes working with U.S. industry, international partners, and academia to develop new technology, and send science research and soon humans to explore the Moon on Artemis missions that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. In addition to those major missions, the agency shares what it learns so that its information can make life better for people worldwide. To ensure future success for the agency and the nation, NASA also supports education efforts in STEM with an emphasis on increasing diversity in its future workforce.

What interested you in the opportunity to lead NASA and what are your priorities for NASA?

Space has been a passion for me. It’s a passion that was fueled by my own family history. I’m a fifth generation Floridian. My grandparents were deeded 160 acres of land

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Bill Nelson An Interview with Senator Bill Nelson, Administrator, NASA
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station on March 2, 2023

under the Homestead Act, and that land today is at the north end of the Space Shuttle runway at Kennedy Space Center. That connection was never lost on me.

I had the privilege to fly on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-61-C mission. Whenever I had a free moment, I went to the window of the spacecraft and looked down on the Earth. It really had an impression on me – there’s a term for it: The overview effect. It changed me. Seeing how fragile the atmosphere is, looking down and seeing no borders, understanding that there is so much more that unites us than divides us. We are all in this together. Space unites us.

One of NASA’s many priorities is our Artemis program, where we’ll return astronauts to the lunar surface and eventually to Mars, and we are relying on the strength of our international and commercial partnerships to help us get there. We’re also working across our mission directorates to explore the cosmos, measure Earth’s climate, develop cutting-edge technologies, and develop the next generation of commercial aircraft.

How do you define the role of NASA Administrator and what are your key areas of focus?

Along with Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Associate Administrator Associate Bob Cabana, I help lead the NASA family in our efforts to improve our nation’s competitiveness in the future of aeronautics and space. As we prepare to go back to the Moon and then on to Mars, each advancement in our science and technology is a giant leap for our country and all of humanity.

How did your time and experience in public service prepare you for your role leading NASA?

During my time in Congress, I advocated for NASA policies and priorities that advanced our nation’s opportunities in space,

including developing the Space Launch System (SLS). I’m still having those important conversations to make sure NASA has what we need to meet our goals in this new era of space exploration.

Will you discuss NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and how will it impact NASA in the years ahead?

Space Launch System is the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built, and last year it launched for the first time as part of our Artemis I mission. As we prepare to send multiple crewed missions to the Moon, SLS is critical in getting astronauts to deep space safely and faster than ever before.

What role can NASA play as the country tackles the issue of climate change?

NASA is a climate agency. If you want to mitigate climate change, you have to measure it, and that is NASA’s expertise. We have instruments in space that are measuring how our planet is changing and will increasingly do so over the next decade. More than two dozen NASA satellites measure the height of oceans and inland waters, clouds and precipitation, soil moisture, carbon dioxide, and more. The data collected helps to improve weather forecasts, inform farming practices, and helps decisionmakers at all levels of government and the private sector.

How critical has it been to build the team at NASA and will you highlight the talent and expertise of the NASA workforce?

The work we do at NASA is only possible because of our workforce. They are the reason NASA was ranked the best place to work in the Federal Government for the tenth consecutive year. One of our core values at NASA is promoting inclusion to reflect and embrace the ideas and talents of all our workforce.

How do you describe your management style?

Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, and I are committed to leading NASA as a team, not as a top-down agency. Each of us has a responsibility to create a work environment where every member of the NASA family feels empowered to use their voice and make their concerns heard.

What are your priorities for NASA as you look to the future?

We have much to look forward to in the future, including climate missions that will tell us more about our planet; game-changing aeronautics developments; the first astronauts to land on the Moon in more than 50 years, including the first woman and person of color; and so much more. NASA will continue to strengthen our partnerships to promote open and peaceful exploration.•

Monitors in firing room four show NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev onboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft as NASA and SpaceX teams monitor the countdown of the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission on March 1, 2023, in the Rocco A. Petrone Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
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NASA Administrator Bill Nelson (left), Bob Cabana, NASA associate administrator (center), and Kathy Lueders, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate (right), monitor the countdown of the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Dragon spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 on March 2, 2023

Part of the Glue That Holds the Nation Together

EDITORS’ NOTE Lonnie Bunch

III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian (si.edu). He assumed his position in 2019 and oversees 21 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers and several education units and centers. Two new museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in development. Previously, Bunch was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When he started as director in July 2005, he had one staff member, no collections, no funding, and no site for a museum. Driven by optimism, determination and a commitment to build “a place that would make America better,” Bunch transformed a vision into a bold reality. The museum has welcomed more than 8 million visitors since it opened in September 2016 and has compiled a collection of 40,000 objects that are housed in the first “green building” on the National Mall. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. Before his appointment as director of the museum, Bunch served as the President of the Chicago Historical Society. A widely published author, Bunch has written on topics ranging from the Black military experience, the American presidency and African American History in California, diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. His most recent book, A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump , chronicles the making of the museum that would become one of the most popular destinations in Washington, DC. Bunch worked at the Smithsonian in the past, holding several positions at its National Museum of American History from 1989 through 2000. As the museum’s Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs for six years, he oversaw the curatorial and collections management staff and led the team

that developed a major permanent exhibition on the American presidency. He also led the team that developed “Smithsonian’s America” for the American Festival Japan 1994; this exhibition, which was presented in Japan, explored the history, culture and diversity of the United States. Bunch served as the Curator of History and Program Manager for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1989. While there, he organized several award-winning exhibitions, including “The Black Olympians, 1904–1984” and “Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850–1950.” He has also produced several historical documentaries for public television. Born in Belleville, New Jersey, Bunch has held numerous teaching positions at universities across the country, including American University in Washington, DC, the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth and the George Washington University in Washington, DC. In service to the historical and cultural community, Bunch has served on the advisory boards of the American Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. In 2005, Bunch was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals of the 20th century by the American Association of Museums. Among his many awards, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2010. In 2019, he was awarded the Freedom Medal, one of the Four Freedom Awards from the Roosevelt Institute, for his contribution to American culture as a historian and storyteller; the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from the Hutchins Center at Harvard University; and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. In 2021, the Society of American Historians awarded Bunch the Tony Horwitz Prize honoring distinguished work in American history of wide appeal and enduring public significance. In addition, he received the David McCullough Award for outstanding work in Public History, the Lifetime Achievement Award from both the American Alliance of Museums and the African American Association of Museums, and the Chairman’s Award of the Congressional Black Caucus. In 2020, he was presented with the Dan David

Prize from Tel Aviv University. In 2021, Bunch received France’s highest award, The Legion of Honor. Bunch received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the American University in Washington, DC.

INSTITUTION BRIEF The Smithsonian Institution (si.edu) was established by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1846 as an independent federal trust instrumentality, a unique publicprivate partnership that has proven its value as a cultural and scientific resource for more than 170 years. The federal commitment provides the foundation for all the Institution does, and is especially helpful in attracting private support. The Institution leverages its federal funding to enrich the lives of the American people and advance its mission for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Where did your interest and passion in museums develop?

I’d say it’s really an extension of my love of history, which has shaped my career and been my weapon of choice in the struggle for justice and racial equality. It began with one of my earliest memories, before I could read. My grandfather was reading one of his books to me and came across a black-and-white picture of kids in a 19th-century classroom captioned, “unidentified school children.” The curiosity piqued by that photograph, as I sought to learn more about them and their lives, would drive my lifelong interest in history.

As for my passion for museums and the Smithsonian – institutions that help bring history alive – it started with a road trip from our home in New Jersey through the still segregated south to visit relatives. As a young history student, I wanted to stop at some of the historical Civil War sites on the way, but my dad understood the hazards and sensibly chose not to stop. On the way back, though, he made a detour into the nation’s capital, and we pulled up at the Smithsonian. He told me that this was a place we could understand science and history and culture without worrying about being treated differently because of the color of our skin.

What interested you in becoming Secretary of the Smithsonian and made you feel it was the right fit?

I knew I was a good fit because of my wide-ranging experience at the Smithsonian. I started here in the late 1980s as an educational

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Lonnie G. Bunch III
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An Interview with Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution

specialist at the National Air and Space Museum, returned as a curator at the National Museum of American History, and eventually built the National Museum of African American History and Culture as its founding director, so I had a deep understanding of the institutional culture here. I also firmly believe that the Smithsonian is part of the glue that holds the nation together and saw the potential for us to do more to benefit the common good.

How do you define the mission of the Smithsonian Institution?

The mission of the Smithsonian since its inception has been the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” It means that across many areas of discipline – art, history, culture, and science –we seek to use scholarship and research to understand the world around us and then share that knowledge with the citizens of the United States and the people of the world. The way we have both interpreted and achieved that mission has continued to evolve since we began 176 years ago, and as society has changed, we have adapted to better serve our audiences.

Will you provide an overview of the Smithsonian’s work and programs?

I could fill several issues of LEADERS with all we do, but to sum it up, we are the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. With the recent legislation that formalized our two upcoming museums, the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, we are now an organization of 21 museums, numerous research facilities, educational centers, libraries, and archives, and the National Zoo. Scholarship and research underpin everything we do, whether it’s working to understand the impact of climate change, examine and contextualize the full American story, or peer into the universe. We then share

that knowledge with people across the country and around the world through our programs, exhibitions, and educational curricula.

You created the National Museum of African American History and Culture. What was your vision for this Museum and how do you see its impact?

I knew the hopes and dreams of so many rested on our shoulders when we were building the Museum; it was my responsibility to make it a place that both revealed pain and reflected joy. It had to tell the full scope of the African American story, from the human tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade to the resilience of a people who were instrumental in shaping the nation and holding it accountable for living up to its most cherished ideals – freedom, justice, and equal opportunity. At heart, I knew it needed to make clear that the African American story is the American story.

I’m proud of the work we did and the way the National Museum of African American History and Culture has become a pilgrimage site for people across the country and has helped lead a discussion about the issues of race that need to be confronted if we are ever to fully live up to our potential as a nation.

Do you feel that there are opportunities for diverse candidates in museum management and what more can be done to build these opportunities?

Absolutely. I think the first step is acknowledging that more can be done and following through by devoting resources to building a pipeline of diverse talent. That includes partnering with other groups to give aspiring museum professionals avenues to employment and fostering opportunities within organizations.

For instance, museums like the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian American Women’s

History Museum, and the National Museum of the American Latino have strong internship and fellowship programs to help develop the next generations of museum professionals.

What do you tell young people about the importance and value of understanding and studying history?

History is valuable, I’d argue even essential, in a couple ways. First, it provides understanding, showing us the progress we have made, and contextualizing how we have gotten where we are. By illuminating our past, we can make informed choices and better fulfill our obligations as citizens.

Second, history is a mirror that we can hold up to ourselves and to society. It is my fervent belief that there is nothing more powerful than a people, than a nation, steeped in its history, even when that history is painful or counter to modern values. We can only hope to move forward by reckoning with our entire past and examining the unvarnished truth.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership?

I always return to something my father said to me: “no one has a monopoly on wisdom.” That philosophy has served me well in my career and in my life. Leadership requires us to both define reality and give hope. Being willing to listen to others and to realize you don’t have all the answers is how I approach leadership, and it’s always been effective for me. Diversity of background, of experience, and of viewpoints makes for more creativity and flexibility. When we rigidly adhere to doing things the way things have always been done, that’s when we stagnate as institutions. I think leadership means tapping into people’s disparate talents so we can innovate and move forward as one.

You have been a mentor to many young people. Did you have mentors who influenced your life?

Too many to count, but it certainly started with my parents, who were educators and instilled in me the importance of lifelong learning. I think anyone who is lucky enough to be successful can look back and identify people who shaped you in indelible ways. I think of people like my grandfather who read to me when I was little and made me want to learn about the past, or a teacher during my senior year of high school who stoked my passion for history. Paradoxically, I also see anyone who told me I could not do something as a kind of a mentor, since it made me want to prove them wrong.

You have accomplished so much during your career. Are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

Running the Smithsonian doesn’t leave you a lot of time to do so, but I certainly make it a point to try. There are many times where I’ve forced myself to take a breath, look around, and appreciate the moment. I think sitting with John Lewis and President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, all of us watching Patti LaBelle and Stevie Wonder perform at the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, is pretty tough to beat.•

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The Enid A. Haupt Garden and Smithsonian Castle

Passion and Purpose

EDITORS’ NOTE Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when Helio Castroneves was two years old, his family moved to Ribeirão Preto. When he was 12 years old, his passion for racing started, always with the support of his parents, Helio and Sandra, and his big sister, Kati. Castroneves raced Go Karts from 1987 until 1991, collecting a National championship and two years of experience in World Cup CIK. In 1992, he moved to Formula Chevrolet, placing second in the Championship. In 1993 and 1994, he raced in F3 South America, finishing second place both years. In 1995, at 20 years-old, Castroneves moved to England to be part of the Paul Stewart Racing (PSR) team to compete in the British Formula Three Championship. While with the PSR team, he finished third in the 1995 British Formula Three standings. Castroneves made the move to American open-wheel racing in 1996 to compete in the Indy Lights Series for the 1996 and 1997 seasons. He was signed to the Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. team for the 1998 CART season. In 1999, Castroneves competed for Hogan Racing in CART. Destiny and Roger Penske took note of Castroneves’ talent and signed him to Team Penske for the 2000 CART season. The pairing of the quick driver and the superb machines of Team Penske quickly paid dividends as Castroneves scored his first series victory at the 2000 Detroit Grand Prix in his seventh start with the team. It was after this victory that Castroneves debuted his nowfamous fence climb that he does to celebrate all of his wins. Castroneves competed in his first Indianapolis 500 in 2001 as Team Penske. He wasted little time in etching his name to the Borg-Warner trophy that goes to the race winner as he led 52 laps to pick up his first Indianapolis 500 Borg Warner trophy. In 2002, Team Penske moved to the IndyCar Series for full-time competition. He became the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in his first two starts – and the fifth driver to win consecutive Indianapolis 500s – when he took the checkered flag in the 2002 edition of the race. In 2009, Castroneves took his third Indianapolis 500 crown to become just the ninth driver to accomplish that feat. After that, Castroneves finished twice in second place at the Indy 500 (2014 and 2017). In 2018, he changed racing series, competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar series, still on Team Penske, but a different style of car and racing. The 2019 IMSA season marked the 20th year of Castroneves racing for Team Penske. In 2020,

Castroneves and his teammate, Ricky Taylor, won the IMSA championship with four victories and four pole positions. In January 2021, he signed and won only one race with WTR for the 24 Hours of Daytona. In May 2021, Castroneves returned to Indycar, with a new team, Meyer Shank Racing, and in his first race for the team at Indianapolis, he won the Indy 500 for the fourth time, becoming only the fourth driver to win the race four times. For the 2022 season, Castroneves returned to a full season of Indycar, racing for Meyer Shank Racing, in the 06 car. He still possesses the speed and skill necessary to win at the highest levels of motorsports and he continues to have the drive and enthusiasm of an eager rookie racer. One of the most successful and popular drivers of his era, Castroneves is best known in racing circles as a four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and one of the winningest drivers in Indycar history. Castroneves resides in South Florida with his fiancé, Adriana, and their daughter, Mikaella.

Dr. Stephen Olvey is an associate professor of clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is Vice Chair of the University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics Ethics Committee and the Jackson Health System Adult Ethics Committee. He served as the Director of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital for 25 years. He remains active in motor sports as a member of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Medical Commission, a consultant to Indy Car Series, and Motor Sports Director of the University of Miami Concussion Program. Dr. Olvey graduated from Indiana University Medical School in 1969 and soon thereafter became the Assistant Medical Director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Three years later, he developed the first U.S. traveling motorsports medical team

for the United States Auto Club (USAC). When Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) separated from USAC, he became CART’s Director of Medical Affairs until 2003 when the original series became Champ Car. In 1982, Dr. Terry Trammell joined Dr. Olvey at CART and they have worked closely together ever since. Additionally, Dr. Olvey developed the medical program for the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas, as Chief Medical Officer for four years. He has published several articles on motor sports medicine, often collaborating with renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Terry Trammell. His primary interests are traumatic brain injury and concussion, including related ethical issues. He has also authored two books, including Rapid Response, an autobiography of his career in motor sport medicine. A film based on the book premiered in Coral Gables in 2019. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for National Organizing Committee for Safety in Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) which meets annually. Dr. Olvey was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Dr. Olvey and Dr. Trammell were instrumental in improving medical services at the world’s racetracks.

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Helio Castroneves A Conversation with Helio Castroneves, Four-Time Indianapolis 500 Champion, and Dr. Stephen Olvey, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Dr. Stephen Olvey
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Helio Castroneves driving the #06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Schner,

LEADERS, sat down for a conversation with Helio Castroneves and Stephen Olvey to discuss Helio’s career, Stephen’s impact on auto racing, and their long friendship.

Olvey: Helio, I want to congratulate you on all that you have accomplished.

Castroneves: It has been a long ride, Steve. They keep trying to retire me, but I keep going.

Olvey: Talk about resilience. You are a never say no guy.

Castroneves: Absolutely. You know me. I appreciate the kind words. I remember, Steve, when you taught me how to water ski. You were probably in your 60s and you were an incredible teacher. When did you stop skiing?

Olvey: I hurt my knee and needed surgery, but I was water skiing into my 70s.

Schner: Helio, if Steve didn’t stop until his 70s, that means you have lots of years left on the racetrack.

Castroneves: That’s a good point. It is always a difficult decision as to whether to keep going and pushing, especially when you had such an amazing organization behind you for so many years in Team Penske. I had felt that my time with Team Penske was coming to an end which is part of life – nothing lasts forever. I think that Team Penske wanted me to stay with them and to be around to help mentor and work with the younger drivers, but I was just not ready to stop racing. I felt that I had unfinished business on the racetrack, and I am glad that I made the decision to continue since things have been going very well.

I feel like I am enjoying the sport more now. When you are young, you feel that you have something to prove and you want to show what you can do, but now it is different. I do not have to prove anything to anybody. I remember one of my teammates who was never very good at practice, but then when it was race time, he was right on. He was able to do it at the right time. I had trouble understanding how he did that at the time, but now I do. As you get older, you get better at strategy and staying calm and having fun.

Olvey: I agree, Helio. I feel that you are having more fun now than you were 10 to 12 years ago.

Castroneves: I think that is true. I always enjoyed going places and talking to fans, but now I take more time and really appreciate those interactions. It is also important to note that I now have a daughter and fiancé, and having a family to share it with makes everything that much better.

It has also been exciting to experience being with a new team. I had an amazing run with Team Penske which was a large organization

with many resources. When I joined Meyer Shank Racing, it had roughly 20 employees and today has about 50. This is a much different vibe than what I was accustomed to with Team Penske. Mike Shank and Tim Meyer are amazing people and they want to win as bad as anybody. They believe in me, and I believe in myself, and we want to keep doing what we are doing.

David, it is interesting to think back to when Steve and I first became friends when I joined IndyCar in 1998. As I mentioned earlier, I remember back then when he taught me how to water ski. I was in Miami and he was so generous to take the time to show me around. When you are in Miami, you need to enjoy the water, and I was coming from a place in Brazil where there is no water. In racing, when I think back to the biggest crash that I had to this day, it was at a time when we did not have all of the safety aspects we have today. We were racing in these incredible machines that went super-fast, and when I had that crash, because of my friendship with Steve, I knew all of the protocols for when you may have a concussion. Steve had taught me the questions asked, such as “what is your name, where are you?” The first person to show up when I had the crash was Steve, and the first words he said were, “are you OK?” I was gasping for air because the impact is so enormous you don’t have any air. I said to Steve, “my name is Helio Castroneves and I am from Miami.” Steve said, “he is OK.” I will never forget that crash – it was a big one – and I will never forget what Steve taught me and how Steve was the first one there when it happened.

Schner: Helio and Steve, will you discuss how far the safety measures in auto racing have come?

Castroneves: I actually think when I started in 1998 that the safety aspect was

incredible. The technology was amazing, and I think it was the high level of safety that allowed me not to injure my back or even worse when I think back to the crash I just mentioned. Steve would be the best person to talk about the safety levels before I started in 1998.

Olvey: It was terrible in those early days. It was really my partner, Dr. Terry Trammell, and I who challenged everyone in the sport to make progress in auto racing safety. We got involved with many expert people in Europe and the United States and started to implement things that made a huge difference. Cars today are so much safer than they were 20 years ago – it is truly phenomenal.

Schner: Helio, how much of your success in auto racing do you attribute to the mental aspect and your ability to be resilient?

Castroneves: In any sport, and especially in racing, you need to use strategy to put yourself in the best position to win. I would say that probably 75 percent is mental – the ability to recover from a crash, the ability to manage very stressful moments, the ability to learn from your mistakes. Clearly, to be able to sustain the physical requirements of auto racing is critical, and your body needs to be prepared to handle these amazing cars over the two to three hours of a race. When your body is not at its best and you are not physically prepared, things can go very badly. In order to be prepared and to be successful in auto racing, it is the combination of mental strength and physical strength that is required.

Schner: Helio, you mentioned your current team, Meyer Shank Racing. How was the transition from Team Penske to Meyer Shank Racing?

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Helio Castroneves celebrating his fourth Indianapolis 500 win in the Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Castroneves: I was leaving a place that told me what to do, and went to a place where people would ask me what to do. This is a big difference, and it was a big change for me since I was used to being given the helmet and being told what to do. When I came to Meyer Shank Racing, they wanted to take advantage of my knowledge and experience over many years to improve and build for the future. In our first race, which was Indianapolis, I remember asking for a lot of things and the team owner, Mike Shank, was so supportive in making it happen. I had so much confidence in the team, but I also knew that if they were going to provide me with everything I asked for in order to be successful, I needed to win. That is what happened.

I remember that this was similar to my time at Team Penske with Roger Penske. While you didn’t need to ask for anything since they already had everything, Roger would make sure that you had the tools necessary to win, and he expected you to make it happen.

Schner: Helio, while much of the credit for winning deservedly goes to the driver, is it wellunderstood how critical the pit crew and others on the team behind the scenes are to being successful?

Castroneves: I always make sure that the people on our team are well recognized. I have the opportunity to represent the team and to be a spokesperson on their behalf, but without the preparation and the expertise of every member on the team, it is not possible to be successful. This is a team sport, and as a driver you are representing the team.

Olvey: Another key aspect to being successful is to never look back. It is about looking down the road and making things better, not looking back and thinking about what has already been. A successful team works together to move forward, and this is one aspect that has always been a part of Helio’s career.

Castroneves: Steve, this is similar to your work with Dr. Trammell and the importance of the team that you built.

Olvey: Terry and I have been together more than 40 years, and we got to the point when everyone said that we didn’t have to talk to each other when a crash would happen at a race. We were together doing this for so long that we knew what each other were thinking which allowed us to get things done quicker. Similar to racing, it is about each of us doing what we do best and each member of the team working together to achieve a goal.

Castroneves: You know, David, Steve and Dr. Trammell have saved many lives in auto racing. I remember a horrific accident with Alex Zanardi roughly 20 years ago, and without Steve and Dr. Trammell, I do not think Alex would be here today. Alex had to have both legs amputated, but he has gone on to be a Paralympic champion.

Olvey: Alex is the first person to ever survive a bilateral above-knee amputation.

Schner: Steve, you have had a remarkable career. Do you take moments to reflect on what you have accomplished?

Olvey: Terry and I talk about what we have done, but the reality is that when someone needed us, we just did it. We were able to get things done quickly and correctly, and this resulted in better results. Time is critical when you are working to save lives, and Terry and I are very proud of what we were able to accomplish.

Schner: Helio, with all of the wins and success on the track, where do you put your win on Dancing with the Stars?

Castroneves: It was such a great experience and I received so many messages from Steve and people in the racing community supporting me when I was on the show. I have to admit that when it comes to dancing, I am retired. It was really fun, and I had a great partnership with Julianne Hough. It is a great show, and I had an amazing experience.

Schner: Helio, how difficult will it be for you when the time comes to retire from auto racing?

Castroneves: People ask me how long I am going to race, but I really don’t know. I do not want to be obligated to a certain time or date. For me, it is about passion and as long as the passion and desire is there, I will continue to do it. I am surrounded by amazing people and I am having a great time. I do not want to be in racing just to go around the track – I want to be competitive and to challenge myself to win each race.•

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Helio Castroneves behind the wheel of the #06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Tough as They Come

EDITORS’ NOTE Retired United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. His New York Times bestselling memoir, Tough as They Come , is currently available on sale in bookstores everywhere. Despite losing portions of both arms and legs from an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan, Mills continues to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds. He lives by his motto: “Never give up. Never quit.” In September 2013, Mills and his wife, Kelsey, founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed to benefit and assist post-9/11 veterans who have been injured in active duty or as a result of their service to the nation. The veteran and their families receive an all-inclusive, allexpenses paid, barrier-free vacation to Maine where they participate in adaptive activities, bond with other veteran families, and enjoy much-needed rest and relaxation in Maine’s great outdoors.

FOUNDATION BRIEF The Travis Mills Foundation (travismills.org) supports recalibrated veterans and their families through longterm programs that help these heroic men and women overcome physical obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation.

What interested you in military service and will you discuss your military journey?

The attack on our nation on September 11, 2001, made me think of ways I could serve my country, even though I was too young at the time to join the military. At the same time, I’d always been interested in military history and war movies. Eventually, I decided that I wasn’t quite cut out for college, so this just seemed like a perfect fit. I was proud to put on that uniform. I was proud to serve my country. But then when I was in combat, I suddenly had a new priority – the soldier to my left, and the soldier to my right. Taking care of my guys became my main daily motivation when I was overseas and in harm’s way.

You were critically injured on your third tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2012. How did you find the courage and strength to overcome your injuries and create a path to recovery?

At first, I didn’t have that courage and strength. To be honest, I was ready to end my life. How could I burden my wife and daughter with taking care of me? There was a moment there where I felt sorry for myself. But I snapped out of it. Other guys died over there; I lived. So, who was I to throw away this life? And the doctors and the medics; they gave it their all, so I had to, too. And finally, there was my wife, Kelsey – we had long lives to live together. She made it clear that she was just as much in love with my recalibrated self as she had been with the original model. If she was ready to double-down and stand by me, I could step

up, too. Then, each little victory in my recovery gave me hope for the next one. I think that’s something about resilience: there are moments when you have doubts, when you don’t think you can make it. But you can climb those mountains and get over the top. As I went through operations and physical therapy. I started to see that this could all work out, after all. I just had to keep pushing. Sometimes you need to measure progress in baby steps, but each step you take means you can take another one, and another one after that.

In 2013, you and wife, Kelsey, founded the Travis Mills Foundation. What was your vision for creating the Foundation and how do you define its mission?

As I said, there was a moment early on when I felt pretty sorry for myself. Honestly, I had no idea about the resources and treatments that were available to me. I also didn’t know how changes could be made to my house

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Travis Mills An Interview with Travis Mills, Co-Founder, Travis Mills Foundation
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Staff Sergeant Travis Mills while deployed with the 82nd Airborne

that would accommodate the new me. And I certainly didn’t realize, at least not right away, all the physical activities that I could still enjoy. Kelsey and I realized that if I didn’t know it, well, there had to be lots of other guys out there just like me. They needed a week away in the country with their families just as I did, in a place designed just for them, so they could see that even with disabilities we can do a whole lot of stuff we thought we couldn’t.

What interested you in writing the book, Tough As They Come , and what are the keys messages you wanted to convey in the book?

It’s similar to my reasons for starting the foundation with Kelsey. Why go through all this and learn all these lessons, and realize I cannot only survive, but thrive, if I can’t share that knowledge, if I can’t use my experience to help others? The message is simple: you can do it if I did. I’ve been there – I was down, I was ready to

let go – man, I’m glad I didn’t. Look how much I have now. Honestly, I don’t think of myself as inspiring – I did what I had to do to overcome a big challenge. But if I can inspire someone to get up off his or her back and live a full life, well, then, ok – I’m happy to inspire you.

You live by the motto, “Never give up. Never quit.” Where did you develop your resilience, and do you feel that resilience can be taught?

You know who’s resilient? Children. So many children tragically lose a parent or witness some other trauma, and their natural instinct is to soldier on, to make the best of it. They overcome incredible challenges without even realizing they are challenges. I think as we get older we think too much, we let our intellectual doubts overcome us. Am I more resilient than the next guy? I don’t know. I did what I had to do. I bet the next guy can be as resilient as I am, but he must know that there’s a happy outcome, a light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s how it can be taught: by example, by demonstrating that if we just stick to it, no matter how down we may feel, we can get there.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

It felt like the logical next step. Also, I can’t stand still. I didn’t want to be a burden on my wife and kids and, thanks to the efforts of battlefield modern medicine saving my life, I feel like every day is a gift and I want to make the most of it. Why not use my experience and all I’ve learned to help create businesses that will not only make money, but will make the world a better place in the process?

First, I opened Lakeside Lodge & Marina in East Winthrop, Maine, which we followed last year with a restaurant, The White Duck Brew Pub, which is adjacent to the Marina. My latest project is Rebel for Good, a clothing line brand that supports the Travis Mills Foundation and like-minded veterans and first responder foundations. The brand’s mission is to promote a movement I’m passionate about, one that unites us to fight for worthwhile causes, instead of fighting each other. For all the setbacks and challenges, I am so grateful for being an American and being able to bring together so many from such different backgrounds by finding common ground. Over the years, politics has driven us apart – now it is time to join together, which is how we sustain our freedom, democracy and nation.

We aren’t just making really good products – we’re making really good things happen with a line of products that gives back to causes we can all believe in, helping those who helped others. It is easy to stand on the sidelines and complain. You’re expected to pick a side and stop listening. Truthfully, it’s more badass to stand up and be good.•

“I think that’s something about resilience: there are moments when you have doubts, when you don’t think you can make it. But you can climb those mountains and get over the top.”
Travis Mills honored in Times Square following his 10th Alive Day, 2022
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Travis Mills at the Travis Mills Foundation Wellness Center in Maine

Positive Psychology

EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. Samantha Boardman is a New York City based psychiatrist, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Instructor in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, founder of PositivePrescription.com, and author of Everyday Vitality. She received a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Cornell University Medical College, and completed a four-year residency program in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College where she was awarded the Oskar Diethelm Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry. She earned a master’s degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Boardman is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and currently serves as Co-Chair of The Positive Psychiatry Section for the World Psychiatric Association. Her work has been published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Translational Neuroscience, and Nature Reviews Neuroscience. She is a frequent contributor to Psychology Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Thrive Global, and a guest on the TODAY Show and Good Day New York. Dr. Boardman serves on the board of trustees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Let Grow, The Chapin School, and Millbrook School.

Will you discuss your career path, and did you know at an early age that you wanted to pursue a career in psychiatry?

I was initially drawn to psychiatry because I was drawn to the big questions in life like: What does it all mean? What is a good life? What good can I do in it? I had always loved hearing other people’s stories and understanding what made them tick. During my formal training, the focus shifted away from those existential topics and honed in on symptom management and diagnosis. I was trained in pathogenesis – the study of disease, not salutogenesis – the creation of health. One day a patient I’d been seeing for a few months came in and said to me, “Dr. Boardman, all we do is talk about the bad stuff going on in my life. I’m done.” And she was. That was our last session. It was also a turning point in my life. Her words stung, but she was right. Admittedly, I had not focused on much else. I was well versed in dialing down misery, but knew little about factors that promote wellbeing or enable a good day. I decided to go back to school to get a master’s degree in positive psychology – the study of positive human functioning. In the program, I studied

resilience, optimism, and post-traumatic growth. I learned about lifestyle and psychosocial factors that improve overall well-being. It was essentially the opposite of what I had learned in medical school. Studying positive psychology enabled me to think more expansively about what it means to feel mentally strong and healthy.

Will you highlight your work around resilience building by combining conventional medicine with positive psychology?

Today, I think of myself as a positive psychiatrist, concerned equally with promoting positive mental health and with fixing my patients’ problems. In my clinical practice, I value well-being and resilience as much as pathology identification and symptom reduction. I believe vitality is an important component of well-being and is the heart of everyday resilience. I also believe that vitality is a skill that can be learned and practiced. In many cases my advice runs counter to conventional wisdom. The contemporary emphasis on self-focus flies in the face of research that meaningful connections and other-oriented actions are what fortify us. We are told to live in the moment, seek pleasure, and avoid discomfort of all kinds. What helps us feel moored in the rushing stream of life is when we’re learning, growing, and challenging ourselves.

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Samantha Boardman An Interview with Samantha Boardman, MD
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“Today, I think of myself as a positive psychiatrist, concerned equally with promoting positive mental health and with fixing my patients’ problems. In my clinical practice, I value well-being and resilience as much as pathology identification and symptom reduction. I believe vitality is an important component of well-being and is the heart of everyday resilience. I also believe that vitality is a skill that can be learned and practiced.”

What makes some people more resilient than others?

The key that unlocks resilience is a flexible mindset. George Bonannno’s research from Columbia University has shown that being optimistic, having a challenge orientation, i.e. the ability to see negative experiences as opportunities for growth, and confidence in one’s ability to cope promote resiliency. It’s also important to understand that resilience is not a one-person show or something that people either have or lack. The communities we belong to and our perception of support have a tremendous impact on our ability to adapt to challenges.

What advice do you offer to people about the ways to focus more on their own mental health?

Be deliberate about it. Well-being is not something that happens to us – we have to be thoughtful and intentional about it every single day. Decide to decide about what matters to you and make the choice to embody these values on a daily basis. Actively engage in behaviors that make you feel strong – be deliberate about what you eat, about exercise, and about sleep. Pursue meaningful uplifts. Go out of your way to treat others with respect and kindness. Be intentional with your attention. Override the urge to do what’s easy but empty. Embrace opportunities to explore and expand. Overrule the impulse to avoid challenges and retreat. Savor meaningful moments and share them with others. Seek and generate moments of felt love. Be actively generous. Resist the temptation to fixate on what’s wrong or who has wronged you. It sounds like a lot, but the more your actions align with your values, the more vitality you will have.

How concerned are you about mental and emotional health challenges caused by the pandemic?

The pandemic had varied effects on wellbeing. As the saying goes, we were all in the same storm, but not in the same boat. What concerns me most is the mental health crisis in teens and children that began long before the pandemic. Depression and anxiety have been rising in this population for over a decade, and especially in girls. In 2019, 13 percent of adolescents reported having a major depressive episode, a 60 percent increase from 2007. Emergency room visits for self-harm increased very rapidly among teen girls beginning in 2010. And for people ages 10 to 24, suicide rates, stable from 2000 to 2007, leaped nearly 60 percent by 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no doubt in my mind that social media is contributing to this picture.

Your paperback edition of Everyday Vitality launched last year. What interested you in writing the book and what are the key messages you wanted to convey?

In the book, I tackle a lot of myths about happiness and introduce counterintuitive and accessible ways to boost well-being. For many years I believed that happiness was an inside job and up to the individual. Drawing from research and experience, I show how the most reliable wellsprings of happiness lie beyond the self. Everyday well-being resides not just in the

head, but in the actions we take, the connections we make, and how we participate. The book provides a step-by-step guide to how to tell the difference between what is urgent versus what is important.

How important has resilience been in your own life?

Big R resilience is about bouncing back from a major life event, such as divorce or the death of a loved one, that are thankfully relatively rare.

It’s also important to focus on little r resilience. This is the resilience that enables us to deal with the daily grind. Balancing hassles with uplifts is always on my “to do” list. These days I make a point of cultivating or noticing at least two ordinary moments each day that are uplifting. If I’m not deliberate about seeking delight, I might miss it. Intentionally bringing the unseen and the underappreciated into view leaves an imprint of grace, goodness, and gratitude.•

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Entrepreneurial Passion

EDITORS’ NOTE A global macro investor for more than 50 years, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City and ran it for most of its 47 years, building it into the largest and most successful hedge fund in the world. Dalio remains an investor and mentor at Bridgewater and serves on its board. He is also the long-running New York Times bestselling author of Principles: Life and Work; Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order; and Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises. He graduated with a BS in finance from C.W. Post College and received an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for more than 40 years and has three grown sons and five grandchildren. He is an active philanthropist with special interests in ocean exploration and helping to rectify the absence of equal opportunity in education, healthcare, and finance.

Did you always know that you had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to build your own company?

Since I was 12, I always knew that I liked to find my own ways of making money – caddying, delivering newspapers, shoveling snow off driveways, and playing the markets – so I guess

that means that I had the entrepreneurial spirit since I was a kid.

What do you feel are the keys to building a leading company?

Pursuing one’s entrepreneurial passion and gathering good people who want to be on the mission with you. Learning, especially from mistakes. Developing a clear and winning culture of meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical truthfulness and radical transparency.

You mention radical truthfulness and radical transparency. Will you discuss these concepts and the role they played in Bridgewater’s success?

Knowing what is true and dealing with it effectively is key to the organization’s success and people’s development, yet many people and organizations prefer not to look at weaknesses, speak honestly or have open and nonhierarchical debate. I believe, and it has proven to be the case at Bridgewater, that these things are good for the individual’s and the organization’s development.

Do you feel that resilience is a trait that a person is born with, or can it be taught?

It is primarily taught.

Will you discuss times in your life when resilience was critical for you?

One occurrence that sticks in my mind was making a bad mistake in the markets

in 1982 and going so broke that I had to borrow $4,000 from my dad to take care of my family, and deciding to rebuild Bridgewater from that. The most personal one was the death of my eldest son and moving on after that.

Where did your interest in the study of history develop and how did this interest impact your decision-making process?

I learned several times that some of the really big things that surprised me and most people were events that never happened in our lifetime, but happened many times before. I learned that at first in 1971 when the dollar was devalued, and I was clerking on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. That perspective has made me and saved me a lot of money. It has also been really interesting.

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership?

I believe that the combination of creating meaningful work and meaningful relationships for people is most important. I believe that having and conveying a unique and practical vision of the mission that you’re in and making the people who are in it with you partners is key.

What are your priorities as you look to your future plans and areas of focus?

My top priority is to pass along what I have learned in my 73 years to help others.•

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Raymond T. Dalio An Interview with Raymond T. Dalio, Founder, CIO Mentor, and Member of the Board, Bridgewater Associates, LP
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“Knowing what is true and dealing with it effectively is key to the organization’s success and people’s development, yet many people and organizations prefer not to look at weaknesses, speak honestly or have open and non-hierarchical debate.”

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Promoting Equal Opportunity

EDITORS’ NOTE Martin Edelman is one of the founders of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. A former attorney for Jackie Robinson, he is a tireless advocate for the Foundation and its mission. Edelman is one of only five people to have received JRF’s Founders Award. A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Edelman has been a partner with Paul Hastings, LLP, a New York City based law firm, since 1972; in January 1994 he became an Of Counsel of the firm. Edelman has more than 40 years of experience and concentrates his practice on real estate and corporate transactions. The focus of Edelman’s practice has been large, complex transactions. He has been involved in all stages of legal development of pioneering financial structures, including participating mortgages, institutional joint ventures in real estate, and joint ventures between U.S. financial sources and European real estate companies. He has also done extensive work in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and recently in Japan. Edelman is on the Board of Directors of Manchester City Football Club, Equity Office, Global Foundries, and Aldar Investments, an Abu Dhabi public company. He is an advisor to Grove Real Estate Partners, The Related Companies, Fisher Brothers, and Mubadala, the strategic investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi. Edelman resides in New York and is the father of three and grandfather of six.

What interested you in becoming involved with the Jackie Robinson Foundation?

As a young lawyer in the 1960s, I met Jackie Robinson in connection with his cofounding of Freedom National Bank in Harlem and later became his lawyer. After his death in 1972, I worked with Rachel Robinson to establish the Jackie Robinson Foundation to perpetuate her husband’s legacy, which is grounded in his dedication to promoting equal opportunity. I was and remain stirred by both Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s staunch commitment to leveling the playing field throughout society and to serving those less fortunate. I was at Rachel’s side when she founded the organization and am still a board member.

How do you define the mission and purpose of the Foundation?

The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) was established in 1973 to continue the Robinsons’ work around creating opportunities that lead to first class citizenship for all Americans. Guided by the universal truth that education is the key to advancement, we turned to education. At the time, U.S. colleges were beginning to integrate in significant numbers and there was a need to provide minority students with financial assistance as well as strategies, particularly for navigating PWIs (predominately White institutions), to ensure their success in college and professionally.

Today, under a broader umbrella of perpetuating the legacy through education and by providing opportunities, the Jackie Robinson Museum seeks to attract people from all walks of life to learn about an important chapter of heroism in our history and to be inspired to

work toward positive change in one’s community, whatever that means on the civil rights front or some other issue important to visitors – gender equality, the environment, mental health, etc.

Will you highlight the Foundation’s initiatives and programs?

The Foundation has grown steadily in the last 50 years, beginning with only a few scholarships and a hands-on mentoring program hosted at Rachel’s home in Connecticut to having dispensed over $100 million in aid to 1810 college students from 45 states who have attended 280 colleges across the country. Each Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar receives an average of $30,000 over four years while participating in a dynamic four-year program that includes career discernment, job placement, international travel, and practical life skills and experiences such as financial literacy, public speaking, conflict resolution, and networking techniques – to cite just a few elements of the program.

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Martin Edelman An Interview with Martin Edelman, Co-Founder, Jackie Robinson Foundation
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 32 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
Jackie Robinson Foundation 2018 Mentoring & Leadership Conference in New York City

Will you discuss the impacts that the Jackie Robinson Foundation has made over the years?

The Foundation’s core scholarship program boasts an average graduation rate of 96 percent through the years, compared to 40 percent for African American college students overall and 60 percent for all collegians. Sixty-two percent of Robinson Scholars go on to earn graduate degrees compared to 7.8 percent of African American college graduates overall and 12 percent of all college graduates. Of the JRF Scholar alumni (since 2005), 55 percent hold management level positions. JRF Scholars go on to become leaders in their communities and in the workforce – from members of Congress to heads of corporations to law firm partners and tech entrepreneurs, as detailed on the Foundation website. One alum, whom we placed at Citibank upon his graduation in 2008, is a billionaire at 35 years old. Another is a top executive producer at Marvel Studios responsible for the Black Panther and Captain America blockbusters.

Two years ago, the Foundation extended its reach beyond the core group of JRF Scholars by creating an online platform to share the “42 Strategies for Success” mentoring curriculum with a broader population of some 4000 college students enrolled across the country. While this program, JRF IMPACT, does not provide financial aid to those thousands of students we reach, the JRF IMPACT students benefit from the meticulously developed curriculum used by JRF Scholars. We plan to add a job placement aspect to the JRF IMPACT portal in the near future.

What was the vision for creating the Jackie Robinson Museum which opened last year in New York?

It was a long-held dream of Rachel Robinson to establish a fixed tribute to her husband that told the complete story of his heroic efforts to

level the playing field and promote empathy and humanitarianism that would effectuate the American dream across society. There are scores of monuments, statues, highways, parks, and other venues named after Robinson. But most extol his incredible athletic prowess and pioneering entry into baseball. Rachel wanted a place that recounted her beloved Jack’s ambitions and efforts to address institutionalized discrimination against marginalized populations, and the Museum does that.

Robinson loved sport for sure and was a fierce competitor. In the end, baseball was a vehicle and his talent and leadership in that context provided a platform for him to highlight unfairness and fight for greater parity across society. The Museum is deep and rich in content and provides the historical context for Robinson’s tremendous impact. It’s a world history museum in that regard. It describes what was happening in the country and the world during Robinson’s life, while it depicts the details of his prolific efforts. The Museum depicts his pioneering roles as the first officer-level executive at a major corporation (Chock full O’Nuts), where he supported the workers union, and as the first Black nationally syndicated columnist and radio commentator. It details his efforts around economic opportunity in assembling investors to open a bank in Harlem when other banks wouldn’t serve African Americans and in promoting low and middle income housing development, and his involvement in U.S. politics, advising high government officials on issues faced by the disenfranchised, and it vividly describes his activism for civil rights and social justice. The most common refrain of visitors to the Museum is “Wow, I didn’t know that about him.” That of course is the role of a museum – to educate and inspire. And Rachel is very pleased.

How valuable has it been to assemble such an experienced and dedicated management team and board of directors for the Foundation?

It has always been important, but it’s indispensable today when technology allows and encourages us to promote worthy causes of all types and in all sectors and communities. The skill, talent, and creativity needed to compete in today’s philanthropic environment is tantamount to that needed in the business sector. Gone are the days when nonprofit boards of directors provided conventional wisdom and expertise unattainable or unavailable to the nonprofit staff. Successful nonprofits today are a collaboration between well-connected and personally invested directors and a dedicated, well-informed management team.

You had the opportunity to work with Jackie Robinson and to know him personally. What would you want people to know about him?

Jackie was inspiration personified. Every moment with him was positive and ambitious. Every day he was ready to seize the moment and steal second – then third and then home. He was willing to compromise process, but not principle. He was respectful when he was respected. He and Rachel have had the most meaningful impact on my life, at every level of work, family and commitment to racial equality. His lesson is that adversity is the beginning of social tolerance – there will always be the next barrier to overcome. We see that in today’s society – we appreciate more than ever Jackie’s belief that although there will always be the next base to confront, we must match his commitment that we can never stop running towards home.•

The main gallery of the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City
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“The Museum is deep and rich in content and provides the historical context for Robinson’s tremendous impact. It’s a world history museum in that regard.”

The Power of Regret

EDITORS’ NOTE Daniel H. Pink is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including his latest, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward. His other books include the New York Times bestsellers When and A Whole New Mind  – as well as the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. Pink’s books have won multiple awards, have been translated into 42 languages, and have sold millions of copies around the world. Pink was host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a television series about human behavior on the National Geographic Channel that aired in more than 100 countries. He hosts a popular MasterClass on sales and persuasion. He has appeared frequently on NPR, PBS, ABC, CNN, and other TV and radio networks in the U.S. and abroad. He has been a contributing editor at Fast Company and Wired as well as a business columnist for The Sunday Telegraph. His articles and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Slate, and other publications. He was a Japan Society Media fellow in Tokyo, where he studied the country’s massive comic industry. Before venturing out on his own 20 years ago, Pink worked in several positions in politics and government, including serving from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. He received a BA from Northwestern University, where he was a Truman Scholar and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Yale Law School. He has also received honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, the Pratt Institute, the Ringling College of Art and Design, the University of Indianapolis, and Westfield State University.

Did you always know that you had a passion for writing and that this was how you wanted to focus your life’s work?

No. Not at all. My path – like so many paths – was convoluted and nonlinear. I went to college and majored in linguistics. Go figure. Then, because I was a middleclass kid who wanted “something to fall back on,” I went to law school. I decided pretty quickly that I couldn’t be a lawyer, but I was keenly interested in politics, so that’s the route I took.

I worked in some campaigns and then – again, in an unplanned, haphazard way – I became a political speechwriter. Eventually I ended up in the White House as chief speechwriter to Vice President Gore. That job was cool, but I discovered I didn’t want to work in politics the rest of my life.

See? I told you the story was convoluted.

But from the time I was in high school, I was always “writing on the side.” I’d write newspaper op-eds, magazine columns, feature articles –mostly just for fun. I even did it late at night, usually for no pay, when I was working in political jobs. Eventually I realized that what I was doing on the side is what I should be doing in the center – that if I watched what I actually did, I was a writer. So, in 1997, I quit the White House job – my wife kept her job and our health insurance – and decided to try to make a living writing my own stuff.

What interested you in writing the book, The Power of Regret , and what are the key messages you wanted to covey in the book?

The main reason is that I had regrets of my own. I’d reached a stage in life where, to my surprise, I had mileage on me – room to

look back. And when I looked back, there were things I wish I had done, things I wish I hadn’t done, things I wished I had done differently.

So, I began several years of work trying to understand this profoundly misunderstood emotion. I looked at about 60 years of academic research – social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and other fields – on the topic. And I conducted two big research projects of my own.

That yielded three key points. First, regret makes us human. Everyone has regrets. It’s one of the most common emotions we have. It is ubiquitous in the human experience. Second, regret makes us better. Regret is there for a reason; it’s part of our cognitive machinery. And if we treat it right – not ignoring our regrets or wallowing in them, but confronting them –there’s ample evidence it improves our performance and bolsters learning, growth, and overall well-being. Third, regret clarifies what we value. When people tell you what they regret the most, they’re also telling you what they value the most.

Will you highlight the World Regret Survey you conducted and the key takeaways from the survey?

This is one of the research projects I mentioned. In 2020, I established a website that I call the World Regret Survey. I invited

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Daniel H. Pink An Interview with Daniel H. Pink
“In 2020, I established a website that I call the World Regret Survey. I invited people around the world to submit their biggest regret. The response was astonishing. We now have a database of more than 24,000 regrets from people in 109 countries. It’s an amazing and revealing trove of stories about the human condition.
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The biggest takeaway: Around the world, people seem to have the same four core regrets.”

people around the world to submit their biggest regret. The response was astonishing. We now have a database of more than 24,000 regrets from people in 109 countries. It’s an amazing and revealing trove of stories about the human condition.

The biggest takeaway: Around the world, people seem to have the same four core regrets.

Will you discuss the four core regrets?

The regrets have less to do with the surface domains of life – career, education, and so on – and more to do with something deeper. The four are:

Foundation regrets – Regrets about small decisions early in life that accumulate to terrible consequences later in life. For example, spending too much and saving too little, not exercising or eating right, not studying hard enough in school.

Boldness regrets – Regrets about playing it safe rather than taking a chance. For example, not starting a business, not asking someone out on a date, not speaking up for a cause.

Moral regrets – Regrets about doing the wrong thing. For example, cheating on a spouse, bullying someone.

Connection regrets – Regrets about relationships, especially not taking steps to fix them. For example, not calling an old friend, not reaching out to a relative, not forming bonds with co-workers.

As I mentioned before, these are revealing. When people tell you what they regret the most, they’re telling you what they value the most. These four regrets offer a reverse image of what people want out of life. Stability, learning and growth, goodness, and love. That’s it. Everything else is commentary.

You have spent your career studying human behavior. What have you learned and what has surprised you?

Oh my, too many things to list, but I’ve been especially surprised by two phenomena. First, we believe we’re much more unique than we really are. Regret is a good example. If you were to give me just about any regret someone had, I could likely find the same regret in my database in 60 seconds – and I’d be as likely to find it in Malaysia or Chile as in the U.S. We are gripped by a kind of pluralistic ignorance in that we don’t think other people share our preferences or experiences when often – very often – they do. Second, when we try to explain people’s behavior or predict people’s behavior, we too often overweight the importance of personality and underweight the importance of the context and environment. We say, “He did that because he’s an introvert.” Or “She did that because she’s a jerk.” But, in fact, the better explanation is the situation they’re in. Maybe that person is acting like a jerk not because she’s an awful person, but because she’s late or she’s tired or she just got laid off or she just received bad news. Put her in other situations –and she might behave differently.

How do you approach regret in your own life?

I’ll give you one example. I have regrets about kindness. I was never a bully, but earlier in my life I was often in situations where people

were being excluded or left out or not being treated fairly. I saw it. I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t do or say anything. That’s bugged me for decades. I could have ignored that regret. Bad idea. I could have wallowed in it. Worse idea. Instead, I confronted it. I treated myself with kindness rather than contempt – because I knew lots of other people had similar regrets. I talked about the regret both to relieve the

burden and to make sense of the regret. And I tried to draw lessons from it for future behavior. Now, if I’m in situations where people are being left out, I try to bring them in. If people are being mistreated, I try to stand up. I’m not perfect, but my experience shows the power of regret. If we reckon with this emotion rather than avoid it, it clarifies what we value and instructs us on how to do better.•

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The Only Way to Survive

EDITORS’ NOTE Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright, teacher, and author. Her most recent play and film, Notes from the Field , looks at the vulnerability of youth, inequality, the criminal justice system, and contemporary activism. Time magazine named it one of the Top 10 Plays of the year. HBO premiered the film version in February 2018. Looking at current events from multiple points of view, Smith’s theater combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. Her plays include Fires In the Mirror ; Twilight: Los Angeles ; House Arrest ; and Let Me Down Easy Twilight: Los Angeles was nominated for two Tony Awards and Fires in the Mirror was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. Smith co-stared on the ABC / Shonda Rhimes series, For the People , and also appeared on the ABC series Black-ish She previously starred as Gloria Akalitus on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie , and as the National Security Advisor on NBC’s The West Wing Films include The American President ; Rachel Getting Married; Philadelphia; Dave; Rent; and The Human Stain . In 2012, President Obama awarded her the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for achievement in the arts. In 2015, she was named the Jefferson Lecturer, the nation’s highest honor in the humanities. She was the 2017 recipient of the Ridenhour Courage Prize and the 2017 recipient of the George Polk Career Award in Journalism. Smith was the founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University, where she is University Professor at Tisch School of the Arts.

How do you balance your work as a performing artist as well as an academic?

I teach a straight five- or six-hour class on Sundays. That way, if I do have a job somewhere, I can get back on Sundays to teach. If I have control of my schedule, for example in the self-generated work I do in the theater, I organize that work to be performed during semesters I am not teaching. I only teach one semester a year.

What attracted you to teaching and what is your teaching style?

My mother was a teacher, five of my aunts were teachers, and all my mother’s friends were teachers. I grew up with it, so it seemed natural. Also, the classroom is just about the only place process can live except think tanks. Regrettably, there are very few –if any – think tanks for art. Or rather, I’d call them think and do tanks.

You have been a leader in addressing the issue of racial inequality. Will you discuss this work, and do you feel progress is being made in this effort?

I am African American, and I think the majority of African Americans in my generation had to address racial inequality whether at work or in daily life. On the one hand, we have women of color and white women on the Supreme Court of the United States. In their rise to that esteemed position, they benefited either explicitly or implicitly from affirmative action, and affirmative action is gasping for breath at the moment. My play Twilight is set in the 1990s. It revolves around the Los Angeles riots that ensued as a result of the not guilty verdict for four police officers who were captured on video tape brutally beating Rodney King, a black motorist. The play just celebrated its 30th anniversary and went into rehearsal just days after a video was released showing the killing of motorist Tyre

Nichols by Memphis police officers. Data tells us that the gap between rich and poor has widened. In most elite colleges, grades are inflated, but poor kids stumble along in schools that lack the resources to meet their needs. Some of those schools have metal detectors and police officers walking the halls.

What is your hope for race relations in this country?

Equity of opportunity. Healthy and safe environments for people to live in. Advances in the science and art of mental health.

You have studied the issue of resilience. What interested you in focusing on resilience and what have you learned about resilience?

It is the only way to survive.

What advice do you offer to young artists hoping to build a sustainable and fulfilling career?

Be entrepreneurial and flexible. Question the systems in which work is made. Create self-sufficient cultures where resources can be shared. For example, have a collective who shares lawyers and accountants and watch everybody’s billable hours. Be activist. Ask questions about pay inequality between those who make art or perform and administrators who run arts institutions. Question any situation in which you begin to believe you are paying to work. Do not allow others to infantilize you, which is especially a hazard for performers new to the business.•

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Anna Deveare Smith An Interview with Anna Deveare Smith, Director / Producer, The Anna Deveare Smith Pipeline
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“I am African American, and I think the majority of African Americans in my generation had to address racial inequality whether at work or in daily life.”

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Patient transports since October 2020

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The City of Earth

EDITORS’ NOTE Jerry Inzerillo is a globally celebrated visionary in the hospitality and tourism industry, with a deep aptitude for positioning strategies and iconic developments. In June 2018, Inzerillo was appointed by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be the founding CEO of the newly created Diriyah Gate Development Authority, (diriyah.sa), a $63.2 billion project aimed at restoring and reimagining the ancestral home of the original Saudi state. In this role, he is charged with developing and implementing a master plan to turn its 14 square miles of development area into one of the world’s greatest gathering places, encompassing worldclass cultural, entertainment, retail, hospitality, educational, religious, office and residential assets, with the UNESCO World Heritage site of At-Turaif as its center-point. When complete, the development will add 27 billion Saudi riyals to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s GDP, attract 27 million visitors, and employ more than 55,000 people. Inzerillo also serves as Vice Chairman of the Forbes Travel Guide. He previously served as President and CEO of IMG Artists, a leader in artist management, performing arts and lifestyle events planning, from 2012 to 2014. From 1991 to 2011, Inzerillo was President of Kerzner Entertainment Group, where he raised the profile of its properties in South Africa, the Bahamas, Dubai, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, the Maldives, as well as conceptualized and positioned the start-up of its One&Only and Atlantis brands. He oversaw the launches of The Lost City at Sun City in South Africa, Atlantis in the Bahamas and Atlantis, Dubai. From 1991 to 1996, Inzerillo served as COO of Sun City, the South African resort complex built by Sol Kerzner. While in South Africa, he enjoyed a close personal friendship with President Nelson Mandela and, in 1994, coordinated major portions of his Presidential inauguration in South Africa. In 1987, he was the founding President and CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, later rebranded as Ian Schrager Hotels. While there, he conceptualized and opened Morgans, Royalton and Paramount in New York; the Delano in Miami Beach; and Mondrian in L.A. Inzerillo has long been involved with philanthropy, especially with respect to children, education and HIV/ AIDS. He was honored with a Knighthood by the

Knights of Malta in Rome, Italy, in 1996. Inzerillo is a founding advisory board member of the Clinton AIDS initiative. In recognition of his leadership and empathetic outreach to the tourism community during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was awarded the prestigious HOTELS magazine “Corporate Hotelier of the World Award” as well as the “Tourism for Peace Award” by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations.

Will you discuss the vision for Diriyah and provide an overview of the project?

Diriyah is the City of Earth. Its mudbrick Najdi architecture is a jewel in the cultural crown of Arabia. It tells the story and charts the journey of Saudi Arabia’s three centuries of history. The historic efforts of the House of Al Saud made Diriyah a renowned gathering place at the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. Now, Diriyah Company is driving forward the incredible Diriyah masterplan to transform the city into a gathering place for the world.

Diriyah’s place as the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is unparalleled. The vision for its future is simple: it will be the premier destination to live, work, visit, shop, dine, and to celebrate the wonders of the Kingdom’s rich heritage and culture.

To achieve this, we have embarked on a mammoth 14 square kilometer development. First and foremost, our work is protecting and celebrating the distinctive character, culture, and traditions of Diriyah. In a wider national and international context, we are forging a new city that will create 55,000 jobs for the Saudi economy and we are aiming to attract 27 million visitors a year by 2030. Both of these missions align with key pillars of the Vision 2030 program and as the first of its giga-projects to open physical assets, we are lighting the way.

How important is it to balance the need to provide a modern feel and current offerings while maintaining the history and heritage that is such a special part of the Diriyah story?

Diriyah will never look or feel like a “futuristic” city. It is the root of Saudi Arabia’s modern society and the foundation of its uniqueness and

Jerry Inzerillo An Interview with Gerard “Jerry” J. Inzerillo, Group Chief Executive Officer, Diriyah Company
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Salwa Palace, At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage site

value to both The Kingdom and the world is its authentic and storied architecture and landscape. For us then, there was never a question of trying to change Diriyah. Our work was, is, and always will be to enhance the lifestyle offering of the city.

In this mission we are guided by Diriyah and the lifespans and life cycles of its natural environment. We have pioneered a “Wise City” approach that takes the guiding principles of life in Diriyah across the centuries and blends this with modern lifestyle improvements. For example, today most cities are enormous, and their services and assets – whether shops, hospitals, schools, restaurants or entertainment venues – are spread out requiring massive amounts of travel for residents. We are breaking from this mold of the modern-metropolis and are returning to the roots of how we have lived for millennia – the walkable city. We are creating self-sufficient districts and zones that will provide a quality of life that takes the best amenities and connectivity of the modernworld and combines it with human-scale, outdoor living. Think everything in reach by a short walk, no need to drive or take a train, embracing the gorgeous natural environment with its year-round temperate climate – this is blending modernity with heritage.

Our emphasis on traditional beauty and aesthetics creates a sense of place and authenticity with traditional Najdi Architecture. Design cues, materials and visual elements respect the heritage of Saudi Arabia providing a unique visitor and resident experience that is based on tradition, but modified and interpreted for contemporary living.

This is how the next chapter of Diriyah’s long story will be told – embracing the lessons of the past and intertwining the best of what we have on offer today, and tomorrow.

What do you see as the historic significance of the redevelopment of Diriyah?

Diriyah is the historical heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The birthplace of the First Saudi State and ancestral home of the House of Al Saud, for three centuries the city has been the cultural epicenter of The Kingdom. The roots of modern Saudi society, customs and traditions can be traced here and now Vision 2030 is opening it to the world.

How often can you oversee the development of a city that tells such a rich history of homegrown resilience and spirit, but also a tale

of leadership, vision, and progress? It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that is hugely significant for not just those working on the project, but for all of Saudi Arabia. Diriyah embodies the heart of the nation and is a witness to its history.

So intertwined in this development and the historical tale of kinship, perseverance, and growth that has defined the city and The Kingdom for over 300 years is a symbol of Saudi national pride, identity, and unity. That makes this development of seismic significance, and we are all honored to be a part of it.

Will you highlight the current state of the project and discuss some of the venues that are already open to visitors?

Today, Diriyah is open and welcoming visitors from all corners of the world. We have already opened two of Saudi Arabia’s most incredible cultural and culinary destinations.

First is the At-Turaif district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that forms the heart of Diriyah, which opened to the public in December 2022. Organic since its inception and hand-built from the mud surrounding Diriyah, it is the living embodiment of a three centuries-long story of humanity. It is a symbol of Saudi identity and was a cradle of civilization for cultures across the Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi Arabia’s premier cultural offering Bujairi Terrace opened at Diriyah in December 2022 and is Saudi Arabia’s most exquisite culinary offering. It brings together restaurants with culinary styles from all over the world, alongside the best examples of local Saudi cuisine, creating a true center for cultural exchange. Food lovers will be entranced by the depth of its offering, from its four Michelinstarred restaurants to the Saudi brands offering incredible local cultural tastes including MAIZ, which offers authentic Saudi food from each of the Kingdom’s 13 provinces for a true journey

Diriyah City
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Bujairi Terrace at

across the delights of Arabia TAKYA, the first Saudi-owned fine dining restaurant serving Saudi cuisine. These sit alongside international brands such as Angelina, Sarabeth’s, Villa Mamas, and Hakkasan that collectively make Bujairi Terrace one of the most expansive and varied curated culinary offerings in the world.

Diriyah has also been host to some incredible cultural events. Saudi Arabia’s first Contemporary Art Biennale was held in Diriyah’s Jax district featuring works from over 60 international and 27 Saudi artists. The Jax district also hosted the Saudi Design Festival, a three-week event showcasing the talent of local Saudi designers through deep-dive discussions and design-thinking workshops. And of course, we can’t forget Formula E which brought the sporting world to discover our magnificent landscapes and offerings.

So, we already have a lot to offer, and we are still only just getting started.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to attract 100 million visitors per year by 2030. How will Diriyah support the government to achieve this ambitious goal?

Diriyah aims to attract 27 million visitors by 2030. We are transforming the historical site of Diriyah into a global hub for culture, heritage, and tourism that will attract cultural talent, inquisitive tourists, and investors.

As one of the first giga-projects to open to the public with At-Turaif, Bujairi Terrace and the myriad events we have already hosted, Diriyah really is the catalyst of Vision 2030, and is critical to the Vision’s success pledge to raise tourism’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP from its current 3.2 percent to 10 percent by the end of the decade.

In terms of tourism and hospitality, the Diriyah Company is set to be a global player, having announced 38 global brands who will join

Diriyah’s world class hospitality offering, including the Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, Six Senses, and others. These prestigious hotels and resorts will complement the Kingdom’s rich culture and heritage and the Diriyah Company is immensely proud to have attracted such iconic brands to the destination.

Diriyah has hosted large-scale sporting events, from Formula E to boxing title fights to tennis championships. Do you see Diriyah as a leading global sporting event destination?

Diriyah has already hosted some incredible international events as you alluded to just now.

From Formula E to boxing matches to the Diriyah Tennis Cup and Diriyah Equestrian Festival, we have established the city as a magnificent host for the sporting world.

As part of the transformative Vision 2030 strategy, the Diriyah masterplan is delivering assets that are perfectly placed to hosting global sports events, but these are not even our greatest assets. It is the natural environment of Wadi Hanifah, Diriyah and our proximity to Riyadh that makes us a world-leading sporting event destination.

At just 15 minutes from the center of the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the connectivity of the superb King Khalid International Airport and the city’s myriad world-renowned hotels, all combined with Diriyah’s heritage and hospitality offerings, whether At-Turaif or Bujairi Terrace, athletes, visitors and residents can expect an unrivalled experience.

And all of this is only the beginning – with so many more assets yet to open, from an abundant collection of the world’s most renowned luxury hotels to international retail and entertainment venues, and an incredible list of future events, Diriyah’s sporting credentials will only get better.

How important has it been to engage the private sector and business leaders in the Diriyah project?

In the Kingdom, the owners of luxury hotels and major assets have traditionally been public entities like the Public Investment Fund or the Ministry of Finance. Looking to the longerterm, Diriyah offers Saudi business owners the opportunity to invest directly in hotel and asset ownership in order to facilitate a more diverse ownership of brands.

The government has signaled that it wants to empower the private sector so what we will see is an increasing number of public-private

Bujairi Terrace
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Daily life in At-Turaif can be experienced through a series of immersive theatrical performances

partnerships between the two sectors to move away from a small group of public owners.

Diriyah as a PIF-portfolio company is playing a key part in this and, as the development progresses, it will fuel further public-private sector partnerships across our portfolio.

Will you discuss the strength and talent of Diriyah Company’s workforce and how critical the Diriyah team is to the success of the project?

Diriyah is a family. I always say “One Family, One Diriyah” which perfectly encapsulates our approach to our workforce. We recently reached 30 million man-hours across all our developments, and we are only just at the beginning.

Almost 86 percent of Diriyah Company’s staff are Saudi, with 14 percent being Diriyah locals. This is crucial as first and foremost Diriyah is for Saudis. When we think of gender, 36 percent of our staff are women, 16 percent of whom hold management roles within the Diriyah Company. Female empowerment in the Kingdom is a core pillar of the Vision 2030 strategy and forms a key component of our work.

Development on the scale of Diriyah requires talent – attracting the best talent requires a good workplace. Diriyah ranked in Top 10 Best Places to Work in Saudi Arabia in 2022 after being recognized for the second year in a row and in September 2022, Diriyah was also named the best place to work in Asia. This is a reflection of the incredible, supportive and peoplecentered work environment we have created.

From the Company’s senior leadership to the most junior staff member, there is an immense sense of pride in the Diriyah project. This is the largest and most important project many of us will ever work on and each one of us is a guardian of Diriyah’s historical and cultural legacy. All of us know the significance of this project and we are all working hard to see its completion.

How do you focus your efforts leading the redevelopment of Diriyah?

As Group CEO of Diriyah Company, my role is to drive forward our development plans and deliver on the ambitious targets set by the Board of Directors. As a PIF-portfolio company, we are overseeing a $63.2 billion investment pipeline and have already opened some of the first Vision 2030 giga-project physical assets in the Kingdom.

There is a huge amount still to be done and with the incredibly talented and skilled team we have formed at the Company, we are well on the

way to delivering this outstanding project. I can’t wait for what more there is to come.

You have been a leader in the hospitality industry throughout your career and have been involved in some of the most dynamic projects around the world. What made the opportunity to lead the Diriyah project so special for you?

This is a really easy question to answer. Simply, how often do you get the opportunity to work on developing the birthplace of a nation? Diriyah is the ancestral home of the Al Saud family and at At-Turaif the First Saudi State was founded. For 300 years Diriyah has been a witness to and site of history, culture and heritage. Through our work, we are returning it to its past prestige as a gathering place for the world.

To be a part of something so treasured by the Saudi people and so crucial to the roots of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a true honor and privilege.

What do you want people who may not be familiar with Diriyah to know about this historic location?

Diriyah is the fabled ancient mud-brick city of story books and fairy tales. Just outside of the capital, Riyadh, it is the historical heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, birthplace of the First Saudi State and ancestral home of the House of Al Saud. The city has been the cultural epicenter of Saudi Arabia since its inception and is where the roots of modern Saudi society, customs and traditions can be traced.

Now, as Vision 2030 is opening Diriyah to the world, all those who wish to immerse themselves in authentic Saudi culture should make the centuries-old journey to Saudi Arabia’s latest destination and see where the modern Kingdom was born. I am so proud of the work that Diriyah Company is doing, and I cannot wait to welcome the world to Diriyah.•

Bab Samhan Hotel
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Bujairi Terrace

Connecting People and Possibilities

EDITORS’ NOTE Raj Subramaniam is President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of FedEx Corporation. Subramaniam is chair of the five-person Executive Committee which plans and executes the corporation’s strategic business activities and of the FedEx Strategic Management Committee, a select group of the company’s top leadership which sets the strategic direction for the enterprise. Before being named President and CEO-elect in March 2022, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of FedEx Corporation. Subramaniam held various leadership roles in operations and marketing across the FedEx portfolio of operating companies during his more than 30 years at FedEx. Originally from Trivandrum, India, Subramaniam lives in Memphis, Tennessee – the company’s global headquarters. He serves on the board of directors of the Procter & Gamble Company, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s China Center Advisory Board, FIRST, U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, and the U.S.-China Business Council. He is a member of the U.S.-India CEO Forum. He is also a 2023 recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest civilian award presented by the President of India to the Indian diaspora in recognition of outstanding achievements in India and abroad. Subramaniam earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Syracuse University, and a master’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

COMPANY BRIEF FedEx Corp. (fedex.com) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $94 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively, and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 550,000 employees to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards, and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040.

How do you define FedEx’s mission and purpose?

FedEx has spent the last 50 years connecting people and possibilities. We are continuing that legacy by leveraging our unparalleled physical network, optimized by data-driven decision making and insights, to help businesses flourish, economies prosper, and standards of living improve. But it’s more than just enabling; we are growth partners for businesses of every size, from retailers to consumers. We work alongside our customers to find the best way to address their unique needs.

Our passion and commitment start and end with our customer. In direct support of this, our team members are dedicated to our Purple Promise, which is to make every FedEx experience outstanding.

FedEx places a major focus on innovation and continuous improvement. How critical is this as part of the culture and success at FedEx?

FedEx was born from innovation – it is in our DNA. We invented time-definite overnight

express delivery. We originated real-time package tracking, and we were the first to put that information online, because our founder Fred Smith knew even then that the information about the package is as important as the package itself. We’ve been at the forefront of the latest advancements in temperaturecontrolled shipping which were absolutely critical for emergency vaccine delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At FedEx, that innovative spirit has become ingrained in our culture. We constantly ask ourselves, “what’s next?” –because we know innovation lays the foundation for growth. When you get too comfortable with the status quo, you stagnate. It’s about anticipating the future, staying curious, and acting now to stay one step ahead because that is exactly where our customers need us to be.

How do you describe the FedEx difference?

2023 marks 50 years for FedEx. In that time, we created an industry from the ground up with unmatched scale and scope, empowering customers to access the global market in

Raj Subramaniam An Interview with Raj Subramaniam, President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Corp.
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During the pandemic, FedEx delivered roughly half of the total COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed by the U.S. federal government, as well as ancillary kits to facilities throughout all 50 states and territories

ways they never could have imagined. We built an unparalleled physical network that served as our differentiator, one we proudly and uniquely leveraged to help keep the world moving forward during the pandemic.

And now, as we look ahead to the next 50 and beyond, FedEx is focused on making supply chains smarter through digital innovation. Our physical network generates petabytes of data every single day, so we have valuable digital intelligence that is highly relevant for our customers’ successes. We are using these insights to improve the efficiency of our customers’ operations and enhance the endconsumer experience.

By using data in intelligent ways, we’re able to provide visibility, reliability, and predictability for our customers while more efficiently managing the global supply chain. This is our differentiator in the market.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for growth for FedEx as you look to the future?

FedEx is where now meets next. While we continue to deliver today, we have an eye toward the future that is focused on where the world might need us tomorrow. Our greatest opportunity, and where our strategy lies, isn’t just about growth. It’s about profitable growth while streamlining our cost structure, which enables us to be the smart choice for our customers. All of this happens on a strong foundation of outstanding service, our worldrenowned culture, and our digital DNA.

We are achieving our goals by fundamentally transforming our business to be more efficient, more resilient in a rapidly shifting landscape, and more adaptable to market demands. This means we’re optimizing the efficiency of our operations, offering a differentiated portfolio, enabling smarter supply chains, cutting costs without sacrificing customer experience, and building on what already works well for us.

Will you discuss FedEx’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce to mirror the diversity of its customers and the communities it serves?

At FedEx, we know our customers, suppliers, communities, and prospective employees want to work with companies led by and comprised of people who look like them. They want to see other people who share their experiences, background, and culture.

Since our founding, FedEx has believed in the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion and has remained committed to fostering workplaces that celebrate the unique contributions of each team member. We have always prioritized diversity and invested in programs that furthered equity both within our company and in larger society. Even so, we continuously take a hard look at these efforts and challenge ourselves to do more. How can we be even more proactive, think bigger, and take our efforts to the next level?

The result is a deep bench of programs and policies focused on recruitment, advancement, and company culture, as well as new, innovative efforts with schools and community organizations that have expanded our reach and brought new perspectives. DEI is structurally integrated into our company and organized into four areas: our people; our education and engagement; our communities, customers, suppliers; and our story. Each supports our corporate purpose of connecting people and possibilities. It’s about connecting people from all backgrounds, cultures, and abilities to good paying jobs, career advancement, new networks, and economic opportunity.

What do you see as FedEx’s responsibility to its communities and how ingrained is corporate responsibility in FedEx’s culture?

The very fact that the FedEx network –which operates across more than 220 countries

“FedEx is where now meets next.”
FedEx delivers humanitarian relief supplies for those impacted by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
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FedEx handles about 16.5 million packages a day on average

and territories – even exists makes us uniquely positioned to connect people and possibilities, enable communities to flourish, lift business standards, and so much more. That alone is a responsibility we take very seriously. Even so, corporate social responsibility for FedEx is about taking it one step further by leveraging the power of our network during times of crisis when the world needs us most. I use an analogy often to explain this: If your neighbor’s house is on fire and you have a hose, you’re going to use the hose to put out that fire. It’s that simple.

For example, in February of this year, FedEx worked with our long-standing international aid partners to support earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria. This included using our network to deliver 230 metric tons of critical aid via five relief flights. These charters delivered tents, blankets, baby items, household supplies, and hygiene kits. We also donated funds to help the Turkish Red Crescent with recovery efforts, transported 55 pallets of freight for World Central Kitchen, and provided logistical support to the Turkish Red Crescent moving critically needed supplies by road.

We are also immensely proud of the role we’ve played in global COVID-19 response and recovery. Since the start of the pandemic, FedEx distributed hundreds of millions of vaccines and other critical supplies to where they were needed most throughout the world. These are just two of a mountainous and ever-growing number of examples of how we combine the unique power of our network and our caring and compassionate team members to deliver hope where it’s needed most.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

In order to succeed in any company, I firmly believe your personal values must match the company’s values. That is especially true as you move into leadership roles and are responsible for making decisions for others – no matter how big or small your team may be. You have to be able to go to sleep at night comfortable with the decisions you’ve made, and that can only happen if your values are in sync.

FedEx has always been a company with very strong core values, balanced with our People-Service-Profit (PSP) philosophy. That means, when you take care of your people, they deliver outstanding service, which generates profit for the company that can be reinvested back into the people. Those core values are important to FedEx, and match with my own personal values.

When it comes to my management style, I focus on three things: vision, team, and execution. Establishing a clear vision is foundational to that, then you make sure you have the right team in place, and then enable that team to execute by removing barriers. And when it comes to developing “the right team” – that’s built on a culture fueled by collaboration, teamwork, and accountability for all. We are stronger together, and the best results come when we share ideas and work together across the company.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers during this challenging and uncertain time?

We live in a highly dynamic world, so what feels like a challenge can actually be an opportunity. It’s about perspective. Be willing to take on new opportunities and adapt to unknown or

unplanned situations, because you never know where it may take you.

Early in my career, an opportunity presented itself to move to Hong Kong to be a part of the FedEx growth story in Asia. This was not in my plan, but I took a calculated risk that ended up being one of the most pivotal decisions of my career. To this day, I credit my years in Hong Kong as the single biggest move that helped me grow both personally and professionally.

From there, the next opportunity came as president of our Canadian operations. My time spent in Canada was again an experience I will never forget. There is true learning as you move from a staff function in a new country –in my case marketing – to then run, as a general manager of operations, the whole company in Canada. That transition was extraordinary and impactful on my career trajectory.

What I learned from these experiences, and continue to see throughout my career, is that I will always benefit from being open and willing to adapt. You have to throw yourself into situations, even if it is uncomfortable or you think it won’t lead to anything. But notice I said adapt. Even through change, it is important to stay true to your core values. Change shouldn’t change you.

You have spent more than thirty years of your career at FedEx. What has made the company so special for you?

Without a doubt, it’s the people. I have been lucky to experience many different roles across the enterprise, each of which taught me something unique about the business. But my first transition from a staff function – in my case marketing – to oversee operations for the entire region of Canada, is where I learned just how dedicated our team members really are to the Purple Promise.

I have several stories from my time in Canada, but maybe my most memorable experience was when I participated in a reality TV show, The Big Switcheroo , where I swapped jobs with a frontline team member for a week. My biggest takeaway was that the FedEx business is a people business. We can talk about customer experience all day, but the reality is, our business is people interacting with people, and I realized quickly that FedEx people are very special. Our people are what truly set us apart from our competitors.

You have many accomplishments throughout your career. Are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

For me, I get the most joy out of celebrating our hardworking team members and thanking them for all they do. Whenever I travel, I make it a point to stop in to see our frontline team members, whether I’m in Denver, Delhi, or somewhere in between. It’s something I truly enjoy as it allows me to hear firsthand how our team members are living out our Purple Promise, and it’s a reminder of why I’ve chosen FedEx for over 30 years. I am extremely proud of FedEx and the individuals who represent our brand each and every day. It’s about giving credit where credit is due because it’s their hard work and dedication that keep FedEx, and the world, moving forward.•

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In its 50th year of operations, FedEx now serves more than 220 countries and connects more than 99 percent of global GDP
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EDITORS’ NOTE Jay Monahan took office as the fourth commissioner of the PGA TOUR in January 2017, having been appointed by the PGA TOUR Policy Board in November 2016. Monahan, who joined the PGA TOUR in 2008 as Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Championship, most recently held the position of Deputy Commissioner with Chief Operating Officer added to his title in 2016. Prior to his move to the Office of the Commissioner, Monahan served as PGA TOUR Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing business development, corporate marketing and partnerships, title sponsor relations, retail licensing and media sales. Prior to being named CMO in March 2013, Monahan was the Senior Vice President for Business Development where he was responsible for securing new sponsors and managing existing PGA TOUR title sponsorship relationships. As Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, Monahan serves on the Board of Directors of the International Golf Federation, the World Golf Foundation and the European Tour. He is also the co-founder and board member of Golf Fights Cancer, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer-related charities and research organizations. Before coming to the PGA TOUR, Monahan was Executive Vice President of Fenway Sports Group, leading the sales and business development team for the property ownership and representation divisions since 2005. Additionally, he directed FSG’s sponsorship sales operations for the Boston Red Sox, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing and Boston College Athletics. Prior to joining FSG, Monahan spent three years as executive director at IMG Worldwide, where he played an integral role in the development of the Dell Technologies Championship in Norton, Massachusetts, and served as the first tournament director. Monahan began his sports sponsorship career as director of global sponsorships and branding programs at EMC Corporation. Previously, he worked at Arnold Advertising and Bob Woolf Associates. Monahan graduated from Trinity College where he was a four-year member of the golf team and a Division III Academic AllAmerican his senior year. He earned a master’s degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1995.

DRIVEN

TOUR BRIEF The PGA TOUR (pgatour.com) is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada. The modern-day PGA TOUR was formed in 1968 when a subset of touring professionals broke away from the PGA of America.

Will you discuss the history and heritage of the PGA TOUR and how the PGA TOUR has evolved?

The PGA TOUR has been showcasing the biggest moments in golf since its inception in 1968. Golf’s greatest sportsmen, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, established the modern PGA TOUR based on a foundation of meritocracy, legacy, and purpose and set the bar for the generations to follow. Tiger Woods carries the torch for today’s PGA TOUR and virtually every one of today’s PGA TOUR stars credit Tiger’s greatness and passion for “digging it out of the dirt” for inspiring them to compete at

the highest level. A membership organization with more than 84 international members from 28 countries and territories, the TOUR provides a global platform for members to compete against the best, earn their stardom and become household names. PGA TOUR tournaments are set up as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and thanks to engaged communities, partners and more than 100,000 volunteers who give their time each year, we’re extremely proud of the impact our tournaments make on a weekly basis. Last year, the PGA TOUR surpassed $3.6 billion in all-time charitable giving and the values that were established by Arnold and Jack continue to be the TOUR’s North Star. Over the last 20 years, we’ve established the FedExCup, a season-long competition that crowns the most consistent performer over the course of the season. Winners have included the greats of the modern game –Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh. In 2023, we launched a series of events that brings together the top players to compete against each other more often, and we will debut a reimagined schedule in 2024 that will

Jay Monahan An Interview with Jay Monahan, Commissioner, PGA TOUR
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Jay Monahan with 2014 FedExCup champion Billy Horschel at the first tee during the final round of the 2021 TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC

be a massive win for our fans. We have a lot more to accomplish, but I’m excited about the direction we are headed, thanks to the unprecedented support of the membership.

Will you provide an overview of the PGA TOUR today and what have been the keys to the PGA TOUR’s consistent leadership for so many years?

Though our game may be steeped in tradition, the PGA TOUR has always sought to be a constant innovator and improve our product for the betterment of our fans, thanks to the leadership of my predecessors, Tim Finchem and Deane Beman. Tim entered the World Golf Hall of Fame last year alongside Tiger Woods and his vision for the modern PGA TOUR is why the PGA TOUR is one of the world’s preeminent sports leagues. He grew prize money exponentially thanks to the inception of the FedExCup, launched our youth development organization First Tee, and was instrumental in the birth of the Presidents Cup and the inclusion of golf into the Olympic Games. Always unflappable, Tim also led the PGA TOUR out of the worst recession since the Great Depression stronger than ever. A trailblazer, Deane Beman created the TOUR’s modern business model that included a title sponsor for tournaments and a player retirement program that is considered the best in professional sports, and established the TOUR’s 501(c)(6) membership status, a concept that remains a central fabric of who we are as an organization today. The imprint these two leaders left on the TOUR can still be seen and felt, and it’s my mission –with the help of an amazing team we have in place – to continue building upon the strong foundation that they laid for both our own company and the broader ecosystem of men’s professional golf.

How do you define the PGA TOUR’s culture and values?

At any organization, a shared understanding of goals and values among employees creates a sense of purpose and direction. At the PGA TOUR, our core values have manifested into an acronym we use called DRIVEN – Diverse, Respectful, Innovative, Vigilant, Energetic, and Never-Compromising. I am a firm believer in the power of relationships, and as we enter our third year in our new Global Home headquarters, we have an engaged, well-connected team that live these values every day, which has

positively contributed to a solid foundation for an inclusive culture. And thanks to the leadership among the diverse groups we have in place within, we continue to listen, learn and adapt. That’s certainly necessary in today’s work environment to foster a successful and healthy workplace.

What interested you in the role of commissioner of PGA TOUR and how do you approach the role?

It is a true honor to represent our PGA TOUR family, and a responsibility I take very seriously. When you fully trust the team you have in place, it allows your organization to accomplish both the day-to-day and the unthinkable. In March 2020, the world was shut down due to the pandemic. We closed our doors on a Friday, canceling our flagship event THE PLAYERS Championship. The following Monday, we began to build a business unit consisting of existing employees with the goal of a return to golf, with an unknown timetable. As gutwrenching as that day and the weeks to follow were – as we ultimately canceled or postponed nearly 30 percent of our season – the adaptability, innovation and collaboration shown

from our team in truly unprecedented times is something I will always both marvel at and cherish. With health and safety at the forefront of every decision, we successfully returned to PGA TOUR competition less than three months later, one of the first professional sports leagues in the United States to do so, and finished our season successfully and without any additional stoppages.

How critical is it for the PGA Tour to continue to adapt and evolve to meet today’s needs and challenges?

I say this often – I wake up every day assuming someone is trying to take my lunch. That’s the way I operate. That’s the way we operate as a team. You have to evolve, you have to adapt, you have to make that mindset part of your organization’s DNA. Above and beyond the competitive changes we are in the process of instituting, adapting to the needs of our fans and making the game of golf welcoming to all is at the top of our priority list. We have made tremendous progress in this area over the last several years through our new ESPN+ streaming partnership, which attracts a younger audience than traditional

Jay Monahan congratulates Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland at the 2022 TOUR Championship after Rory became the first PGA TOUR Player to win three FedEx Cups
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“At the PGA TOUR, our core values have manifested into an acronym we use called DRIVEN – Diverse, Respectful, Innovative, Vigilant, Energetic, and Never-Compromising.”

network television, gaming, golf analytics, the newly released Netflix docuseries “Full Swing,” the release of the new PGA TOUR app and a more concerted effort in storytelling to raise the profile of every one of our members.

Will you discuss the PGA TOUR’s focus on building a diverse and inclusive workforce?

The TOUR has taken a lead role in the industry-wide initiative Make Golf Your Thing, which has resulted in our internal team collaborating with our industry partners to ensure we are offering welcoming avenues for those seeking a career in golf and educating talented individuals who currently don’t have the golf industry on their radars. Our HBCU subcommittee has partnered with our human resources team to align our relationships more closely with these schools. The result has been a deeper connection with these universities as well as an introduction to a broader pipeline of potential candidates. Once on campus, we have an Inclusion Leadership Council, chaired by Executive Vice President Neera Shetty, along with several resource groups, established to identify and execute the key inclusion initiatives for the PGA TOUR.

Will you highlight the impact that the PGA TOUR events make on the communities they serve?

The PGA TOUR drives positive impact at unprecedented levels to support and improve local communities. Each PGA TOUR tournament is an opportunity to give back to your community in one of three ways – attending an event, volunteering, or donating money. The vast majority of our tournaments are run by 501(c)(3) charities as their host organizations; all of their net proceeds stay in the community to support local organizations. And these tournaments wouldn’t be possible without the 100,000 volunteers annually who commit their time to ensure each event is a success.

We’re unique in sports by hosting events across our five Tours structured as 501(c)(3) s. With our business model, we are able to directly impact more than 3,000 charities and initiatives annually. Giving back isn’t just what the PGA TOUR does; it’s part of who we are, and is something we’ve been doing in communities where we play for more than 80 years.

The PGA TOUR players are engaged in giving back and support many causes. How proud are you to lead an organization whose players are committed to making a difference?

Incredibly proud. Giving back because it’s the right thing to do has been a tradition of PGA TOUR players since the earliest days

of professional golf. Star players understand that their platform really can make a difference in raising awareness and funds. Giants in the game like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus – who both have hospitals named after them – set the example which modern players proudly follow. Tiger Woods continued the tradition with his TGR Foundation, and their legacies inspire players to continue giving back today.

What are your priorities for the PGA TOUR as you look to the future?

The TOUR will continue to evolve our product for our fans and players and truly capitalize on this moment where the game has taken off in popularity. Tiger’s rise in the 1990s and 2000s inspired many of today’s stars, and certainly the next generation will be inspired not only by Tiger, but by Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and so many others. Off the course, we’ll remain focused on the pillars of positively impacting lives through charitable impact, diversity, equity and inclusion and diversity in the competitive landscape, including First Tee, junior and HBCU collegiate golf, and the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA).

There’s much more work to be done across the board, but we are proud of the foundation we have in place as we work toward our future goals.•

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Jon Rahm poses with the trophy and Jay Monahan after his remarkable come-from-behind victory at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui, Hawaii

The Strength of Diversification

EDITORS’ NOTE As Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern), John Barrett serves on a wide range of boards and is highly active in the business and nonprofit communities. He joined Western & Southern in 1987 as its Chief Financial Officer. He was named President in 1989, Chief Executive Officer in 1994, and Chairman in 2002. Barrett serves on the board of directors of Cintas Corporation with past board memberships that include The Andersons, Inc., Cincinnati Bell, Convergys Corporation, Fifth Third Bancorp, and Touchstone Investment Trusts. He is a director and past chairman of the American Council of Life Insurers, a member of The Business Roundtable, a member of The Financial Services Roundtable, and a trustee for Americans for the Arts. He also serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. He is past president of the Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies and a member and past chairman of the Ohio Business Roundtable. An active leader in the rejuvenation of downtown Cincinnati, Barrett launched the United Way Women’s Leadership Council to increase giving among top female contributors. He also founded The Herbert R. Brown Society in Cincinnati to encourage greater African American engagement with the local United Way. Dozens of Cincinnati area organizations and community causes benefit from his civic leadership. Currently, he is spearheading a $100 million+ fundraising campaign to help the University of Cincinnati’s Barrett Cancer Center and other members of the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium pursue National Cancer Institute designation for cancer research excellence.

COMPANY BRIEF Western & Southern Financial Group (westernsouthern.com) is a Cincinnati-based diversified family of financial services companies with assets, owned and managed, of more than $100 billion. Western & Southern is one of the strongest life insurance groups in the world, with a capital-to-asset ratio more than double the average of the 15 largest publicly traded life insurers doing business in the United States.

How do you define Western & Southern Financial Group’s mission and purpose?

We strive to help our customers achieve their financial goals along life’s journey, whether that’s protecting their loved ones when they’re gone, preparing for retirement, and helping them reach their financial goals and dreams. That’s our simple, high-level mission, and it is top of mind across our enterprise. Of course, the way we accomplish it is a bit more complicated, and we believe that’s what sets us apart.

What have been the keys to Western & Southern Financial Group’s industry leadership and how do you describe the Western & Southern difference?

When you look at all of the businesses in our financial group together, you’ll notice that they’re very different. They operate differently, focus on different types of customers and financial solutions, and their expertise lies in different areas – investments, retirement, life insurance and annuities, and real estate.

But while the differences are by design –diversification is our strength – what our businesses share and how they fit together is the foundation of Western & Southern Financial Group. They each contribute in different ways to what has long been one of the strongest balance sheets in our industry. There’s an intense commitment to providing superior

service to our customers. And there’s a deep focus on our workplace culture – investing in the growth of our associates, and ensuring that this remains an ideal place to build a career.

Put all of that together, and you get what we feel is the strongest, most secure financial services company in the industry.

Will you provide an overview of Western & Southern Financial Group’s service offerings?

On the service side, we offer life insurance, retirement planning, investment advisory, small business solutions, and pension risk transfer. Our products fall into four main categories – life insurance, annuities, investments and the “additional insurance” category, which includes accidental death, critical illness, Medicare supplement, and disability income.

How is technology impacting Western & Southern’s business and will you highlight the company’s investment in technology?

Information Technology is one of our larger departments at Western & Southern. It never ceases to amaze me just how much ground our IT team covers.

If we’re going to single out one current area of emphasis, it has to be cybersecurity. We’ve invested heavily in it, and there’s a great deal of attention being paid to it. Our associates are constantly undergoing trainings and tests, and we invest time and resources to ensure our associates are informed and prepared. It’s imperative that we take this seriously and remain vigilant in order to protect our clients

John F. Barrett An Interview with John F. Barrett, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Western & Southern Financial Group
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“When you look at all of the businesses in our financial group together, you’ll notice that they’re very different. They operate differently, focus on different types of customers and financial solutions, and their expertise lies in different areas – investments, retirement, life insurance and annuities, and real estate.”

and their information. Our incident response team and our processes are the best in the industry.

We take a thorough approach to the many questions technology requires companies to ask themselves. How do we stay on the cutting edge in a particular area? What technologies exist that we need to explore? How do we protect ourselves and our customers? How do we retire legacy technology and manage efficiencies with new solutions?

As with all areas of our company, it always comes back to how we can best serve our customers. We invest heavily in technology because it’s critical to how they expect to do business with us. We want them to have a smooth and efficient experience – that’s ultimately what technology helps us achieve.

How critical is innovation to Western & Southern’s business and where is innovation taking place in the company?

Innovation is taking place across our entire enterprise. If you’re going to maintain an intense focus on providing value to all stakeholders – our stated objective – efficiency and innovation are critical.

When you hear the word “innovation,” you probably think of technology, and there’s certainly no shortage of that kind of innovation at Western & Southern. But we also have multiple departments that are dedicated almost entirely to using innovation and maximizing efficiency, whether that impacts our customers, our associates, or both.

An example of this is a team we created to implement new technology and establish new processes. Over the years, we have acquired a number of companies and also built new ones. Through this initiative, we are creating more consistency across different lines of our business so that our customers, producers and associates have a smoother experience. It involves standardizing processes, integrating and consolidating data, and in general simplifying the way we interact with our systems and each other. Why is this critical? We know that to continue thriving in a highly competitive and ever-changing industry, we must keep adapting. A while back, we established a Strategic Venture Capital Team

to look at investments in Insurtech and Fintech firms. Firms like these are mostly start-up companies focused on financial services solutions for consumers in banking, budgeting, financial planning, investing, life insurance and retirement. By partnering with these companies, we can explore new technologies and use the learnings to inform our long-term strategy. The opportunities ahead for us are great. To be successful, we must keep growing our client base, building our capital base, providing first-rate products and solutions, and continuing to enhance the experience we deliver to our customers.

What do you see as Western & Southern’s responsibility to be engaged in the communities it serves and to be a force for good in society?

We’re committed to serving the communities in which our associates live and work. Of course, some of our most notable community efforts over the years have been centered in Cincinnati. It really is hard to beat all that this place has to offer – sports, entertainment, parks, history, location, the business community, the arts, our culinary and brewery scenes, our thriving downtown. We love this city.

Western & Southern’s work in Greater Cincinnati takes many forms, whether it’s development, charitable donations, or serving as title sponsor of the W&S Open tennis tournament. As a matter of fact, we just received the results of a study – conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center – detailing Western & Southern’s economic impact on Greater Cincinnati. From capital expenditures to jobs to tax revenue to charitable giving, the impact is huge –more than $27 billion in just the last 15 years. But the key point is not the number – it’s the meaning behind the number. Consider the difference one highly successful and properly focused company and its people can make. We are all called to do our part. This is a vibrant place, and we feel it’s our duty to not only keep it that way, but also to shine a light on it and help it grow.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

In my experience, building and maintaining the right culture has been the most

significant driver of our success at Western & Southern. You can get a real sense for it when you walk our hallways, eat in our cafeteria, or sit in our meetings. There’s a camaraderie and genuine sense of togetherness. It’s a point of pride here. We spend a lot of time together and ask a lot of each other, but we all care for one another on both a personal and professional level. Our company aims to hire good-natured and team-oriented people, and we’ve found that when you get a group of those kinds of individuals working and collaborating together, great things happen.

My role has been to foster that culture. There’s a standard to uphold here – one that dates back 135 years – and part of being a leader is ensuring that associates are accountable to that standard. But when you have the type of people that we do, a lot of your effort as a leader involves letting them know that they’re appreciated, removing the barriers in their way, and reciprocating their hard work and loyalty. We’re one of the last remaining Fortune 500 companies to offer a pension. Our home office associates can enjoy breakfast and lunch in our cafeteria at no cost to them. We have a workout facility on site. We maintain an award-winning talent development program to help our people grow. The list goes on. It’s my job to maintain Western & Southern’s high standards while allowing the wonderful talent and dedication of our associates to impact our company’s growth.

You joined Western & Southern Financial Group over thirty years ago. What has made the company so special for you?

The people. I’ve been lucky to work with so many special individuals over the years who have not only had a profound impact on our company, but who also hold a special place in my heart on a personal level. To work alongside those kinds of people as our company grows and reaches new heights, that’s extremely rewarding. I’m incredibly grateful for the people around me.

What do you tell young people about the type of careers the industry offers?

The financial services industry offers such a wide range of opportunities, particularly with a company like ours that puts so much emphasis on innovation and growth. Our largest and fastest-growing area at Western & Southern is the Information Technology department –that probably wouldn’t be your first guess for a financial services company, but it’s true. There’s so much opportunity here just within that one department.

I came up through the ranks in finance, so of course I’m proud when I see the types of careers and opportunities available now in that area. There’s never been a better time for a career in finance. But you look around and it’s really that way across the board in our industry – investments, sales, communications, marketing, legal, human resources – you name it. There’s something for everyone. Western & Southern is constantly growing and innovating, and that allows for even more opportunity. I might be partial, but this is a truly outstanding place to be.•

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“But while the differences are by design –diversification is our strength – what our businesses share and how they fit together is the foundation of Western & Southern Financial Group.”

Proven Conservative Policies

EDITORS’ NOTE On November 8, 2022, Governor Brian Kemp was re-elected to serve a second term as Georgia’s 83rd governor. Governor Kemp ran on a record of success in the Peach State and a plan to help Georgia families fight through 40-year-high inflation, strengthen public safety, and ensure Georgia’s children can overcome learning loss due to the pandemic and succeed in the classroom. A native of Athens, Georgia, Kemp started his first small business over 35 years ago with a pickup truck and a shovel. His experience as a small business owner has driven his mission to put hardworking Georgians first since taking office as Georgia’s governor, and his leadership yielded historic results.

Throughout Governor Kemp’s first term, Georgia has consistently broken economic records with jobs and investment coming to every corner of the state in communities large and small. Thanks to his decision to reopen first during the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point in state history, there are more Georgians working than ever before, and Georgia has been named the Top State for Business for an unprecedented nine consecutive years.

Governor Kemp has also championed legislation to crack down on violent crimes and street gangs, end human trafficking, enact historic tax cuts for working families, give teachers a historic pay raise, and ensure Georgia’s K-12 education system puts parents and students at the forefront.

Governor Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, and their three daughters live on their family farm in Athens and are committed to building a safer, stronger Georgia for all who call the Peach State “home.”

Will you discuss your administration’s focus and commitment to building a strong and growing economy for Georgia?

We recently announced our mid-year numbers which show that during the first half of fiscal year 2023, we increased both the number of locations for economic development projects and the total investment amount in comparison to the same time period in 2022. We also announced four of the largest investments in Georgia history in just a 365-day period from companies like Hyundai, SK On, Freyr, and Rivian. In partnership with the Georgia General Assembly, my administration is focused on building on these

historic successes and maintaining our status as the number one state in the country in which to do business.

Georgia continues to be well-positioned for strong, healthy economic growth, and we are looking to the future for new opportunities for development.

In my inaugural address, I made the promise to the people of Georgia that by the end of my term, we would make our state the e-mobility capital of America. Taking a market-based approach to growing that sector in the Peach State will result in even further investments and good paying jobs for hardworking Georgians.

Our economic development team is worldclass and is working with our partners in the private sector to be responsive to market needs and find areas of cooperation that benefit our citizens, our economy, and our state.

What have been the keys to addressing public safety in Georgia and will you highlight the progress made in this effort?

I made a promise to Georgians that I would not stand idly by and allow dangerous criminals to roam free and wreak havoc in our

state. There are some states who appear content in slapping more restraints on law enforcement officers, but only giving slaps on the wrists to violent criminals – we are not one of them.

When I came into office, my administration formed the GRACE Commission, led by First Lady Marty Kemp, to tackle human trafficking, seek justice for victims, and hold bad actors accountable. In partnership with the Georgia General Assembly, we’ve passed legislation that empowers law enforcement to pursue traffickers and buyers while protecting survivors.

Before it became a well-known problem that the media widely accepts today, I was also sounding the alarm on the destruction being caused by street gangs. That’s why we worked with our legislative partners to form the Gang Prosecution Unit in the Attorney General’s office and the Crime Suppression Unit to take the fight directly to street gangs and other violent criminals. We also formed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Task Force, a multi-agency unit whose priority is dismantling criminal street gangs.

In Georgia, we are taking real steps to protect our communities and are witnessing concrete results.

The Hon. Brian P. Kemp An Interview with The Honorable Brian P. Kemp, Governor of Georgia
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Governor Brian P. Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp visit a local elementary school in Ball Ground, Georgia

What steps is your administration taking to improve education in Georgia and reforming K-12 education?

Ensuring that our institutions have the resources they need to provide a safe and quality learning environment for our students and teachers is one of the highest responsibilities we hold as Georgia leaders. In order to prepare our children for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, my administration is taking numerous steps to ensure we are fully funding K-12 education and securing our schools, investing in our teachers, and providing additional help for students who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If we are to improve education for our students, we must invest in our teachers. My FY2024 budget proposal raises base salary pay for teachers by $2,000, raising teacher pay by a total of $7,000 over the past 5 years. It also

I received calls and messages from Georgians who were experiencing that same struggle through no fault of their own. That’s why when other states were locking down and picking winners and losers, Georgia was the first state in the country to re-open. We placed our trust in our citizens who know their businesses and communities best, and because we made the tough decision, the Peach State was well-positioned for a strong economic recovery coming out of the pandemic.

Georgians are not interested in a top-down government approach to growing the economy. Our state’s economy grows when government focuses on maintaining an environment that allows businesses to thrive, new and good paying jobs to be created, and the free market to drive the growth of new industries.

to move supply coming out of the pandemic, the Georgia Port Authority processed a record 6 million TEUs in 2022 and is continuing to expand to accommodate increased traffic.

In Georgia, our dedication to a marketbased approach to economic growth and investing in our infrastructure and workforce has positioned our state well.

With so much gridlock and partisanship in Washington DC, what do you see as the key ingredients in getting action and achieving results?

I don’t get bogged down with petty partisan bickering. I am of the belief that when you are elected to do a job, you do the job. When you keep your nose to the grindstone and remain focused on solving problems rather than creating new ones, you can get a lot of things done.

We’ve been doing that in Georgia. That’s why I always tell people, that while Washington DC is caught in gridlock and failing to address the needs of our country, you can always look to Georgia to provide a reliable and business friendly environment. We are investing in our children, developing our workforce, expanding our infrastructure, and safeguarding our communities.

That’s the job we were elected to do, and we are going to continue delivering real results for hardworking Georgia families.

What attracted you to public service?

I built my first business, Kemp Development and Construction Company, from the ground up with a pick-up truck and a shovel. I was blessed to find success as an entrepreneur, with businesses and investments in banking, farming, timber, manufacturing, and real estate. While I was working to build these businesses, I grew frustrated with government standing in the way of its citizens’ success and ignoring their concerns.

includes $15 million in grant funds to encourage paraprofessionals to pursue their teaching certification to help further build our talent pool of skilled, dedicated educators.

We are also prioritizing safety in our schools by providing $50,000 school safety grants to every K-12 school in the state to invest in their security needs.

Improving and reforming our education system is no small task, but my administration, in partnership with the Georgia General Assembly, remains committed to getting it done.

How critical is a strong public/private partnership in Georgia and will you highlight your working relationship with the business community?

Over the years, many have spoken about their commitment to maintaining or building a healthy public/private partnership, but I believe the true test of that relationship came during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marty and I are both small business owners and know from experience that the best way to grow a business and create jobs is to get the government out of the way. We’ve experienced the late night worries of how we were going to meet payroll obligations to our employees. During the pandemic,

As you look to attract new industries and businesses to Georgia, how do you define the Georgia advantage?

Georgia has been the number one state in the country in which to do business for nine consecutive years. That didn’t happen by chance. Such a distinction has been a direct result of proven conservative policies of less regulation and lower taxes. It is also a result of the resilience of Georgia job creators and our nation-leading workforce development efforts.

According to Area Development, the Peach State also is number one in overall cost of doing business, business incentives programs, cooperative and responsive state government, competitive labor environment, workforce development programs, and available real estate.

Our focus on workforce development and cultivating a pro-business environment is why, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia has record low unemployment and is one of the top states in the country for job recovery and creation.

As we work to deliver on my commitment to make Georgia the e-mobility capital of America, our state’s reliable and ever-expanding electrical grid and ports remains some of our top advantages. While ports across the country struggled

That’s why I ran for and served in the Georgia State Senate in the 2000s, then as Secretary of State from 2010-2018: to cut red tape and streamline government.

With the success that your administration has achieved for Georgia, are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

There’s no doubt that we have a lot to be proud of in Georgia. We’ve announced historic economic development projects, a historic year at our ports and record-breaking trade numbers. Not to mention, our Georgia Bulldogs football program won back-to-back National Championships.

I’m proud to share our success story with anyone willing to listen, and I believe in my core that we are proof that conservative governance works. At the same time, I also remain focused on the tasks that lie ahead. I always say that we cannot rest on our laurels. There is always more work to be done, and we cannot let our foot off the gas.

We weren’t elected to pat ourselves on the back or take a victory lap. We were elected to work tirelessly to keep Georgia the best place to live, work, and raise a family – and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.•

Governor Kemp speaking at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol building highlighting the work of the state’s Crime Suppression Unit
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Governor Kemp attends the groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of Hyundai Motor Group’s Metaplant in Savannah

United, Well Positioned, and Forward Thinking

EDITORS’ NOTE Richard Rosenbaum is the Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig, a unified international law firm of more than 2,650 attorneys spanning 44 offices around the globe. He has long been considered a thought and change leader in the broader legal profession. He joined the firm in 1985 as its 90th lawyer and has since been integrally involved in forming and successfully executing the strategies which have led to the firm’s growth and unique culture across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He closely guards the firm’s long-term core values while still aggressively navigating ever-changing times. Rosenbaum has always put the firm’s clients and people first, understanding that a law firm leader works for them, first and foremost. He is proud of his work in founding the firm’s renowned and wide-ranging “Commitment to Excellence” program, which ensures that all these values remain core to the firm’s daily practice and global brand for many years to come.

Ejim Achi is Co-Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s New York office and Co-Chair of the New York Corporate Practice. He represents private equity sponsors in connection with buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, restructurings, and other investments spanning a wide range of industries and sectors, with particular emphasis on technology, healthcare, industrials, consumer packaged goods, hospitality, and infrastructure.

Richard Kim is Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Finance Practice and Co-Chair of the New York Corporate Practice. He focuses his practice on representing private equity sponsors, public and private borrowers, lead arrangers, and lenders in connection with syndicated and bilateral loan financings, including senior secured financings, first lien and second lien financings, unsecured financings, investment grade financings, acquisition financings, and bridge financings.

FIRM BRIEF Greenberg Traurig, LLP (gtlaw.com) has more than 2,650 attorneys in 44 locations in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is a 2022 BTI “Highly Recommended Law Firm” for superior client service and is consistently among the top firms on the Am Law Global 100 and

NLJ 250. Greenberg Traurig is Mansfield Rule

5.0 Certified Plus by The Diversity Lab. The firm is recognized for powering its U.S. offices with 100 percent renewable energy as certified by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e® Energy program and is a member of the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program. The firm is known for its philanthropic giving, innovation, diversity, and pro bono.

Deglobalization, inflation, and an impending recession are being discussed by world economic leaders. How is Greenberg Traurig’s global platform strategically positioned to service clients in this environment?

Rosenbaum: With these challenging economic times, many law firms will have to reposition to adapt to changing demands and

face the challenges of competing in markets in which they don’t already have a strong local presence.

At Greenberg Traurig, in 44 locations around the world, we are entrenched in the local market. We spent over two decades strategically growing our global footprint across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. We set down roots wherever business is flourishing or on the frontier of innovation and technology. We never merge or create a verein. Instead, we intentionally hire locally respected and connected legal talent with a deep understanding of regional laws and whose values and standards align with Greenberg Traurig’s. When we open our doors in a new location, we have an established client base, and we continue to grow offices to meet client demand.

We are also mindful of challenges brought on by inflation and uncertainty about a recession. Our global platform allows us to employ geographic arbitrage and the ability to match billing rates to market conditions in each location. We are fiscally responsible in our execution and maintain strong financial management to minimize firm debt. In addition, we harness the advantages of technology, innovation, operational and space efficiencies, and economies of scale to benefit our firm and our clients.

Richard A. Rosenbaum A Conversation with Richard A. Rosenbaum, Executive Chairman, and Ejim Peter Achi and Richard C. Kim, Co-Chairs of the New York Corporate Practice, Greenberg Traurig Ejim Peter Achi Richard C. Kim
“ … we intentionally hire locally respected and connected legal talent with a deep understanding of regional laws and whose values and standards align with Greenberg Traurig’s … and we continue to grow offices to meet client demand.”
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While there is talk of deglobalization, the global economy is more interconnected than ever, and globalization can’t simply end – it evolves to adhere to political dictates and gain financial advantage. We see the challenges in this economy as opportunities; any evolution simply demands other legal needs, and we have the depth of skill sets to seamlessly guide clients across legal jurisdictions and in any economic environment. We are nimble and ready, with knowledge of local laws and practical legal guidance. The result is our winning platform that works both as decentralized local offices with boots-onthe-ground decision-makers and one united global firm with a common culture and worldwide resources.

Greenberg Traurig’s global practices have continued to grow over the years. In fact, we increased our attorney headcount in offices outside of the United States by about ten percent in 2022.

Achi: Our clients are seasoned operators of businesses who have experience not only with navigating turbulent economic environments, but also with identifying opportunities where others only see risks. We have invested in recent years in strengthening our capabilities, particularly in the transactional practices, and are well-positioned to assist our clients with pursuing opportunities they identify, mitigate associated risks as much as possible, and maximize the probability of achieving the desired outcomes. We really view our relationship with our clients as a partnership: in times of uncertainty, or potential uncertainty, we communicate even more and grow ever closer. We expect that to hold true as we enter a potentially more challenging economic environment.

Kim: Our clients often engage us for matters that require our seamless coordination across our global practices and offices. When we receive a matter that requires expertise in a foreign jurisdiction, we utilize our strong network of office-level managing

shareholders and practice group chairs to quickly coordinate with our subject matter experts in the applicable foreign jurisdiction. Likewise, as international capital flows and interest in the U.S. market remains robust, our colleagues from Greenberg Traurig’s global offices often look towards our New York corporate team to lead inbound acquisitions of U.S. target companies and the related debt financings, and to quarterback transactions across multiple jurisdictions and practice areas, including tax, labor and employee benefits, real estate, intellectual property, and our regulatory teams. In addition, Greenberg Traurig attorneys are interconnected across the globe using our excellent videoconferencing, secure file sharing, and realtime connectivity technologies. This allows every Greenberg Traurig attorney the ability to quickly and efficiently gather the collective knowledge of our firm’s experts to facilitate our ability to successfully represent our clients.

Achi: The firm’s culture of collaboration across its global practices and offices delivers significant value to our clients. I recall a significant cross-border transaction, led by our New York corporate team, that was signed in the early days of what eventually became the global pandemic, when uncertainty was rapidly rising but the prevailing view was that the danger was limited to other parts of the world. We were on the buyside of that transaction; we worked very closely with, and received regular updates from, our colleagues in Shanghai and Tokyo, and worked with our clients to calibrate and negotiate for favorable risk-allocation in the contract. The favorable risk-allocation we negotiated ended up being outcome-determinative when the pandemic fully ensued and financing for the transaction began to experience turbulence. In essence, I believe that our global platform and our ability to collaborate successfully across that platform helps us see around corners and helps us function as better risk managers for our clients.

Rosenbaum: Our depth of diversity goes beyond markets and locations. We are proud of our award-winning diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative. We know that having as many diverse perspectives as possible is a critical asset for business and provides clients with more innovative and creative solutions. This initiative extends in our hiring around the globe. For example, recent statistics in our London office boasts the highest proportion of female equity partners and female partners overall of any major law firm in the U.K.; about a 20 percent increase in our ethnic diversity in 2022; and being in the top ten firms with the highest proportion of state school-educated lawyers in the U.K. We pledge our continued commitment to foster a diverse talent pipeline.

A law firm is only as excellent as its talent. We pride ourselves on the ability to anticipate client needs and recruit attorneys who strengthen our practice in New York and around the world. Greenberg Traurig attorneys possess the business acumen and industry knowledge to provide clients with practical legal guidance. We attract top talent by rewarding entrepreneurship and drive, providing the autonomy to make decisions within the firm’s framework of values, and investing in the personal growth of our attorneys.

As Greenberg Traurig has grown dramatically, how has its renowned Commitment to Excellence program ensured the firm maintains its quality and culture?

Rosenbaum: Greenberg Traurig was founded in Miami in 1967 by three partners who wanted to create an inclusive, diverse law firm to rival the caliber of elite New York firms. They built the firm on a strong ethical foundation with core values of integrity, honesty, quality, service, collaboration, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As we expanded across the country and the world, it was imperative to maintain these core values that defined our brand. We developed our Commitment to Excellence program, a comprehensive and executable roadmap to ensure consistency of quality, compliance with the highest ethical legal standards, and that our values would never be diluted. The program’s actionable guidelines cover every aspect of Greenberg Traurig’s operations, from client service to transparent billing to hiring practices, as well as employee adherence to firm policies. Team leaders in each location and practice ensure policies are upheld by all employees.

The result is our unified law firm in which a common value system prevails. Today, with more than 2,650 attorneys and 44 offices across the world, our purpose has never wavered: provide clients with consistent ethics, excellence, service, and real value. Commitment to Excellence is more than a program; it is our pledge that we will place professionalism and ethical behavior at the core of everything we do.

When the world appears fractured and uncertain, Greenberg Traurig remains steady in the storm and works seamlessly around the world to provide unparalleled services and value to our clients.•

“Today, with more than 2,650 attorneys and 44 offices across the world, our purpose has never wavered: provide clients with consistent ethics, excellence, service, and real value. Commitment to Excellence is more than a program; it is our pledge that we will place professionalism and ethical behavior at the core of everything we do.”
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Richard Rosenbaum

Farming for the Future

NOTE Stefan Soloviev is Chairman of Soloviev Group (solovievgroup.com), a privately held eight-region, billion-dollar company involved in agribusiness, logistics, renewable energy and real estate. It is the 26th largest landowner in the U.S. with agricultural operations in Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico. Its agribusiness group, Crossroads Agriculture, farms 500,000 acres growing corn, wheat, milo and alfalfa, and also raises cattle.

EDITORS’

You grew up in New York City, at age 11 taking the M15 bus down Second Avenue and up First Avenue to school and back. How did you wind up in farming?

When I was 14, I started trading stocks and commodities. It had nothing to do with agriculture. I would watch CNBC when I got home from school each afternoon. My interest grew and a trader offered to take me to visit the trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). It was phenomenal. It was different back then, like the movie Trading Places – a lot of hand signals, paper, and action, with less electronic trading. I knew at 14 it was for me.

What happened next?

In my early 20s, after one of many falling outs I had with my father, I walked out, changed my last name, moved to Phoenix with my wife and started trading commodities. I started out in sugar. I really don’t know why, but then I got into currencies, gold, platinum, and other metals and, for reasons I can’t exactly pinpoint, I wound up in the grain markets.

I still love trading. Commodities/Futures are totally different and are more difficult and intricate than equities. Anyone can trade equities, but futures trading has its own language and crazy hours. You could find yourself talking to a person at 3:00 AM and throwing out month abbreviations that have become part of your vocabulary. There are totally different variables, not only just the price but also the length of the contract and whether there is an inversion. Then you have to figure out if you can take advantage of the inversion. Leverage is another issue. For example, one contract of wheat is 5,000 bushels. If the price of wheat is $7 a bushel, then your contract is obviously

worth $35,000, but it takes a lot less than $35,000 to control that amount of wheat which of course makes it much more advantageous and dangerous at the same time. It’s a totally different game than equities. It’s easy to hit home runs but, at the same time, it’s also easier to get blown out of a trade. As I said, anyone can trade equities, but probably less than 1 percent of people who trade equities are cut out for the futures market.

When did you know that you wanted to own farmland?

Back around 2000, I realized that some commodities, especially grain prices, were not keeping up with inflation. Even though inflation was historically low at the time, I knew grain was going to become more expensive. You could go back 30 or 40 years on the price of wheat, for example, and there was no real change in price other than select times during specific world events. I quickly shifted from not

only wanting to trade grains, but also to own farmland – which at the time was totally out of favor – and produce grains. My wife at the time and I started traveling to Wichita and immersed ourselves in the community. It was a culture shock, but a good one, and a needed one. We first met a land broker who was also a farmer which led to introductions to other farmers who, at first, were taken aback by my being from New York City but, when they got to know us, they were so helpful, taking us around for days at a time and explaining different wheat varieties, and basically how real farming works. People think of farmers as people who have a red barn, chickens, and a tractor. You learn very quickly that if you’re a wheat producer on the Great Plains, you don’t have time for the relaxed life people envision farmers enjoying and that this is an incorrect stereotype. You have to go around and farm your land comprised of vast empty fields, usually ranging between 40 and 640 acres which is a full square mile of land. You need to be efficient given where your

Stefan Soloviev An Interview with Stefan Soloviev, Chairman, Soloviev Group
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Stefan Soloviev and son, Quintin, in a Crossroads Agriculture dryland corn field outside of Portales, New Mexico in 2010

land is and in how you move your equipment around, in where and how you get your inputs, and in where your market is.

I eventually bought 309 acres south of Wichita and planted milo, a type of sorghum that tracks the price of corn. It’s non-GMO, so China can be a huge buyer of it (some years depending on international relations among other things). When China is buying, you can basically add a $1 basis on top of the price of corn. Milo is easier to grow than corn and is also more drought tolerant than corn. Milo plays much more into what I’m doing and where I’m located today than it did back in the Wichita days.

How did you initially know how to grow and harvest it?

I had a farmer or two who helped me, but I did most of the work myself. It was a mess for the first year, but it kind of needed to be and I remember it being a lot of fun.

How did your focus and commitment to sustainability develop?

It really grew out of what I perceived to be a great business opportunity. Drought-resistant corn seed had come a long way by the early 2000s. It allowed corn to be grown in dryland areas where it couldn’t really grow 10 years prior. So, after a couple of years in Wichita and then western Nebraska, I finally settled on the Kansas/Colorado border which was a place I felt would be perfect for expansion. It was an area where no one was looking for land. You would barely see anyone from Denver or Iowa looking to take a shot there, much less any investors from the big cities. Less rainfall meant more risk, but also meant much larger fields at cheaper prices than the fields around Wichita. In my

mind, it was also a prime area not only for the westward expansion of the drought-resistant corn, but for newer technologies for tomorrow. The plan was simple – leverage as much land as possible through farm credit. Then, as the grain price started to go the way I thought it would, the price of the acreage – as low as $200 an acre back then – would follow and allow more equity for more land.

Why do you prefer dryland farming?

The beauty and perils of dryland farming are that you only rely on rain, which is more and more important the farther west you go, which leads to one of the most important issues in

agriculture in the West – water. The fact is that in many parts of the West, overuse of water for irrigation of crops has seriously depleted the underlying aquifers. Some states, like Kansas and Colorado, are trying to manage the use of water for irrigated fields, cutting use by some 20 percent these days. States like Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico are still not limiting use which is creating serious problems both now and for the future. Not all irrigated land can be turned to dryland, so a lot of it is just going to disappear and become grassland.

How is Crossroads Agriculture addressing water conservation?

We own about 40 circles (center pivot sprinklers watering 125 of the 160 acres per pivot). Most of that land is in alfalfa and we are managing our water carefully, as are our neighbors. One day, we may have to switch some circles to triticale, a forage that takes less water to grow.

We are mostly a dryland operation. We are engaged in what is called no-till and minimumtill farming. We are in an area where we will average 15-20 inches of rain a year. Every time you plow a field, you lose an inch of moisture. If you run a plow through a field five times a year, you can pretty much guarantee you are losing about a third of your moisture which no one can afford to do in our area since we are so far west. With no-till and minimum-till farming, you leave the stubble from the previous year’s crop in the ground, which in turn keeps the moisture in the ground. If you do nothing to the fields, weeds grow and suck away your moisture anyway, so spraying is the only way to control weeds today and allow the moisture we naturally get every year to remain in the ground. Technology in farming has come such a long way and I will say that the future right now has never looked better for agriculture. I’m pretty sure that in the next 10-20 years, technology will find a way to eliminate weeds without spraying.

Do you grow organic food?

Yes, we have about 10,000 acres in Colorado dedicated to organic wheat. People who

An open ground pile of wheat in Astor, Kansas. Crossroads Agriculture is building more indoor storage capacity and improving logistics to get farmers’ crops to market.
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Crossroads Agriculture’s Colorado Pacific Railroad and grain silos

live in urban areas don’t realize that organic farms can’t grow crops successfully enough today to feed the world, or even a quarter of it, without providing plants with nutrients and preventing weed growth. As I said, I believe technology will evolve to the point where we don’t need chemicals, but for now they are essential. I have been in this business long enough to know that the term “organic” is a loaded word. I’m not going to go too far into that now, but let’s just say it sure isn’t what they want you to think it is. I’ll address that issue at a later time.

Crossroads Agriculture is a leader in using its farmlands for sustainable energy projects. Will you highlight this focus?

I was very fortunate to buy farmland for pennies compared to what it would have cost today. I was in this industry way before people like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos thought about buying farmland. Another reason I selected the area I did was that it is located in some of the windiest parts of North America. A wind turbine only takes up less than two acres and they are cash producers, and it is easy to farm around them. We currently have more than 30 wind turbines in service in New Mexico, and construction will soon commence on 40 wind turbines on our farmland in Colorado. By 2027, we expect to have at least 250 wind turbines in each of those states. We essentially have become e-farmers as well as traditional farmers, harvesting electrons

as well as grains. We also are planning a largescale solar operation on more than 8,000 acres of land in Eastern Colorado that will produce one gigawatt of power, enough to provide electricity to 250,000 homes.

What other major projects is Soloviev Group looking at?

Crossroads is in discussions with the Canadian government for what would be one of the world’s largest hydroponic farms covering several hundred acres indoors. Canada has a very short planting and growing season, and a large percentage of its specialty crops have to be imported from outside Canada. The facility will allow Canadians to have homegrown lettuce, strawberries, and other specialty crops that cannot be efficiently grown in their country. Most importantly, the project is incredibly sustainable. While hydroponics consume significant amounts of energy, 94 percent of Quebec’s electricity comes from hydroelectric plants, and the water used is completely recyclable.

Crossroads Agriculture now owns rail lines, has built an 8-million-bushel grain elevator, and is continuing to improve the logistics for farmers in its area of operations. Is this part of your sustainability initiatives?

Yes, in the sense it helps neighboring farm communities get their crops to market more efficiently. I should also note that we now give farmers another option to get their grain to different markets and even export internationally if in the years ahead that makes sense to do. As a farmer myself, it is important to maximize the price we get given the hard work it takes to go through an entire growing season. As I said from the beginning, farmers have been very good to me. I was a kid from New York City with zero education on agriculture production. Everything I learned, I learned from the farmers, not from a university. I hope that building the 8-million-bushel WesKan Grain facility, saving a rail line that’s now the Colorado Pacific, and setting up a direct unit train (110 cars) shooting west will be something I can give back to them in return.•

Stefan Soloviev in a Crossroads Agriculture wheat field
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“Another reason I selected the area I did was that it is located in some of the windiest parts of North America. A wind turbine only takes up less than two acres and they are cash producers, and it is easy to farm around them. We currently have more than 30 wind turbines in service in New Mexico, and construction will soon commence on 40 wind turbines on our farmland in Colorado. By 2027, we expect to have at least 250 wind turbines in each of those states.”
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The Miami Miracle

EDITORS’ NOTE Francis Suarez is the 43rd Mayor of Miami. As the first Miami-born mayor, he is committed to building a Miami that lasts forever and that welcomes everyone. First elected with a mandate of 86 percent and then re-elected with a mandate of nearly 79 percent, Mayor Suarez has championed the integration of climate adaptive policies, Web 3.0 technology, and a free-market approach to all facets of government as part of his Miami Forever agenda. Under his leadership, Miami has cut crime and cut taxes to one of their lowest points in more than 50 years, spurring a broad-based economic expansion across Miami. Mayor Suarez has also pursued a package of affordable housing reforms – Miami For Everyone – that leverages federal opportunity zones with the activation of underutilized land to the supply and overall access to affordable housing for working people and communities of color. Most recently, Mayor Suarez has championed the development of Miami’s tech economy through Venture Miami along with initiatives that connect education and job training to Miami’s new emerging economic sectors such as Fintech, Medtech, and Greentech. As the son of former Miami Mayor, Xavier L. Suarez, Mayor Suarez learned the values of inclusive, servant-leadership to drive economic prosperity, personal opportunity, fairness, equal rights, and reconciliation for all. Mayor Suarez was recently selected to serve as an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow and was also named as a Time Future 100 Leader. He was named the 20th Greatest Leader in the World by Forbes Top 50. Mayor Suarez currently serves as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He also practices law as Of Counsel for Quinn Emmanuel LLP, an international law firm. Mayor Suarez earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida International University, graduating in the top ten percent of his class, and then received his law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he graduated cum laude

What attracted you to public service and did you know at an early age that you had the interest and desire to serve?

Giving back and serving this community has been in my blood since I was born. Being raised in a household where public service

was a cornerstone value, I almost had no choice but to embark on my own journey as a public servant, although that does not necessarily mean becoming a politician.

During my teenage years, my dad served as Mayor and I spent a lot of time around him. The devotion he had towards public service had a profound impact on me, and I absorbed from an early age what it meant to do something for the good of your community. Seeing my dad serve for eight years showed me the nobility of the profession, of being a public servant, and, in today’s leaders, one can argue that it is something that is gradually being lost – so there is a sense of responsibility to try to bring that back to the extent that I can.

Before serving as a commissioner, I was a small business owner and realized it was time for a new generation of leaders to emerge, ones that followed in my dad’s footsteps and are truly connected to their community, have a vision of a city that works for everyone, and work towards building a city that is here for our

children and grandchildren. I decided to run and got elected by a very small margin – by 262 votes. So, if 262 people would have voted for the other candidate, perhaps my career as a public servant would have never happened.

As commissioner, among other things, I helped Miami come out of the financial crisis, and when 2017 was coming around, I thought I could be in a good position to help lead the city into the next generation. At that point, I already loved to serve, and I was very blessed to be elected mayor by 86 percent – something I’ll never forget.

What have been the keys to the growth of Miami and how do you define Miami’s strengths?

Miami’s strength lies in its community. We are the world’s most diverse, hard-working, and grittiest city in the world. We are a community that has fled communism and witnessed the atrocities of a totalitarian regime which promised to make everyone the same, but it only succeeded in making everyone equally miserable.

Miami is fundamentally an American City, one that opens the door to the American Spirit

The Hon. Francis X. Suarez An Interview with The Honorable Francis X. Suarez, Mayor of Miami
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Mayor Suarez at the opening of The Beautiful Game Project Soccer League at Little Haiti Soccer Park

of hard work, of dreamers and doers. Our city is built around a common desire: to create a community where opportunity is plentiful and a path to prosperity is possible, unlike what they lived before fleeing oppressive, murderous regimes. We understand that true growth can only arise from freedom: freedom to keep what you earn; freedom to invest what you save; freedom to say what you think; and freedom to own what you build.

In short, Miami was built by people who came to pursue the American Dream, but it wasn’t as if they just found it – they built it. Not only for themselves, but for future generations. That’s our biggest strength and our key for success. Our city is a beacon for hope and opportunity, and I am proud to be living in Miami and serving as Mayor of this amazing community.

Your administration has been a leader in climate adaptive policies. Will you discuss these policies?

In Miami, climate change is not theoretical – it is real. When Hurricane Andrew hit Miami back in 1992, it was a wake-up call as we saw how much damage winds could cause, so we invested our resources to become the most wind-resilient city in America. Last year, with Hurricane Ian, we witnessed the increasing threat of storm surge and its devastating power. That is why our community is coming together to tackle this challenge to become the most water-resilient city in the world.

We have passed the Miami Forever Bond, which will invest $400 million in five key categories which align with the city’s most pressing needs including sea level rise and flood prevention, roadways, parks and cultural facilities, public safety, and affordable housing.

Initiatives like Miami Forever Bond, Miami Forever Carbon Neutral, our updated Stormwater

Master Plan, and Heat Resilience will ensure that Miami is here forever and is the shining example of a climate-adaptive city as well as a sustainable, forward-thinking capital of capital.

We’ve also created a new drainage system through our comprehensive stormwater master plan which will protect us from floods and rising sea levels. In fact, FEMA has lowered our flooding risk profile, which is a clear sign that we are on the right track and are leaders in climate-adaptive policies.

How is your administration leading in Web 3.0 technology?

Our economy is transitioning from being driven by the industrial era to one that is fueled by technology. For our city to thrive, it was clear we had to embrace innovation – including the new iteration of the internet, Web 3.0.

Miami is at the forefront of innovation because we know where the world is heading –we are empowering the world’s brightest that are building powerful technologies to help us solve our biggest challenges, from leveraging technology to reach our carbon neutrality goals to being one of the first cities to explore urban air mobility, we are setting the standard of what the city of the future should look like.

The results of embracing innovation speak for themselves: Miami is number one in tech job growth, we have seen blockchain deals grow 2061 percent, venture capital deal volumes have skyrocketed to a 260 percent year-overyear increase, and $838 million dollars were invested into Miami Web3 startups between 2021 and 2022.

Miami is becoming the gravitational center for innovation and disruption because we understand that the future of the economy is tied up with technology, and rather than shying away from this, we are embracing it.

Will you highlight the free-market approach to government of your administration and what you see as the benefits to this approach?

Government does not – and simply cannot – solve all our problems. True innovation and progress only come from having a free-market economy, one that allows creatives and innovators to explore their ideas and solve society’s biggest challenges. Our role as policymakers should be to empower these individuals so they are able to identify our biggest weaknesses and provide a feasible solution for them.

Mayor Suarez at an Amigos For Kids back to school giveaway
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Mayor Suarez visits with students at Superblue art studio in Miami

While it may seem paradoxical for some, this approach towards our economy – which includes lowering taxes to their lowest levels in recorded history – has enabled us to enjoy a 12 percent increase in our city’s budget last year –the second largest in our history.

So, by allowing our residents to keep more of what they earn, our economy grows larger through substitution effects as they have better incentives to be more productive, save more, and deploy their earnings within our community.

Do you feel that Republican policies are resonating with the Hispanic community?

The Hispanic community is an everincreasing demographic. They want to elect leaders who prioritize their personal freedom and empower them to provide for their families.

Hispanics are sick and tired of being compared to “breakfast tacos,” or to be referred to as “Latinx.” We are done being talked to in a condescending and outright disrespectful manner.

Democrats have not figured out that Hispanics are not monolithic. We are a broad and diverse community, not one single “bucket.” Democrats have failed to connect effectively with Hispanics’ true desires and concerns which are essentially the same concerns that every other American has: they want access to high-quality services – including education, they want to be able to afford their groceries, and desire to live in safe cities.

Hispanics seek to elect leaders who prioritize their safety, who reward their hard work, and who provide high-quality, high-paying jobs for them. We have a deep Pro-American mindset. We are proud of our country as it opened the doors for us to realize our American dream.

That is why the Republican principles are resonating with the Hispanic community. We are delivering results that have as their foundation the shared values that Hispanics cherish the most – we support law enforcement, not lawbreakers; we want safe cities and safe schools; we believe in faith and family; and we value freedom above all else.

What needs to be done to break the polarization in politics today?

Our nation is less powerful when we are divided. We are spending too much time arguing about the twenty percent of things we disagree on rather than focusing on the eighty percent of things that unite us which boil to three essential values we all share: we all want to live in a world where we all have access to prosperity, where our children can flourish and reach their potential, and we want our tomorrows to be better than our yesterdays.

Our message as leaders must switch from hateful and divisive rhetoric to focus on what makes our nation great, and how we can use our platform to build pathways for more Americans to realize their dreams.

My role as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors is to work hand-to-hand with mayors across the country to build cities that work for everyone. Rather than leading in a partisan manner, I am looking for solutions to our most pressing challenges: the economy, safety, access to education and prosperity.

I’m a solution-oriented person and it’s my job here to deliver solutions to the residents of my community. This is what we need from our leaders if we are to overcome our greatest challenges – not bickering and blaming the other side of the aisle for our problems.

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

My passion, my driving force, comes from knowing that I can serve as a force for good and bring results for my residents while opening new opportunities for them to flourish. I subscribe to a servant-leader methodology of leadership, of cooperation, and of pragmatism –always trying my best to inspire others as a positive, aspirational leader.

Most of our leaders are investing their energy in divisive politics and rhetoric. Instead, I choose to focus my efforts in delivering tangible results for my residents. That’s how the Miami Movement emerged, out of a sincere desire to build people up and walk with them towards a better future for all, one that promises prosperity for generations to come.

Our leaders must be aspirational and inspirational, not divisive and toxic – they must want us to do better individually and as a nation, who seek to have a record of results with positive leadership.

There has been much conversation about the possibility that you will run for President. Is this an opportunity that you are considering?

Right now, I am focusing my efforts in building a city that works for everyone and is here forever while leading all mayors across the nation as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. My goal is to push forward the Miami Miracle across all urban America so more cities enjoy the prosperity that we have in Miami that emerged from us following a simple formula: keep our city safe, embrace innovation, and lower taxes.

One thing that is important to underline is that Miami’s success can be replicated and scaled nationally, and if more opportunities emerge in the future to continue building

upon our momentum, I’ll consider them in their proper time with due diligence.

Your administration has achieved strong results for Miami. Are you able to take moments to celebrate the wins?

I always knew the true potential of what Miami had to offer, and being able to witness it come to fruition in real time is a true blessing. Seeing my city reach its highest feats in recorded history cannot be put into words. As Mayor, my job is to deliver the Miami Miracle to my residents, and it comes naturally to me because I love my city and my community, and I am glad to see all of our hard work paying off.

What’s impressive, however, is that we are just getting started – this is only the first inning of the Miami Miracle. What the future holds for our city will not only improve our lives in the present, but will ensure that our future generations – our children and grandchildren – can live in a city that is beautiful, diverse, and continues to serve as a beacon of freedom and hope for all the nation – and the entire world.

What do you tell young people about a career in public service?

Public service has an immense potential to improve the lives of all our loved ones. Even though it may be a very demanding career, the rewards that come from it are impossible to put into words. Leadership that is based on positivity and optimism can have a ripple effect in our community for the better.

When we have leaders who invest their energy into seeing all of us reach our true potential, enjoy high levels of quality of life and prosperity, special things happen  – which is what we’re seeing in Miami: we are the happiest and healthiest city in America, we are enjoying the lowest homicide rates since the 1940s, and we are number one in wage growth.

We need a new generation of leaders to emerge, public officials who know where our world is heading towards and how we can leverage the tools at our disposal, such as technology, to build a world that better serves everyone and in which there’s a clear path towards prosperity for all.•

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Mayor Suarez goes to the La Salle championship game to represent his alma mater
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Leading by Example

EDITORS’ NOTE Dave Liniger is Chairman of RE/MAX, the Denverbased global real estate franchise that he co-founded with his wife, Gail, in 1973. He retired from the CEO position in 2018. In 2017, Liniger co-founded Motto Mortgage, a franchise organization focused on the mortgage industry. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of RE/ MAX LLC, and in the first two years, Motto Mortgage has sold over 100 franchises. In October 2013, RE/ MAX did its initial public offering, listed on the New York Stock Exchange as RMAX. The Liniger Family continues to be, by far, the largest shareholder in the organization. Liniger served in the United States Air Force for five years, serving in Vietnam, Thailand, Texas and Arizona. His final military assignment was at the ROTC detachment at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. During his military service, he became interested in real estate after successfully buying and selling properties to supplement his income. Upon leaving the USAF, he worked in residential real estate for a year, then moved to the Denver area to start his real estate career in Colorado. As a highly respected industry expert, Liniger has spoken to over 3 million people in over 30 countries. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Success and other leading publications and media outlets across the globe. In 2010, he was included in Bloomberg Business Week’s profiles of the 50 Most Powerful People in Real Estate, and in 2011, he was named the Inman News “People’s Choice” Most Influential Real Estate Leader. He has also received the Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence from the Global Institute for Leadership Development. Liniger is a serial entrepreneur, having owned many businesses – travel agencies, home building, oil drilling/exploration, NASCAR racetrack owner, NASCAR race team owner, motorcycle and gun shops, and Arabian Horse breeding. Liniger has set a tone of philanthropy since the early days of RE/MAX. Since 1992, RE/MAX has been the official real estate sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In 2002, Liniger co-founded a Denver-area conservation center, The Wildlife Experience, dedicated to fostering appreciation and understanding of wildlife, its conservation and the many forms of wildlife art. He and his wife, Gail, also own the acclaimed Sanctuary

Golf Course in Sedalia, Colorado. Devoted primarily to charity golf tournaments, the private course has raised more than $100 million for hundreds of organizations since opening in 1997. In 2011, he and Gail accepted the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Founder’s Award on behalf of the RE/MAX network, which has now raised more than $156 million for local children’s hospitals. Liniger has served on the Board of Directors of The Wildlife Experience and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and has been elected as a Lifetime Trustee of the Denver Chapter of the Boy Scouts. He has spent his life participating in adventure sports – he has logged over 3,000 scuba dives, has hunted, camped and photographed around the world on over 100 trips, is a multi-engine commercial jet type-rated pilot, is an avid golfer, and personally raced in several NASCAR divisions for over 10 years. In 1998, he attempted to fly a helium balloon into outer space and around the world. Liniger spent much of 2012 recovering from a life-threatening MRSA infection in his spine. After months in a coma and multiple surgeries, he spent six months paralyzed in a spinal cord rehabilitation center and eventually regained his ability to function. He wrote a New York Times’ bestseller describing the experience – My Next Step

RE/MAX, our concept was unheard of. No one had successfully offered a 100 percent commission to agents. There are so many components involved in starting a business, especially a real estate company from the ground up, from contracts and contract law, to making presentations, finding and recruiting customers, and much more. At the time, traditional brokerages split commissions 50/50, so if you had a listing agent and a listing company, they would each get 25 percent of the total commission. The selling agent got 25 percent as well. So the successful realtors started to think, “Why am I only getting a small percentage when I’m doing most of the work?” Many of these started their own mom and pop shops to allow them to net more. We created a “Rent-a-Desk” model for them to be part of. Our goal at RE/MAX has always been to help realtors and ensure the top producing agents got higher commissions.

From the outset, we had the latest and greatest management tools. We offered exclusive training programs, teaching realtors how to grow their business. We allowed agents to set their own commission rates, determine their own advertising budgets, and so on. We encouraged agents to promote themselves as individuals, not just the company as a whole. All of this was unique and controversial at the time, but it quickly caught on and became extremely successful.

What have been the keys to RE/MAX’s strength and leadership for five decades?

COMPANY BRIEF

As one of the leading global real estate franchisors, RE/MAX, LLC (remax.com) is a subsidiary of RE/MAX Holdings with more than 140,000 agents in almost 9,000 offices and a presence in more than 110 countries and territories. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX, as measured by residential transaction sides. RE/MAX was founded with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. RE/MAX agents have lived, worked and served in their local communities for decades, raising millions of dollars every year for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities.

What was your vision for creating RE/MAX and how do you define its mission?

Real estate is a difficult business to get started in. Fifty years ago, when we launched

I would narrow it down to two key factors. First of all, the quality of personnel. We have outstanding leadership at the company, and we hire successful, experienced agents. Because of that, we have avoided the problems that come with hiring part-time agents, including a huge percentage of turnover.

The second factor is adaptability. Many people have misrepresented Darwin’s theory saying “the strongest survive.” In fact, that’s not what he said. He said, “The most adaptable species survive,” which is why dinosaurs went extinct, yet the mosquito is still here.

So many changes have occurred in the real estate industry since RE/MAX was founded. We have survived nine presidential administrations, eight recessions, the savings and loan crisis, a global pandemic, and so much more. For any company or organization to stand the test of time, adaptability is absolutely crucial.

Dave Liniger
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 64 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
An Interview with Dave Liniger, Chairman and Co-Founder, RE/MAX

You place a major emphasis on talent and investing in RE/MAX’s people. What are the characteristics you look for in the hiring process?

I mentioned that the vast majority of people we hire at RE/MAX were already successful agents, so they were ready to make the transition to a company like ours. We look for people who are serious about their business and have excellent and established reputations in their communities. Once you have an established reputation, customers come to you. When realtors provide outstanding service, they end up getting a lot of referrals, which is the best way to grow a business.

How critical has it been for RE/MAX to build a diverse and inclusive workforce to mirror the diversity of the communities it serves?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a top priority and extremely critical in our success as a company. I’m proud to say that we have been an industry trailblazer in that regard. In the 1960s, the real estate industry was just a bunch of old, white men. Sadly, the largest real estate companies at the time would only hire women or people of color as receptionists, so there was very little in the way of diversity and inclusion.

When we started, we had 21 agents. Our second year, we doubled that to 42, and doubled it again the third year to 84. The fourth year, we had 134. By our fifth year, we had 289 agents and were the #1 real estate company in the state. At the 5-year mark, 70 percent of our sales force was comprised of women and people of color. It was groundbreaking – and served as a cultural shift. Shortly thereafter, those other companies started hiring women.

What do you see as RE/MAX’s responsibility to be engaged in its communities and to be a force for good in society?

Early on in our success, we came to an important realization in the way we marketed ourselves. Rather than touting $1 billion in sales to prove our success, we decided to talk about the 33,000 families we helped in the various communities in which we served. These were our neighbors, our families, and friends. We went to the same churches and synagogues, our kids went to school together. It was an earthshattering moment for us, and it changed our thinking drastically from the dollar amount to the lives we’ve been able to touch.

The fact is, people want to work with organizations that are concerned with their own community. For over 25 years, RE/MAX has been a proud supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit that raises funds for children’s hospitals, providing support to more than 10 million children each year. But we also encourage our people to join organizations that make a difference to them. Don’t do it because it looks good on a resume, but because it’s something you genuinely believe in. People gravitate to people who are making a difference.

You suffered a life-threatening infection in 2012. Where did you find the resilience to overcome this health battle and how did this experience impact your life?

I woke up in the middle of the night to discover I was paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors told me I had MRSA (a staph infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and it had become so septic I should never have survived. At one point, I flatlined, was revived by CPR and spent four months in a coma. When I came out of the coma, I was sent to a spinal cord and brain injury rehab center. I was a quadriplegic, and the doctor said I would never walk again.

I had this attitude that I was not going to quit, and would never give up. I was determined to recover. So I told my nurse and therapist to push me harder than they had ever pushed anyone before and that’s what they did. It was one of the most painful and difficult things I have ever gone through, but I got through it because I was persistent.

How did your time serving in the military impact your management style?

Like many kids joining the military, I was very immature at the time, and that turned around quickly. While serving my country, I learned to accept responsibility for who I was. The military taught me confidence and provided role models of real-life heroes. I idolized the combat pilots and soldiers. Jim Rohn says we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, and so I simply emulated the admirable qualities of the leaders I was surrounded with. So, the military absolutely impacted my management style, and has had a great impact on my entire life.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership?

The first key to effective leadership is leading by example. What you say is not

as important as what you do – people will emulate what a leader does. If you want your employees showing up early, you need to show up early. If you want them to dress a certain way, you need to dress a certain way. If you want them to speak a certain way, you need to speak a certain way. Set the example, and others will follow.

Secondly, I’ve come to the realization that all great leaders have one common attribute: they sell hope. From Jesus Christ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to President Obama, and countless others in between, they all had a message of hope. With RE/MAX, I didn’t always plan everything out, but I was always selling hope. Real estate agents looking to make a better living for their families saw that they could get 85-90 percent of their commission at RE/MAX. We cast a vision of more independence. How? We sold hope.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in building a career in real estate?

Building a successful career in real estate is a much tougher job as a beginner than they imagine. You must have financial staying power. You need to have enough money to get through the dry spells and start getting commissions. The other thing to keep in mind is that most closings take four to eight weeks, so the money doesn’t always come overnight. Education, especially continuing education, is important. You can get a real estate license, but that doesn’t teach you anything about how to be a successful salesperson. There are a lot of nuances to the art of selling, so when you choose a company, you want to work for the best company you can find – one with a formal training program that will help you learn and grow. I encourage realtors to invest in hiring a coach – it’s incredibly important to keep learning and sharpening your skills. All the best professionals in their field have coaches. Muhammed Ali gave a third of his earnings to his coaches, because he knew how important they were to his success.

You have achieved much in your business career and have received many awards. Do you enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

A lot of people look at my success and say, “You must be a workaholic.” There was a period of time where I was doing a 30-city speaking tour in 45 days or was out on the road recruiting many more days and nights than I was home with my family. There’s always a give and take, especially while you’re building your future. It can be tough for realtors to rest because they feel they always have to be on call. But because of the nature of the job, it’s also possible to take time for rest or vacation when you need it. I’ve found that planning ahead is the key to balance. Most people plan a two-week vacation better than they plan their life and career. You can simply plan to get more rest, take a vacation, attend a conference, and so on. That is how I make sure I take the time to celebrate  – I put it on my calendar. •

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“The first key to effective leadership is leading by example. What you say is not as important as what you do – people will emulate what a leader does.”

Building Relationships

EDITORS’ NOTE Jonathan

Mechanic first joined Fried Frank in 1978 and became a partner in 1987, when he rejoined the firm after serving for five years as general counsel and a managing director of HRO International Ltd., a real estate development organization responsible for the development of more than 2.5 million square feet of office space in Manhattan. Mechanic, his partners, and their team of talented and businessminded lawyers routinely counsel developers, owners, investors, REITs, and lenders in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions throughout the country. Some of their notable representations include: J.P. Morgan in connection with its redevelopment of 270 Park Avenue into a new 2.5-million-squarefoot headquarters building; CWCapital Asset Management in its sale of Stuyvesant TownPeter Cooper Village to Blackstone Group and Ivanhoé Cambridge; Citadel and Ken Griffin, Citadel’s founder and CEO, in connection with numerous transactions to facilitate the development of a new 1.7-million-square-foot office tower at 350 Park Avenue that will serve as Citadel’s New York headquarters; Brookfield Asset Management’s real estate fund in a $3.8 billion acquisition of Watermark Lodging Trust and its portfolio of hotels and resorts located in 14 states; J.P. Morgan in a $2.2 billion construction loan to complete the Fontainebleau Las Vegas and a $325 million construction loan to Jamestown for the redevelopment of One Times Square in New York City; Bally’s Corporation in connection with its designation as the developer of the first casino in the City of Chicago; and Metro Loft, GFP Real Estate (the Gural family) and Rockwood Capital on the financing and redevelopment of 25 Water Street in Lower Manhattan, the largest office-toresidential conversion in U.S. history. Mechanic has taught a real estate transactions course at Harvard Law School for more than 12 years. He also lectures regularly for NYU Law School, the Real Estate Board of New York, and the Practising Law Institute, and is a co-author with his partner, Michael Werner, of The Commercial Office Lease Handbook: Second Edition published by the American Bar Association. In 2016, Mechanic was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from New York University and the Chambers USA Outstanding

Contribution to the Legal Profession Award. For a decade, Mechanic has been recognized by Chambers USA as a “Star Individual” in real estate. He is consistently included on Commercial Observer’s “Power 100” list. Over the years, Mechanic has been honored for his numerous philanthropic activities. In 2019, he was honored at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 24th Annual Real Estate Council Benefit, which raises funds annually to support the Museum’s educational programs, and in 2018 he was honored at the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center Annual Gala. Mechanic earned a BA magna cum laude from Brandeis University and a JD (Order of the Coif; Editor, Law Review) from New York University School of Law.

FIRM BRIEF Fried Frank (friedfrank.com) provides commercial advice that gets things done. Its lawyers are known for their deep understanding of its clients’ businesses. The firm combines responsive, hands-on service with pragmatic legal strategies to ensure that its clients achieve their objectives. With a team of more than 650 lawyers, the firm is located in the key financial centers of New York, Washington, DC, London, Frankfurt, and Brussels. Fried Frank counsels the most sophisticated clients on complex transactions, and develops effective litigation strategies to address clients’ most critical challenges.

What have been the keys to the strength and leadership of Fried Frank’s Real Estate group?

The group is extraordinary, and it is never about one person – it is about a group of people and what they can do together. In addition to senior partners who have worked together for decades and are giants in the industry, we have an extremely talented, dynamic, and diverse group of next generation partners, special counsel, and associates who will lead the group in the future.

We are also believers in building long-term relationships with clients. We do not think about working with a client only in terms of a specific deal, but rather as being a business partner and trusted advisor which creates the kind of strong bond that can remain in place throughout both the lawyer’s and the client’s professional life.

What are the ingredients that make for a successful client relationship?

It starts with caring deeply about your work and the people with whom you are working. There are some who think of the practice of law as a job, but that is not how I see it. It is an essential part of my life, and in most cases the people I represent are clients who become friends, or friends who become clients. These are very close personal relationships. You care about the people and about the success of their businesses. When I talk with a client, I talk about how “we” are going to approach the matter, or what the other side may be planning for “us.” I use the words “we” and “us,” because I believe to most effectively represent a client, you must put yourself in the shoes of – and think of yourself as being synonymous with – the client. This client-centric approach is something that we engrain in our people from when they first join the firm, and something that our clients consistently recognize and appreciate.

Our clients also appreciate our pragmatism – we know the points that really matter, and don’t waste time on ones that don’t – as well as our creativity in finding solutions to issues that might otherwise “kill” a deal. We focus on understanding what the other side needs to get a deal done, and then on seeing how we can make that happen in relation to our own client’s needs and expectations. There are many problems that others have felt were unsolvable for which we have managed to find a solution.

Our firm Chairman, David Greenwald, recently received a letter from a client’s general counsel thanking the firm for our work on a recent leasing matter. In that letter, the general counsel described the two real estate associates who worked on the matter as great advocates, savvy negotiators, and “effective translators,” and noted that they were some of the most responsive and helpful lawyers he has ever dealt with in his 25+ year career. I felt so much pride after reading that letter, and it reaffirmed that clients really recognize the value we add, which comes from consistently focusing on these key “ingredients” to forming a meaningful and long-lasting client relationship.

What has made Fried Frank a leading law firm and how do you define the Fried Frank difference?

It always comes down to the people. The breadth of experience you find walking

Jonathan L. Mechanic
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An Interview with Jonathan L. Mechanic, Chairman, Real Estate Department, Fried Frank

up and down the hallways of our offices is unprecedented. In addition to the experience our lawyers have gained here at the firm, we have people who previously worked in government (including a former chair of the New York City Planning Commission and two former general counsel of the New York City Department of City Planning), or as in-house counsel at institutional real estate investors, developers, and other clients. We also have many alumni who have gone in-house in legal or business roles with whom we maintain very close relationships, including working with them as clients.

Because we cover the full range of commercial real estate transactions and sit on all sides of the table – our clients include lenders, borrowers, landlords, tenants, sponsors, investors, and on and on – we understand the other side’s issues and ways to resolve them.

Not only do we have an incredible group of diverse, experienced, and talented people, but we also care very much about one another and regard ourselves as a family. We have been there for each other both in business and outside of business, and this is the same type of broad-based relationship that we try to develop with our clients.

Where do you see the New York City commercial real estate market?

New York City is a unique place that attracts some of the world’s best talent and that is constantly evolving. Throughout its history, it has demonstrated its resilience. While we are certainly experiencing some postpandemic challenges, you can never count out New York City.

Look at Hudson Yards, Manhattan West, and One Vanderbilt, for example; it is amazing to see so many transformational developments that have been created over rail yards or that have replaced obsolete buildings. We are seeing it right now with the reimagining of Park Avenue in East Midtown with J.P. Morgan’s and Citadel’s state-of-the-art headquarters developments, which will be replacing buildings that did not best serve the needs of today’s most discerning tenants. So many of our partners, special counsel, and associates at Fried Frank have played a critical role in helping these new developments become a reality.

Look at Lower Manhattan’s evolution into a live-work-play neighborhood. The conversion

of office to residential began in the 1990s, really gained momentum following the trauma of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and we are seeing it once again following the challenges created by the pandemic. Developers whom we represented recently closed on the acquisition and financing for the redevelopment of 25 Water Street which is expected to be the largest office-to-residential conversion in U.S. history, and we are representing the developers on a pending transaction for a residential conversion at 55 Broad Street.

And of course, there is Brooklyn, where so many of our attorneys live and enjoy their short commute to work. We have been involved in several Brooklyn waterfront residential projects, including Park Tower Group’s multi-building, mixed-income projects at Greenpoint Landing and Naftali Group and Access Industries’ development at 470 Kent Avenue, one of the last developable sites on the Williamsburg waterfront. We also advised Extell on Brooklyn Point and Tishman Speyer on 11 Hoyt, both luxury condominium towers in Downtown Brooklyn.

Why is it so important for you to give your time to mentoring the next generation of leaders in the firm?

I had the good fortune of having people take time to help me early in my career, so I know firsthand that mentoring needs to be prioritized and how valuable it is to pass the knowledge and experience that one has gained on to the next generation. There is a group of senior partners including me, David Karnovsky, Fiona Kelly, Anita Laremont, Melanie Meyers, Lee Parks, Franz Rassman, Carol Rosenthal, Ross Silver, Rob Sorin, and Josh Mermelstein of blessed memory, then a group of next generation partners including Michael Barker, Zach Bernstein, Suzanne Decker, Patrick Dowd, Avi Feinberg, Tal Golomb, Valerie Kelly, Nate Lifschitz, Kabaye Liku, Laurinda Martins, Steve Rudgayzer, Cyril Touchard, Michael Vines, Michael Werner, and Jen Yashar, and then a group of recently promoted partners including Julianne Befeler, Wesley O’Brien, and Alex Sutherland; each group has been mentored by those before them and shares the same view of practicing law. The knowledge and experience pass from generation to generation, covering the full range of services associated with commercial real estate transactions, including land use, development, asset-level

and entity-level acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, borrower-side finance, lender-side finance, and joint ventures. That’s how it works.

What do you feel has made the relationship with your partners work so well?

It starts with the respect that we have for each other and being there for one another. I mentioned earlier the firm being like a family, and this is undoubtedly an important part of our success. Whether it be the illness or passing of a family member, a wedding, the birth of a child; whatever it is, we show up for each other. The level of respect the partners have for each other is essential in fostering relationships focused on collaboration and constant growth and improvement. We challenge, counsel, and support each other to create a healthy working environment and deliver the best results for our clients. We have people, including myself, who we refer to as “boomerangs.” These are people who were at the firm, left to do something else, experienced another working environment, and then returned to the firm. I think this is because once people leave this very unique environment, they realize what they were missing and what a special place this is.

When you have deals constantly happening, are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

You develop relationships with people in the course of a deal, working together to find solutions. It is exciting to solve problems together and find a way to get to a place that works for everyone involved. This is part legal, part business, and part personal skills. This is so-called “EQ.” It is about being able to read a room and making people feel comfortable that they can move forward together. I get the same excitement about doing this work today as I did when I first came into the profession; actually, much more so because my experience allows me to bring so much more to the table today. We strive to develop deep personal relationships and friendships with our clients which makes celebrating getting one of these complex transactions over the goal line all the more special and rewarding. It makes for a very fulfilling career and life. I couldn’t be happier than doing what I am doing and doing it where I am doing it. I consider myself to be very lucky.•

POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS67 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
“We do not think about working with a client only in terms of a specific deal, but rather as being a business partner and trusted advisor which creates the kind of strong bond that can remain in place throughout both the lawyer’s and the client’s professional life.”

At the Center of Everything

EDITORS’ NOTE Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in as the 43rd Governor of Illinois on Jan. 14, 2019. Since taking office, he has accomplished one of the most ambitious and consequential policy agendas in state history. The governor won bipartisan passage for Rebuild Illinois, the largest investment in state history to upgrade roads, bridges, rail, broadband, and schools. He overcame years of fiscal mismanagement in Illinois by proposing and passing a balanced budget every year, eliminating the state’s multi-billiondollar bill backlog, reducing the state’s pension liability, and achieving six credit upgrades from rating agencies. He took bold action to put state government back on the side of working families by creating jobs, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, protecting reproductive rights, making university and community college education more affordable, and advancing equal pay for women. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzker saved lives and livelihoods by prioritizing the health and safety of Illinois residents while supporting families and businesses through the COVID-induced recession. To protect hardworking families from additional hardship, one of the defining features of the governor’s response to the COVID financial crisis was launching the nation’s largest pandemic relief grant program for small businesses and the nation’s largest housing assistance program. In 2021, Governor Pritzker proposed and signed a comprehensive clean energy bill, making Illinois a national leader on climate action and the first state in the Midwest to pass a law phasing out fossil fuels. Before becoming governor, Pritzker founded 1871, the nonprofit small business incubator in Chicago. Since its creation, Chicago has been named one of the top ten technology startup hubs in the world, and 1871 was named the best incubator in the world. As governor, he continues to expand support for new business creation throughout the state and cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of small businesses while incentivizing job creation. Since 2019, annual new business startups in Illinois have grown by nearly 70 percent. Governor Pritzker and his wife, MK, have been married for more than 25 years, and they are the proud parents of daughter, Teddi, and son, Don.

What was your vision for Rebuild Illinois and how has this effort positioned Illinois for future growth?

Illinois’ position as a leading national hub of manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and logistics lays the groundwork for our future. Rebuild Illinois is a $45 billion plan capitalizing on that and on our talented workforce. After too many years without upgrading our infrastructure, by 2019 it was time to modernize our roads, rail, transit, bridges, airports, and river ports, along with vertical infrastructure. Already, hundreds of projects are complete or under construction across the state, including community college and university campuses, town centers, broadband, and 21st century water and sewage infrastructure. And Illinois Works – a program within Rebuild Illinois that opens doors for more Illinoisans to get into the trades – continues to bring new opportunities to women and people of color.

Illinois is now ranked as a national leader in infrastructure, and we’re seeing the benefits of this revitalization in job creation (among the fastest in the Midwest) and GDP growth (now the 5th state to reach $1 trillion). Companies looking to build in Illinois want to know they’re going to be able to distribute their products efficiently and appreciate the ongoing commitment to improving infrastructure. Students considering Illinois universities want to see new and modernized facilities –and Rebuild has helped make that possible. Across the board, the Rebuild Illinois capital plan has made Illinois a more attractive destination for tourists and residents alike while creating thousands of jobs.

Our progress was already underway when the federal bipartisan infrastructure law passed. The new Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act will put an additional $20 billion into infrastructure projects in Illinois. This is a profound moment of change for our state, and I’m committed to infrastructure investments that improve the lives of our families and the success of our economy.

Will you highlight Illinois’ leadership on climate action and its action to be the first state in the Midwest to pass a law phasing out fossil fuels?

Illinois vaulted forward to become one of the leading states addressing climate change and

transitioning to clean energy back in September 2021 when I crafted and signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. A few months later, I proposed and signed the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act. CEJA requires Illinois to move to a 100 percent carbon-free power sector by 2045 – the first Midwest state to do so. Just as important, our climate action is equity-centric.

The plan includes not just a transition of our fuel supply, but a proactive approach to ensuring disinvested communities are a cornerstone of the clean energy economy, with the establishment of clean energy job training hubs throughout Illinois, contractor incubators to ensure those same communities of color aren’t just becoming the clean energy workers, but also managers and leaders. And we included a Displaced Energy Workers Bill of Rights to support fossil fuel power plant, coal mine, and nuclear plant workers in the transition.

Illinois is leading in this area, and it’s a product of putting together a grassroots coalition of environmentalists and organized labor, including people from all sides of each clean energy issue, and understanding the challenges ahead while finding the courage to face them.

What steps is your administration taking to improve education in Illinois and reforming K-12 education?

To truly address education properly, we must start with looking at quality early childhood education from zero to five years old, making sure we have childcare and pre-K available to every child in Illinois. Study after study shows that investments made in these earliest years pay enormous dividends in taxpayer savings and quality of life for our children. Early childhood development has been a cornerstone of my education policy since day one. I’ve proposed the Smart Start plan to make pre-K universally available and to stabilize and grow childcare to a new level in Illinois.

In addition, I’ve increased K-12 funding by an additional $1.5 billion so far during my term in office, bringing it to its highest levels in state history. State scholarships are also at their highest levels ever, making community college tuition free for people at or below median income and providing larger university scholarships than ever before. Whether young people want to learn a trade or pursue a fouryear degree, we’ve made college more affordable than ever, and we’ve connected degrees with jobs awaiting students when they graduate.

The Hon. JB Pritzker
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An Interview with The Honorable JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois

Will you discuss your administration’s focus and commitment to transparency?

The very first executive order I ever signed was a directive for state agencies to ensure compliance with transparency and reporting standards. I also signed major ethics reform legislation to bring transparency to lobbying practices and created a committee and database to review and track lobbying in all levels of government. We closed the “revolving door” of elected officials immediately becoming lobbyists.

Transparency in government is vital for our democracy. Our residents deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent and to have an opportunity to hold lawmakers accountable for their decisions. Everyone deserves elected officials who are acting in the public’s best interests, not lining their own pockets.

How critical is a strong public/private partnership in Illinois and will you highlight your working relationship with the business community?

Coming from the business world, I saw firsthand how essential it was that the private sector and government have a mutually beneficial working relationship. I’m constantly having conversations with business leaders in Illinois, across the United States, and across the world to highlight the many benefits of doing business in our state, and I take my role as Illinois’ best Chief Marketing Officer extremely seriously.

The growth of small businesses in Illinois, the fastest among the most populous states, is evidence of a business environment conducive to job growth. I’ve led the passage of incentives for industries newer to Illinois like data centers and electric vehicles alongside tax credits for apprenticeship programs and

neighborhood revitalization. We can and have made Illinois a business-friendly state while ensuring no one is excluded from opportunities for growth.

As you look to attract new industries and businesses to Illinois, how do you define the Illinois advantage?

There are so many advantages to operating a business in Illinois, but I think one of the strongest draws for business leaders is the exceptionally talented and skilled people that make up our workforce. Our top-tier business schools and engineering programs, world-class university system, alongside our excellent community college system (the third largest in the nation), are producing tens of thousands of people of all ages each year with the skills necessary to fill open positions in legacy and new industries alike. I’ve made college more affordable to ensure students have an opportunity to get this essential education without being tied to a lifetime of burdensome debt, and it’s why we’re making community college free for working class families across Illinois.

On top of that, Illinois has a tremendous geographic advantage in the middle of the country: the heart of the nation’s logistics and shipping sectors, headquarters for 35 Fortune 500 companies, and home to the most affordable large city in the country. We’re at the center of everything – with abundant fresh water, fertile farm land, and hard-working families that want to be here.

And, of course, my administration is committed to working hand-in-hand with job creators to bring them and keep them here, with incentives for innovators in the industries of the future, like electric vehicles, data centers, and quantum computing.

With so much gridlock and partisanship in Washington DC, what do you see as the key ingredients in getting action and achieving results?

As governor, I’ve worked on complex legislation with bipartisan support to advance the interests of our residents, including the largest infrastructure program in state history, creation of an equitable cannabis industry, and one of the nation’s best clean energy and climate laws. But most important to our residents is that we make real progress to lift up working families and those who have been left out and left behind. What Illinoisans and all Americans want most is progress, even if it doesn’t come with bipartisan support. So I’ve gotten a raise in the minimum wage, balanced budgets, and more college affordability with only Democrats supporting them. It was the right thing to do in the face of Republicans’ unwillingness to work together on them.

What attracted you to public service?

My mother was a Democratic activist who took me to protests for women’s rights and meetings about public policy at a young age, where I saw the importance of a passionate and involved community. My father too helped elect Democrats to public office. I’m proud to honor their legacy with the work I do. I also am motivated by my love for Illinois and my belief that ours truly is the greatest state in the nation. I want every family in the state to feel the same, and I want residents of other states and leaders both nationally and internationally to look to us as a leader.

With the success that you administration has achieved for Illinois, are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

Absolutely, but the celebrations are short. We never want to stop pushing forward to make Illinois even better, but I am consistently in awe of the resilience and determination of Illinoisans. Take just this past year, when the current Supreme Court struck down the longstanding precedent and protection offered by Roe v. Wade, curtailing reproductive freedom around the country. In 2019, I had already enshrined Illinois’ status as a safe haven for reproductive rights, meaning that this abhorrent decision wouldn’t impact Illinoisans quite so directly – though as we’ve seen from ongoing litigation to curtail abortion medication access, they’re coming to take away reproductive freedom in Illinois, too.

But at the moment of the Dobbs decision, Illinoisans demonstrated why they are such an incredible people, turning to states on Illinois’ borders – where abortion rights have been struck down or restricted on all sides – and finding new and creative ways to volunteer, to offer support, to stand up for the liberty of their fellow Americans. This is one of the great political challenges of our lifetimes, and everyday Illinoisans have made it clear that we will lead. I’m absolutely honored to represent such a strong and empathetic people, and it’s a legacy I strive to do right by every day. •

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Governor Pritzker signing Illinois assault weapon ban into law in Springfield, Illinois

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Helping People Achieve Their Full Potential

EDITORS’ NOTE Raymond Manista is responsible for the company’s law and public affairs function, including the law, enterprise compliance, and government relations departments and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and strategic philanthropy work. He also serves as chair of the company’s Senior Leadership Team. During his tenure, Manista has held several other leadership positions, including General Counsel, and Vice President – Corporate Planning, Vice President –Litigation Counsel, and Director of Planning and Projects. Manista joined Northwestern Mutual in May 1998 as Assistant General Counsel. He came to the company from his shareholder position at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Milwaukee, where he practiced commercial litigation. Manista has served on several outside boards, including Marquette University, Association of Life Insurance Counsel, Marquette University Law School, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – SE Wisconsin, City Forward Collective, Milwaukee College Preparatory School, Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, and the St. Eugene School Board. Manista received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude , from Marquette University, and later earned his law degree, magna cum laude , from Marquette University Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and has been admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

COMPANY BRIEF Northwestern Mutual (northwesternmutual.com) has been helping people and businesses achieve financial security for more than 165 years. Through a comprehensive planning approach, Northwestern Mutual combines the expertise of its financial professionals with a personalized digital experience and industry-leading products to help its clients plan for what’s most important. With more than $558 billion of total assets being managed across the company’s institutional portfolio as well as retail investment client portfolios, nearly $35 billion in revenues, and $2.2 trillion worth

of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than five million people with life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage and advisory services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 97 on the 2022 FORTUNE 500.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I’ve been with Northwestern Mutual for 25 years, serving in various leadership roles within strategy, law, compliance and elsewhere. Currently, I serve as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary. I am part of the company’s senior leadership team, overseeing our law and public affairs function, playing a role in formulating strategy and business plans, overseeing corporate governance, and holding accountability for our philanthropic and related social impact strategies and investments. I like to think of myself as a community-minded businessperson that also wears a lawyer’s hat and helps connect dots across the enterprise.

How important is it for the legal function to be a part of business strategy?

The law and public affairs function plays a critical role across Northwestern Mutual’s operations. We are connected to all aspects of the business and help enable the strategy for the company. As a mutual company in business to help our policyowners and clients achieve financial security, the nature of our business is complex, and our go-tomarket approach is unique. We are owned by our policyowners and operate differently than a public company. It’s because of this that we’ve built out our own internal law firm model to appreciate our complexity, leverage our uniqueness, and keep our values and clients’ needs at the center of everything we do.

Our team has visibility and makes impact across all of Northwestern Mutual’s entities and products and services. And, as external expectations continue to evolve, it is our job to influence and bring foresight to the company concerning policies, regulations and societal expectations that affect how we can best meet our clients’ needs over the long term.

How do you describe Northwestern Mutual’s culture and values?

At Northwestern Mutual, our values underpin our culture – they inform our relationship with colleagues and how we support and interact with our stakeholders. We’re a company built on mutuality, which means that we’re here to do what’s best for our policyowners and clients, and do not have shareholders with competing interests as public companies do. This helps us stay laser focused on our clients’ interests – and this focus permeates our culture and shapes the way we do business. As an example, within meetings you often hear employees ask, “what’s the right thing to do for our policyowners and clients?”

We’re a company built on helping people achieve their full potential – both within the walls of our company and within the community – and that’s something you can feel in Northwestern Mutual’s culture. We have always been in the business of putting people first and making decisions for the greater good of our people and clients. We have countless examples of this. One of the most meaningful examples in my career followed September 11, 2001, when 157 of our policyowners lost their lives. We paid benefits of about $125 million, settling most claims without requiring a death certificate and in an average of five days, which was unheard of at the time. And, just last year as COVID-19 took the lives of over 4,400 of our policyowners and caused great financial anxiety, we paid $1.1 billion in benefits to help meet more financial security needs than ever before, all because we’re here for our clients.

What have been the keys to Northwestern Mutual’s strength and leadership in the industry?

First and foremost, we put our clients’ best interests first and do the right thing to try and ensure their financial security and prosperity will never be left to chance. We have conviction around the fact that we serve a noble purpose to help our clients achieve their hopes, goals, and dreams – both now and in the future.

Second, as a mutual, we don’t run the company based upon a short-term decision framework. We have a strong commitment to running our company with a long-term

Raymond J. Manista
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An Interview with Raymond J. Manista, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, and Secretary, Northwestern Mutual

perspective that aligns with the decades long promises we make, and we have the superior financial strength that is essential to make good on those promises for generations to come. We do this by careful investing and allocation of our general account, with the goal of balancing both top financial strength and maximization of our dividend payout to policyowners over time.

Lastly, our risk product value is second to none in the industry. We emphasize disciplined underwriting, smart, long-term investing and expense control. The result is superior longterm value and outcomes and higher client loyalty. In fact, we see 97 percent of our clients stay with us year-over-year.

Will you discuss Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to sustainability and highlight these initiatives?

Northwestern Mutual’s mission as a company is to positively impact our broader society based on what we do each day. For us that is to improve lives through delivery of financial security and to be a world-class corporate citizen. Doing what’s right is embedded in who we are as a company. Our work extends beyond our clients, to employees and to the people who live in the communities where we operate.

Through our sustainability initiatives we seek to do a number of things, including provide access to quality education for disadvantaged students, close the racial wealth gap by providing community investment and access to capital, support research to end childhood cancer, and provide for basic human needs, among many other examples. And, through our general account and socially responsible investment strategies, we provide a significant stock of affordable and environmentally friendly housing, as well as invest in renewal energy sources.

Our company has always been committed to sustainability – since before sustainability was a widely-used term. And as a mutual company, since we aren’t concerned about quarterly earnings, we approach sustainability the same way we approach everything else, with a long-term view. This allows us to really drive meaningful impact.

What do you see as the responsibility for leading companies to be engaged in the communities they serve and to be a force for good in society?

Our objective to be a world-class corporate citizen suggests that we have no greater responsibility than to be a force for good. And at Northwestern Mutual, we know that we do not operate in a vacuum, and that the decisions we make have a ripple effect on our clients, our neighborhoods, our people, and the planet. We have an opportunity to lead by example – to not only dedicate our time and resources to impactful causes, but to encourage other organizations to join us along the way.

As an example, for the last decade, Northwestern Mutual has helped accelerate the search for better treatments and cures for childhood cancer while also supporting families in treatment and survivors facing late-term effects. To date, we’ve contributed $45 million to the cause and funded groundbreaking pediatric oncology research, grants to accelerate research in prevention, detection and clinical trial enrollment, research summits, and scholarships for childhood cancer survivors and their siblings.

Will you highlight the history of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and how you define its mission?

The Northwestern Mutual Foundation was created in 1992 and is truly an extension of our company’s core values of doing what’s right. Since then, we’ve focused on four areas in collaboration with community partners, leaders, and residents. They include accelerating the search for a cure to childhood cancer, improving education, strengthening underserved neighborhoods, and supporting the leading cultural attractions in our hometown of Milwaukee.

You joined Northwestern Mutual 25 years ago. Since your genesis with the company, how has the work that Northwestern Mutual has done impacted your local communities and helped the company live out its purpose?

Northwestern Mutual’s mission has been unwavering for the past 25 years. Our commitment to mutuality – doing the right thing –guides us in everything we do. Since 1992, we’ve invested more than $400 million in our communities that we live and work. But for us, it’s more than just writing a check. We see ourselves as conveners and facilitators, meaningfully contributing to our communities through partnerships and on the ground collaboration with leaders and residents.

I’m particularly proud of a few things. I’ve mentioned our ongoing work to support a cure for childhood cancer. I’m also proud of the work we’ve done to create access to quality educational opportunities for students in Milwaukee. Supporting education for Milwaukee’s youth is a top priority for Northwestern Mutual and for 10 years now, we’ve doubled down on our work to help close the opportunity gap by investing in initiatives focused on building quality educational pathways and a pipeline of diverse talent in Milwaukee and beyond.

Finally, I would highlight the work we’re doing through our Sustained Action for Racial Equity program to build financial inclusion and address the wealth gap in the African American community. What’s different about it is the focus on sustained actions – ones that are lasting and meaningful. This goes back to the idea of backing our promises over the long term.

Overall, I’m proud of how we go about addressing all of these issues. We bring people together, and make sure our partners and residents not only have a seat at the table, but that they play a critical role in executing the work.

As part of a legacy organization within the industry, what would you tell young people who are looking to make an impact in the industry?

Purpose is everything – be guided by your core values and what intrigues or excites you. At Northwestern Mutual, our core mission is to help others achieve financial security in their lives. In my role, I contribute to many strategic business decisions for the company, and doing right by our clients is always our top priority. There is nothing more important than fulfilling that promise.

Another thing I’d add is prioritize creating a culture of belonging. Seek to understand others and value the different experiences, perspectives, and creativity they bring – diversity of thought leads to tension around ideas which, in turn, leads to better decisions. Because of this, I’m an ally and strong advocate for diversity and inclusiveness, both within the walls of Northwestern Mutual and beyond. We have a tremendous amount of opportunity to attract diverse talent to not only Northwestern Mutual, but to Milwaukee, which is necessary to do for the future of our organization and our city.•

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“We’re a company built on helping people achieve their full potential –both within the walls of our company and within the community – and that’s something you can feel in Northwestern Mutual’s culture.”

Defining Entrepreneurship

EDITORS’ NOTE Stacy Spikes is an award-winning entrepreneur and inventor who USA Today named one of the 21 most influential Blacks in technology. He holds several technology patents and is the co-founder and CEO of the nation’s first theatrical subscription service, MoviePass. In addition, Spikes is the founder of Urbanworld, the largest international festival dedicated to nurturing Women and BIPOC filmmakers.

COMPANY BRIEF MoviePass (moviepass.com) is an app-based subscription service working to rekindle America’s love affair with going to the movies by letting subscribers see any movie at any theater at one low price.

What was your vision for creating MoviePass and will you highlight the MoviePass journey?

Our vision for MoviePass was to create the movie industry’s first theatrical subscription service. Cinema is the number one out of home entertainment activity in the world, more than sporting events and amusement parks combined. It has a high number of regular monthly attendees who, if converted, could drive more traffic to theaters. Our main goal was to focus on increasing attendance frequency.

Accomplishing this was very complicated. There are over a dozen studios and over a hundred different movie theater chains, so trying to coordinate a universal subscription service proved to be difficult, if not impossible. In our first attempt we built out service through a movie ticketer that was owned by one of the major studios and they shut us down before we were launched. We had to regroup and build a whole new product from scratch. This proved to be a blessing in disguise. The second version of the product we built was a full Over the Top (OTT) system that allowed us to function at all theaters and feature all movies. This made our footprint the largest with a near 100 percent of all theaters in the U.S. available in the App.

This gave us a very strong product offering for customers. They could go to any theater and see any movie they wished. With that, MoviePass was born and off and running.

What interested you in writing the book, Black Founder, and what are the key messages you wanted to convey in the book?

When I was young and coming up in the industry, I was a voracious reader of business biographies. Reading books by and about Richard Branson, David Geffen, Sam Walton, Benjamin Franklin, Sumner Redstone, Steve Jobs and many others were in heavy rotation for me. When I looked around, I realized that there were hardly any books by tech entrepreneurs of color, and I felt I had a responsibility to get my story down to help inspire the next generation that’s coming up. I think it’s important to see that founders can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

I would say the key takeaways that I tried to convey in Black Founder were that anyone can be an entrepreneur no matter what your background is or where you come from. Anyone can be a success. Try not to let your surrounding dictate your willingness to try. Most innovation does not come from the top; it comes from the bottom and from the most unlikely of places. Who better for that innovation to come from other than you?

I wanted to show an unvarnished view of what it’s like to be a founder – what happens when you lose everything and what you have to do to get up off the canvas and fight on. So many quit before the miracle and it’s about staying in the fight until you win.

I also felt it was very important to shine the light on the continued disparity of funding that goes to women and founders of color. This is something that people underestimate. It’s not enough to have a good idea. There are still blind spots in the mind of those who deploy capital. In science, it is called pattern recognition bias. Less than 3 percent of all VC capital makes it to the hands of women and minorities.

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership?

I believe leaders have to have the stomach for the fame and the blame. Don’t believe your critics and don’t believe your fans. Leaders need to have an internal compass that drives their goals for success. Michael Jordan would stay on the court after everyone had gone home and work on shots he missed during the game even when they had won. That’s one of the key ingredients to being a leader.

Another is being able to handle the fact that when you are the boss, whatever doesn’t work is your fault and your responsibility.

Stacy Spikes An Interview with Stacy Spikes, Co-Founder and CEO, MoviePass
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“I would say the key takeaways that I tried to convey in Black Founder were that anyone can be an entrepreneur no matter what your background is or where you come from. Anyone can be a success. ”

You must be able to take the blame. When you enter a marketplace, you must understand that you are taking bread from someone’s mouth and they are not going to make it easy for you. I recall that a theater chain had hired a social media firm to go into chat rooms and make negative comments about my leadership and shout when we made mistakes. You just have to understand that comes with the territory and do your job anyway.

Ability to raise capital is key. You have to be able to stand in front of people and convince them to finance your dreams. 90 percent of people are going to tell you no. They are going to tell you how it’s a bad idea; it’s already being done and how you don’t have what it takes to make it. But you have to persevere despite this. Winston Churchill said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” This I would agree with 100 percent and few have the fortitude to proceed past the wall of rejection that awaits. I see it as the sharpening of a blade. Each “no” makes your “yes” more and more compelling. By the time you are on pitch 300, you have honed your message to a powerful compelling story that any investor will be willing to fund.

How do you describe your management style?

My management style is to lead from the front or lead by example. I want to make sure I work as hard as anyone on my team and demonstrate a drive and determination that will inspire my team. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It’s not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” During World War II, the U.S. military was still segregated. Eleanor Roosevelt took a keen interest in the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite all Black fighting squadron. To demonstrate her faith in them, she went on an hour long flight with one of the top pilots. Don’t just talk about change; be willing to demonstrate it yourself. That’s the style of management I try to demonstrate. Over Christmas, we had an outing with our showtime listing. I wanted the customer service team to know that if they were going to have to work over Christmas, I would work with them too, so on Christmas day and the day after, I was working customer service just like my team was. If they had to be away from their families, I would too.

Did you always know that you had an entrepreneurial spirit?

I was raised by parents who always had an entrepreneurial prowess, so that life seems natural to me. My father was a schoolteacher who became a principal, but during the teaching years he had side ventures to make ends meet – my mother even more so. She started her own personnel consulting agency and that was the first time I saw one of my parents’ names on the door of their own company. It had a profound effect on me. Even in high school, I was drawn to and deeply influenced by what both Berry Gordy and Richard Branson had achieved in the entertainment industry. I really saw myself getting to that stage at some point, but I didn’t know the path or the time it would take.

Do you feel that entrepreneurship can be taught or is it a skill that a person is born with?

I believe the desire and willingness to make your own path in the world is something you are born with. The mechanics of being an entrepreneur are learned. If you fear not taking risks more than you fear taking them, then you are an entrepreneur. If you walk around during the day looking at things and seeing how they might work better, then you are well on your way.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers?

Read, Read, Read, Read, Read. Consume the knowledge that others have left for you. Understanding how they overcame adversity is critical to your success. Know that the worst is trying and things not working out, but you will always gain experience and become smarter. No one has all the answers. Passion always wins. Pursue everything with all the drive and determination that you have. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do, be the best at it. Find something you have unlimited passion for and let it consume you. And on your way don’t forget to help others and remember to give back.•

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Investment Professionalism

EDITORS’ NOTE Ned Offit is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Offit Capital. Prior to forming Offit Capital, Offit was a Co-Founder and Managing Director at Offit Hall Capital Management and a Managing Director at OFFITBANK. Previously, he served as a Managing Director in the Fixed Income Sales and Trading Group at Bear Stearns & Co. Offit has served on the Board of Directors for Asphalt Green, the Board of Trustees at Montefiore Medical Center, and the Board of Trustees of Riverdale Country School. He received a BA from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in Latin American Studies and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he currently serves as a Member of the Board of Advisors.

FIRM BRIEF Offit Capital (offitcapital.com) is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor focused on building global, multi-asset class investment portfolios for individuals, families and nonprofit institutions. Independent and privately held, Offit Capital serves as its clients’ Chief Investment Officer across all asset classes. The firm provides objective and unbiased investment advice solely in the best interest of its clients. Offit Capital is keenly focused on wealth preservation and market opportunities relative to each client’s distinct set of investment objectives, liquidity requirements, tax and estate planning, and philanthropic goals. The firm’s depth of industry experience, analytical skills and seasoned judgment allow it to serve its clients with an uncompromising standard of excellence.

Will you highlight the history and heritage of Offit Capital and how the firm has evolved?

Offit Capital started in July 2007, but the heritage of the firm really goes back to my father, Morris, and his experience in managing money for families and institutions at OFFITBANK, which was a firm he founded in 1980 and later sold in 1999. My brother, Dan, who co-founded Offit Capital with my father and me, tragically passed away from cancer in 2021, but he and I served as Co-CEOs of the firm until his passing. Dan’s legacy remains firmly grounded in everything that we do today and intend to do in the future.

Offit Capital is an outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) for wealthy individuals, families, and nonprofit institutions. We have 62 employees with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. We are independently owned by the Partners of our firm, which has allowed us to truly focus on our clients as we’ve grown and invested in our business over the past 15 plus years.

Investment professionalism is the foundation of our firm, and client service is our hallmark.

How do you define Offit Capital’s mission and purpose?

Offit Capital’s mission and purpose is to provide a flexible and customized approach to the OCIO space based on economic alignment with our clients, our investment acumen, and the depth and quality of engagement that we seek with our clients.

We want Offit Capital to be a great place to work, where our team is energized and passionate about what we do. Much of our senior leadership has been with the firm since our early days, which is a source of great pride for me.

Will you highlight Offit Capital’s investment process, and do you feel this is a differentiator for the firm?

As it relates to our investment process, the quality and experience of our senior team is the foundation upon which we start. We bring hands-on experience from the endowment and foundation management world, fixed income management, equity research and management, private equity, hedge fund, and real estate space, among other areas of expertise. We look to apply our collective seasoned judgment and deep network of relationships with robust analytical tools and data.

Our decision-making process as it relates to the work of our Investment Committee is robust and active, where the senior members of the firm are expected to be prepared, engage, and lead until we have arrived at a unanimous decision relating to an investment manager/ strategy. What makes us a bit different is that those same senior members who are part of our Investment Committee also directly engage with our clients, which we believe deepens and enriches the client experience.

How critical is it for Offit Capital to build a diverse and inclusive workforce to bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the table when making business decisions?

Diversity and inclusiveness are ongoing firm priorities as we continue to grow our business and our team. We are proud of the team that we have built, but of course there is more work to do. We are seeing some outstanding young men and women through our summer internship program where we have partnered with certain colleges to help us identify students of color who have an interest in investment management.

What do you feel is Offit Capital’s responsibility to the communities it serves and to be a good corporate citizen?

Going back throughout our long history, the Offit name has proudly stood for integrity and trust. Our goodwill within the communities in which we serve goes beyond our investment professionalism and service standards, in that the Partners of our firm have a strong belief in supporting the communities in which we and our clients operate.

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

I am a firm believer in giving talented people enough room to do what they do best. I am lucky in that our senior leadership is truly outstanding and fully invested in our mission. Their professionalism and enthusiasm for our business creates an environment where our broader team is energized and excited to get to work every day. My job as CEO is to give our senior team the support that it needs to compete at a high level. Having played competitive sports in college and throughout my life, there is nothing more satisfying than being part of a successful and high-performing team.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in finance?

For a young person interested in finance, knowing how a potential job fits your relative strengths/weaknesses/areas of interest is key. Of course, there are so many paths that one could pursue in finance, but doing some work out of the gate and understanding what might fit a certain skillset and personality type is very important. I have always enjoyed engaging with young people on this topic as it tends to focus one’s area of pursuit, which is helpful.•

Ned S. Offit
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An Interview with Ned S. Offit, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Offit Capital

They said it couldn’t be done. We didn’t listen.

We’ve done hard things before, we do them all the time.

For most cancer patients, the usual options are surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. So we’re working on ways to get the immune system to deploy billions of cancer-killing cells and help more patients survive.

When some people experienced mysterious COVID symptoms and had nowhere to go, our team created the first Center for Post-COVID Care.

It wasn’t that long ago we had to open up your whole chest for heart surgery. Now we’re pioneering a bypass that goes through a few tiny incisions. With this surgery, we can get you back on your feet in weeks instead of months.

So if anyone ever tells you there’s no other way—don’t listen.

Bringing History to Life

EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. R. Scott Stephenson’s broad public history experience spans nearly three decades and has been marked by public and professional acclaim for his creative and innovative approaches to engaging audiences. He has developed and collaborated on exhibits, films, and interpretive programs for numerous historical sites and organizations including Colonial Williamsburg, the Smithsonian, the Canadian War Museum, the National Park Service, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Heinz History Center, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. From 2007-2018, Stephenson led the development of the Museum of the American Revolution’s award-winning exhibitions, multimedia experiences and educational programming, as well as overseeing the care and expansion of its rich collection of art and artifacts, first as Director of Collections and Interpretation and then as Vice President of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programming. He served as a key member of the senior leadership team that raised $173 million to build and open the Museum, surpassing the original capital campaign goal of $150 million. The Museum opened in April 2017 to national and international acclaim, including rave reviews in The New York Times , Washington Post , and New York Review of Books . The core exhibition received many prestigious awards including the AAM 2018 Excellence in Exhibition Award for Special Achievement, AASLH Award of Merit, and the PA Museums Institutional Award. In November 2018, Stephenson was named President and CEO of the Museum. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stephenson holds a BA from Juniata College and an MA and PhD in American History from the University of Virginia.

MUSEUM BRIEF The Museum of the American Revolution (amrevmuseum.org) uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain

a deeper appreciation for how the United States of America came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization.

Will you discuss the vision for creating the Museum of the American Revolution?

The Museum of the American Revolution opened in April 2017, and in today’s times, it is critical that a museum that is focused on telling the story of American history has a broader perspective than would have been taught to me as a person that was born in the 1960s and educated in the 1970s. The story of the American Revolution needs to include

a broad swath of people in the way it tells the story of our founding and should be both full of inspiration, hope, and achievement while also recognizing we have stumbled and fallen along the way. We are focused on casting the American Revolution as an ongoing and unfinished struggle to create a more perfect union.

We crafted a mission statement which is to “uncover and share compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and selfgovernment.” We use object-based learning to put people in the presence of real objects to make the story come to life. There is a power in standing a few feet from George Washington’s Revolutionary War tent, for example, in our present-day world, when we are worried about the peaceful transition of power or the character of leadership. Having the opportunity to stand in the presence of authentic artifacts that are connected to real people, real stories is extremely powerful and important.

Dr. R. Scott Stephenson An Interview with Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Museum of the American Revolution
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“The Shot Heard ’Round the World” display at the Museum of the American Revolution informs viewers about the opening shot of the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, which began the American Revolutionary War

Will you elaborate on the importance of creating a museum that comes to life for its visitors?

I think the most important thing is to, as much as possible, get people to feel an empathetic, human connection to the generations that got this thing started. One of the challenges we had was that we largely are dealing with a prephotographic era which makes it so hard when you are used to the visual element. We lead with the heart and are trying to make you connect with the story by moving you emotionally and seeing something that is relevant to your life today.

How important is the work of the Museum of the American Revolution when you look at the state of the country today?

The American Revolution is more relevant than ever. I do not think that anyone, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, would deny that we are in a sharply polarized time, and the comforting thing should be to know that we have been in these moments many times in our history. It is often in reflecting back on our shared history that we find the common space to heal ourselves and to realize that we have a lot more in common than we may think we do. As a museum, we have an important role to play in the years ahead as we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026. I think that the Museum can play an important role by increasing awareness of the many ordinary, diverse, and littleknown people who participated in creating the American nation.

How did the Museum of the American Revolution adapt the way it operates to address the challenges caused by the pandemic?

We made a truly amazing pivot given that when people visit this museum in person, they have a deeply moving experience and then, in March 2020, we suddenly

had to close the doors due to the impact of the pandemic. We were fortunate that we had a donor who came to us back in 2016 and was passionate about us creating a virtual version of our galleries. This became a goal for us, and while we did not necessarily prioritize it for that year, it did come online in October 2019. Who could have known that by April 2020 we were going to be closed for a substantial amount of time? Our technology team and education team were able to create a virtual museum experience in about six weeks and hold virtual field trips for students who would normally be visiting in person. I am so proud of the way

our team rose to the occasion and showed such resilience and commitment during this uncertain time.

How valuable has it been to have such an engaged and experienced board of directors for the Museum of the American Revolution?

We would not be having this conversation if it was not for our founding chairman, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, who has done so much for this region. Gerry, who passed away in 2018, was a force of nature who supported so many organizations. We acquired the site for the museum in Philadelphia during the financial crisis in 2009, and there was a good deal of realistic skepticism as to whether the project would get off the ground, but Gerry was firm in his commitment to make this a reality.

We have board leadership that is there to help whenever we need and as the Museum continues to grow and expand, we have brought on additional board members to help support the future of the Museum and the critical role that the Museum plays in telling stories about the American Revolution.

Are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to reflect on the impact that the Museum of the American Revolution has made?

I can honestly say, without exaggeration, that I never feel that I am coming to work when I enter this building. That does not mean that there are not challenging days and problems that we need to confront, but I absolutely love what we do here. I make sure to walk around at least once a day and talk to visitors and ask them what interested them and moved them. I feed on the energy that comes from interacting with our visitors and seeing the impact that the Museum is making in fulfilling its mission.•

The Museum of the American Revolution is located steps from Independence Hall in Philadelphia and serves as a portal to the many Revolutionary sites in the region
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The Museum of the American Revolution has interactive displays that engage viewers including the Posters of Protest display shown above

The NJ Advantage

NOTE Philip Murphy took the oath of office for a second term as New Jersey’s 56th governor on January 18, 2022. He is the first Democratic governor to serve a second term in 44 years. Governor Murphy currently serves as Chair of the National Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association. From 2009 until 2013, Governor Murphy served as the United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, appointed by President Obama. He has been deeply engaged in civic life and philanthropic pursuits. In 2002, he began his involvement with 180 Turning Lives Around, a Monmouth County women’s shelter where he ultimately served as board president from 2005 until 2009. That experience led the Governor and First Lady to found the teen helpline 2nd Floor. Additionally, Governor Murphy was a member of the Board of Directors of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit organization which works with local community development associations to transform urban neighborhoods across the country, from 2002 until 2009. In 2005, he chaired the New Jersey Benefits Review Task Force. He also co-chaired, with former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and the late Professor Roger Wilkins, a national task force on public education in the 21st Century for the Center for American Progress. In 2006, he was appointed National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee by Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. In 2014, Governor and Mrs. Murphy founded New Start New Jersey, a “think-and-do tank” dedicated to seeking new policy directions to grow New Jersey’s economy and middle class. The Murphys partnered with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University to create the New Start Career Network, which specifically helps long-term unemployed New Jerseyans over age 45 get back into the workforce. From June 2015 until March 2017, Governor Murphy served on the national Board of the NAACP. In December 2018, he was named one of four honorees of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award from the nonprofit organization run by the family of the late Senator Kennedy for his efforts to ensure social justice and equal economic opportunity. Prior to entering public life, Governor Murphy worked for more than 20

EDITORS’

years at Goldman Sachs, starting as an intern in 1982 and ending in 2003 as a member of the firm’s management committee. During his business career, he led offices in Frankfurt, Germany, and Hong Kong. Governor Murphy is a graduate of Needham High School, Harvard University, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees.

Will you discuss your administration’s focus on building a stronger and fairer economy for New Jersey?

Our focus on building a stronger and fairer economy for New Jersey is centered on making our state more affordable and expanding opportunities for every community to do well. We have taken some significant steps on that journey already: we are on a path toward having a $15 minimum wage; we have made a college degree more affordable through our community colleges and state universities; we’ve kickstarted new industries, including film and wind; we’ve made major investments in infrastructure, including the Hudson Tunnel Project; and we’ve passed record tax relief through our ANCHOR program to ease the financial burden faced by working families.

The ANCHOR program is our most recent property tax relief program for homeowners and renters, and we’ve already had over 1.7 million taxpayers apply. The Hudson Tunnel Project is expected to create 72,000 jobs and strengthen the economy along the entire northeast corridor.

We are also working to reform our outdated laws related to liquor licenses which will increase the number of licenses allowed per number of residents.

These wide-ranging policy efforts have, at their heart, the same commitment to expanding opportunities for every New Jerseyan to prosper and to making our state more affordable at the same time.

How important is it for New Jersey to build a clean energy economy with goodpaying green jobs?

There can no longer be any question –climate change is here and it is an existential threat to our planet. In New Jersey, we have so much to protect and so much to gain by moving full speed toward a green economy.

The success of New Jersey’s green economy is an integral part of our plan to create the Next New Jersey. We view this new industry as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create wealth, jobs, healthier communities, and equity for communities that have historically been disadvantaged. To achieve this, we created the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy, and brought together leaders from all different fields including innovation, sustainability, labor, and more, to help guide our work.

As our state transitions to a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2035, we want to promote economic growth that builds wealth for every community.

Three years ago, I revealed our Energy Master Plan to move New Jersey rapidly and effectively toward a clean energy economy. We are currently updating our climate mitigation strategy to continue cultivating resilient and sustainable communities. New Jersey is already leading the nation in creating a clean energy future, and it is my mission to continue to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources by jump-starting our offshore wind industry. The increasing opportunities in the offshore wind and clean energy sectors afford workers of all incomes and backgrounds the prospect of developing specialized, in-demand skills and talent, like construction, manufacturing, and maintenance.

What steps is your administration taking to improve education in New Jersey and reforming K-12 education?

We are blessed to have some of the best educators and public schools in the country, but there are disparities that are unacceptable. We are on track to fully fund our State’s progressive school funding formula to make sure districts and students have the resources they need.

We have dramatically expanded pre-K in New Jersey and created new programs to expand access to computer science education and implement climate change related standards. I am very proud of the media literacy bill that I recently signed into law. It is extremely important that our kids have the necessary tools to identify when they are being manipulated. This is the first law of its kind across the nation, but I hope it will not be the last.

I also want to share a bit about our College Promise programs, which significantly reduce the costs of pursuing higher education. Money should never prevent students from getting their

Th Hon. Philip D. Murphy
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An Interview with The Honorable Philip D. Murphy, Governor of New Jersey

degree, and access and completion are our top priorities. With each budget we’ve invested in programs like Community College Opportunity Grants and the Garden State Guarantee.

How critical is a strong public/private partnership in New Jersey and will you highlight your working relationship with the business community?

I have a great relationship with our businesses here in New Jersey. We are constantly creating more jobs and investing in different areas that will help our hard-working residents. With the Legislature’s help we overhauled the State’s incentives programs to make them better and more targeted tools for economic development. New Jersey has one of the best-trained labor forces around, and we understand the importance of strong workforce training both to businesses and workers, which is why I am in support of on-the-job training, upskilling, and apprenticeship programs. With these opportunities, workers will be better prepared to meet the requirements of employers and to find the best fits for them and their families.

As you look to attract new industries and businesses to New Jersey, how do you define the New Jersey advantage?

I’ll be the first to say it – nothing beats the Garden State. It is the best state to live, work, and raise a family.

We are committed to helping our Main Streets and vibrant communities thrive by supporting our small businesses.

We lead the nation in public education, and we continue to make enormous investments into our pre-K-12 system and academic supports. Our residents are a natural resource for top talent, with 40 percent of our residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

And location, location, location. A business located in central New Jersey can reach more than 37 million consumers within a twohour drive. We’re in the center of the BostonNew York City-Washington DC corridor, with access to 33 percent of the United States population within a day’s drive from any location in the state.

With the third largest public transit system, the highest railroad density, and the second busiest seaport in the country, our world-class infrastructure can get New Jerseyans anywhere and everywhere fast.

It’s no wonder why Fortune 500 companies, startups, and small businesses succeed in New Jersey. That is what the NJ Advantage is all about.

With so much gridlock and partisanship in Washington DC, what do you see as the key ingredients in getting action and achieving results?

People take a lot of pride in identifying themselves as Democrat or Republican and these labels reflect our personal beliefs and values. At the same time, it’s important that we see each other as neighbors and Americans first. We’ve seen that hyper-partisanship only brings division.

The National Governors Association is one of very few bipartisan organizations that works together to address national concerns, and I’m proud to be serving as the Chair for 2022-2023. The Vice-Chair is Governor Spencer Cox, Republican of Utah, whom I’ve come to respect not just as a colleague, but as a friend. Getting action and achieving results starts with us, as elected leaders, serving as examples to our constituents and focusing on the challenges we all face. That doesn’t mean we don’t take pride in our political affiliation, but that pride shouldn’t come before commonsense solutions.

I work directly with Governors on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that benefits the American people, regardless of their political party. My chosen initiative for this year is Strengthening Youth Mental Health, which has received broad support from governors across the country. In my office we remain focused on improving this great state for the good of all who reside in New Jersey.

What attracted you to public service?

I grew up in a family that struggled to make ends meet – I often say we were middle class on a good day. But even without having achieved higher education themselves, my parents, and especially my mother, always instilled the importance of education in my siblings and me. They were also enthusiastic supporters of President John F. Kennedy and my mother even volunteered on his senate campaign. Over family dinners, my parents would engage us in discussions on the state of the nation, and how things were going for working-class folks like us. These conversations were formative for me and made me reflect on the effect elected leaders have on our daily lives.

Decades later, after establishing a career in finance and working my way from the very bottom to leading global offices in international business, my belief in the power of good government remained. Eventually, I was honored to be appointed as the United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany by Barack Obama, which was a transformative experience for me and my family.

When we returned to New Jersey, we saw our home state facing crushing debt, a high unemployment rate, and slow economic growth. This reality just did not fit the potential of the state we loved and had chosen as our family’s home. Running for Governor was a big decision for our family, but ultimately we felt there was work to be done and hoped to be able to steer New Jersey back in the right direction, guided by the values that I first learned around my family dinner table.

With the success that your administration has achieved for New Jersey, are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

Any elected official will tell you that good leadership is serious business. With every policy decision – even the right ones – there can be unintended consequences, there are voices which disagree vehemently, and there are necessary compromises one must make in order to make progress. Despite the challenges, the ability to make people’s lives easier and the honor of being able to serve my state brings joy to every day’s work.

Most of all, I am a people person and I love being Governor because it allows me to meet and interact with so many different people and communities from all over New Jersey. That is the most rewarding part of the job. •

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Governor Murphy delivers the 2023 State of the State address at the Assembly Chambers in Trenton on Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Adjusting Priorities to the New Global Order

EDITORS’ NOTE Born in Morocco in 1959, Richard Attias completed his studies in civil engineering and earned a master’s degree in mathematics and physics. He began his career at IBM, and his passion for innovation led him to establish several companies in the IT industry and Global Communications fields. Attias also spent over a decade at Publicis Group, where he served as Executive Chairman of Publicis Events Worldwide. From 1995 to 2008, he was the Executive Producer of all World Economic Forum’s meetings including the Annual Meeting in Davos. He also co-founded the Nobel Laureates Conferences with the late Elie Wiesel and designed more than 1,000 high-level events for governments, institutions, and corporations. In 2008, he was appointed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to create a strong ecosystem to lead the nation branding strategy of the Emirate of Dubai. Also, in 2008 he founded Richard Attias & Associates (RA&A), a strategic communication and advisory firm specializing in nation branding with a focus on attracting FDI. In his capacity of Executive Chairman of RA&A, he was supporting Morocco to become the top African country for tourism, hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and five U.N. conferences. In 2009, he co-founded the Clinton Global Initiative and, in 2010, founded The New York Forum, followed by The New York Forum AFRICA. In parallel he was entrusted by President Macky Sall to position Senegal as one of the leading countries in SubSahara, designing the country’s events strategy and expanding the international awareness of Dakar, which became in two years the top destination in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2010, Attias is the architect of memorable platforms including: APEC CEO Summit (2011, Hawaii), Egypt Economic Development Conference (2015, Sharm El-Sheikh), Argentina Business and Investment Forum (2016, Buenos Aires), African Union Summit (2016, Lomé | 2019, Niamey), Bloomberg US – Africa Business Forum (2016, New York), One Planet Summit (2017, Paris), Bloomberg New Economy Forum (2018, 2021, 2022 Singapore | 2019, Beijing), Peace to Prosperity Summit (2019, Manama), Hegra Conference of Nobel Laureates (2020,

2022, AlUla), and the Future Investment Initiative (2017-2022, Riyadh). In 2018, Attias entered into a financial partnership with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and in 2019, became the CEO of the FII Institute, a not-for-profit foundation with a mission of Impact on Humanity. Over the past 30 years, Attias’ talent for anticipating and addressing the most pressing issues of our time, activating powerful networks and inspiring innovation has made him a trusted advisor of many heads of state who sought his support in achieving economic and social development. Attias is the father of a daughter working at RA&A’s New York office and the husband of Cecilia Attias, former First Lady of France and Chairwoman of the Cecilia Attias Foundation for Women, a New Yorkbased not-for-profit organization.

As a leading strategic communications firm and platforms curator, Richard Attias & Associates (RA&A) provides and curates the ideas, connections, and events to build the influence of its clients – corporations, governments, NGOs, and nonprofits. Decades of experience have led RA&A to certain conclusions about how best to design physical and virtual platforms, ceremonies, forums, and summits that drive short- and long-term sustainable impact with tangible results. Through bold diplomacy strategies, RA&A helps its clients navigate the opportunities and challenges of the geopolitical landscape during this unprecedented global transformation. Richard Attias & Associates (richardattiasassociates.com) has grown to an international team of 100+ experts with offices on each continent. RA&A has Sanabil Equities (part of the Public Investment Fund –PIF) as a minority shareholder.

FIRM BRIEF

Richard Attias An Interview with Richard Attias, Executive Chairman, Richard Attias & Associates
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2019 African Games Opening Ceremony for which RA&A won the Heavent Awards Grand Prize

What was your vision for creating Richard Attias & Associates and how has the firm evolved?

I was trained as a civil engineer, but I realized early in my career that my passion was to build bridges between people – not structures. By creating impactful global platforms, I have connected people from different countries, different generations, different sectors, and –perhaps most importantly – different points of view. This is my vision and my passion. The success of Richard Attias & Associates is rooted in this vision and our development these past few years has been exponential. We have grown to an international team of more than 120 experts with offices on four continents. Last year, I appointed a new executive team in support of our growth. In 2022, we curated more than 50 platforms –practically one a week. We continue to expand globally post-COVID with an eye toward further development in the United States.

How do you define Richard Attias & Associates’ mission and purpose?

At Richard Attias & Associates, we are not producers; we are catalysts encouraging nations and CEOs to talk and to lead. Our mission might sound very simple: to create connections and to foster discussions. We have seen these past few years that it’s in fact far from easy. In a world that has experienced many lockdowns, as well as more and more divisions, we strive to create new opportunities to bring people together in new and exciting ways. The Hegra Conference of Nobel Laureates is a great example of our mindset. In 2020, we brought 100 Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer and Pritzker Prize Winners, and great thinkers to AlUla, the first UNESCO world heritage site in Saudi Arabia, to discuss the most pressing global issues.

Will you provide an overview of Richard Attias & Associates’ services and offerings?

Richard Attias & Associates is a global strategic communication firm and platforms curator. We structure our services around five sub-brands: RA&A Advisory & Diplomacy

helps our clients navigate the unforeseen opportunities and challenges of the changing geopolitical landscape. RA&A Lab analyzes trends, and generates original content and programming for our platforms. In parallel, RA&A Live Experiences develops turn-key solutions for our clients, enabling them to host top-tier international summits and forums. As a fourth area of activity, we bet on innovation with RA&A Metaverse, dealing with all digital aspects, including bespoke virtual platforms. Finally, we have the RA&A Sports & Entertainment branch. We were behind the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in China in 2008, and more recently received the Heavent Awards’ Grand Prize for the 2019 African Games Opening Ceremony.

What has led to Richard Attias & Associates’ growth and how do you define the RA&A difference?

One of our clients calls RA&A the “Centurion American Express” because our events are exclusive, powerful, and elegant in every detail. Years of experience has led us to certain conclusions about how best to design physical and virtual platforms (as we did for the G20 during the pandemic), ceremonies and festivals, forums and summits that drive short- and long-term impact. During COVID, we all saw what the world was like without face-to-face communication, and it made us hungry for the magic that can only occur at in-person events. This renewed excitement led to 2022 being a record year for the company.

What do you see as the major challenges and opportunities the world is facing today?

A New Global Order is emerging and with it comes enormous opportunity to invest in humanity to shape a brighter future for all. This was the theme of the 6th Edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), produced by RA&A and hosted by the FII Institute. There were over 7,000 participants from 90 countries, which speaks to the excitement of doing business globally. The power shift is only going to become more pronounced –drivers of changes are living in the East and in the South, not so much in the North anymore.

As for the challenges, we need to accept that we are living in an era of unpredictability, uncertainty, and recurrent crises. And yet, we need to stay optimistic. One promising outcome of the FII Institute’s Priority Report was that 77 percent of people globally believe that their lives are headed in the right direction – even if their countries and the

Richard Attias speaking at the Hegra Conference of Nobel Laureates & Friends in 2022
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Richard Attias and Nelson Peltz at the 6th Edition of the Future Investment Initiative in 2022

world aren’t. So perhaps the biggest challenge really is: how do we make things better for the world – and not just for ourselves? Many platforms that we’ve created – FII, Hegra Conference of Nobel Laureates, New York Forum, Sync Digital Well-being Summit, One Planet Summit – seek to answer this key question and drive impact.

What are the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

As I always tell my staff, we play in the World Cup of Events, and our clients have high expectations from us, especially because we deal with many heads of state, CEOs, Nobel Laureates, and more. I know my team would describe me as a boss with very high expectations. I always challenge them to give their best and to think like adventurers. But I hope that they would also recognize that I lead by example. I stay connected, I’m always the first one up and the last one asleep. The key to effective leadership is carrying strong values: being audacious, being courageous, being passionate, and always playing as one team. Then we can achieve anything. My personal motto: Impossible is not in my vocabulary.

Did you always know that you had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to build your own business?

Absolutely. It’s crucial for me and it defines my whole career. As an entrepreneur, you need to remain very aware that you can lose as much as you can win. You have to be driven by performance and demonstrate a high level of adaptability when you decide to build your own business as I did multiple

times. I strongly believe that it’s a vocation. Of course, it’s also dedication, but it’s first something that you feel, an emotion pushing you to dream bigger. The feeling never goes away, I still wake up thinking about new projects and I keep implementing changes and adjusting my priorities every day. Most of all, I am really lucky to have a supportive family in this adventure.

Richard Attias & Associates is celebrating its 15th year in 2023. Do you take time to enjoy the process and appreciate what you have accomplished?

Frankly, the process never stops, and the business never sleeps at RA&A as we are truly global. To celebrate our 15th year, we will gather for an all-staff retreat to highlight our successes and to talk about where we are headed. When I take my own time to reflect, I look back on some minor miracles that we have accomplished under challenging circumstances. We are one of the only event companies that hasn’t stopped working or laid off employees during the pandemic. Why? Because we adapted. When the world couldn’t meet physically, we used that crisis as an opportunity to create our own new innovative virtual platforms, ceremonies, and forums. And we managed to make the Saudi presidency of the G20 happen in 2020 by pioneering the first virtual meetings of the Leaders’ Summit.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers during this unprecedented time?

We see a growing phenomenon of turnover, the Great Resignation, in the United States and in Europe. People are looking for real meaning in their jobs – along with a salary that will allow them to afford the rising cost of living. But I wouldn’t be too pessimistic. I come across passionate young people every day – including the fantastic junior staff in my company – and their energy inspires me.

So, I would say to our youth: cultivate your entrepreneurial spirit, innovate. Stick to your core values, find your passion and your priorities while being pragmatic, and find a mentor. •

Richard Attias with Michael Bloomberg and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, at One Planet Summit 2018
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H.E. Muhammadu Buhari (President of Nigeria), H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou (Former President of Niger), H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta (Former President of Kenya) and Richard Attias at FII 3rd Edition in 2019
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Precious Metals

EDITORS’ NOTE Andrew Sabin has worked in and around Sabin Metal Corporation since he was nine years old. He became President of the company in 1980 after the passing of his father, Samuel Sabin. He now sits as Chairman of the Board. During his time at Sabin Metal, he played a pivotal role in transforming the business. He founded Sabin Commodities, led the company’s international expansion, and guided its diversification into industrial catalysts. Sabin is a naturalist at heart and through his philanthropy he has helped protect habitats and animal species around the world. Sabin has served for several years on the environmental law advisory boards at Columbia Law School and UCLA School of Law, relationships that began through his role as treasurer of The Evan Frankel Foundation which made grants of more than $17 million during its 15-year existence. He is also a member of the board of visitors of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. Sabin graduated from the University of Denver with a business degree.

COMPANY BRIEF Sabin Metal Corporation (sabinmetal.com) is the largest independently owned precious metal refiner in North America. Over the last seven decades, the company has honed its sampling, analysis, recovery, and refining techniques to deliver the highest returns in the industry. Sabin Metal Corporation recovers and refines precious metals from the hydrocarbon, petroleum/petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical, nitric acid, electronics, and other industries that use precious metals in their products or processes. Sabin Metal recovers platinum, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, rhenium, gold, and silver.

Will you highlight the history of Sabin Metal Corporation and how the company has evolved?

Sabin started as a one-man scrap metal operation in New York City. In the early 1900s, my grandfather, Abraham Seratoff, emigrated from Russia to New York’s Lower East Side where he started a scrap metal business called Seratoff and Sons. He salvaged anything from tires to doorknobs. Years later, my father, Abraham’s son, Samuel, and his business partner,

Ben, combined their names to form Saben Metal. With the name Saben already taken, they incorporated Sabin Metal. The business took off, inspiring Samuel to change the family name to Sabin. The U.S. Department of Defense hired Sabin Metal to recover the precious metals in their silver-zinc batteries. Sabin soon became the DoD’s largest recycler of precious metals. I wanted to be a farmer, but I ultimately ended up joining the family business in 1967. Back then we were chasing electronic scrap, gold, silver, and platinum, but now the business has evolved. The bulk of our business in Sabin is recycling catalysts for oil refineries and chemical companies as well as recycling platinum and palladium catalysts. My father died in 1980, but his vision and mission for the company are very much alive. Today, my three sons work at Sabin, and I hope my grandson will one day join us.

As we expand in the U.S. and worldwide, we stay true to the values that guided us here. We maintain a scale and structure that allows us to respond quickly and adapt effectively so we can continue to put our customers’ needs first. We believe our employees are our most valuable asset and we invest in their growth and development. And we operate with the highest levels of integrity, serving as strong advocates for the environment every step of the way.

How do you define Sabin Metal’s mission and purpose?

Sabin’s mission is to extract the maximum possible value from industrial byproducts and waste through efficient and sustainable practices, returning precious metals back to society to help meet the demand for these important resources. We feel we are the world leader in innovative and responsible precious metals recovery and refining, measured by customer satisfaction and market share.

Andrew Sabin An Interview with Andrew Sabin, Chairman, Sabin Metal Corporation
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Recovering metals at the Sabin Metal West facility in Williston, North Dakota

Will you provide an overview of Sabin Metal’s services and solutions?

Sabin has streamlined the waste recycling process for our customers as precious metal catalysts, scraps, and byproducts refined can be a complex undertaking. From transporting materials to processing and sampling to refining precious metals, we have the capability to control all moving pieces on a global scale. Our comprehensive services allow us to operate more efficiently and seamlessly and include metal financing, shipping and logistics, international services, navigate regulations, import and export formalities, and various agency requirements. Our processes also manage sampling, lab analysis, settlement, metal management, precious metal refining, and recycling and disposal.

How important is it for Sabin Metal to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

Extremely important. We have a diverse and inclusive workforce of over 400 employees which includes various ethnicities and genders including African American and Latino. We also employ a high number of women at the company throughout manufacturing, operations, sales, and marketing.

What do you feel is Sabin Metal’s responsibility to being engaged in the communities it serves?

Sabin Metal and The Sabin Family Foundation are committed to protecting our environment and have provided funding for the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University since 2014. The Foundation gives an annual $25,000 Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize at the Yale Center

for Business and Environment and awards a significant number of grants to graduate students from underdeveloped nations at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Science.

I also serve on the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, and we have committed $30 million to establish the Andrew Sabin Fellowship Program at the cancer center which is designed to encourage creative, independent thinking and high-risk, high-impact research.

Furthermore, a sense of community has historically always guided the family foundation and locally I have also spearheaded the building of the local community recreation center and the East Hampton YMCA.

Will you highlight Sabin Metal’s commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability?

We adhere to the most stringent environmental regulations, ensuring materials are always handled with the planet in mind. Our commitment to the planet extends beyond the recycling of precious metals. Through our work, we help customers across the oil, chemical, mining, and pharmaceutical industries stay compliant and deal with byproducts in environmentally conscious ways. After precious metals have been refined, we send the remaining material to our zero-discharge facility. There we turn hazardous and nonhazardous waste into harmless products that can be safely disposed of in accordance with local and federal environmental regulations. We demonstrate leadership in environmental advocacy by helping customers dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous waste safely and responsibly, adapting to changing environmental regulations to remain at the forefront of environmentally-sound corporate and industrial practices.

What was your vision for creating the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation and how does the Foundation focus its efforts?

I started the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation in 2008 to make philanthropy more impactful. Each year, we give nearly 206 grants that focus on protecting our environment, strengthening our communities, and advancing cancer research. Our local and global initiatives share one common goal: build a healthier world for all of us. We also focus our efforts on philanthropic efforts in healthcare and have given away $40 million for immune therapy research including $10 million to The James P. Allison Institute at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

We also think globally in our philanthropic work and are honored to work with partners such as Eli Lilly. Last year, we transported 82,000 vials of insulin donated by them to patients in Ukraine. We have also established three orphanages, provided 90 ambulances on the ground in Ukraine, and safely transported pediatric cancer patients to the U.S. to receive lifesaving treatment.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

I would describe my management style as different in the sense that we operate like a family rather than a corporation. We have almost no employee turnover with over 75 employees here for more than 20 years and 15 here for over 40 years.

Respect is at the cornerstone of my leadership and I’m not out for the last dollar. I would rather lose money than not help my employees care for their families, whether it be medical or any other family emergencies.

What are your priorities for Sabin Metal as you look to the future?

I want to keep the family legacy going. My three sons work with me and I would love my grandchildren to come aboard – I have five. We will continue to focus on giving a large percentage of the profits on a continual basis for philanthropic endeavors.•

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A Sabin technician at work (above) and recovered metals (below)

EDITORS’ NOTE On November 6, 2018, Muriel Bowser became the first woman ever re-elected as the Mayor of Washington, DC and the first mayor to earn a second term in 16 years. Prior to becoming Mayor in 2015, Bowser served as the Ward 4 Councilmember on the Council of the District of Columbia, first elected in a special election in 2007 and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. As a Councilmember, she served as the Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Development which created more than 5,000 units of affordable housing, passed legislation to build a new soccer stadium, and secured from the federal government the best portion of the Walter Reed campus for DC. She first entered elected office as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Riggs Park neighborhood more than 20 years ago. Bowser earned a BA degree in history from Chatham University and a master’s degree in public policy from American University, and received honorary doctorates from Chatham University and Trinity University.

What attracted you to public service?

Serving the community was a big part of my life growing up, and I spent a lot of time at community meetings when I was a young girl. That said, I didn’t always know I wanted to run for elected office. I certainly saw, though, while working in the community and in government that going the elected route was the fastest way to make change. That is especially true in Washington, DC where we function as a city, county, and state and we can take something from idea to implementation in one budget cycle. I tell people all the time that I have the best job in the world – mayor of my hometown.

Will you highlight the major initiatives for your administration as you approach your third term?

A third term is a special opportunity because we have a mandate – we have a mandate from the people to be bold, to think big, to push the envelope, and above all else, to win for Washington, DC.

During my transition, I laid out six focus areas: We must get all our students back on track. We must and we will win back our downtown because it is the economic engine that allows us to invest in our schools, our safety net, and

DC’s Story

our public works. We will fight for the middle class. We’re focused on how we expand and defend democracy in a city of 700,000 tax-paying Americans who have no senators and no vote in Congress. We will continue to build a stronger, more resilient future. And, above all else, as we look ahead to the next four years, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of our residents. Gun violence is a serious problem nationwide. Our country is awash in guns, and behind every act of violence in our community, behind all of the data that is tracked feverishly, there are real people. So, we will continue to work with urgency to hold people accountable and build a safer, stronger DC.

I have more optimism and more hope for the future than ever before. Not a blind optimism, but one that is informed by a tested leader who knows where we are strong and who knows where we must be stronger. I’m optimistic about our future because I know our past. And I know our story. Everybody loves a winner and a good comeback – and that’s DC’s story.

You have been clear about the need to speed up affordable housing production. Have you been happy with the progress made in this effort?

We have made a lot of progress in DC, but there’s more work to do. We set a goal in 2019 to build 36,000 new homes by 2025, including at least 12,000 affordable homes. We are on track to meet our goals. To date, we’ve delivered over 28,000 total units and just over 7,000 affordable units. As we build our supply, we are also being very strategic and intentional about where we build and how we help more families stay in DC.

We know, for example, that in order to close racial wealth gaps and ensure more longtime DC residents can stay and build wealth in DC, we must think and act boldly. Last year, we launched a Black Homeownership Strike Force to create recommendations for increasing Black homeownership rates in Washington, DC. I seeded our commitment with a $10 million Black Homeownership Fund. Part of that work involved setting a goal to add 20,000 new Black homeowners by 2030.

Just last month, we opened The Ethel, named in honor of Ethel Kennedy. The Ethel is providing 100 units of permanent supportive

The Hon. Muriel Bowser An Interview with The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC
a community
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Mayor Bowser listens to a young DC resident during walk

housing for residents exiting homelessness. In addition to housing, the site has on-site services to help residents settle into their new community. Last year, we also increased the maximum amount of down payment assistance first-time homebuyers can get from $84,000 to $202,000. That change has put homeownership in reach for more DC residents.

I’m proud that we have a range of programs to address the needs of our residents, but like I said – there’s more work to do.

What have been the keys to driving impact in your efforts to reset DC’s global and national competitiveness and how is your administration working to diversify the DC economy?

We know that people come to and stay in Washington, DC to change the world. In January, we launched a Comeback Plan that supports our vision for a Washington, DC that is a city where every neighborhood offers residents the chance to achieve their full potential; a city that is a destination of choice for innovators, job creators, and visitors; and a city that is a place where people choose to live, work, visit, and thrive.

We are always looking for ways to diversify our economy. Pre-pandemic, the federal government accounted for about a quarter of DC’s 800,000 jobs. Building on our economic base of feds, eds, meds, and tech is one strategy in our Comeback Plan. To support that work, we’ve launched innovation districts which are areas where we leverage existing economies and infrastructure to spur new ideas for growth and development. We already know that Washington, DC is home to some of the brightest minds and most passionate changemakers in the world. Now, we’re ensuring DC remains the city of choice for employers, innovators, and anyone who is interested in launching big ideas to build a more equitable and sustainable future. We’re using tools like our Vitality Fund. The Vitality

Fund is a multi-year incentive program designed to support companies in target industries that are actively planning to relocate, expand, or retain their physical location in Washington, DC. In fact, we have a website set up where people can learn more about the Vitality Fund and other resources for starting or growing a business in DC: obviouslyDC.com.

Like a lot of cities, we are very focused on our downtown. We set a goal to add 15,000 residents downtown over the next five years. One of the lessons we learned during the pandemic is that mixed-use communities are more resilient in the face of adversity. Unfortunately, right now, our downtown is 92 percent commercial and 8 percent residential. So, part of our economic strategy is focused on creating a better balance downtown.

But people should know this: Washington, DC is already a dynamic city. We’re not a sleepy government town. We are a city of 700,000 people who live in vibrant neighborhoods. We are a sports city, a tech city, a city of creatives. When people visit DC or move their organizations to DC, that is the DC they experience.

What needs to be done to break the polarization in politics today?

I told DC residents at the start of my third term that in recent years, our dialogue became increasingly political and erratic and too strident in personal politics. That is our past. Our future is working together, and I’m setting the tone for my Administration to work harder, smarter, and more engaged with all of our partners – those whose views we share and those with views we don’t share.

As a mayor, I am used to working with people across the ideological spectrum. Mayors can’t get caught up in politics because our jobs are to get things done and to improve the quality of life for our residents. We also see that, at the end of the day, most people want similar

things – people want to be safe in their communities; they want safe, affordable housing; they want good schools and parks for their kids; they want jobs that allow them to take care of their families. To make all that happen, we must work together – across branches of government, across levels of government, and with our community partners.

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership and how do you describe your management style?

You have to know what you believe. I think leaders get themselves in trouble when they are all over the place in how they lead, or their leadership is not rooted in their values. Know what your values are. The other way I focus my work is to have big goals – the big buckets of work that I’m going to focus on. And those goals help me get to the biggest goal: how can I help the most people the fastest and how can I make sure that everybody in my city gets a fair shot.

I focus on those buckets of work and my system of values, and then I find the tough decisions to be easy to make. I call on my experience, and I call on all the information I have. I do try to talk through the tough decisions with residents and tell them why I have to make them. I have also learned in my years of leadership that one of the worst things you can do as a leader is waver. You can take time to decide, you can consider, you can even change your mind, but you can’t flip-flop and waver. When you make a decision, explain why you did it and then implement it.

Your administration has achieved strong results for Washington DC. Are you able to take moments to celebrate the wins?

This is what I say: You win by winning –every day, every project, every initiative which, for us, has added up to more than 96 months of progress. We have taken big swings for DC over the past eight years, and in that time, our population crested 700,000, we created an 800,000-job economy, we had a record number of visitors coming to DC each and every year, we drove down unemployment rates, our bond rating was and is a triple A, and our finances and reserves were and are the envy of mayors and governors across this country.

But we know we can’t rest on our laurels, and now we are very focused on our comeback and our relentless commitment to every Washingtonian getting a fair shot.

What do you tell young people about a career in public service?

Well, as I said: I have the best job in the world. I get to lead and serve my hometown. There are many ways to serve your community –you don’t need to be mayor. We have 37,000 public servants in DC – they keep our city moving forward, they are out in the community every day, they are behind the scenes making sure we deliver world-class city services, and they make DC incredibly proud. That includes teachers, police officers, our public works teams – so many people of all different backgrounds and interests. So, if you’re interested in public service, I would say this: consider coming to Washington, DC. You can find opportunities in DC government at careers.dc.gov.•

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Mayor Bowser in front of the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge with DC government employees

Specialization

EDITORS’ NOTE Bob Knakal is Head of the NY Private Capital Group within JLL Capital Markets in New York City. Knakal was Chairman and Founding Partner of Massey Knakal Realty Services, New York’s #1 building sales firm. He started his real estate career in 1984 at CB Richard Ellis where he met Paul J. Massey Jr. They both left CB in 1988 to form Massey Knakal. From 1988 through 2014, Massey Knakal closed over 6,000 transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $23 billion. To date, Knakal has been personally responsible for the sale of over 2,246 buildings (generally considered to be the highest total ever for a single broker in New York) and over $20.4 billion in sales. With respect to development sites, Bob has personally handled the sale of over 250 development site transactions totaling over $7 billion in sales. In 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal. At Cushman & Wakefield, Knakal served as Chairman of New York Investment Sales. He was ranked the top originating investment sales broker at Cushman & Wakefield, globally, in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Knakal joined JLL in September of 2018 as Chairman – NY Investment Sales. Since 2009, he has written a regular column on the New York City Real Estate Market called “Concrete Thoughts” for the Commercial Observer and, since 2012 has produced a video series call “KNN” which regularly explores current trends and the performance of the New York City investment sales market.

FIRM BRIEF JLL (jll.com) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for its clients, its people and its communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $19.4 billion, operations in over 80 countries, and has a global workforce of more than 102,000 as of June 30, 2022. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

What interested you in joining JLL and made you feel it was the right fit?

At the time of the decision in 2018, JLL had a limited investment sales platform in New York City. We thought it was going to be a great opportunity to grow a business here with the 53 colleagues I rallied with to come over. Increasingly, the world was becoming a smaller place based on technology, and at JLL we have more than 100,000 employees so there is someone at this firm who is an expert at any opportunity. We felt that the access to global capital was fantastic here given the size of the company, and since the world is becoming smaller every day, JLL provides us with a great way to serve our clients better by creating more optionality for them by having a bigger sandbox to play in and more services to offer them.

How challenging is differentiation in the private capital space?

My business revolves primarily around private capital, high-net-worth individuals and families, which requires a different approach than you would use in the institutional world. I think that differentiation in the private capital space centers around a personal track record, skill set and the depth of your relationships.

In private capital, the individual is sought out, not the company. In the institutional space, the company is a much more important component of the decision-making process for a client. Many of our clients, and potential clients, on the private capital side don’t even know what JLL is. The easiest way to differentiate yourself is through specialization and the more specialized you are, the more you understand the arena in which you are operating. For example, in New York City a 100,000-square-foot building on the north side of the street can have a very different value than a 100,000-square-foot building on the south side of the street. In order to understand why one building has a very different value than the other, you need to have a deep understanding of the market and what is most impactful on value within certain property types or locations and this allows you to best serve your clients. This maximizes results for whatever it is that the client is looking to achieve. At the end of the day, we are here to help clients achieve their objectives.

What are your views on the state of the New York City real estate market?

I think that New York is the greatest place in the world. Clearly, I have a skewed view having lived in New York City for almost 40 years. When the pandemic began, many brokers were looking to do deals in Florida, Texas, and other areas that were booming economically. I thought about looking for opportunities outside

PURPOSE
Bob Knakal An interview with Bob Knakal, Head – NY Private Capital Group, JLL
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“The easiest way to differentiate yourself is through specialization and the more specialized you are, the more you understand the arena in which you are operating.”

New York, but decided that I was going to stay local. I have a deep understanding and knowledge of this market and don’t know anything about markets outside the city.

It is clear that the investment sales market in New York City has been challenged since October 2015. It started as a volume correction from October 2015 through February 2022 when the sales volume dropped by 56 percent (values dropped by only 12 percent over this period), and then COVID came along and transitioned this mainly volume correction to a value correction, and it stayed in a very difficult state until April 2021. The second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022 were very good and it appeared the longest correction since at least 1984 was over, but when the Fed started raising interest rates in March 2022, it had a major impact on lenders and we are now in a world that is extremely volatile in terms of the capital markets. I still believe that there will be a reasonable number of transactions that will occur. In challenging times like this, clients are seeking good guidance and advice and trusted advisors are going to be extraordinarily valuable to market participants. Being a trusted advisor is how we see our role relative to our clients and our primary objective is to deliver great results for our clients.

How is technology impacting JLL’s business?

Technology is a little misunderstood. Technology has been very important in making the business process more efficient, being able to market properties to larger audiences more quickly, etc. However, if you look at the speed at which transactions are being done today, it does not mean that there are more transactions occurring. Technology has made the markets more transparent which has reduced the number of buildings being sold multiple times in a single year as was commonplace decades ago. As a matter of fact, there were more buildings sold in New York City during the 1980s than in the 1990s, more in the ’90s than in the 2000s, and more in the 2000s than in the 2010s.

We have seen that technology has allowed fewer brokers to do more business individually, but has not necessarily resulted in more commerce being done across the board. The secret is to use technology to serve your clients most effectively, but to make sure you do not lose the personal relationship. Real estate is a relationship business. Emails, texts, and social media will never take the place of phone calls and face-to-face interactions.

What do you see for the future of office buildings in New York City?

The utilization of office space is constantly changing and will continue to change as we evolve from the work-from-home experiment which was implemented during COVID. There is a huge divide between new construction class A office buildings and everything else in the office sector, including the large number of older buildings in the market. Class A office buildings are doing well, and everything else has its challenges. Right now, New York City is faced with the potential of having roughly 100 million

square feet of vacant office space. We went into the pandemic with about 25 million square feet of office space that was vacant, there is currently a little over 27 million square feet under construction, and if aggregate demand for office space goes down just 10 percent, which most people believe is a conservative estimate, we are going to have about 100 million feet vacant. The ability to convert older, obsolete office buildings into other use is something that must be explored and the city should financially incentivize the private sector to convert these buildings to housing. There are many ways to do this.

What has made the real estate industry so special for you?

I loved the industry from the first day I got into it. I entered the real estate business completely by accident in 1981 when I set up an interview at Coldwell Banker thinking that it was a bank. They were the only ones hiring college students for the summer and I loved the job from day one. Selling buildings is the coolest job there is. I still get the same excitement today when an owner calls me to discuss a potential sale that I did almost 40 years ago when I started my career. Fortunately, for me, selling buildings is not only my career, but also my hobby. I am very fortunate that I have a wife who understands that my passion and love for this business occupies a great deal of my time, and she is so supportive of my work.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in the real estate industry?

I suggest they expose themselves to as many aspects of the business as possible because in real estate you can be an investor, a developer, a broker – there are so many different facets and opportunities. It is important to find out what resonates with you most and to find your passion. I am now 60 years old, and I tell people that I will never retire; when they put me in the ground, I will have deals under contract. I love this business and feel so lucky to have spent my career in the real estate industry.•

“In challenging times like this, clients are seeking good guidance and advice and trusted advisors are going to be extraordinarily valuable to market participants. Being a trusted advisor is how we see our role relative to our clients and our primary objective is to deliver great results for our clients.”
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“The ability to convert older, obsolete office buildings into other use is something that must be explored and the city should financially incentivize the private sector to convert these buildings to housing. There are many ways to do this.”
Gaston Le bouquet au fond bleu et paquerettes , 1980 | oil on canvas | 57 1/2 x 38 3/16 in.

FINDLAY GALLERIES

Gaston Sébire

One of the important painters of the School of Paris, Gaston Sébire, was a sensitive and original artist who won widespread recognition for his marines, dramatic landscapes and vigorously constructed flower paintings. Born in the village of Saint-Samson in Normandy in 1920, he worked for eight years as a postal clerk in Rouen, sorting letters to support his career as a painter. It was in the forties that Sébire’s reputation as an artist gained recognition. French galleries such as Visconti, Charpentier, Drouant, and later Findlay, noticed his work and ever since his first exhibitions in Rouen in 1945, he has been honored by various awards: Casa Velasquez, Critique, Greenshields, the gold medal of Salon des Artistes Français and the medal of honor of the Salon de la Marine.

He became the official painter of the Marine Nationale in 1975 and established himself as an excellent

He became the official painter of the Marine Nationale in 1975 and established himself as an excellent lithographer. In 1991, a retrospective of this artist’s works in the Musee de la Marine in Paris showcased his talent as a figurative painter. Moreover, Normandie had honored him in 1984 at the Chateau Vascoeuil, then at the Musee des Beaux-Arts of Rouen in 1986, where his larger canvases had been revealed to enthusiasts. In addition, The Amateurs Rouennais d’Art published a work that compiled more than 200 pieces illustrating the artist’s career. With exceptional talent, Sébire painted landscapes, still lifes, flowers and portraits for more than sixteen years. He full-heartedly deserved every tribute given to him by his native region. He remained independent, never following trends or fashion, but focused on beauty, light and colors.

Sébire
THREE CENTURIES IN ART 1870 Est. Copyright © 2023, Findlay Galleries, All rights reserved. 165WORTHAVENUE , PALMBEACH , FLORIDA33480 • (561) 655 2090 WWW.FINDLAYGALLERIES.COM 32EAST57 TH STREET , 2 ND FLOOR , NEWYORK , NY10022 • (212) 421 5390
Apres Midi Ensoleille , 1991 | oil on canvas | 28 3/4 x 36 1/4 in.

The Future of Work

What are your views on the future of work, and what will the office of the future look like?

While no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, what is clear is that the world of work is changing just as fast as the world itself. At Johnson & Johnson, we have a clear mission to deliver the best of who we are to those we serve, and where, when and how we work is part of that.

With 156,000 employees in offices, the field, labs, and manufacturing plants around the world, our employees are extremely diverse in what energizes them, how they prefer to learn and get things done, and the level of flexibility that they want in their work and lives. Three years after transitioning more than two-thirds of our workforce to a hybrid work structure, we are taking what we’ve learned and re-imagining the workplace of the future by collaborating directly with our people leaders to define the strategies that will work best for their sites and teams.

While Johnson & Johnson has long championed policies that provide flexibility for our employees to balance personal and professional responsibilities, the pandemic pushed our thinking even further to meet the evolving needs of our employees. In 2021, we introduced our global hybrid working model, J&J Flex, which builds on an existing portfolio of Flexible Work Arrangements (remote work, compressed work week, job share, flex schedule changing when the workday begins or ends) to help meet the broad needs of our employees.

For those whose jobs require them to be on-site due to the nature of their role, we worked with site leaders to establish a framework of flexibility offerings that combines locally relevant practices with globally consistent actions. For example, our Supply Chain team was able to remotely onboard more than 30,000 on-site employees, who also remotely completed a portion of their total required training hours per year.

We recognize that the workplace of the future is only as good as the interactions we create and the systems and tools we use to enable it. At Johnson & Johnson, we’re investing in more community spaces to promote collaboration among colleagues, as well as providing more Teams rooms with upgraded technology, including for hybrid meetings. We also continue to introduce amenities that ensure the best possible workplace experience for our teams, including various food-service options and fitness- and well-being-related offerings, like sports facilities and walking trails.

In addition to these updates, and to underscore our commitment to employee learning and development, we also recently transformed one of our office spaces in Orlando into a physical center of excellence for immersive learning, where teams can gather in person for instructorled courses in well-being and other skill areas, such as DEI and digital.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

Within any company, products and strategies can be replicated, but people and culture are unique. Culture is built over time, driven by the company’s values, and cemented in how people work together and make decisions. Culture influences how employees feel when they “come to work” – wherever that may be –and we know that employees want to feel a sense of belonging and purpose.

At Johnson & Johnson, our culture of belonging is about uniting different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences in an environment where everyone feels valued and is working together toward a shared purpose. In our case, that is to deliver on Our Credo commitments to those we serve. In many ways, we saw the best of our culture expressed as we navigated social and environmental crises and business transformations over the last several years. This is because, with every challenging decision or situation faced, we returned to Our Credo to guide our path forward.

We have a relationship-based culture that has always valued the energy, inspiration, mentoring, and human connection that comes from being together in person. Over the last three years, we have learned how to build relationships, express our culture and deliver our work through new approaches that capture this spirit, even in a hybrid work structure.

We know that with all that has changed, we cannot go back to the way things were before, so we have re-imagined our working model in a way that empowers our employees to bring their best selves to their roles in and outside the workplace.

As we collectively face new talent and economic headwinds, companies need to consider what is right for them and their mission to ensure the fabric of their environment stays strong. Leaders need to set the tone, remind employees of their shared purpose, and embody the culture they want to see reflected back at them, whether they have returned to the office entirely or are operating in a hybrid or fully remote environment. For us, that means putting well-being first and encouraging our teams to be as present outside of work hours as they are during them.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

Employee engagement is built through continuous opportunities that allow employees to be present and feel connected, whether those opportunities take place in person or virtually. In any work structure, the road map to building and maintaining employee engagement isn’t linear.

I believe the best way to fully experience the benefits of flexibility is by embracing both sides of it: remote work and in-person interactions. Our global working model, J&J Flex, gives office-based employees the option to work at least three days on-site and up to two days remote per week.

Last year, we saw record-high engagement in our annual employee survey with participation from more than 92 percent of our employees. Additionally, our Global Activity Challenge engaged more than 33,000 participants across 73 countries, recording more than 7 billion steps throughout the 30-day challenge.

Both of these achievements are testaments to how providing ongoing opportunities for employees to feel connected to one another and to our company in a way that feels authentic to our culture can help maintain, or in some cases, increase levels of employee engagement. And, even when engagement results are high, it is important to remember that we are re-recruiting our talent every single day.

As we look toward the future, it is also important to listen to the feedback, experiences and evolving needs and preferences of employees to ensure we deliver the optimal systems and tools needed to stay engaged in a hybrid working environment.•

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A Conversation with Leading Human Resources Executives

What are your views on the future of work and what will the office of the future look like?

It’s a really exciting time to reflect on the future of work. In many ways, the role of HR shifted during the pandemic when taking care of people and taking care of our business became so intertwined. Now, as we look forward, it’s critical for employers to demonstrate how they invest in talent. At the end of the day, the role of HR is to bring in and support talent for the organization – it’s about developing solutions that meet the business need. The office of the future has to support a focus on collaboration and building relationships because that’s how we drive progress and innovation.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

We focus on creating a “Bank of America community” where our teammates find value in coming together, regardless of location or role. We have opportunities to do this through our local market leaders who connect with employees on key priorities and activities, supporting engagement through local bank connections. Through our employee networks and Bank of America Community Volunteers, we offer teammates the opportunity to connect with others who share their passions to expand their network and perspectives.

For us, we have a range of in-office expectations based on requirements of the role. We’re also a large, geographically dispersed company, so even folks in the office may not work in the same location as their team. Maintaining culture and a collaborative environment for us is about finding connectivity regardless of physical location.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

When employees are in the office, there’s an opportunity for informal networking, mentoring, and collaboration. It may not be one size fits all, but there’s no substitute for those chats after a meeting ends that sometimes lead to great next steps and an overall sense of how we can drive progress together. From our experience, we’ve seen great energy as employees have returned to the office and what this means for their work relationships, their career development and moving projects forward.•

An Interview with Kate Clifford, Chief Human Resources Officer, Accenture North America

What are your views on the future of work, and what will the office of the future look like?

There is truly no one-size-fits-all or even a one-size-fits-many definition of the future of work anymore. At Accenture, we are deliberate in choosing to expand our focus beyond spaces and places  – where people will work and how many days they will be onsite – because we believe the opportunity lies in reimagined experiences.

At Accenture, we’re omni-connected, meaning we use technology and human ingenuity to make sure we are seen, can fully contribute and have equal quality of experience. This comes from the digital tools we use, our physical locations, our behaviors and the culture we create. Also, omni-connected isn’t about always being “on” – quite the opposite. With omni-connection, human relationships are strong and people can more easily step away from work to disconnect in a good way – to recharge and remain creative and productive.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

Creating human connections is key. One might think a quick fix is simply to bring everyone back to work onsite and human connection will happen. But it’s not that simple. Our Accenture research found that while our devices might always be on, only 1 in 6 people feel highly connected – in a human sense – at work. Not just connected to the organization, but to the people they work for and with. Why? They lacked flexibility and the tools to be most productive and connected, and they experienced a greater sense of inequity.

Space and place are not what create culture. It’s people and leadership and focusing on how people are better off as a result of choosing to work at that organization. It’s about being deliberate about how you lead.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

When it comes to in-person connections, it is no longer about who comes into the office, but why our people come into the office – and how we earn their commute. For example, it’s a team collaborating on how to deliver value for our clients or a client innovation workshop, likely colleagues gathering for a celebration that matters. We’re also creating what we call stacked experiences, for example – First Fridays in our US South region. It’s the first Friday of the month when we host a variety of events people can participate in – like a community service project, hearing a guest speaker, joining an ERG event – and plan in-person team time to coincide if that makes sense for them. Being in the office just to be in the office holds no meaning at Accenture. It’s about being there for a purpose.•

What are your views on the future of work and what will the office of the future look like?

There are so many interesting trends that will shape the future of work. It’s easy to first think about flexibility – when and where people work – and the last few years have proven many jobs can be done from anywhere. But flexibility means so much more than that – it’s also how work gets done, with whom, at what time – and I believe flexibility will continue to evolve not only for corporate workers, but for frontline workers as well.

At the same time, I also think we’ll continue to experience a healthy balance of in-person collaboration. Research shows a subset of workers still crave the social interactions they lost during the pandemic – particularly Gen Z. Having in-person experiences can help augment coaching conversations, mentoring, and creativity, even though they can be accomplished remotely. At Truist, we embrace what we call “intentional flexibility.” We believe interactions like these are enhanced when we’re together, so we’re intentional about how and when we spend our time in the office. But we also know that many of our teammates enjoy –and still expect – flexibility, so we offer hybrid and remote work as well.

Moving forward, I also think we’ll see a rise in new workstyle models due to changing employee expectations – with more gig work and project-based assignments. Companies will need to reskill and upskill their workforce due to changing demographics and a talent shortage. We’ll need to redesign roles around AI to keep up with changing technology. We’ll see traditional requirements like degrees less important than true job experience and skills, with a heightened focus on skills-based hiring. We’ll need to embrace collaborative technology tools to enhance the hybrid experience. And of course, office space will need to be reimagined – with the need for more social spaces and less traditional offices as flexible expectations continue.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

At Truist, we completed a merger and successfully integrated two cultures virtually during the pandemic. That was quite a feat, but it was possible through a deliberate focus on creating and delivering a strong teammate value proposition. I believe culture is built and maintained by how you treat your teammates – what you offer them, the experiences you provide, and how they feel as a result.

For example, everything we say and do at Truist is guided by our purpose – to inspire

with
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and build better lives and communities. All 50,000+ of our teammates come together to bring that purpose to life through an inclusive, diverse culture and an environment that’s radically caring. We lead with empathy so that everyone is empowered to push beyond the expected. We listen to all of our teammates, because we believe breakthrough ideas can come from anywhere. We challenge and support each other, so we’re driven to explore ideas and learn from failures. We also believe winning is bigger than an individual’s success – it’s how we work together to make an impact, no matter our location.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

I think there are times that it is important to be physically together to build engagement and connection – particularly when establishing coaching relationships, or introducing a new employee to the team, or forming new partnerships. It helps to be in-person to get to know one another and experience those social cues you don’t always catch on screen. But I don’t believe it’s always necessary – you also can have a high-performing and engaged team virtually.

My team currently is geographically dispersed, and we make it a point to come together once a week – some of us are in-person while others join remotely. We also make it a practice to all get together in-person a few times a year for team building, and that’s always fun. We IM throughout the day, we know about each other’s families, and we celebrate each other’s milestones. We care about each other as people because we’ve taken the time to really get to know one another. And that is what truly sparks engagement – by simply showing you care.•

An Interview with Maxine Carrington,

with ChatGPT to generate low-risk within-team communications and we expect this practice to increase. Almost all industries will witness the phasing out of some existing roles which isn’t a new phenomenon – remember token booth clerks – and the adjacent evolution and creation of roles, integrated with digital.

Workforce – We’re anticipating that the future workforce will be generally and comfortably data-literate and likely less tied to a fixed job description and more flexible in learning and trying out new skills. Employees will be more diverse – in every way. For example, many employees are remaining in the workforce longer and working beyond what traditionally has been considered retirement-age for financial and other reasons. Programs that enable continued access to their subject matter expertise and institutional knowledge and support their well-being and employment needs through various stages of life will be key. The gig economy is here to stay and employers would be wise to incorporate gig workers to help fill staffing gaps. We’ve experienced success at Northwell with FlexStaff, a staffing agency we created a few years ago which supports internal staffing needs and our revenue diversification strategy through its commercial arm.

Workplace – Digitally enabled, sustainable, healthier, and more “work from anywhere.” In healthcare, that certainly means work from home, but it also means increasingly bringing care into the homes of our patients and customers.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

It isn’t absolutely necessary for teammates to work in person to ensure engagement. We’ve certainly all witnessed low engaged teams who work in person, right? Regardless of work model – in-person, remote, hybrid –intentionality is always key. We have to be intentional with how we communicate with team members, how we listen and welcome ideas and solutions, how we create community and collaboration, how we recognize and celebrate, how we develop and grow, and how we check in to address concerns and promote well-being. We also have to be intentional with our personal leadership development and there is no shortage of resources, many free and online, to help in this regard. If, ultimately, team members feel cared for, that they belong, that they are valued and that they are growing, you and your organization will benefit from better outcomes.•

What are your views on the future of work and what will the office of the future look like?

The office of the future will be considered a natural place for both physical and virtual interactions. This is especially true as more work environments transition to hybrid working models, but the question still remains: what works and doesn’t when creating a successful hybrid strategy?

Vice President and Chief People Officer, Northwell Health

What are your views on the future of work and what will the office of the future look like?

Deloitte and others have written extensively on this and our workforce planning team at Northwell is researching and readying recommendations for our transition over time. When we contemplate the future of work, there are three main areas of focus we think about: the work, the workforce, and the workplace.

Work – In the realm of work, we know that we’ll be increasingly co-creating and working alongside technology in greater ways, e.g., automation, robots, and artificial intelligence. Human-machine collaboration exists today at Northwell in our operating rooms, pharmacies, and even in areas like human resources. Members of our HR team are experimenting

In a remote environment, as with any type of work model, when thinking about maintaining culture and collaboration, we should always begin with seeking input from and listening to our team members. By that I mean, having ongoing conversations with your team about the realities of working remotely and what it will take to ensure that each team member feels seen, well, and continues to grow and contribute. The team has to weigh in on what the culture is and opportunities for improvement as well as what collaboration should look like and how it can be sustained. Without input from the team, our approaches might miss the mark. We know that incorporating well-being, recognition and celebration, and shared brainstorming and problem-solving are critical – and these can all be achieved virtually. In our organization, while the majority of our teammates work in person, we do have remote and hybrid working teams. Leaders of these teams are intentional about maintaining culture and collaboration. Most bring teams into the office or one of our collaboration hubs periodically as well as schedule virtual “opendoor” hours where team members can pop in to connect, ask anything, get advice, and make suggestions.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

At McKinsey, we’ve developed a sciencebacked approach to answer this question and better understand how to leverage the flexibility of hybrid while maximizing team performance.

Through analysis, including internal sharing of best practices, surveys, behavioral data, across our 4,000 teams working around the world at any given time, we’ve developed a preliminary view of the benefits and weaknesses of each working model. This has enabled us to make more purposeful choices about when teams are remote, in-person, and hybrid. Early insights demonstrate that while a hybrid working environment retains employees significantly more compared to fully remote or fully in-person working models, how individuals spend their time in-person and together affects a variety of individual and team outcomes.

For organizations in any industry, managers need to maximize hybrid work at the team level, and make better informed decisions on what employees can most productively work on at home, such as research projects, or when coming to an office is more effective, such as mentorship or creative problem-solving.

Beyond this, office experiences can lead to social and emotional connections that draw

An Interview with Katy George, Senior Partner and Chief People Officer, McKinsey & Company
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employees in which can help employees feel the office is part of their day-to-day.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

In this new working world, successful organizations deliberately create a flexible culture by developing leaders who foster outcome-oriented performance, trust and togetherness, and team engagement and problem-solving.

Traditional methods like walking the company floor, chatting at the coffee machine, or taking employees to lunch are less readily available. In a hybrid environment, technologies (e.g., digital tools, advanced analytics techniques, and artificial intelligence), bring global capabilities together and have created unprecedented levels of collaboration.

There’s also a need to rise to the occasion to actually create the time to get together as a team. Our research finds that employees who feel more connected with people in their networks are one and a half more times likely than their peers to report being engaged at work. Leaders can ensure that their employees have the right access to the tools they need to collaborate, and the right employee champions for the culture that can draw teams in together.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

Broadly, McKinsey research has found that the hybrid working environment –defined as spending roughly 50 percent of working days onsite – works better than allor-nothing approaches. This does not mean a two to three days per week mandate – it means intentionally decision-making about when tasks or projects would benefit from in-person time or virtual.

The sweet spot is blending development and connectivity with flexibility and time for focus, which we’ve seen lead to better employee retention. To use this to their advantage, employers can build flexibility into traditionally inflexible roles to attract employees while also viewing flexibility as a standard way of working rather than an ad hoc benefit.

Building engagement in a remote or hybrid environment signals to employees that they are trusted to determine when and how they want to engage. One approach is to experiment with and train managers and colleagues to use new micro-habits, which are practical tips employers give employees to enable them to build a sustainable work-life balance, work productively, collaborate effectively, and connect meaningfully.

Micro-habits provide a simple way to start unlocking talent wherever it resides, strengthening organizational performance, and improving stakeholder satisfaction. Like any habit, it requires a process of trial and error, especially with new stakeholders, to discover what works best for them. Potential microhabits can include:

• Setting end-of-day rituals (e.g., daily reflections or check-outs) to reinforce work life boundaries

• Logging and tracking emotional wellbeing via daily check-ins (e.g., scoring from 1-5 and noting how scores change over time)

• Building breaks into the day for people to eat, take walks, etc. with clear expectations on a timeline for deliverables

• Creating unstructured 1-1 conversations for managers to check in on their team members, and to provide informal feedback and coaching.

When productive micro-habits become the norm, colleagues often report feeling more satisfied, empowered, and resilient – both professionally and personally.•

It is important to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic created a transformational change in the U.S. and around the world. No matter how nostalgic we might be for the old days, they will never return.

I hear a lot of talk about the “return to office.” It can be a polarizing topic that is difficult to implement because no matter the decision, there is likely to be a group left unhappy. So, we try to meet in the middle. Overall, the problem here really lies in fixed mindset thinking – aiming to solve for a new culture with vestiges of the old, when in fact, what we need to do is develop a new, refreshed culture altogether.

What are your views on the future of work and what will the office of the future look like?

We will continue to be hybrid, but we’ll come together for purposeful engagement. Time in the office is evolving from doing work to building relationships and working complex strategic items. It’s about collaboration time, not cubicle time.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

Companies need to be intentional about how and when to bring people together. There must be a shared expectation that in-person meetings will engage teams in meaningful ways and yield value. Bringing together people without a plan and hoping they get something out of it just won’t do.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

You can’t do it without bringing people together at some point, so the questions are how much and how to balance it. For example, if you’ve got new team members or relationships to build, you’re going to need in person time.•

Building a workplace based on active, intentional collaboration that allows employees to experience the office and work in a way that is different from their remote set-up is key. We shouldn’t be asking ourselves, “Why would I go into the office when no one is there to sit in a dark workspace and attend Zoom calls, when I can do that without the added commuting expense and wasted time?” The new workplace must go through transformational change and come out the other end as something completely new, not modified nostalgia.

How can companies maintain culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?

I would like to change a couple of words in this question, which become part of the answer. The question we should be asking is: “How can companies create a new culture and a collaborative environment in a remote work structure?”

We must redefine our corporate cultures. We have to ask employees what works, listen and measure where we are in the remote environment. It is incumbent upon those tasked with managing culture and performance to work collaboratively with leaders and employees across the organization to create a shared vision for the future.

As an HR leader, is it necessary for employees to be in the office to build employee engagement?

It certainly helps. One of the added benefits of being in the office is that I don’t have to schedule a high five with someone who has just done a great job. It’s nice to have impromptu conversations and lunch meetings. It’s great to have a stop and chat in the hallway and share a good story.

However, as I have said, human resources professionals will have to think about how we create – not redefine – our new culture. Maybe a hybrid approach to high fives is the answer.

What are your views on the future of work and what will the office of the future look like?

We must realize that some members of the workforce may never return to the office –and depending on a certain function or role, that may make good sense. This is where we need to have innovation and creativity – in conjunction with a healthy dose of employee feedback – to enable a journey of cultural, transformational change. •

An Interview with Betty Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton An Interview with Joe Machicote, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Premier, Inc.
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A Servant of the Community

EDITORS’ NOTE

Rabbi Joshua Davidson holds the Peter and Mary Kalikow Senior Rabbinic Chair of Congregation EmanuEl of the City of New York. From 2002 through 2013, he served as senior rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester in Chappaqua, New York, and from 1997 to 2002 as assistant and associate rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City, advising that synagogue’s award-winning Social Action Committee. A graduate of Princeton University and ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Davidson’s work has included anti-death penalty advocacy, LGBTQ inclusion, and interfaith dialogue. In 2009, he was honored for his interfaith efforts by the Westchester Jewish Council and the American Jewish Committee, on whose New York Board he sits. Currently, Rabbi Davidson chairs A Partnership of Faith in New York City. He is a member of the Hebrew Union College Board of Governors, HUC’s President’s Rabbinic Council, the Clergy Advisory Board of Interfaith Impact of New York State, the Board of UJA-Federation of New York, and the MuslimJewish Advisory Council. He is a past president of both the Westchester Board of Rabbis and the Chappaqua Interfaith Council. From 2001 to 2006, he served as chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Committee on Justice, Peace and Religious Liberties and vicechair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism. He also chaired the Commission’s task force on Israel and world affairs. He is a past board member of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. Rabbi Davidson was honored with a Corkin Family Fellowship at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. His articles have appeared in The Jewish Week , Commentary Magazine, The New York Times, the New York Post , the Jerusalem Post , The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post . He is a contributing writer in Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s Prayers of Awe series. Over the last decade, Rabbi Davidson has guided Congregation Emanu-El through a revisioning to meet the needs of the 21st century.

TEMPLE BRIEF Established in 1845, Temple Emanu-El (emanuelnyc.org) is more than an architectural landmark, a storied synagogue, and leader within American Judaism. It’s also a caring community whose members are devoted to lifelong learning, spiritual growth, and social justice. Known for its grand architecture, warm community, and bold programming, Temple Emanu-El is a standard bearer for Reform Judaism in the United States. Its Fifth Avenue Sanctuary is globally renowned for its size and majesty and, each year, thousands of visitors from around the world travel to New York City to experience Emanu-El.

Will you highlight the history of Temple Emanu-El and how the institution has evolved?

Temple Emanu-El was one of the early Reform congregations in the United States. Reform Judaism emerged out of the Western European Enlightenment. It was driven by universal values with a focus on how Jewish ethics spoke in universal tones and in ways that the Jewish community might apply those values to integrating into and serving the wider world. Emanu-El was, and remains, proudly a

part of that. Over the course of the generations, the Reform Jewish community in the United States began to reincorporate some of Judaism’s more traditional rituals, such as more Hebrew in prayer. Traditions that set us apart and made us unique unto ourselves began to find their expression in new ways within Reform Jewish life –and so too within Temple Emanu-El. There is a bit more Hebrew in the service, and some of the rituals, once rejected, are now welcome, such as wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) and a yarmulke (head covering). But even as we embrace these rituals, we pursue the universal values that give meaning and purpose to Jewish life.

How critical is it for Temple EmanuEl to continue to attract and engage young people into its congregation as you look to the future?

The country is aging, so it is not a surprise that the demographics of its religious communities are also aging. Though a generalization, it is also fair to say that younger generations are not “joiners” the way older generations were. It used to be that the reflexive response to Jewish identity and commitment was to join the local temple, which is not the case in quite the same way among younger generations. They are, with every right to be, individualists in the choices they make, and every institution needs to prove its worth and show its value.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson An Interview with Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, Peter and Mary Kalikow Senior Rabbinic Chair, Congregation Emanu-El
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Temple Emanu-El at One East 65th Street in Manhattan

We know that there are many, many thousands of young Jewish professionals and young Jewish families who are living in New York City. They are selective about the decisions they make regarding affiliation, and a synagogue needs to figure out how it can add meaning and value to their spiritual experience. One of the things that Emanu-El has tried to do during the time that I have been here is to open as many doorways into synagogue life as we can. Mordecai Kaplan, known as the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, wrote in the 1930s responding to a wave of assimilation in the American Jewish community that Jewish institutions need to recognize that Jews identify as Jews in myriad ways – it may be through ritual and study, but it also may be through politics, food, visual arts, dance, drama, or music. For a Jewish institution to thrive, it has to engage people in all these ways, so we have tried at Emanu-El to create a cultural education center. Worship and the study of the Torah will always be at its core – these give meaning to who we are as a people – but we have worked over the past decade to reach people in as many ways as possible. We opened up a campus in Chelsea specifically for young families living in that neighborhood, and we have taken our Young Professionals programming to new heights. In order to remain vital and vibrant, you need to figure out how to bring in the next generation.

How concerned are you about the rise of anti-Semitism across the country and what can be done to effectively address this issue?

Anti-Semitism is a complicated topic because it comes at us from different directions. Most people say that we need to worry about the white nationalists and neo-Nazis, and we do; but we also have to worry about those

whose hatred of Israel is really a cover for their hatred of Jews. So it comes at us from the right and it comes at us from the left, and the same solutions do not apply to all. I would say that there are three strategies in common that do apply no matter where anti-Semitism comes from. First is education – we need to educate the Jewish community about what anti-Semitism is so that they are able to identify it even in its veiled forms and stand up to it, and we also need to educate the non-Jewish community so that they are more aware of Jewish history. Second is building relationships – the Jewish community needs to continue to build relationships with other communities who are also targets of hate, whether it is the Black community, the Asian community, the Muslim community, the gay community, or others. We can be allies for each other. Third is the need to stand up to anti-Semitism and not be intimidated by it. For example, there was recently a national day of hate that was sponsored by a neo-Nazi group. What we did on that day, a Saturday morning, was move our Shabbat service outside onto Fifth Avenue because I wanted people to see that we would not be cowed. We have to stand up to the hate. Did you know at an early age that you wanted to pursue a career as a Rabbi?

My father, Jerome Davidson, is a rabbi. For more than 40 years, he led Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, and is now retired. He remains the best role model that I could have ever had. My mother, Gail, is also very accomplished in her field and holds a PhD in Art History. They never pressed me in any direction and wanted me to find my own way. Having said that, seeing my father’s experience and impact within the congregation and in the wider community made me view becoming a rabbi very positively. Then I went off to

college and thought I might be a journalist, since I was interested in sportscasting. After college, I remember recording tapes of a baseball game and I sent them out to every minor league team that I could find an address for. I got back 20 rejection letters, but I did not give up. I actually got an internship at CNN, and I was enjoying it immensely because of the people I was working with. While I was there, I received an offer from Rabbi David Gelfand who had been my father’s assistant rabbi in Great Neck. Rabbi Gelfand was serving a synagogue in Cleveland and he asked if I would be interested in coming out to Cleveland to be the youth advisor at the synagogue and do some teaching. I remembered how much fun I had being a part of the congregation and the youth group at Temple Beth-El while growing up, so I decided to go to Cleveland and give it a try.

I was having a great time and after a couple of months, I realized that this was the path I wanted to pursue. I applied to the Hebrew Union College and began my journey. That was the start of a truly rewarding and fulfilling career.

How valuable has it been to have such engaged leadership at Emanu-El as well as such a talented and committed team working with you?

It has been critical. A rabbi is a servant of the community – that is what I try to be. I serve the Jewish people. I serve God through them, and hopefully through my service to God and the Jewish people, I am able to serve the wider world. As for leadership, the right to lead depends on a commitment to serve. Any leadership role that Emanu-El might play in the wider community has to have the support of the congregants. They have to feel proud of what the temple represents. And I remain in constant communication with the wonderful president of Emanu-El who is in regular communication with an equally wonderful board of trustees. Ultimately, it is their congregation.

You can’t do anything without a fantastic staff. We have a great team, including my colleagues in the clergy, our educators, program directors and those who steward our resources and historic campus. I am so grateful for the commitment and talent that they each bring to Emanu-El. None of what we do could happen without them.

In your role, you are a part of some of the greatest moments in the members of your congregation’s lives, as well as some of their most difficult times. How do you manage the emotional aspect of the role?

There are some days that are emotionally exhausting – days that you go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. This can be very difficult and very painful. That said, I think for those of us who chose to become pastors, we made that choice because we find meaning and fulfilment in being part of those moments. That gives us some strength and uplift, knowing that we can help people in those moments, even those that are terribly sad moments. •

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Rabbi Davidson with a member of Congregation Emanu-El

Crypto Education

EDITORS’ NOTE Ric Edelman was named by Investment Advisor , RIABiz, and InvestmentNews as one of the most influential people in the financial planning and investment management profession. He was ranked three times as the nation’s #1 Independent Financial Advisor by Barron’s, is in two industry Halls of Fame, and received the IARFC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He also holds two patents for financial product innovation. Edelman is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of 12 books on personal finance, including his newest, The Truth About Crypto, an Amazon bestseller. He hosts “The Truth About Your Future” podcast and produces Public Television specials. He taught personal finance at Georgetown University for nine years and is Distinguished Lecturer at Rowan University.

COUNCIL BRIEF Founded by Ric Edelman, the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals (DACFP) is a premier provider of digital assets education for financial professionals. DACFP (dacfp.com) connects the financial services industry and digital assets communities with leading experts via live and online events, webinars, blogs, and other educational content. Its flagship program, the Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets, is an online program featuring a world-class faculty and 13 CE credits. Thousands of financial professionals have enrolled from eight countries. DACFP is also the official crypto education partner for the CFP Board, FPA, MMI, IAA, IARFC, NAPFA, XYPN, and others.

What was your vision for creating the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals (DACFP) and how do you define its mission?

I was introduced to bitcoin in 2012. It didn’t take long for me to realize two facts: this new technology will be as impactful for the global economy as the internet has been, and the financial advisory community is unaware of that fact. So, in 2015, I created DACFP. Our sole focus is crypto education, helping advisors and their firms understand blockchain technology and the investment opportunities made available by the introduction of digital assets.

How has DACFP’s work evolved since its founding?

Our array of services has grown, along with our staff which is now more than 20 employees. Demand for our services is higher than ever, as everyone in the financial field realizes that crypto is here to stay, that there is significant client demand for it, and that they – the advisors and firms – are lagging behind. Firms are struggling to craft a crypto strategy that’s both compliance-safe and consistent with their corporate culture, and DACFP is now regarded as the leading provider of services to help them achieve proficiency in this area. Our current challenge is keeping up with demand for our services.

Will you provide an overview of DACFP’s services?

We serve everyone now – advisors, firms, investors, and the crypto community itself –with an array of services:

•Webinars – hugely popular programs on the latest topics in crypto. We also offer Virtual Roundtables, exclusive programs for advisors conducting due diligence on fund managers

•Live Events – our VISION event is the oldest and still largest crypto event exclusively for financial advisors and accredited investors. Other events include 1:1 Connection, Bitcoin Mining, and private events for C-suite Executives

•Keynote Presentations

•Award-Winning Podcast – our daily program is one of the top podcasts in the U.S.

•Award-Winning, Best-Selling Book, The Truth About Crypto

•DACFP Yellow Pages – a comprehensive listing of every product and service in the crypto field

•Consulting Services – ranging from 90-minute boardroom presentations to extended gigs focusing on helping firms develop revenue growth from crypto. Areas of expertise include sales; business and practice management; and advertising, marketing and media

•Finally, our most prominent offering is our groundbreaking education program, The Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets. This online, self-study program features a world-class faculty and up to 18 CE credits. Thousands of financial professionals have enrolled from eight countries. We introduced five additional tracks in Q1, creating both Basic and Advanced courses specifically for Advisors, Financial Professionals, Crypto Professionals, Consumers/Investors, and Ex-US Professionals.

How does DACFP connect the financial services industry and digital assets communities with leading experts?

We are deeply engaged in both the financial services and crypto communities. I created the largest RIA firm in the nation, and was ranked three times as the #1 independent financial advisor in the nation by Barron’s. Since 2012, I’ve been in the crypto community as well – and this gives DACFP the unique ability to speak both languages and reach both communities. We know who the experts are, and we’re the bridge connecting the two communities in a way no one else can do.

Ric Edelman An Interview with Ric Edelman, Founder, Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals (DACFP)
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“We’re beginning to see crypto move out of the lab and into the marketplace, with major corporations –from JP Morgan to VISA, from Warner Music to Breitling – deploying blockchain and crypto technology to help them reduce fraud, enter new markets, increase revenue, and reach new customers.”

Will you elaborate on DACFP’s flagship program, the Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets, and the impact of this program?

Because crypto arose outside the financial services industry, there is no institutional knowledge of the topic. CFP, CFA, and MBA programs don’t cover crypto, and nobody –from advisors to compliance officers – gets any firm-provided training on the subject. To rectify this, we created the Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets in 2021. It was the first and is still the largest program of its kind, and has proven to be immensely popular. For 2023, we are completing revising, expanding, and updating the course, and adding new tracks. The course is only $879, and discounts are available via dozens of organizations. Via the program, DACFP is the Official Crypto Education Partner for the CFP Board, Investment Adviser Association, Money Management Institute, NAPFA, IARFC, XY Planning Network, and the Financial Planning Association.

What are views on the state of crypto and your outlook for the future of crypto?

The answer depends on your perspective. If you’re an investor, you had a horrible 2022, with crypto prices down 70 percent or more. Many companies in the crypto field collapsed, leaving investors with total losses. And frauds, most notably FTX of course, left many wondering if crypto had any legitimacy at all. If you’re a consumer advocate, you are angry that the SEC failed to protect investors; this will spur Congress and federal agencies to improve legislation and regulation – requests that the crypto community has been making for years. But if you’re a technologist in the crypto community, you are very excited. What the noise of 2022 masked is the fact that massive technological development is still occurring – and at a higher pace than ever. We’re beginning to see crypto move out of the lab and into the marketplace, with major corporations – from JP Morgan to VISA, from Warner Music to Breitling – deploying blockchain and crypto technology to help them reduce fraud, enter new markets, increase revenue, and reach new customers. The next five years are going to be very exciting, and I fully expect bitcoin and Ethereum to reach new all-time highs.

What interested you in writing books and what are the themes and messages you want to convey through the books?

My wife and I entered the financial services field nearly 40 years ago because, as a young couple seeking financial advice, we were ripped off by an advisor. So, we dedicated ourselves to learning about personal finance and teaching others what we’d learned – to help others avoid our experience. The foundation of our firm was financial education – as there was little then available. And the situation, sadly, hasn’t changed much today: parents don’t talk to their kids about money, few students ever take a money class during K-12, and most college grads never complete a course on personal finance, either. Nor do employers provide

financial education to their workers. This is why we have hosted thousands of seminars over the years, as well as my national radio show, the longest-running personal finance program in the country; hosted and produced several television series and specials for PBS; and written 12 books on personal finance – including my latest, The Truth About Crypto. Consumers and investors need this content, and few are able to convey complex concepts in plain English. I’m well known for making personal finance fun.

What are your priorities for DACFP as you look to the future?

Our mission is to continue doing what we’re doing: provide crypto education for advisors and their firms, as well as consumers and investors. Crypto represents the greatest wealth creation opportunity since the invention of the internet, and it’s important that we all understand this fact and learn how to integrate these opportunities into our diversified investment portfolios.•

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James’ heart failure reversal is one for the record books.

When former White Plains Deputy Police Commissioner James Bradley su ered two massive back-to-back heart attacks, the specialists at Monte ore Einstein saved his life by implanting a mechanical support system called an LVAD. What happened next was a heart failure reversal for the record books. His team did what few have the expertise to do, they removed the LVAD, and James’ heart continued to function well without needing a transplant.

See James’ heart failure reversal story at monte ore.org/James

“I don’t know that I ever would’ve survived if I wasn’t at Monte ore Einstein.”
— James Bradley

Impactful Solutions and Data-Driven Insights

EDITORS’ NOTE Vince Cole has a long track record of driving profitable revenue growth at multiple companies in the financial services and technology sectors. For the past five years, he served as CEO of Charles Taylor US, a leading provider of claims solutions to the United States and global insurance markets. Prior to Charles Taylor, Cole was CEO, Americas, and Global Chief Strategy Officer at Crawford & Company, a publicly traded claims management solutions business. Before joining Crawford & Company, he held executive positions at Activa Medical and Genworth Financial. He also spent 10 years at General Electric, serving in senior leadership roles in GE Financial, GE Plastics and GE Capital. Cole holds a BS degree in engineering from Montana State University.

COMPANY BRIEF Ontellus (ontellus.com)

empowers insurance carriers, self-insured corporations and law firms to reduce costs, make informed decisions and accelerate claims resolution. As one of the nation’s largest, privately held data retrieval and claims intelligence providers, Ontellus leverages decades of experience and cutting-edge technology to deliver impactful products and client-centric services with industry-leading turnaround times.

Will you highlight the history of Ontellus and how the company has evolved?

Ontellus has served as a provider of outsourced document retrieval services for more than 40 years. Today, we leverage decades of experience and cutting-edge technology to continue to deliver impactful solutions and datadriven insights to our clients.

If information is the lifeblood of professional services entities such as law firms, healthcare, or insurance companies, then Ontellus is the heartbeat. This is because our technology and expertise allow these companies to focus on strategy while we find and organize these dense troves of information, empowering our clients to make more informed decisions. These critical services are essential in any market environment, but especially now at a time when businesses across the economy are looking for ways to be more efficient and navigate challenges in the labor market.

In the last few years, we have evolved considerably. First, to provide our clients with an elevated experience, we have made a series of key acquisitions, including ChartSwap, American Medical Forensic Specialists (AMFS), Discovery Resource and INTERTEL. Second, we have gained two impressive partners in Capstreet and Aquiline to support our growth. Year over year, we make strides to continue strengthening our nationwide presence, strategically positioning personnel across the country to best support our client relationships.

When I look forward, the need for quick, secure and accurate insights is only increasing –so for Ontellus, the future is very exciting.

How do you define Ontellus’ mission and purpose?

Our mission is to push beyond the traditional model of record retrieval as the mere delivery of raw information, and to create a new model that provides valuable, actionable insights for industry-critical documents and data. Our purpose is to manage and transfer our client’s information securely, efficiently, and accurately by leveraging our robust network of expertise to perform vital day-to-day functions and solve problems.

Will you provide an overview of Ontellus’ services and solutions?

Through both acquisitions and organic product expansion, Ontellus is building an ecosystem of companies supporting the entire supply chain of records retrieval, meaning that we are almost guaranteed to have a solution for any problem. Clients can use our network to enhance operational efficiencies while driving down costs. Under the Ontellus umbrella clients have access to:

• Ontellus Records Retrieval empowers insurance carriers, self-insured corporations and law firms to reduce costs, make informed decisions, and accelerate claims resolution. As a privately held data retrieval and claims intelligence provider, Ontellus leverages decades of experience and cutting-edge technology to deliver impactful products and client-centric service.

Vince Cole An Interview with Vince Cole, Chief Executive Officer, Ontellus
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 104 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
“If information is the lifeblood of professional services entities such as law firms, healthcare, or insurance companies, then Ontellus is the heartbeat. This is because our technology and expertise allow these companies to focus on strategy while we find and organize these dense troves of information, empowering our clients to make more informed decisions.”

• American Medical Forensic Specialists (AMFS) connects attorneys with the nation’s preeminent Medical Expert Witnesses. AMFS is a physician-founded network that provides clients with case-winning medical experts in every specialty and recognized sub-specialty. The superior method of obtaining Medical Expert Witnesses is what makes AMFS unique.

• ChartSwap is a fast, simple and secure B2B record exchange marketplace that enables HIPAA-compliant medical record request of information and medical records retrieval between registered requestors and medical record providers. ChartSwap is revolutionizing how personal health information is transmitted, improving efficiency and reducing costs on both sides of the retrieval process.

• Discovery Resource is a litigation support service offering various legal services, including retrieval of records, court reporting and document scanning/copying. Since its inception in 1996, Discovery Resource has become one of the most respected and reliable companies in the business.

• INTERTEL is the nation’s largest medical canvass data provider. Its approach to leveraging technology and data sharing has become the industry framework for the communication of critical treatment history information. INTERTEL currently services all insurance lines of business associated with any type of bodily injury.

How does Ontellus work at the intersection of insurtech, healthtech, and legaltech?

Each of these industries is highly regulated, deeply innovative, and critical to our economy. Ontellus serves clients across this spectrum by providing a comprehensive exchange of information between businesses – that invisible but vital heartbeat I mentioned earlier. As the pace of technological advancement accelerates, companies across the landscape are being forced to think big and find new ways to keep up and deliver for customers – which is where we come in.

What do you see as the challenges of B2B work in light of data/information transfer, AI and cyber security?

The sheer amount of data being recorded in the insurance, legal, and healthcare industries is growing exponentially every day, and data security is paramount to each sector. To manage and exchange that data securely comes with its challenges, such as learning to harness ever-changing technology for specific use cases in the records-retrieval space that are unprecedented or unpredictable.

Yet, we see the speed of technological innovation as a great asset. There is a high level of human expertise required to fine-tune and adapt technology to meet our needs. Our decades of experience at Ontellus put us in an excellent position to turn any challenge into an opportunity for success.

How important is it for Ontellus to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

I have always believed that to succeed in business, you must have access to diverse

perspectives. In 2021, Ontellus launched its inaugural Diversity & Inclusion committee comprised of individuals across all business units. The team has made great strides in implementing company-wide educational initiatives to honor and celebrate significant cultural moments and is consistently working to improve our D&I offerings and programs. We are proud to have several women in key leadership positions, including Shareen Minor who was appointed as our Chief Revenue Officer in January.

To be able to show up in a creative and impactful way, we need a diverse and inclusive workforce, and this has been an incredibly high priority for me.

What are other priorities for Ontellus as you look to the future?

In 2023, we are focused on continuing to expand our team across all levels and making the necessary investments to attract and retain the highly specialized talent we need to accelerate our growth. We are building a strong culture where every team member is empowered to raise bold ideas and play a central role in executing those ideas. This is in service of our constant goal to take client-centricity to the next level by keeping our finger on the pulse of our client’s needs and moving fast to fill those needs.

As we look to the company’s future success, Ontellus will continue to leverage our decades of experience and cutting-edge technology to deliver impactful products and services.•

“Ontellus has served as a provider of outsourced document retrieval services for more than 40 years. Today, we leverage decades of experience and cutting-edge technology to continue to deliver impactful solutions and data-driven insights to our clients.”
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“Through both acquisitions and organic product expansion, Ontellus is building an ecosystem of companies supporting the entire supply chain of records retrieval, meaning that we are almost guaranteed to have a solution for any problem. Clients can use our network to enhance operational efficiencies while driving down costs.”

Pleasure, Madness, and Freedom

EDITORS’ NOTE Nicola Andreatta became CEO of Roger Dubuis in late 2018. He has spent his entire professional career in watchmaking. His career began in Asia working in design and merchandising for a number of luxury watch brands. Upon his return to Europe, he consulted for several prestigious watch brands before taking over the management of Timeo SA and creating his own watch brand, N.O.A. Watches. Following this, he was appointed as Vice President and General Manager of Tiffany & Co. Swiss Watches SAGL. Under his direction, Tiffany & Co. developed and marketed several new watch collections, including the iconic Tiffany CT60. Andreatta is a graduate of the Catholic University of Milan with a qualification in business administration and economics.

COMPANY BRIEF Roger Dubuis (rogerdubuis.com) has been at the forefront of contemporary Haute Horlogerie since 1995. Its audacious creations, firmly anchored in the 21st century, embody substantial expertise expressed through the finest watchmaking mechanisms combined with powerful and daring designs. Boldness and expressivity are the brand’s signatures, and determination its driving force. The rush of adrenalin, a pounding heart, the sure and certain knowledge that something is about to happen represent the brand’s Hyper Horology™.

Will you highlight the history of Roger Dubuis and how the brand has evolved?

Roger Dubuis has done a number of things during its 28-year history that very few brands have been able to do. We have created and engineered many calibers in-house over the years, with 23 of them being core to Roger Dubuis’ history and DNA, which is quite impressive. I would say that there are three specific areas that stand out in Roger Dubuis’ history. First, at the very beginning, the high-level of creativity.

contemporary and expressive while honoring the tradition of watchmaking. We have been taking time to think about what Roger Dubuis stands for and defining what Roger Dubuis is all about, and if we had to do this in one word, it would be “Excess.” Excess is a word that sometimes has a negative connotation, but for us, Excess comes from the Latin word “excedo” which means to go beyond. In order to define Excess better, we decided to use three words that have to be present in everything we do: pleasure, madness, and freedom.

Is Roger Dubuis focused on its existing collections or looking to introduce new collections to the market?

Our cycles are pretty long and we are currently working on the collection for 20252026. We are focused on emphasizing our Excalibur collection even further. We have four key pillars today – Excalibur, Excalibur Spider, Hyper Watches, and the Knights of the Round Table – and these four pillars will stay for a while. We are going to present something extraordinary later this year and would ask for you to stay tuned for this announcement.

What is the significance of the Geneva Seal?

Then, when Richemont acquired the brand in 2008, it was a time of refocusing and recentering the brand. Lastly, in the past few years, there has been an emphasis on the Excalibur collection, which is our iconic collection today, along with the Velvet collection, which has more feminine and contemporary aesthetics.

Today, we are focused on providing an alternative to classic watchmaking, and we do this with the Geneva Seal and what we call Hyper Horology, which is about being

The Geneva Seal was created in 1886 and there are 12 rules that you need to follow to be certified by this independent institution. This is important to us since it is not about Roger Dubuis saying that we do amazing things; it is about the experts of fine watchmaking saying that we do amazing things. We finish every single movement by hand before we put it into our watches, and the amount of craftsmanship that we put into every single watch is a key differentiator for us. In order to have the Geneva Seal, you need to produce every single part in Geneva, and you need to assemble in Geneva. There are very few brands in the world today that have the Geneva Seal which says a lot about this certification.

How important is it for Roger Dubuis to find and train the next generation of watchmakers and craftsman?

Nicola Andreatta An Interview with Nicola Andreatta, Chief Executive Officer, Manufacture Roger Dubuis S.A.
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 106 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
Various views of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur backlit watch (this page and next)

This connects to our social responsibility and what we are doing more and more in Geneva. We have craftsmen at Roger Dubuis who have developed their skills over many years, and watchmaking is an art. We are trying to educate at schools about the art of watchmaking and engage with young people and students to tell them about the beauty of watchmaking. There is a school inside the campus where Roger Dubuis is located, and we train people how to become watchmakers. This is something that we will continue to focus on since it is very difficult to find people with the right skills and we need to commit our time and resources to find the next generation of watchmakers.

Will you discuss Roger Dubuis’ global footprint?

We are an exclusive brand and want to remain exclusive. At the same time, being geographically balanced is a key requirement, especially in these uncertain times. It is critical to be agile and to be able to adapt to the changing environment to overcome these challenging times. We have invested a lot in Asia over the past few years because we believe that Asia will grow faster than other parts of the world. Europe has been stuck for some time and continues to be stuck today. I think this is the year for Roger Dubuis in the United States and we are investing heavily in North America.

How important has it been to build the Roger Dubuis team?

This has been a major focus for me since Roger Dubuis is a very unique brand and we need to attract people who think differently. We do not hire for skills; we hire for attitude and mentality. We need creativity and people who think outside of the box, and then we take the time to train them so they can help shape the future of Hyper Horology.

Will you discuss Roger Dubuis’ commitment to after-sales service and to maintaining the relationship with the client?

This is tremendously important. In order for a brand to be successful, it needs to focus on service since this is part of the journey. The journey does not stop when you sell the watch; you create loyalty by making sure that the aftersale is handled in the right way and we see this as our responsibility.

What excited you about the opportunity to lead Roger Dubuis?

I have done many things in the watch world from designing watches to building watches to marketing watches to selling watches. I was born into it since my father had factories that I used to go to when I was very young, but this position is the ultimate in my career. The level

of commitment and creativity and sophistication of Roger Dubuis is something that is very special. We also have a lot of fun, and we enjoy building relationships with our clients that will last for many years.

Are you able to enjoy the process and celebrate the wins?

It is important to have fun and take moments to celebrate our accomplishments. Our team has passion for the business. That being said, things move faster and faster today, and we need to focus on what is next and prepare for the future.•

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A Focus on Quality and Relationships

EDITORS’ NOTE Before assuming his current role, David Jones served as Senior Vice President of Connemara General Contractors. He also served as Superintendent of Pollard Properties, Inc. where he was responsible for custom residential and commercial divisions field management. Prior to this, he honed his skills as a carpenter for Sanders Construction. Jones is the Zoning Administrator for the Town of White Stone and has served as a member and Chairman of the Lancaster County Planning Commission. He has also been a member of the White Stone Town Council and the Vice Mayor of the Town of White Stone. Jones serves on the Board of Directors of Historic Christ

Church and is a past member of the Rappahammock General Hospital Foundation Board. He is a member of the Northern Technical Center, Union Bank Advisory Board, Tangier Island Foundation Board, and Bon Secours Advisory Board. He is also the Chairman of the Essex County Planning Commission.

COMPANY BRIEF Connemara & Company (connemararealty.com) is a trusted, experienced, creative, and professional team out of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The company provides realty, construction, and development services for its clients. Connemara is known as the premiere residential builder in the Northern Neck.

Will you discuss the history of Connemara & Company and how the company has evolved?

I was working with a premier, high-end, home building company in Lancaster County along with a man named Bill Hope, and when the head of the company decided to retire, Bill and I decided to start our own company as equal partners. This was in 1994 and we are excited to celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. We hit the road running in 1993 doing light commercial and highend residential which is what we still do to this day. Our mainstay is high-end residential, but we have also done local hospitals, nursing homes, and the local resort, Tides Inn. We have gone from having six people to more than 25 employees today with revenues of roughly $20 million a year.

David Jones An Interview with David Jones, President, Connemara & Company
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Connemara & Company homes and finishes (above and opposite page)

Our focus is on quality and relationships. When we start working with a customer, we consider them to be a part of our family. We do not have a one- or two-year warranty – our warranty is that if there were any issues with our craftsmanship, we take care of it and take care of the customer. This has been a key to our growth and success.

How broad is your focus geographically?

We like to work in what we call the Northern Neck, which is the counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, King George, and Westmoreland. We have ventured out a little further for special projects, such as a $10 million home that we are working on.

Will you elaborate on Connemara’s commitment to quality?

That is an interesting question since quality is a word that is used often in the industry, but you can really only know quality when you see it. When I take a potential customer to one of our homes, I let the work we did at that home speak for itself. I show our customers what they will get from working with us by seeing what we have done in the past and the level of the work we are known for. One hundred percent of our work comes from word of mouth – we do not advertise. We do not talk about our quality – we show our quality through our work.

Are there certain common characteristics to a Connemara project or is your work customized for each client?

We build custom homes, and they are all different. There are many good home builders in

this market, and it is not always easy to tell who built a specific home. As I mentioned earlier, I think that where we stand out is our focus on quality, relationships, and standing behind our work.

As you have grown the Connemara team, how important is it to bring people into the company who fit the culture and values of Connemara?

This is very important. When we interview people, we tell them what we expect and what we stand for, and we have very little turnover here. We take the time to train our team on the way we do things, and we also listen to how they like to do things. When you build a relationship with your team and you invest in your people, it leads to strong results. We are a diverse company and don’t focus on gender, race, or ethnicity – we focus on character and integrity.

Did you always know you had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to build your own company?

When I graduated from high school, many of my friends went away to college, and I did not. Reality set in for me that I better do something for myself or when my friends came back from college in four years to start their careers, I was going to be considered the class clown. I decided that I was going to use those four years when others were in college to do the best I could and work hard, which I think I did. I did not know if I would be successful, but I knew that I was going to try to be successful.

As Connemara celebrates its 30th anniversary, are you able to take moments to reflect on what you have accomplished?

Absolutely. I have said many times that the first day that I wake up and am not excited to go to work will be when I stop. I enjoy the process and get great satisfaction when we build a home. I have certainly been blessed by God, my office personnel, and all other co-workers for the success of Connemara.•

POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS109 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2

Helping American Businesses Reinvest in Themselves

EDITORS’ NOTE Josh Fox has grown Bottom Line Concepts over the past 14 years to achieve billions of dollars in savings and refunds for many different organizations. In the day-to-day operations, his strength is building relationships as well as managing employees, vendors and an international sales team. He is hands on in overseeing all aspects of the business from meetings, contracts, negotiations, implementation and follow-up. Passionate about various charities, Fox gives back to his community and is also an avid animal rights activist and enthusiast. Fox earned a bachelor’s degree in business and managerial economics from the University of Michigan.

COMPANY BRIEF Bottom Line Concepts (bottomlinesavings.com) is a no risk, contingency-based cost savings company. It negotiates on behalf of its clients to get the best prices possible from their existing vendors. It audits old invoices for errors getting its clients refunds and credits. It increases the profitability and overall valuation of its clients’ organizations.

Will you provide an overview of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a government offered stimulus program designed to help those businesses that were able to retain their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Established by the CARES Act, it is a refundable tax credit businesses can claim. The ERC is available to both small and mid-sized businesses and is based on a few simple factors, including the number of fulltime employees, salaries and healthcare.

For many companies, the U.S. Government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) seemed like oxygen to the lungs as they struggled to make payroll. Through the PPP, $793 million was issued to over 11 million businesses. Now, many of those small businesses have applied for PPP loan forgiveness and are experiencing problems getting their forgiveness applications approved.

Initially, under the CARES Act of 2020, businesses were not able to qualify for the ERC if they had already received a Paycheck Protection Program loan. With new legislation in 2021, employers became eligible for both programs, however the vast majority of businesses are simply unaware of what they’re entitled to under this new change. Businesses can file a claim for the ERC after payroll taxes. As a result, employers can claim the 2020 and 2021 ERCs until April 15, 2024 and 2025, respectively.

We launched Government Aid, Bottom Line’s ERC division a little over two years ago. What helps us stand out is we’ve been working with several government programs for the last 14 years, so we not only have their trust, but also intimate knowledge of the ins and outs on properly filing for their programs on behalf of companies. By creating a trusted government division, we’ve been able to help more than 25,000 businesses receive nearly $5 billion to reinvest in themselves.

How do you describe Bottom Line’s culture and values?

The ethnicities, cultural diversity and age range we have here is second to none; it’s something we’re really proud of. It’s really incredible,

especially for what started as a smaller operation and added more than 300 employees between 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. Secondly, animal rights, sustainability and protecting the environment for future generations is paramount to us. We support a number of animal rights charities and causes including PETA, IFAW, Farm Sanctuary, Environmental Defense Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Animal Rescue Corps, Sierra Club, Oceana, and much more. Through our “Line Up For Charity” program, we give our clients the opportunity to donate part of the cost savings we achieve to causes our clients are passionate about.

We are participating in our own corporate responsibility initiatives, from financing the phaseout of horse-drawn carriages in New York City to supporting the rescue of elephants in Asia and a whole lot more. You’ll see a number of dogs roaming our offices on any given day. I’m biased, but I truly believe we have a wonderful work environment and culture where the team has a lot of fun and they’re able to build the lifestyles they desire.

How do you define the Bottom Line difference?

Surprisingly, in the beginning, it wasn’t about small businesses. It was solely focused on Fortune 1000 companies and coming up with creative governmental programs to recover money for these massive entities. Over the years we’ve scaled these efforts to support businesses in a number of industries, including accounting, car dealerships, education, financial services, municipalities, franchisees, fitness, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, legal, manufacturing, media, nonprofit, private equity, real estate, restaurants, retail, sports, technology, and transportation.

Josh Fox An Interview with Josh Fox, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bottom Line Concepts
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“The secret to our success may be cliché, but it’s true: we really are the hardest-working group of people in this industry and that has made us the leader.”

The secret to our success may be cliche, but it’s true: we really are the hardest working group of people in this industry and that has made us the leader. The opportunity ahead of us is unbelievable, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of the businesses eligible for these credits.

We also really pride ourselves on delivering compassionate customer service. We respond to every client within 24 hours. That is part of our culture of success  – just respond, respond, respond, and let people know we are on top of our emails and calls. Getting back to people right away and over-communicating makes a huge difference. We are with clients every step of the way, connecting constantly to discuss documentation, filings, deadlines, and expected return dates.

There’s also this fascinating culture of hiring within families like I’ve never seen before. We have boyfriends and girlfriends that work here. We have husbands and wives that work here. We have siblings that work here. It’s incredible.

We have 40,000+ affiliates championing this program on our behalf across the country as well. These are men and women that introduce us to businesses who need our help. So, our reach is just bigger than anybody else’s, that’s for sure. Then we have these exceptionally famous brand ambassadors who have massive followings, like Kevin O’Leary who is working with us to get this critical message to his audience.

Will you provide an overview of Bottom Line’s services and solutions?

We have a brand-new tagline that answers this really easily: “Helping American businesses reinvest in themselves.” When businesses receive their ERC money, we follow

and track what they are doing with the money. It’s one thing to just get these big checks, but we’re finding that they’re opening new locations. They’re expanding. They’re hiring employees, upgrading their technology, and improving their office spaces. So, “Helping American businesses reinvest in themselves,” speaks to what people are doing with the ERC money once they get it. That’s what makes us feel good about the work we’re doing. Money is just a means to an end. Seeing the money used for positivity and improvement is exciting and keeps us motivated to continue doing this great work.

We are a no risk, contingency-based cost savings company. What that means is we negotiate on behalf of our clients to get the best credits and prices possible. We audit old invoices for errors, getting our clients refunds and credits. We increase the profitability and overall valuation of our client’s organizations.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for growth?

Helping small communities that are unaware of the program. This is relevant in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and places all over America and beyond the continental U.S. It’s about informing people living in these places that might be uninformed about this opportunity.

How important is it for Bottom Line to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

For us, diversity, equity and inclusivity came organically as a result of who we are as people. It was never a forced initiative, but it came very naturally to our company. We never have and will never stand for any form of discrimination. So, I guess the short answer is that it’s extremely important for us,

but we didn’t really have to think about it. Being headquartered in Miami, we’re at the epicenter of a cultural melting pot and the walls inside our office reflect that well. It’s more of the fabric of who we are than a strategy we put in place.

What do you feel the keys are to effective leadership?

Lead by example. I’m the first one in the office and the last one to leave. I’m here on the weekends, and I’m in the trenches. I’m on sales calls all the time. I’m on educational calls all the time. A lot of people in my position would be relaxing on the beach by now. But as the leader, I am here until the moment this program ends and I am in the trenches alongside all of our fantastic staff. Something as simple as an open door policy makes for great accountability and transparency, especially with a company that’s growing as fast as ours. This really fosters the family environment I mentioned.

What are your priorities for Bottom Line as you look to the future?

I’ve never seen anything like the hiring that we’ve been doing. Last year, we hired 250 people, and we’ll bring on 60 more people in the next six weeks. No small businesses are hiring at this rate. It’s just incredible. At the end of the day, you’re only as good as the people around you. So, the challenge is finding people that buy into the concept and buy into the culture. What I love about what we’re doing is it’s a win, win, win. We deliver money to the small business owner, if a referral partner makes an introduction, they get paid, and we’re the final piece of that equation. It’s very rare to have a business where it’s an absolute win, win, win.•

“We have a brand-new tagline that answers this really easily: ‘Helping American businesses reinvest in themselves.’”
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“We are a no risk, contingency-based cost savings company. What that means is we negotiate on behalf of our clients to get the best credits and prices possible.”

A One-Stop Luxury Shop

EDITORS’ NOTE With a dynamic mixture of hospitality in New York City, real estate in Florida, and private aviation worldwide, Hassan Chowdhury has made a meaningful impact on the world of luxury hospitality, travel, and entertainment. In 2022, he founded Bouge Villas, a luxury villa short-term rental company that has a presence in high-end Florida real estate and is expanding the portfolio to include the Hamptons, New York, and Mexico.

COMPANY BRIEF Meta Fly Club (metaflyclub.com)

is an exclusive private jet charter club offering its members complete access to the best deals to fly private across the globe. Meta Fly Club aims to bring the VIP Experience to the everyday consumer focusing on world-class hospitality for the best possible prices. It offers the highest level of service while also ensuring its clients safety and security.

Will you provide an overview of Meta Fly Club and its offerings?

Meta Fly Club is a private jet charter company and the first company to launch a membership program via NFTs. The Club offers a fleet of private jets and luxury aviation perks around the world. Members enjoy discounted pricing on jet charters and have premium access to empty leg flights at competitive rates, as well as having the option to crowdfund among each other to share private jet rides. We have access to all types of private jets ranging from light jets to long-range heavy jets, and even Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) and Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) aircraft.

How do you define the Meta Fly Club difference and what sets the company apart from its competitors?

The uniqueness of Meta Fly Club starts with the opportunity to trade and transfer memberships in the form of NFTs. Meta Fly Club is not only a jet charter company, but also a luxury lifestyle membership

club that comes with a list of luxury perks and hospitality access. In addition to this, our members also benefit from priority reservation access to clubs, restaurants, and private accommodations including properties with Bouge Villas, a luxury real estate rental company that I founded. Meta Fly Club is set to launch daily routes from New York to Miami at the end of April that will give access to its membership to crowdfund luxury business jets among each other and special pricing will be offered to members. Will you discuss Meta Fly Club’s focus and commitment to the highest safety standards?

Our customers’ safety and security is always our highest priority. We take incredible measures to maintain the utmost safety for all our operations and provide the highest standards of excellence in customer service through genuine care for the comfort of our clients. Our pilots strive for

Hassan Chowdhury An Interview with Hassan Chowdhury, Meta Fly Club
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Hassan Chowdhury with Falcon 200 Heavy Jets at the Meta Fly Club facility in Gainesville, Florida

excellence, professionalism, and attention to detail, and they go through a rigorous pre-employment screening and onboarding process.

You mentioned that Meta Fly Club will be launching daily roundtrip routes from New York to Miami in April 2023. Will you discuss this service and what travelers can expect from the experience?

Travelers will be allowed access to crowdfund to share the price of rides among each other, and members will have special pricing at all times. The advantage of Meta Fly Club’s fleet from other companies that offer similar services is that we will be operating luxurious and comfortable business jets such as the Falcon 200 and Gulfstream IV for our daily routes and will offer exclusive seats at discounted pricing. There is no other competitor out there that offers special priced seats to their members with similar luxury aircrafts.

What was your vision for creating Bouge Villas?

My vision for creating Bouge Villas started during my birthday trip to Miami in 2021 when I quickly recognized the growing demand for luxury house rentals. I wanted my clients in the hospitality industry to have a unique villa experience when they went on vacation with their loved ones. I came up with the concept of designing and naming each villa in a unique way and including the maximum amenities possible in each one of them.

Will you highlight Bouge Villas’ portfolio and destinations?

Bouge Villas’ current portfolio of destinations includes Miami, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tulum, Mexico; Hamptons, New York; Manhattan, New York; Dubai, UAE; Galveston, Texas; and we will soon be in Cartagena, Colombia; Los Angeles, California; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Where do you see opportunity for growth for Bouge Villas?

After having more than $12 million in property acquisitions in 2022, Bouge Villas’ plan is to grow to a $30 million property portfolio in 2023, making its global presence stronger. Future plans for Bouge Villas also includes a luxury real estate decor and management company.

We also plan to build a subscription-based luxury villa advertisement platform to help other luxury villa brands promote their gorgeous properties and get premium pricing for them.

How do you define the meaning of a luxury hospitality experience?

To me, luxury hospitality means having five-star service no matter whether it’s a private jet business, a popular nightclub or a luxury villa business. All my clients expect one thing that I always assure – that all their needs and wants will be fulfilled by a five-star service experience. In today’s world, people are willing to pay for what they desire.

What are your priorities for your businesses as you look to the future?

I have always prioritized client satisfaction and hospitality over profit margin. Since I started my career in the hospitality industry, I have tried to add new businesses that can give wider options for luxury and hospitality to our clients as well as contribute to my existing businesses. My goal is to provide a one-stop luxury shop for everyone.•

Hassan Chowdhury aboard a Falcon 200 Heavy Jet
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“To me, luxury hospitality means having five-star service no matter whether it’s a private jet business, a popular nightclub or a luxury villa business. All my clients expect one thing that I always assure – that all their needs and wants will be fulfilled by a five-star service experience.”

Elevating Paintings

EDITORS’ NOTE Eli Wilner is a leading frame dealer, frame restorer, and collector, as well as an acknowledged and published authority on the art of framing. His publications include Antique American Frames: Identification and Price Guide, and The Gilded Edge Wilner has framed over 10,000 paintings, including the spectacular frame for Washington

Crossing the Delaware for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and 28 paintings for the White House.

COMPANY BRIEF Eli Wilner & Company (eliwilner.com) is a Manhattan gallery located on New York City’s Upper East Side. For 40 years, Eli Wilner & Company has specialized in European and American period frames and frame restoration, boasting a vast inventory of over 3,500 frames spanning the 15th century through the present. Since 1983, Eli Wilner & Company has published over 100 articles about antique frames, and collaborated extensively with curators from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Will you discuss the history of Eli Wilner and how the company has evolved?

I was just six years old when I first became aware of something the art world commonly overlooked: the beauty and value of a picture frame. My great-uncle was a well-known art collector and he would put my childish pastels in antique frames and hang them alongside his Modiglianis and Chagalls. It took me years to realize I wasn’t a great master, but I learned very early on how a frame can transform the way we look at a picture.

In 1978, I graduated from CUNY Hunter with a master’s degree in fine arts. During this time, I was working at an art gallery as a painting restorer and framer. I started collecting antique frames when I realized art dealers were throwing them out. No one wanted to spend money on restoring them because it was less expensive to reframe paintings with reproductions.

After amassing about 300 examples, I quit my job as a painting restorer and framer and, with the $6,000 I had saved, I opened a business selling frames in my cramped $230 a month Upper East Side studio apartment. My friends, family, and colleagues in the art world all thought I was insane. I’d been making a splendid living, but I was daydreaming about antique frames all the time. I actually couldn’t sleep at night – I was consumed by this vision, so the fact that I had no resources or employees was the least of my worries.

Now I have both a gallery on the Upper East Side and a studio in Long Island City. Since I opened, I’ve worked to promote the study and appreciation of period frames as valuable historical objects as well as works of art in their own right.

Eli Wilner is celebrating its 40th anniversary. What have been the keys to Eli Wilner’s ability to remain relevant over four decades?

Primarily the interest that curators and directors have shown in the rediscovery of the importance of the period frame to an artwork. In turn, collectors have been educated and have recognized how the correct frame can elevate the aesthetic appreciation of their paintings.

Will you provide an overview of Eli Wilner’s services?

We are now focusing on the creation of replica frames based on original antiques.

Unlike conventional reproduction frames, our precise replica frames are made using oldworld techniques of carving and gilding, and the unmatched skill of our own in-house staff members. Each frame is made one at a time, with great care and artistry, using our antique frames as the models.

We also offer frame restoration services, and at times we even grudgingly sell antique frames from our collection. We only sell antique frames in very special circumstances, as our primary use for them is to serve as a library for the creation of replica frames, and as a color and surface reference for our frame restoration division.

We take special care to accommodate demands beyond basic framing and installation services, such as expedited production, on-site cosmetic frame restoration, general collection reviews to assess the condition of

Eli Wilner An Interview with Eli Wilner, Chief Executive Officer, Eli Wilner & Company Childe Hassam’s Avenue in the Rain, framed with a replica of an original Hassam frame by Eli Wilner & Company, in the collection of The White House
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Pablo Picasso’s Dora Maar au Chat, framed by Eli Wilner & Company for Sotheby’s

frames, and unfitting and refitting of artwork to assist a photographer or conservator. Eli Wilner & Company is a longtime preferred provider to both AXA and Chubb because of our renowned practices that reduce risk factors to clients’ artwork, frames, and furniture on premises.

How do you define the Eli Wilner difference?

The frames sold and made by our firm are sought for their quality and the expertise that we provide. At our gallery in Manhattan, we have a staff knowledgeable in the history of art and frames. Using our extensive inventory of original period frames, the gallery can match paintings and frames as the original artist had intended.

Eli Wilner & Company is highly sought-after for its depth of knowledge regarding the history of frames and frame choices made by artists, whether it be an Old Master painting, a Hudson River landscape, or a Picasso. All frames crafted by Eli Wilner & Company are created one at a time with hours lavished upon every detail from the basic profile to the intricacies of ornament and design to the subtleties and nuances of the gilded surface.

Aside from the specifics of frame selection, we anticipate and meet every need arising from a particular project. Pickup and delivery, arranging for proper packing and crating and the safe transport of artwork are considered. Artwork in our care is carefully stored. We guide our clients in the proper choice of glazing materials whether it be UV-filtering, glare reduction or other concerns such as weight. Archival methods and materials are used in the handling and fitting of artwork and frames.

Is there an effective understanding of the value and importance that a frame makes for a painting?

The clearest indication of the importance of a frame in enhancing the value of a painting is the fact that major auction houses have purchased and borrowed hundreds of frames from Eli Wilner & Company to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the artwork in their sales. Several of the works that we have lent frames for include the following:

• Edward Hopper’s East Wind Over Weehawken which was sold at Christie’s for $40,485,000

• Norman Rockwell’s Saying Grace which was sold at Sotheby’s for $46,085,000

• Vincent Van Gogh’s Paysage sous un Ciel Mouvementé which was sold at Sotheby’s for $54,010,000

• Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist Composition which was sold at Sotheby’s for $60,002,500

• Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu assis sur un divan which was sold at Sotheby’s for $68,962,500

• Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust which was sold at Christie’s for $106,000,000

Will you highlight some of the memorable projects that you have had the opportunity to work on over the past forty years?

One of Eli Wilner & Company’s most notable framing accomplishments was when we were commissioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to recreate a monumental frame for Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851), based on rediscovered documentary photographs by

Mathew Brady. The original frame in the Brady photographs had been inexplicably lost. I speak of the frame as “a tour de force, absolutely the most creative and involved surround for a painting that I have ever seen.” Not only does the frame have exterior dimensions of approximately 14x23 feet, it also features a fully hand-carved and gilded 14-foot wide crest consisting of Revolutionary War symbols such as an eagle, flags, pikes, bayonets, a drum, and a munitions case. An undulating ribbon at the base of the crest reads, “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen,” a line excerpted from Henry Lee’s eulogy for Washington in 1799.

The Wilner staff spent years doing in-depth research alongside the Met’s curators, and meticulously handcrafting the frame. The frame has a wide cove profile with acanthus-leaf and leaf-and-berry cast ornaments. In addition to the crest, hand-carved elements include the embellished shields at the corners and individual stars set inside the cove. Using over 12,500 sheets of gold, the entire frame surface was watergilded in the traditional fashion. The frame was so massive that it had to be designed for on-site assembly and was carried up the Museum’s Grand Stairwell in sections. A six-minute interview by Morley Safer from CBS Sunday Morning , which was done with Carrie Barratt of the Metropolitan Museum, can be viewed at EliWilner.com.

When President Clinton decided to hang Childe Hassam’s Avenue in the Rain (1917) in the Oval Office, Eli Wilner replaced the painting’s inappropriate reproduction frame by creating a carved and gilded replica of an original frame designed by the artist, including the artist’s signature “H” monogram. The painting was also hung prominently in the Oval Office during the Obama and current Biden Administrations.

When Sotheby’s received the consignment of an exceptionally important and large Picasso portrait, Dora Maar au Chat (1941), Eli Wilner was asked to create a frame worthy of the painting. We created a shaped and gilded replica of a 17th century Dutch style period frame, with an ebonized finish and gilded ornament at the sight edge. The frame was sold along with the painting for over $95,000,000, one of the highest prices ever paid for a Picasso at auction.

What are your priorities for Eli Wilner as you look to the future?

We are excited about the interest we are seeing in framing contemporary artwork. There was a recent exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that included works by the American realist painter Kehinde Wiley. Along with several other contemporary painters, Wiley uses ornate carved and gilded frames on his paintings, harkening back to the way frames have been used through the centuries to elevate paintings. We look forward to continuing that tradition with the next generation of artists who are utilizing antique frames in their work. •

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Washington Crossing the Delaware, with a recreation of the lost original frame by Eli Wilner & Company, in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit with China General Chamber of Commerce – USA

On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC) and CGCC Foundation, the largest and most impactful non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan organization representing Chinese investments in the United States, hosted the 2023 Lunar New Year of the Rabbit Gala at Cipriani 42nd St in Manhattan. With the Gala theme of “Reflection and Appreciation, Respect and Resilience” close to heart, the gala gathered about 400 representatives from the U.S. and Chinese business communities to celebrate infl uential leaders and companies in recognition of their cross-border cooperation and contributions to local communities.

About CGCC

Founded in 2005, China General Chamber of Commerce - USA (“CGCC”) has been recognized as the largest and most impactful non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the U.S. As an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental chamber of commerce, CGCC provides a broad range of programs, services, and resources to over a thousand multinational members across the U.S., with a mission to create value, generate economic growth, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese business communities.

About CGCC Foundation

www.cgccusa.org | 646-928-5129 | contact@cgccusa.org | 19 E 48th Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10017 | WeChat Offical Account: CGCCUSA
in 2014,
Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The mission of CGCC Foundation is to deepen mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and
through research, public charity and engagement in economic, cultural and social exchanges.
Established
CGCC
China
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CGCC 2023 Gala Honorees

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Henry A. Kissinger Outstanding Community Contribution Award: SCG America Group Inc. (SCGA) The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Henry A. Kissinger in recognition of his achievements as a trailblazer and lifelong contributor to U.S.-China relations.
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The Outstanding Community Contribution Award was presented to SCG America Group Inc. (SCGA) for its role as a longstanding and impactful contributor to the prosperity of local communities.
46, NUMBER 2

Reflection and Appreciation, Respect and Resilience

CGCC 2023 Gala Highlights

Kathy Hochul, the 57th and first female Governor of New York State, introduced by Marc Holliday, Chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp, delivered special remarks during the event. 1

Governor Hochul presented an official “Lunar New Year” proclamation to Wei HU, Chairman of CGCC, President and CEO of Bank of China U.S.A., in recognition of the Chamber’s longstanding contributions to this vision. 1

In the opening remarks, Chairman Wei HU reflected on the achievements of CGCC-USA through the years and highlighted its integral role in the growth and development of U.S.-China relations. 1

Xueyuan XU, Chargé d’Affaires, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, delivered a keynote speech at the event. 2

This year, CGCC honored Dr. Henry A. Kissinger with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a pioneer and lifelong contributor to U.S.-China relations. Raj Subramaniam, President & CEO of FedEx, introduced this award, paid tribute to Dr. Kissinger and extended heartfelt congratulations. 3

In the Appreciation Remarks, Ning YUAN, Vice-Chair of CGCC, Chairman & President of China Construction America recalled the history of CGCC’s Annual Gala, which first took place in 2011 to applaud the business community’s resilience and growth during difficult times. 4

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Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, delivered virtual closing remarks, a hopeful message about the recovery of New York City and the world’s business communities and wishing all peace and prosperity in the Year of the Rabbit. The Mayor’s closing remarks were introduced by Jeff T. Blau, CEO of Related Companies. 5

As we enter this Year of the Rabbit – representing kindness and agility – CGCC will continue to create value, promote economic collaboration, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese business communities. CGCC wishes you all a happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2023! We hope to see you soon at our upcoming 2024 Year of the Dragon Gala!

Tiankai CUI - Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the United States of America CHO Tak Wong - Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fuyao Group Ray Dalio - Founder and CIO Mentor of Bridgewater Associates Michael R. Bloomberg - Mayor of New York City (2002-2013) Marc Allen - Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development of The Boeing Company Maurice R. Greenberg - Chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co. Inc. Michael Hart - President of AmCham China Dr. Harley Seyedin - President of AmCham South China Eric Adams - 110th Mayor of New York City David Beckham - President and Co-Owner of Inter Miami CF
www.cgccusa.org | 646-928-5129 | contact@cgccusa.org | 19 E 48th Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10017 | WeChat Offical Account: CGCCUSA POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS119 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
Jordan Coleman - Hip Hop Artist & Filmmaker (opening performance)
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Connecting People Building Trust Expanding Cooperation
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2023 Gala Sponsors

Building on a Legacy

Angela Chao, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Foremost Group

124

Investing in People

Jacqueline Arthur, Global Head of Human Capital Management (HCM), Goldman Sachs

128

Serving a Meaningful Purpose

Amy Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, CNA

130

The Client Experience

Deborah Baron, Head of U.S. Client Service and Experience, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

132

Talent Strategy

Caroline Heller, Global Head of Human Resources, BlackRock

134

Company Building

Claire Hughes Johnson, Corporate Officer and Advisor, Stripe

136

Putting People First

Courtney della Cava, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Portfolio Talent and Organizational Performance, The Blackstone Group

138

At the Heart of the Digital Enterprise Transformation

Emma McGuigan, Senior Managing Director and Enterprise & Industry Technologies Lead, Accenture

140

Masters of Forethought

Maggie Hui, Chief Accounting Officer, SL Green Realty Corp.

142

The Interconnection Between Finance and Technology

Shijing Li, Executive Vice President and General Manager of America Data Center, Bank of China, U.S.A.

144

Transformative Work in the Technology Sector

Katherine B. Forrest, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

146

The RXR Difference

Whitney Arcaro, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing and Retail Leasing, RXR

148

Contents

Meeting the Needs of Patients

Dr. Kelly Cassano, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice; Dean for Clinical Affairs, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Operations, Mount Sinai Health System

150

Bedside is the Best Side

Beth Oliver, Chief Nurse Executive and Senior Vice President, Cardiac Services, Mount Sinai Health System

152

A Pioneer in Sustainability

Lauren Brust Moss, Senior Vice President – Chief Sustainability Officer, Vornado Realty Trust

154

An Engine for Talent

Mina Alaghband, Technology and Software Leader and Partner, McKinsey & Company

157

Improving the Built Environment

Kathryn Scheckel, Head of Global Venture Lab, Hines

160

People Strategy

Carmen Canton, Chief People Officer, Loews Hotels & Co

162

Transforming Healthcare

Alexandra Villoch, Chief Executive Officer, Baptist Health Foundation

164

A History of Firsts Haiping Li, Partner, Corporate and Co-Head, China Practice, and Paloma Wang, Partner, Corporate and Co-Head, China Practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

168

Litigation

Noelle M. Reed, Partner, Securities Litigation; Complex Litigation and Trials, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

169

M&A

June S. Dipchand, NY Partner, Head of Canadian Mergers and Acquisitions Practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

169

A Company of Doers Rene Jones, Partner and Chief of Social Impact, United Talent Agency (UTA)

170

Improving Human Welfare

Kathleen Kearns, Senior Vice President – Development and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Montefiore Einstein

172

At a Flipping Point

Shelley Zalis, Chief Executive Officer, The Female Quotient

175

Service-Based Melissa Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, CSAA Insurance Group

178

Quality, Improvement, and Growth

Brandi Hanback, Executive Vice President, Industrial Development and Head of FTZ Trade & Logistics, Rockefeller Group

180

A Single Standard of Care Deepa Kumaraiah, MD, Senior Vice President, System Chief Medical Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP)

182

Speaking Joy Joy Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, UnitedHealth Group and Chief Executive Officer, Speaking Joy

184

Providing for Underserved Entrepreneurs

Connie Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

186

Collaborative and Empowering Jessica Baran, Vice President, Head of Leasing, Rudin

190

Building a More Diverse Talent Pipeline Irma Livadic, Program Director, Entertainment Industry Foundation

193

Clinical Excellence Beri Ridgeway, MD, Chief of Staff, Cleveland Clinic

196

A Good Neighbor Sonya Robinson, MSM, CLU, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, State Farm

198

A Behind-the-Scenes Secret Weapon Jennifer Connelly, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, JConnelly 200

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Doing Good for Others. WS-40275 2302 Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. Cincinnati, Ohio.

Building on a Legacy

EDITORS’ NOTE Angela Chao was previously Vice President of Foremost Group, concentrating on Ship Operations and Ship Management, and then promoted to Senior Vice President of the Company, adding Chartering and Sale and Purchase to her responsibilities. Prior to that, she was Assistant Vice President where she implemented Foremost Group’s Safety Management System to comply with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Before joining Foremost Group in 1996, Chao worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department of Smith Barney, now Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. She is a frequent speaker in the United States, Europe and Asia and serves on the Board of the American Bureau of Shipping Council and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s International Maritime Business Department Advisory Board. She also serves as Co-Chair of The Asian American Foundation’s (TAAF) Advisory Council and on the Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors, The Chairman’s Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Board of the Metropolitan Opera, the Shanghai Mulan Education Foundation and the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Young Leaders Forum of the National Committee on U.S.China Relations, and is the Honorary Chair of the Chiao-Tung University Alumni Association in America. Chao earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School after receiving her undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard College where she graduated magna cum laude in three years.

COMPANY BRIEF Foremost Group (foremostgroupusa.com) is an American shipping company with offices in the United States and Asia. Founded in New York in 1964 by Dr. James S.C. Chao and his late wife, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, the company today is a global leader in the dry bulk shipping industry and has earned a worldwide reputation for its commitment to exceptional service and performance while always holding itself to the highest ethical standards. For more than 50 years, Foremost Group has maintained its core values – honor,

integrity and performance – as the ingredients for success. It has earned its sterling reputation from partners, including charterers, banks, shipyards and others, for its faithful devotion to Foremost Group’s mission statement: “Our mission is to remain a premier provider of ocean transportation services and a model of excellence for our industry.”

How do you define Foremost Group’s mission and purpose?

Foremost Group’s mission is to be a premier provider of ocean transportation services and a model of excellence for our industry. Our motto is: Honor. Integrity. Performance. It’s that simple. We work hard to provide superior service to companies that charter our ships to transport their dry bulk commodities which build and feed the world. We believe the shipping industry builds essential bridges between countries and communities, encouraging dialogue, understanding, economic growth and job creation. We strive to be the best shipping company in the world, not the biggest.

On a personal note, my goal is to honor the values-based life led by my late beloved mother, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, and the life my father, Dr. James S.C. Chao, continues to lead. Everything I do is inspired by them. I am motivated each day to make them proud of Foremost, and more importantly, who I am personally and professionally through my leadership of the company. The values they instilled in me infuse the corporate culture at Foremost. They are the values that I am honored to carry on, every day of my life.

Will you highlight Foremost Group’s business and how the company has evolved over its nearly 60 years in existence?

Foremost Group is an American shipping company headquartered in New York. It charters out some of the world’s largest and most eco-friendly ships to blue-chip clients who transport dry bulk products to markets around the world. The company was founded in 1964 by my father, Dr. James S.C. Chao, with my mother, Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, ever steadfast by his side.

As a global leader in dry bulk shipping, Foremost Group has earned a worldwide

Angela Chao An Interview with Angela Chao, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Foremost Group
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Angela Chao (center) with her father and Foremost founder, Dr. James S.C. Chao (left) and niece Alexia Hartogensis (right) onboard a ship

reputation for its commitment to exceptional service and performance, while always holding itself to the highest ethical standards. We charter our ships to the world’s leading dry bulk charterers, including such valued clients as Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, MOL, NYK, and Oldendorff. It is the charterers who determine what cargo the ship will carry, where the cargo will be loaded, and where the cargo will be discharged during the agreed-upon contract period.

Foremost manages a fleet of modern, environmentally friendly ships. Our responsibility is the maintenance and quality of the ship and her crew. We have been likened to the managing agent of an office building: the managing agent maintains the building and finds the tenants, but the tenants determine the business and work done within their space. Another analogy for our business model is the taxicab: it’s the passenger who determines where he or she gets picked up and dropped off, as well as what luggage he or she is carrying. The taxi driver’s job is to maintain the vehicle and get passengers to their destination safely.

Foremost Group has evolved over the years. But in many ways, my father was so far ahead of his time that the industry is still catching up to the principles and vision his company was founded upon. We continue to build on his legacy. For example, following in my father’s footsteps, Foremost Group continuously invests and reinvests in the newest eco-friendly designs and technologies to maintain a young, modern and environmentally sensitive fleet.

My parents lived their values not only in their corporate lives, but in a larger sense by giving back to their community and helping to

foster mutual understanding between people and cultures. For example, they started a foundation in the 1980s to support cross-cultural exchanges in the maritime industry in order to strengthen ties across borders and raise the standards for seafarers around the world. These are just a few reasons why the evolution of Foremost Group – then and now – has always been focused on making a bigger and more positive impact in the world.

While Foremost has evolved into a larger, stronger, more diversified company, I am so proud we have remained true to our founding values of honor, integrity, and performance. It’s at the core of what we do and what we stand for.

What have been the keys to Foremost Group’s industry leadership and how do you describe the Foremost Group difference?

When my father came to this country, he had no connections and a foreign accent, so he had to work harder, more efficiently, and for a lower price in order to build his business. No one owed him anything, and he didn’t have family relationships or references to help him find work. He won business for his company gradually, step-by-step, through perseverance and by delivering the highest-quality work. That dedication earned him respect, admiration, and trust –the foundational building blocks for building a successful business that endures for decades. He was not a short-term thinker. He always did what was best for the long-term success of his business and his clients, even if that meant forgoing short-term profits. I am incredibly honored and proud to carry on my parents’ legacy.

My father has a deep-rooted philosophical mindset and a set of principles that informs not only how he conducts business, but how he lives his life. He always says most decisions aren’t hard if you stick by your principles. Hard work has always been one of his core principles. Growing up, many of his friends didn’t work hard when they were young, so they were forced to toil much later in their lives. Those people who worked harder when they were young enjoyed better lives later in life. He knew that hard work often takes years to bear fruit. Now at 96 years old, my father still inspires me with his work ethic, his generosity, his optimism, and his sheer life force.

How is technology impacting Foremost Group’s business?

Foremost Group has always set the industry standard for harnessing new technology in order to fulfill our vision of making our ships safer and more environmentally sound. Since its founding, Foremost has also continually incorporated new fuel-efficient designs to maintain one of the world’s most eco-friendly fleets. We are always working closely with our two Classification Societies – the American Bureau of Shipping and Bureau Veritas – to explore

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Ships from the fleet of Foremost Group (this page and the next)

new technologies that reduce our carbon footprint, as well as reducing NOx and SOx emissions. Additionally, we are always looking for ways to continually improve the efficiency of individual equipment onboard our vessels, as well as the overall systems onboard.

Foremost employs many technology and management tools, both shoreside and onboard our ships, to improve operations, including performance monitoring equipment that provides more accurate and predictive real-time data. We have a persistent, rigorous focus on the details of everything we do. We believe so many adverse conditions are preventable if one pays attention to the signs and signals beforehand. This strict adherence to quality has served us well and helps explain why insurance underwriters give our fleet some of the best ratings in the world. And, of course, it’s good business, too.

How important is innovation to Foremost Group and where is innovation taking place in the company?

Innovation is essential to Foremost Group. Innovations in technology are imperative to our success. But innovation is also essential to how we think, work and see our business – whether it’s through our organizational structures, our colleagues’ training and support, our offices, or how we communicate. Innovation is critical to everything we do. If you aren’t innovating, you are standing still, and if you’re standing still, you’re falling behind.

Will you discuss Foremost Group’s commitment to sustainability?

Foremost Group has always been committed to sustainability. This is another area where my father was ahead of his time. He finds it amusing that environmental friendliness and sustainability have become such buzzwords

in recent years because he has always been committed to those principles since he founded the business. That commitment is good for our clients, just as it’s good for the business and for maritime communities around the world.

Our industry is at a pivotal moment where we are grappling with how to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Foremost is working tirelessly with shipyards, engine makers, Classification Societies, manufacturers, charterers, etc. to study and implement new technologies, alternative fuels, ship design optimization, and more. There is no silver bullet, as the rest of the world is starting to discover. But we can still pursue short- to medium-term solutions – some of which are available now – that will help lower our greenhouse gas emissions today. Foremost is committed to continuing to work tirelessly with its partners to find solutions.

What do you see as Foremost Group’s responsibility to be a good corporate citizen and to being engaged in the communities it serves?

Foremost takes its corporate citizenship responsibilities seriously. It stems from my parents’ ideals of rebuilding their lives in a new country, which focused on becoming productive and contributing members of society. That is why my father has always been a pioneer in incorporating the newest eco-friendly technologies and designs into our fleet, which hasn’t always been easy because he wasn’t always rewarded for it. In addition, Foremost never forgot it was part of a larger community and launched many philanthropic organizations to help others. As an example, Foremost provides scholarships for outstanding students to encourage them to enter the international shipping industry and to increase the standards of seamanship around the world.

My parents are also incredibly optimistic and grateful people who cherish the kindnesses of others and pay it forward. While we were growing up, my parents always gave back to the community and helped others, but mostly anonymously. It was only after the passing of my mother on August 2, 2007 that my father desired to honor her legacy and began dedicating his charitable outreach to her. Even before that, however, my parents had a long history of quietly giving back to our community and our industry.

What are the traits and characteristics you look for when hiring talent for Foremost Group?

We look for smart, motivated individuals who like to solve problems and are team players. During our hiring process, we conduct several rounds of interviews during which candidates meet with both direct superiors as well as potential future colleagues. We also administer a logic test to ensure a candidate’s critical thinking skills are a good fit for our team. We’re looking to make sure a candidate will work well with others, work well within our teams, and can solve problems methodically, systematically, and creatively. Additionally, we work to make sure new hires are good personality fits and have a team spirit and strong work ethic. We have developed an innovative culture to encourage our colleagues to be creative in their work, and this keeps the satisfaction levels of our colleagues high, while of course delivering a benefit to the productivity and efficiency of the company as a whole. I always remind our colleagues that we stand on the shoulders of others, and while we must always innovate, we must also protect and preserve the strong values that got us where we are today. I am incredibly proud and grateful for the team that we have built and are continuing to build.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

Absolutely. More and more women continue to enter the industry and reach its highest ranks. But there is still much more work to do to ensure women have the opportunity to help shape the future of the industry. I was fortunate that my mother and father were proud to be parents of six daughters and therefore believed strongly in empowering women. I am the product of their visionary upbringing. When I was growing up, and I was born and raised in New York, there were people who remarked it was a pity that my Dad only had daughters so there was no one to take over the company. But my parents would respond by telling us that there were no limits to what we could do, and that we could take over the business – but only if we wanted to. They taught us that the world was a big and beautiful place, and to find our passions and pursue them. They instilled in us the strong sense that with perseverance and hard work, we could accomplish whatever we wanted. Not every woman comes from such a supportive family, but I hope that the women who are blazing trails in our industry around the world help tear down stereotypes and smash glass ceilings so that the women and girls that follow us will reach even greater heights.•

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Blazing a Trail

Paul, Weiss has been home to pioneering women lawyer leaders for over 75 years. In 1946, Paul, Weiss became the first major New York-based law firm to have a woman partner. Today, we continue to invest deeply in promoting and supporting women in all aspects of their careers, holding fast to our unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Through devoted mentorship, our women partners continue to shape future generations of women leaders.

Paul, Weiss, Ri�ind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
paulweiss.com

Investing in People

Jacqueline Arthur is global head of Human Capital Management (HCM). She is a member of the Management Committee, Partnership Committee and Global Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Prior to her current role, Arthur served as chief operating and strategy officer for HCM. Before that, she served as the firm’s deputy chief of staff and secretary to the Management Committee. Arthur joined Goldman Sachs in 2007 and has held a number of leadership roles across the firm. She was named managing director in 2012 and partner in 2018. Prior to joining the firm, Arthur was a corporate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis.

EDITORS’ NOTE

the best places to work. Building on my experience across the firm and working in close partnership with Goldman Sachs’ senior leadership team, I am excited to lead the division as we invest together in our people’s experience and deliver best-in-class solutions to all of our businesses.

Will you provide an overview of the role and its areas of focus?

telling us what is working well and what they would like to see more of. An important takeaway from the survey has been the importance of ensuring regular career discussions between managers and their team members – that is now codified as the Three Conversations at GS, where everyone participates in a goal-setting conversation, mid-year check in and end of year feedback discussion.

We are also growing our suite of benefits and wellness offerings. Goldman Sachs has long been a leader in supporting our people and their families – from our Pathways to Parenthood program and LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits, to our resilience programming, expanded leave options and financial wellness resources. We continue to provide best-in-class benefits for our people, while ensuring they can focus on their physical, mental and financial health.

FIRM BRIEF

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (goldmansachs.com) is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services across investment banking, securities, investment management and consumer banking to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

You recently assumed the role of global head of Human Capital Management (HCM). What excited you about the role and made you feel it was the right fit?

Having worked at Goldman Sachs for 15 years when I assumed the role, I had seen firsthand the depth and breadth of HCM’s work and what it delivers to the firm. In my prior responsibilities as deputy chief of staff of Goldman Sachs in the Executive Office and chief operating officer for our Asset Management business, I partnered closely with our HCM teams to drive a number of important people initiatives over the years. I am also grateful to have been a part of HCM as chief operating and strategy officer before becoming head of the division, with the goal of helping HCM teams drive progress to execute the firm’s people strategy. The division’s impact on all aspects of our people’s experience is tremendous.

We seek to support our people at every stage of their career at Goldman Sachs, and continue to differentiate the firm as one of

Our firm is first and foremost a people business. We have more than 40,000 people around the world who work together to deliver for our clients, guided by our core values of client service, excellence, partnership and integrity. HCM is there every step of the way so that our teams can deliver on the firm’s aspirations – from attracting exceptional individuals with unique and diverse backgrounds, to developing and retaining the best talent, and working closely with managers to ensure they have the tools and resources to support their teams effectively.

Our global HCM team comprises dedicated functions led by subject matter experts, including across Recruiting, Reward, Benefits, Wellness and Compensation, Talent and Learning, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Employee Relations. These specialists work with our HCM business partner team whose members are aligned to our businesses globally to serve as advisors and provide targeted solutions that meet the specific needs of each area.

In my role, I work with the executive leadership of the firm and business heads who are acutely focused on advancing our people priorities. Given the global breadth and depth of our footprint, we have deep HR knowledge and representation across regions, and the focus on collaboration and excellence in execution across our HCM teams continues to inspire me.

What are your key priorities as you have settled in your new role?

We invest in our people’s experience across all touchpoints. As an example, we saw close to one million applications globally in 2022 for roles at Goldman Sachs – demonstrating the firm’s position as an employer of choice, as well as the importance of further enhancing the candidate experience, while exploring non-traditional hiring routes for our industry, such as apprenticeships.

Our twice-annual GS People Pulse survey is particularly valuable in how we shape our approach – our people share their perspectives,

On the topic of mental health, we’re expanding our resources – for example, we are developing a global cohort of Mental Health First Aiders – colleagues who receive training and help connect our people to firm resources. Our Employee Assistance and Critical Health Solutions programs provide access to confidential counseling both on-site and outside the firm, as well as support to navigate access to quality care. It’s important that our people know about these resources and feel that they can have an open dialogue about mental health.

How critical is it for the HR function to be engaged in business strategy?

Teams across Goldman Sachs contribute to the firm’s success, and our people take great pride in working together to advance our shared objectives. We have that same spirit of partnership in HCM – acting as partners to our businesses is an important part of the division’s approach to ensure we are serving our people and the organization effectively.

One of our recent priorities has been to support the strategic realignment of Goldman Sachs, which the firm announced late last year to deliver even better solutions to our clients. We brought together two market-leading businesses that are underpinned by several of the best franchises in financial services – Investment Banking and Global Markets – in Global Banking & Markets. We also brought together our investing and wealth activities into Asset & Wealth Management – allowing us to leverage the many synergies between these businesses for our clients. And we created Platform Solutions, a business consolidating our FinTech

Jacqueline Arthur
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An Interview with Jacqueline Arthur, Global Head of Human Capital Management (HCM), Goldman Sachs

platforms. Delivering HR solutions to support that realignment highlighted the full scope of our HCM capabilities and was a powerful representation of collaboration across all areas of the firm.

What are your views on the future of work and the importance of in-person collaboration for employees to build culture?

Goldman Sachs’ culture is the fabric of the firm, and it’s our people who bring it to life. We have a shared passion for achieving results, and a commitment to delivering the best ideas, solutions and execution. That commitment is grounded in the recognition that we are stronger together, with collaboration as a core element of our success.

We take great care in assembling strong teams, and these highly motivated and engaged professionals value participating in a team environment. Our apprenticeship model thrives by bringing our people together as much as possible – and for new joiners, it helps them integrate more quickly and learn on-the-job with the support of their colleagues. As one example, 99 percent of our 2022 summer analysts who completed our annual survey on how they see the world told us that they believe relationships are best formed in person. We see other benefits for all of our people, not just new hires – developing relationships, being able to ask questions, brainstorming and innovating together, and building camaraderie. In my view, our culture is the firm’s most differentiating aspect and one of the key long-term drivers of the value we offer to our people, clients and shareholders.

Importantly, we continue to offer flexibility for our people, as we did before the pandemic. Individuals manage many competing demands on their time, both professionally and personally, and we encourage our people to take the flexibility they need.

How is Goldman Sachs building a diverse and inclusive workforce?

In 2020, our Chairman and CEO, David Solomon, expanded Goldman Sachs’ aspirational goals for entry-level hiring and representation across all levels of our organization. We knew driving progress towards these goals would require new and innovative approaches, and while we have made strides, there is more work to be done.

One of the areas where we have been investing significantly is diversity recruiting, with a goal of designing programming that enables us to reach even more diverse candidates. Those efforts include our HBCU Market Madness and Neurodiversity Hiring Initiatives, and the Returnship and Veterans Integration Programs, among others.

In addition, our Global Inclusion and Diversity Committee comprises senior leaders who, working closely with HCM, help ensure that all of our people have opportunities to fully contribute to our inclusive environment. Last year we ran a campaign to invite our people to update their self-identification information. By better understanding the diversity of our workforce, we can continue to develop programs to support all Goldman Sachs colleagues. Importantly, we are focused on the multi-dimensional identities of our people, including caregiver status.

I would also like to give a shout out to our Inclusion Networks, which are open to all employees. Members benefit from unique opportunities to connect with colleagues, get involved in initiatives supporting our clients and communities, and access tailored resources for career development. In 2022, we hosted our inaugural Advancing Allyship conference and Veterans Symposium, and our Inclusion Networks were instrumental to the success of both forums.

and develop relationships. We also continue to elevate women leaders across the firm, including as part of our most recent partner and managing director classes, which included 29 percent and 30 percent women, respectively. We recognize we have more work to do, but we are making strong progress.

In addition, I personally have benefitted from great sponsors and mentors in my career, and leaders across the firm have an important role to play in paying it forward and serving in that mentoring capacity for others.

It’s also critical that we continue to provide comprehensive benefits and wellness offerings to support women at different stages of their lives and careers. At Goldman Sachs, these include fertility support and stipends for fertility treatment, adoption and surrogacy; paid time-off policies to care for family needs, including 20-week parenting leave for both parents; and paid leave for family care responsibilities (including for aging loved ones), pregnancy loss, and bereavement. Caregivers can also access back-up care when regular childcare falls through and help finding full-time and in-home care providers. Our larger offices have on-site childcare facilities.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in the industry?

I would say take every opportunity to learn about the different types of roles that exist. We often hear, “I had no idea there were people at Goldman Sachs who do this type of work.” Talking to people, learning about their backgrounds and interests, is a great way to learn about the different paths to a career in the industry. As an example, I started my career as a lawyer, and never thought I’d join Goldman Sachs, or have the diverse set of roles I have been fortunate to work in across a number of our businesses and functions.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry, and how is Goldman Sachs fostering advancement opportunities for women?

One of the commitments we made as a firm focuses on board diversity – we believe that companies with diverse boards are better positioned for stronger financial performance and improved governance. In 2020, we announced we would only take companies public in the U.S. or Western Europe with at least one diverse board member. In 2021, we increased this to two diverse board members, one of whom must be a woman.

But driving change requires building a diverse pipeline of talent at all levels, and that is why driving progress towards the aspirational goals I mentioned is a key priority for us. In addition to our hiring and representation goals, we remain focused on supporting women’s career growth through a number of programs, including the Women’s Career Strategies Initiative – an annual curriculum for women associates at the firm designed to help them invest in their skillsets

It’s also important to invest in your skillset –and you can do that in different ways. From observing how different people operate and tailoring your own style, to gaining exposure to various situations and increasing your confidence, adding to your “toolkit” is what allows you to grow and take on new challenges. As a firm, our commitment to continuous learning is an important part of the culture.

Finally, I’d say most successful careers aren’t a straight line, and that makes it all the more important to enjoy the journey, see the bigger picture, work collaboratively with those around you, and celebrate both the big and the small wins.

You have been with Goldman Sachs for more than 15 years. What has made the firm so special for you?

I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last – but at Goldman Sachs, it’s really about the people and the culture. The talented individuals and leaders I work with every day inspire me to have a long and fulfilling career at the firm. One of my prior bosses, with whom I still work closely, often says – at one point, you become part of the firm’s history, and the firm’s history becomes part of your own story. I think many of us take pride in that as we work together to achieve stronger, better results for our clients and make meaningful progress towards our shared objectives.•

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“We seek to support our people at every stage of their career at Goldman Sachs, and continue to differentiate the firm as one of the best places to work.”

Serving a Meaningful Purpose

EDITORS’ NOTE Amy Smith is responsible for leadership of the company’s accounting and FP&A functions, ensuring accurate and timely financial results, planning and forecasting, internal and external reporting, financial regulatory management, accounting policy, financial systems governance, audit coordination and SOX compliance. Smith began her career at CNA in 2000 and has held a variety of roles across the Finance group and business areas during her tenure, in accounting, reporting, projects and analysis roles, supporting the investment operations, and serving as the lead for system implementations, including Workday for Finance. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Huntington University in Indiana, as well as an MBA in finance and strategy, execution and valuation from DePaul University, and has a CPA certification.

COMPANY BRIEF CNA (cna.com) is one of the largest U.S. commercial property and casualty insurance companies. Backed by more than 120 years of experience, CNA provides a broad range of standard and specialized insurance products and services for businesses and professionals in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

How do you describe CNA’s culture and values?

When I think about CNA’s culture and values, I focus on the day-to-day behaviors that we, as a company, value. At CNA, we’re accountable – we deliver on our commitments, set high standards for excellence, and stay focused on results. We’re collaborative – we include the right people in the decisionmaking process because we know that’s how we’ll achieve the best outcomes. We’re externally focused – knowing our customer and providing great service. We’re always learning – asking questions and giving colleagues opportunities to meet their goals. We’re innovative – always looking for ways we can do our work better and smarter, using technology and streamlining processes. Lastly, we’re inclusive – we make intentional connections with others to share ideas and perspectives, and we value and celebrate our differences because we know it is what makes us stronger.

What do you feel have been the keys to CNA’s industry leadership and how do you define the CNA difference?

CNA is one of the largest commercial property and casualty insurance companies. The company’s differentiation has several dimensions, including coverage, business size, and industry specialization. Every colleague at

CNA – from top to bottom – strives to anticipate and meet the market’s prevailing needs with a solution-oriented approach. At the same time, the company harnesses the power of collaboration to drive performance. One key to this approach is our deep focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). DEI is weaved into the fabric of CNA, driven by a strong commitment to the ongoing development of people, collaboration, and ensuring each colleague has new experiences and opportunities to grow.

Will you highlight your role and areas of focus?

In my role as Chief Accounting Officer, I am responsible for the enterprise accounting and technical guidance, financial operations, financial control, and coordination of CNA’s audits, internal and external financial reporting, financial systems governance, as well as financial planning and analysis. My team ensures high-quality financial governance and controls that safeguard CNA, protect the company’s assets, and help strengthen its financial position.

It is incredibly important to have processes and controls in place, ensuring that the financial results provide timely and accurate information for stakeholders. This encompasses external stakeholders like investors and regulators, and internal business leaders. It is my responsibility to stay ahead of the evolving financial reporting requirements, as they continue to require more complex and granular levels of information. It’s a consistent effort, maintaining discipline and diligence.

My team is viewed as a catalyst across CNA, as meaningful financial analysis can help our leaders understand drivers of the company’s financial results, enabling accountability and better decision-making across the organization. One area of focus is around developing financial plans to help achieve the company’s goals and measure against those goals. We’re focused on transparency, sharing meaningful financial information, and making it easily accessible.

Talent is the cornerstone of our success, and it always will be. We strive to have an open culture where team members are empowered and comfortable questioning, sharing ideas, and bringing forth potential issues that ensure we’ve got the right governance to achieve our core mission. Every day we strive to have a team and culture where the best and brightest talent can find professional growth and challenge. A critical part of doing this is listening and taking action on the team’s feedback every step of the way.

Amy Smith An Interview with Amy Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, CNA
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“Talent is the cornerstone of our success, and it always will be. We strive to have an open culture where team members are empowered and comfortable questioning, sharing ideas, and bringing forth potential issues that ensure we’ve got the right governance to achieve our core mission.”

How critical is it for the chief accounting officer role to be engaged in business strategy?

It is incredibly critical for the Chief Accounting Officer to be engaged in business strategy. From a fundamentals perspective, in order to accurately reflect the company’s business results in financial statements, the accounting function must understand what the business is doing and how it’s changing. Additionally, to measure accurately and know how the company is doing, our team needs to know what financial results the organization is working to achieve. Lastly, as the company is building its corporate strategy, our team can offer perspective on how those decisions will impact financial results and whether those align with overall financial goals. Therefore, it is fundamental that the accounting team understands the financial costs and benefits.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

Yes, there are many opportunities for women to grow and lead. Best of all, the industry is seeing the benefits from having women leaders. In fact, it’s one of the reasons that I’ve stayed in the industry, and in the accounting profession, as long as I have.

For example, I have seen a shift in the percentage of women in an industry chief accounting officer group that I participate in. Historically, it was all men. Fast forward several years, and it is now about half men and half women, as more women have taken on these types of leadership roles.

We can look to many shifts in the workplace that have been a driving force to having more women in leadership roles. Moving to more hybrid working arrangements is one great example. This new flexibility has been empowering for women who are trying to balance outside commitments, helping them bring their whole selves to both work and home.

Also, I have seen a true sense of allyship, effective role models, and impactful mentors

over the course of my career that have helped me chart my path and ultimately achieve what I’ve achieved so far. While there is room to grow, I see progress and a move in the right direction, which I think will continue to compound. We are seeing the change happen before our eyes, and I am empowered and excited to be a part of that change.

What advice do you offer to people beginning their careers?

When you are first starting out, try to build trust and develop your reputation by showing up in all of the simple ways. Be engaged, seek out responsibility, and try to learn from everyone. These all naturally accelerate your development, and when you do them well, people take notice and are likely to trust you with more responsibility.

What has led to a lot of satisfaction throughout my own career is that I always try to leave things in a better place than I find them. That includes processes and interactions with

colleagues and clients. I am always thinking about how I can make something better, faster, more supportive, and especially in my role, more accurate.

Finally, it is important to develop resilience. Things will not always go the way that you want. There will be hard and frustrating times. It’s how you respond when faced with a challenge, not when things are easy, that drives growth and determines your trajectory.

You have spent over twenty years of your career with CNA. What has made the experience so special for you?

Like many, I didn’t start my career with the thought that I would be in the insurance industry. My experiences at CNA have continually given me an opportunity to grow, make an impact, and feel purposeful in my career.

CNA feels like a different company than it did 20 years ago for many reasons. It is important to me to be part of a company that is focused on advancement. A company that strives to get better and move forward. The culture at CNA truly celebrates each colleague’s unique qualities and encourages collaboration, such that we bring our whole selves to work each and every day. Also, the technology and processes at CNA have advanced significantly. The day-to-day role of an accountant is completely different than when I started. For example, we implemented a SaaS cloud platform as the company’s financial system of record in 2018, driving big changes in automation and efficiency, and the resulting value add to the team. CNA is a complex organization with more than 125 years of history. I still feel like I’m learning and growing every day.

Underscoring it all is my unwavering confidence that CNA’s values align with my own values to serve meaningful purpose. Selling a promise to be there when our customers have a loss is an intrinsic part of insurance. Throughout my career, CNA has always been committed to doing the right thing, being trustworthy, and maintaining the highest values.•

“The culture at CNA truly celebrates each colleague’s unique qualities and encourages collaboration, such that we bring our whole selves to work each and every day.”
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“Underscoring it all is my unwavering confidence that CNA’s values align with my own values to serve meaningful purpose. Selling a promise to be there when our customers have a loss is an intrinsic part of insurance.”

The Client Experience

EDITORS’ NOTE Deborah Baron is responsible for ensuring that J.P. Morgan Private Bank delivers a firstclass experience to clients across channels and touchpoints. Prior to rejoining J.P. Morgan, Baron oversaw Bloomberg’s Research Analytics, Corporate Access, Events and Transcripts businesses globally. Prior to Bloomberg, she spent seven years at J.P. Morgan in the Corporate & Investment Bank and in Asset & Wealth Management and as Chief of Staff to the CEO of Asset & Wealth Management. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Baron holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

COMPANY BRIEF J.P. Morgan Private Bank (privatebank.jpmorgan.com) provides customized financial advice to help wealthy clients and their families achieve their goals through an elevated experience. Clients of the Private Bank work with dedicated teams of specialists that bring their investments and financial assets together into one comprehensive strategy, leveraging the global resources of J.P. Morgan across planning, investing, lending, banking, philanthropy, family office management, fiduciary services, special advisory services, and more. The Private Bank oversees more than $1.9 trillion in client assets globally.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I have two primary responsibilities at J.P. Morgan – Head of Client Service and Head of Client and Employee Experience for the U.S. Private Bank.

I am fortunate to lead the Client Service organization, a team that is responsible for addressing all client banking and servicing needs. Our team of Client Service Associates are key members of the integrated Advisor team that helps clients maximize the features and benefits of their private banking relationship by providing assistance with money movement, online enrollment, protecting accounts from fraud, and supporting general account maintenance. My responsibilities include overseeing the management, training, coaching, and career development of service professionals while ensuring we deliver a first-class client experience that is scalable and efficient. Our team plays an important role in meeting our clients’ everyday banking needs, and our team members develop personal and long-lasting relationships with them.

For the Client and Employee Experience role, my team is responsible for ensuring we provide a first-class experience across channels and touchpoints – from the experience of opening the monthly statement to visiting one of our Private Bank Client Centers – beautifully curated spaces that facilitate the interactions of our clients and advisors. We triage, respond, and partner with teams across the firm to resolve all feedback from employees and clients.

How do you describe J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s culture and values?

An important pillar of our culture is the apprenticeship model – enabling our colleagues across the firm opportunities to work with experienced executives and learn from their skill and expertise. We start every day collectively discussing markets and how to navigate advice for our clients. Most people who are new to the firm are surprised by the collaborative nature of our practice. Additionally, we embrace adaptability. We are constantly learning and embracing new ways of doing business and how to best resolve situations. Some of the best feedback we receive is often from new analysts and new Client Service Associates –new perspectives are welcome.

Everyone at the Private Bank is focused on chasing excellence, and a central part of that philosophy is dedication to delivering an exceptional client experience.

What have been the keys to J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s industry leadership?

I think of three important reasons: We have been investing with individuals and their families for more than 200 years to help them achieve and experience the full possibility their wealth can create. We do not take the responsibility for granted and work every single day to re-earn the trust and confidence of our clients. This speaks to the breadth of our capabilities.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank is a microcosm of the rest of JPMorgan Chase & Co., giving us the ability to bring the whole firm to our clients. This speaks to the breadth of our capabilities.

The Private Bank’s focus on technology, data, and innovation is crucial to our client service and employee success. We are constantly investing in these areas, and we benefit from these advancements across the firm – from voice biometrics for call centers, to the latest investment in fraud preventative strategies, to payment execution.

How is technology impacting J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s business and how does the company ensure it doesn’t take away from the human touch with clients?

Technology is a critical component of everything we do. We do not see it as competition to our human capital, but rather a necessary complement. Our clients’ expectations are being set by experiences they have with non-financial applications like ride share services, social media platforms, and retail giants – so as I tell my team, we measure our experiences against that benchmark, not other financial service providers.

Over the last couple of years, we have had a tremendous focus on employee experience and giving our employees the tools, training, and support they need to help our clients navigate their needs. On the client service side, we have completely upgraded our telephony, our case management system, and all of our most used applications in the last 24 months –this investment in technology not only made the shift to work from home possible during the pandemic, but it was an important investment in employee well-being and overall satisfaction.

I recently heard a colleague mention that AI will not replace people, but AI will replace people that don’t use AI. We are very much focused on augmenting the human experience with AI –voice ID, transcription or resolution of customer complaints, for example.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women in the industry?

Absolutely. There are senior women all over the firm. Our CEO of Asset & Wealth Management, Mary Callahan Erdoes, has paved the way for women like me to drive real meaningful impact to our business. Several years ago, J.P. Morgan launched a program called “The Reentry Program” to welcome women who had taken time away from work back into the workforce. We have a partnership model or “buddy system” that really speaks to our culture of mentorship, and the program has been incredibly successful.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in banking?

First, don’t let fear of failure keep you from going after something you want – the worst thing you can hear is no, but there is no success without trying.

Additionally, there is always something to be learned no matter the circumstance. I study every single piece of constructive feedback. I also study, celebrate and work to replicate every win.Lastly, there is no substitute for hard work.•

Deborah Baron
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An Interview with Deborah Baron, Head of U.S. Client Service and Experience, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

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Talent Strategy

EDITORS’ NOTE Caroline Heller

is a member of BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee. Prior to joining BlackRock in May 2021, she had spent over 20 years at Goldman Sachs where she held several leadership roles in Human Capital Management (HCM), including serving as Head of the Business Partner and Talent Acquisition teams. Previously, she was the Head of Talent Management with responsibility for business partners, talent assessment, organizational research and organizational design. Earlier, she was the Head of HCM for the Global Markets Division. Heller served on the HCM Executive Committee, the HCM Business Advisory Group, and as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs Global Diversity Committee. She was the Managing Director sponsor for the HCM Women’s Network and a Managing Director ally of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Heller worked in recruiting at Credit Suisse First Boston. She earned a BA degree in psychology from Northwestern University.

COMPANY BRIEF BlackRock (blackrock.com)

is one of the world’s leading providers of investment, advisory and risk management solutions. BlackRock is a fiduciary to its clients. The company is investing for the future on behalf of its clients, inspiring its employees, and supporting its local communities.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

Recently, I was given the exciting opportunity to succeed Manish Mehta as BlackRock’s Global Head of Human Resources and join the firm’s Global Executive Committee.

Previously, I served as BlackRock’s Head of Talent and Business Partners. Part of my role entailed shaping and driving our firmwide talent strategy. Our talent strategy comprises culture and well-being; diversity, equity and inclusion; whole careers; and resiliency, agility and scale. All of these – individually and combined – serve to enhance our employees’ experiences and help them build extraordinary careers.

What excited you about the opportunity to join BlackRock and made you feel it was the right fit?

I was attracted to BlackRock’s mission and working for a purposedriven organization. We help more and more people experience financial well-being – that’s something that really resonated with me, and I think it resonates with Young Millennials and Gen Z who make up nearly half of our employee population.

How do you describe BlackRock’s culture and values?

Since I’ve joined, I’ve come to deeply appreciate BlackRock’s unique culture, and it’s one of the many reasons I’m looking forward to leading HR. Our culture is predicated upon partnership and collaboration, and we thrive when we work together horizontally – across teams, offices, and businesses – to deliver the best of BlackRock to our clients.

Connectivity and collaboration are so integral to how we operate as a firm that we have a unifying phrase that encapsulates our strong sense of esprit de corp – One BlackRock. This is one of our five BlackRock Principles that guide how we operate and are deeply embedded and felt across the firm.

We recently relocated our corporate headquarters to 50 Hudson Yards in New York City. The space reflects our dynamic and connected culture and our commitment to providing an excellent employee experience. It’s also the first time that all of our approximately 4,000 New York employees are under one roof, and it’s great to see teams come together in person and take advantage of the myriad flexible, tech-enabled collaboration and social spaces in the office.

How critical is it for the HR function to be engaged in business strategy?

Very. Our talent strategy is inherently commercial. We designed it with the current trends shaping the talent landscape in mind, as well as the BlackRock of tomorrow, ensuring we have the skills and capabilities to deliver against our business strategy and support a growing and diverse asset management and technology business. We’ve benefitted from significant growth in headcount over the last several years – making sure we successfully onboard and integrate our new hires so that we can unlock their potential and that they can make an impact quickly is a commercial imperative.

As a purpose-driven organization, we are all unified around one goal. Every person at BlackRock – whether they’re an investor, client relationship manager, technologist, scale operator, or one of the myriad other roles we

Caroline Heller An Interview with Caroline Heller, Global Head of Human Resources, BlackRock
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“Our talent strategy comprises culture and wellbeing; diversity, equity and inclusion; whole careers; and resiliency, agility and scale. All of these – individually and combined – serve to enhance our employees’ experiences and help them build extraordinary careers.”

rely on – contributes to BlackRock living its purpose and delivering for its clients. Making sure people understand how their work ladders up to our overarching strategy and establishing context so you can connect the dots between your work and the end client is extremely important.

What are your views on the future of work and the importance for employees to be in an office to collaborate and maintain company culture?

Earlier I mentioned BlackRock’s culture and how it’s been built and enabled by our One BlackRock spirit and collaboration. These are traits that thrive in an in-person setting. At the same time, we know that our people value the flexibility to work remotely. The future of work is all about providing flexibility while fostering our culture and preserving the benefits of in-person work that enable employees to learn from each other, collaborate on the fly, and benefit from horizontal connectivity and relationship-building.

Our new space in Hudson Yards is also designed to enhance connectivity through flexible collaboration spaces, huddle rooms, a cafeteria, among other benefits, and bring together all of BlackRock’s capabilities under one roof so we can most effectively serve our clients.

How important is it for BlackRock to build a diverse workforce?

It’s extremely important and something that the firm is committed to at every level. We have integrated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across our business and put measures in place to hold businesses and individuals accountable –it’s on all of us to make the firm a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place for all employees. Like our talent strategy, our DEI strategy is closely aligned with our business imperatives.

At BlackRock, we believe in building teams that reflect the diversity of our clients and the communities we serve. Fostering a culture that celebrates different backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs is core to our success and the value we bring to clients.

To continue to diversify our organization, we have expanded the external talent pools we tap for our talent acquisition efforts, established development programs to aid the advancement of our diverse talent, and embedded accountability for DEI across the organization by using it as an input into how we assess the performance of businesses, managers and all employees. Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women in leadership roles in the industry?

Absolutely. The industry is making some progress. When I think about my career and when I started, it wasn’t uncommon to be the only woman in the room at meetings or see few women leaders at the table. Now, we know that to be successful and bring our best to clients, we need women in every room, at every table, and across every facet of the firm.

I am proud to say that over 40 percent of all BlackRock employees are women, and we’ve already met our 2024 goal – over a year early –of having 32.5 percent of our senior positions held by women.

Role models and representation are important. I am lucky to have had women I could learn from and am proud to be part of the growing group of women who role model for the next generation.

Balancing parenthood and family life with work has been an important part of my career journey. It’s been encouraging to see how many men, including my husband, take that role very seriously and want to find space in their lives to

be present for their families. Employers need to provide flexibility, resources, and benefits that enable women and men to support families and have successful careers. I’m really proud of BlackRock’s offerings in this space, from familyforming benefits to parental leave, childcare and elder care resources, to mental health support and more.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers?

Never stop learning. No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to be a lifelong “student” and continue to find ways to build new skills, strengthen existing ones, and accumulate more context and perspective. That could mean raising your hand to lead a new project or taking on a stretch assignment to broaden your skills horizontally. People often focus on growing vertically: the next promotion, the title change, etc. I think it’s important to think of your career as less of a ladder and more of a lattice. There are so many benefits to developing a well-rounded skillset, learning about different clients and markets, getting to know and work with different parts of a company – the people who seek out these varied, horizontal experiences are the ones who tend to be the most vertically successful. They are constantly curious and have an insatiable appetite for growth and development – both personal and professional.

It’s also important to find your people and be open to their help – the mentors, sponsors, colleagues, advisors who challenge you, make you better, have your back and tell you what you need to hear. People whose opinions you trust, who will be honest with you and who know you well. Some of these relationships develop organically, and others you might need to be deliberate in creating and nurturing, but either way, it’s important to identify your trusted advisors. I’ve benefitted immensely from the support and guidance from mine.

Lastly, remember there is never one path to success. Your future and what you hope to achieve will not be a straight road or a linear track – there will be many curves and even times when you take a step back. You will grow the most during the bumps and curves, which is another reason I find it best to look at your career as less of a ladder and more of a lattice. While not every move will feel like a step forward or a step up, you will gain valuable experience and perspective that will serve you in the long run. That’s all part of learning and figuring out what you want to achieve professionally.

And one more tip – hold the door open for those beside and behind you. Pay it forward. We all have a responsibility to support and champion those around us, and it starts with leaning in and being intentional about how you show up. If you find yourself in a room where there is a lack of diversity, be part of the solution and bring others to the table. People will remember how you made them feel and stepped up to support their success.•

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“Connectivity and collaboration are so integral to how we operate as a firm that we have a unifying phrase that encapsulates our strong sense of esprit de corp – “One BlackRock.” This is one of our five BlackRock Principles that guide how we operate and are deeply embedded and felt across the firm.”

Company Building

EDITORS’ NOTE Claire Hughes Johnson serves as a corporate officer and advisor for Stripe, a global technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Previously, while serving as Stripe’s Chief Operating Officer, she helped the company grow from fewer than 200 employees to more than 7,000. Prior to Stripe, she spent 10 years at Google where she led various business teams including overseeing aspects of Gmail, Google Apps, and consumer operations. She is a board member at Hallmark Cards, The Atlantic, Ameresco, and HubSpot, and also serves as a trustee and the current board president of Milton Academy. Johnson earned a BA in English literature at Brown University and an MBA in strategy and marketing at the Yale School of Management.

COMPANY BRIEF Stripe (stripe.com) provides a fully integrated suite of payments products. The company brings together everything that’s required to build websites and apps that accept payments and send payouts globally. Stripe’s products power payments for online and in-person retailers, subscription businesses, software platforms and marketplaces, and everything in between. It also helps companies fight fraud, send invoices, issue virtual and physical cards, reduce friction at checkout, get financing, manage business spend, and more.

Will you highlight your career and what do you feel were the keys to your business success?

Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate to work at two high-growth companies: I led teams at Google –working on products like self-driving cars and Gmail, among others – as the company grew from 2,000 people to more than 60,000; and I joined Stripe as COO when there were only 160 employees and helped grow the company to more than 7,000 today.

I wrote a book, Scaling People , which is essentially a step-by-step guide to how I’ve built my career, but in a few words, I’d say being very selfaware (which is a skill that can be learned), leading and managing with candor, and developing a robust operating system for the multitude of teams I’ve managed over the years have been the keys to success – and not just my success, but that of the entire team.

What interested you in writing Scaling People, and what are the key messages that you wanted to convey in the book?

Stripe’s founders, Patrick and John Collison, encouraged me to write Scaling People. In their experience, and in mine, there are very few practical books about company building or management – particularly in the high-growth startup context. We think this advice should be much more accessible. I wrote Scaling People to offer an actionable handbook for managers and leaders of fast-growing companies.

What do you see as the keys to being an effective leader and company builder?

In Scaling People, I set out four essential operating principles that leaders and managers can use to help guide their decisions. They are:

• Build self-awareness to build mutual awareness. Self-awareness is the key to great

management. Understanding your own values, preferences, and strengths and weaknesses allows you to build a complementary team and be open and transparent about how you can do your best work together.

• Say the thing you think you cannot say. Great management means voicing the difficult observation when something isn’t working – but doing so in a constructive and empathetic way, so that you and your team can have an honest conversation about what’s going on and work toward a solution in earnest.

• Distinguish between management and leadership. Great leaders set out a lofty vision and ambitious goals and inspire others to follow them. Great managers translate this vision into a set of day-to-day actions. In a high-growth company, you have to be both.

• Come back to your operating system. Your company’s operating system is a stable, consistent foundation of practices and processes – quarterly goals, weekly team meetings and metrics reviews, 1:1s, offsites for bigpicture thinking, and so on – that allows you to keep your company’s and team’s priorities top of mind at all times, no matter how hectic or complex the day-to-day becomes.

How critical is it to build operating structures that replicate in order to effectively scale?

Building robust operating structures is perhaps the most important thing ambitious leaders can do to set their company up for success beyond finding product-market fit. Operating structures form a consistent frame of reference for every team to understand how their work ladders up to the company’s mission and goals, and for every employee to feel connected to the company and to their team –and to feel empowered to do great work.

Claire Hughes Johnson An Interview with Claire Hughes Johnson, Corporate Officer and Advisor, Stripe
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“Building robust operating structures is perhaps the most important thing ambitious leaders can do to set their company up for success beyond finding product-market fit.”

These structures, including founding documents, the operating system, your operating cadence, lay out your company’s reason for being and the broader planning and accountability frameworks the company exists within. These elements should replicate down through the company at every level – for example, teams will have their own mission that ladders up to the company mission articulated in the founding documents. Without them, it is difficult to set your company up for generational success.

Do you feel that it is crucial to prioritize people management skills as a key to company success?

Absolutely. And prioritizing people starts before their first day on the job, with hiring. A comprehensive hiring approach ensures you can find the people who will thrive and who will have the most positive impact at your company. Hiring doesn’t stop when a person accepts an offer – once you’ve hired them, you’ll need to acclimate them to the company in ways that ensure they’re set up for success and can carry forth the organization’s mission and culture. If you believe talent is everything, then your hiring process – and everything that comes after that – should also be everything.

What are the keys to inspiring those who care about creating a strong company fabric?

There’s no magic bullet to creating a strong company fabric, but in addition to cementing your operating structures, I’d also prioritize intentional team development, and thoughtful feedback and performance mechanisms.

Intentional team development is critical to building high-functioning teams that collaborate effectively, whether they’re distributed or co-located – and that are set up for success when you’ve moved on. Managers and leaders should strive to make implicit structures and beliefs explicit. Codify your culture and working practices so that everyone is working from the same information about how to get things done from day one.

Feedback and performance mechanisms also allow a company to cement its culture and offer employees a framework for giving and receiving feedback that fosters improvement. The litmus test for whether your system is operating effectively? No one should ever be surprised by the feedback they get in reviews.•

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“Managers and leaders should strive to make implicit structures and beliefs explicit. Codify your culture and working practices so that everyone is working from the same information about how to get things done from day one.”

Putting People First

EDITORS’ NOTE Courtney della Cava is involved with improving organizational and leadership effectiveness across the portfolio, including building and enhancing executive leadership teams and boards through C-suite assessment, recruitment, coaching and development, and high-impact organization and culture initiatives. Before joining Blackstone in 2021, she served as a Partner at Bain & Company in its Leadership & Talent/Organization practice. With 20 years of global management consulting experience at Bain & Company across multiple sectors and geographies, she most recently advised corporate and private equity clients on CEO succession, CEO and board effectiveness and broader organizational talent strategies and solutions, and she also built and led several of the firm’s global human capital teams and capabilities. She previously served as a Partner and Managing Director for Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search and talent assessment firm, and European Marketing Director for M&M Mars. Earlier, she held product and marketing roles with Toyota/Lexus, and began her career at WPP/Hill and Knowlton. She currently serves on the boards of Mphasis and Renaissance. She earned a BA in economics from The University of California, Los Angeles and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

FIRM BRIEF Blackstone (blackstone.com) is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. It seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in, and the communities in which it works. It does this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Its $975 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I am the Global Head of Portfolio Talent & Organizational Performance. At Blackstone, we believe great investments begin with great talent and teams and that if you put people first, the numbers follow. My team and I focus on improving organizational and leadership effectiveness across our diverse portfolio of 250+ companies. This includes M&A diligence, leadership selection and development and succession, top team and organizational effectiveness, as well as several signature firm programs such as Career Pathways. We apply the same discipline and rigor to human capital decisions that we do to the rest of the investment process and value creation plan delivery. I oversee

an incredibly talented team with 100 years of combined experience and deep expertise across executive search and assessment, human capital management, executive coaching, DEI and talent intelligence.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Blackstone and made you feel it was the right fit?

I was first attracted to the potential to drive change at scale. With more than 250 portfolio companies and $975 billion AUM, Blackstone has an unparalleled platform, brand and network to leverage. Blackstone’s entrepreneurial culture and extraordinary talent are ultimately what sold me. The people are not just the very best at what they do, but they are also wildly collaborative and genuinely nice. I had a high bar coming from Bain & Company, another special firm where I spent more than 20 wonderful years. Blackstone has lived up to these very high expectations and I’m so proud of the role our team has and continues to play in creating value and building sustainably strong companies, and excited at what lies ahead as we continue to expand and deepen our capabilities and results track record.

How do you describe Blackstone’s culture?

Blackstone is truly driven by a culture of excellence, integrity, teamwork and entrepreneurship. This is our “secret sauce.” These values have been at the core of Blackstone since its inception, and they continue to guide everything we do and positively differentiate us.

Courtney della Cava An Interview with Courtney della Cava, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Portfolio Talent and Organizational Performance, The Blackstone Group
POSTED WITH PERMISSION. COPYRIGHT © 2023 LEADERS MAGAZINE, LLC LEADERS 138 VOLUME 46, NUMBER 2
“Blackstone is truly driven by a culture of excellence, integrity, teamwork and entrepreneurship. This is our ‘secret sauce.’ These values have been at the core of Blackstone since its inception, and they continue to guide everything we do and positively differentiate us.”

What do you feel have been the keys to Blackstone’s industry leadership?

Our business is all about delivering for our customers – including more than 40 million pensioners in North America alone – rain or shine. The key to Blackstone’s success with our customers is that we have protected their capital through remarkable market declines. One of our core principles since Steve (Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO) co-founded the firm in 1985 is to avoid losing our clients’ money, and we’ve done an excellent job of that. As the largest and most diverse alternatives firm in the world, we have unique access to data and insights on what is happening in the global economy, allowing us to anticipate trends and, we believe, minimize risk. We then carefully select sectors and which type of assets to buy, and actively work to build great companies and platforms. Our investment performance over the years has demonstrated the durability of our model – the firm’s strong results have allowed us to continue expanding who we serve and where we can invest, even in the most difficult times.

At Blackstone, everything we do is guided by the principles that have been at the core of the firm since its inception: Accountability, Excellence, Integrity, Teamwork, and Entrepreneurship. These define our character and culture. They are the shared convictions that we bring to our professional conduct and they are a fundamental strength of our business. We’ve assembled an extraordinary team, driven by a collective responsibility to be the best at everything we do. Every person around the table, from the most junior to the most senior, is expected to have an opinion and participate. This helps create a culture that is collaborative and collegial, but also driven to get to the best answer for whatever issue is at hand.

How does Blackstone approach improving leadership and organizational effectiveness across its portfolio companies?

Most importantly, we engage in a process across the entire investment lifecycle, starting early in diligence and running through exit, versus a series of events that are initiated post close of an investment. During diligence we translate an investment thesis into a bespoke human capital strategy and shared purpose and determine leadership and organizational capability gaps. During the sign-to-close period we close those gaps and build an equally diverse, fit-for-purpose board with operating

experience that is closely aligned with the value creation plan, all while seeking opportunities to enhance board diversity. During the hold period, we fine tune other elements of the operating model to build high-performance cultures and winning teams that accelerate business performance as well as succession and workforce planning to ensure the current and future organization has the right skills and capacity to execute its business strategy. We regularly convene our portfolio company advisors, board members, CEOs, and functional leaders to experience, share, learn from experts and generate cross-portfolio insights that act as leading indicators as well as proactively meet exceptional talent ahead of specific roles and needs.

What does Blackstone look for in its portfolio company CEOs?

There is no one-size-fits all approach. We focus on selecting the right CEO for each specific investment, looking at relevant experience, transferrable competencies and strong performance track record. Beyond these, Blackstone CEOs care, connect, and have strong people followership – they have high people agility, prioritize relationship building, lead with empathy, and are highly authentic and collaborative. They have built purposedriven cultures with a strong sense of community. They also act and think like owners and are entrepreneurially minded to optimize investment and prioritize initiatives based on what is possible for the current and future organization to deliver the value creation plan. Lastly, Blackstone CEOs generally grow with their organizations and are intellectually curious with strong learning agility to grow in leadership capability as an organization scales and business operating environments change, and they bring the highest levels of self-awareness and humility to proactively address development needs and close gaps.

How critical is it for Blackstone to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

It’s crucial for Blackstone to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce to build resilient companies and drive value for our investors. Our DEI efforts center around our most important asset: our people. At Blackstone, we are committed to attracting, developing, and advancing a diverse workforce that represents a spectrum of backgrounds, identities, and experiences. Building a representative workforce is

just one piece of the puzzle. Enabling inclusivity means creating an environment where diverse perspectives are welcomed, opportunities for advancement, cross-training, and upskilling exist, and investing in mentorship and sponsorship programs are in place for all. In our portfolio, we invest in diversity from both the top-down, through our C-suite and board diversity initiatives, and from the bottom up, through signature Blackstone programs like Career Pathways and our veterans and refugee hiring initiatives.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for underrepresented groups to grow and lead in the industry?

Absolutely – we are committed to fostering economic mobility for historically underrepresented talent and supporting diversity efforts across our portfolio. Working with our portfolio companies, our signature Career Pathways program aims to create value across our portfolio by increasing access to entry- and mid-level jobs for diverse and historically underrepresented talent. With the support of partner organizations such as Year Up and CareerSpring, the program also aims to enable advancement of diverse and historically underrepresented talent into and out of mid-level jobs. We piloted the program in 2020, developed a repeatable model in 2021, and since 2022 have been scaling it in the Blackstone portfolio.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers?

Raise your hand for new opportunities and take risks – take on new projects or responsibilities, work with new people (I have chosen specific people I can learn from over titles) or shift to an entirely new role. Doing these things creates opportunity to have impact and to learn and grow from both your successes and setbacks. I think of a career more as a web than a linear ladder with clear rungs. Always put people and values first and remember that people and teams are the most important element of your success. Invest early in mentorship, focus on the human qualities of leadership – authenticity, bravery, curiosity, empathy, open mindedness – and build strong relationships that will last you throughout your career. And lastly, get and stay good at thinking critically about issues, learning, growing and constantly building new skills. Never compare how you feel on the inside to how others are showing up on the outside.•

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“At Blackstone, we believe great investments begin with great talent and teams and that if you put people first, the numbers follow.”

At the Heart of the Digital Enterprise Transformation

EDITORS’ NOTE Emma McGuigan leads Accenture Enterprise & Industry Technologies which helps clients achieve enterprise-wide transformation by bringing Accenture’s deep technology, functional and industry expertise across SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Workday, Adobe and other leading platforms. McGuigan oversees Accenture’s relationships, strategy and capabilities globally and across all industries for the Enterprise partners and is a member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee. She is also Chair of the Board of Avanade, the company’s joint venture with Microsoft. During her tenure of more than 25 years at Accenture, she has held a variety of positions. Before leading the Accenture Microsoft Business Group, she was group technology officer for Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology operating group. Previously, she was the managing director for Accenture’s Technology business in the United Kingdom and Ireland and was the global sponsor for Accenture Technology’s talent transformation program, impacting more than 170,000 professionals. McGuigan was named as one of the 50 most influential women in UK IT by Computer Weekly magazine for four years (20152018), was listed in Computer Business Review’s 10 most successful women in UK technology, and was the Forward Ladies National Women in Business STEM category winner in 2016. In 2013, she was made a fellow of The Chartered Institute for IT. McGuigan joined Accenture in 1994 and became a managing director in 2006. She earned her master’s degree in Electronics from the University of Edinburgh.

COMPANY BRIEF Accenture (accenture.com) is a global professional services company that helps organizations build their digital core, optimize operations, accelerate revenue growth and enhance citizen services – creating tangible value at speed and scale. It is a talent and innovation led company with 738,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Technology is at the core of change today, and Accenture is one of the world’s leaders in helping drive that change, with strong ecosystem relationships. It combines its strength in technology with unmatched industry experience, functional expertise and global delivery capability to deliver tangible outcomes through a broad range of services, solutions and assets across Strategy & Consulting, Technology, Operations, Industry X and Accenture Song.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I lead Accenture’s Enterprise & Industry Technologies business, which is where we manage our alliances with the world’s leading technology companies. At its core, my job is all about relationships – building and nurturing deep partnerships where we co-create innovative solutions that solve real world challenges for our clients, while also providing fulfilling opportunities for our people.

How do you define Accenture’s Enterprise & Industry Technologies mission?

Our Enterprise & Industry Technologies group is focused on our partnerships with all the leading platform and application providers like Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and Workday.

It’s these relationships that underpin the total enterprise reinvention strategy we drive to help our clients transform every part of their business – from enabling the digital core and workforce transformation, to creating new customer experiences and finding new sources of growth.

We focus on helping our clients choose the right platforms and applications to meet their needs, navigating what can be a complex ecosystem to get the most value from their investments. It is a big and growing need for our clients: over the past two years, we found that 69 percent of organizations have increased the number of application vendors they use, and 81 percent expect to add more from multiple vendors over the next two years.

By connecting technologies so they work together, we help our clients create a single view of data – creating transparency and supporting collaboration across the traditional silos of their businesses. This enables them to be more agile and resilient to changing conditions – something that has never been more important.

What have been the keys to Accenture’s Enterprise & Industry Technologies strength and leadership?

Within Enterprise & Industry Technologies, we are hyper-focused on working across our ecosystem to create repeatable, interoperable, industry-led solutions that can be configured and reconfigured to rapidly develop new

Emma McGuigan An Interview with Emma McGuigan, Senior Managing Director and Enterprise & Industry Technologies Lead, Accenture
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“By connecting technologies so they work together, we help our clients create a single view of data – creating transparency and supporting collaboration across the traditional silos of their businesses. This enables them to be more agile and resilient to changing conditions –something that has never been more important.”

capabilities and build flexibility into the core of the business. In fact, we just launched a first-ofits-kind Composable Tech Studio to bring this to life for our clients and help them improve agility and speed to market.

Over the past three decades, we’ve steadily invested in dedicated business groups with each of our key partners, as well as a new Connected Solutions group. All in, we have tens of thousands of skilled and certified people with industry and function experience across 50 countries to help our clients differentiate themselves in their industries.

You also serve as Chair of the Board of Avanade, the company’s joint venture with Microsoft. Will you discuss this joint venture and provide an overview of Avanade?

Avanade was formed in 2000 and is one of the most successful joint ventures in our industry. We have always had a great relationship and share many mutual clients, but bringing Accenture and Microsoft together in this way creates the magic of Avanade and provides the opportunity to serve our clients in a differentiated way.

Today, Avanade is majority owned by Accenture and has more than 60,000 skilled people providing cloud and advisory services, industry solutions and design-led experiences across the Microsoft ecosystem. We’ve successfully delivered tens of thousands of Microsoft projects to clients around the world and are proud to be their number one partner.

You recently co-authored a global research report, “Value Untangled: Accelerating Radical Growth Through Interoperability.” Will you discuss this research and the key findings?

Organizations have faced an unprecedented number of black swan events over the past few years. We wanted to explore how some

companies were able to gain the agility needed to rapidly pivot their business and thrive amid this uncertainty, compared to those who struggled to adapt to changing conditions.

We surveyed more than 4,000 C-suite executives and found that in the last two years alone, one in two companies adopted new technologies and transformed their business faster than ever before. Companies with that kind of agility had one thing in common: high interoperability. When business applications are interoperable, there is greater data sharing, transparency, and quality human connections, which allows organizations to be more efficient, more collaborative and more resilient.

Last year, organizations with high interoperability grew revenue six times faster than their peers with low interoperability and are poised to unlock an additional five percentage points in annual revenue growth. That is a massive longterm advantage. To put it in perspective, if two organizations start with $10 billion in revenue today, the organization with high interoperability stands to make $8 billion more than its peer with low interoperability over the next five years.

The research showed this financial gain was achieved through increased efficiency, increased productivity and increased sustainability.

How important is it for Accenture to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

Inclusion and diversity are essential. They are embedded in everything we do at Accenture and, frankly, they are a key enabler of our business results. We approach inclusion and diversity with the same discipline as any other business priority – setting goals, sharing them publicly and holding ourselves accountable.

We want every one of our 738,000 people to be who they are and be their best, both professionally and personally. That means

creating a workplace where they feel comfortable and can engage in open and honest dialog.

I’ve seen first-hand the power that diverse teams – representing different cultures, races, ethnicities, gender identities and gender expressions – bring to the table. It’s unique perspectives that drive creativity, innovation and competitive advantage for us and for our clients.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

Absolutely. The technology industry needs more women. As IT jobs continue to grow at a record pace, we need to unlock the massive pool of female talent – not only to address the skills shortage the industry is facing, but to benefit from the value diversity creates, as I’ve just mentioned. That includes capitalizing on untapped talent – like those in rural areas, those with gaps in employment or those who are neurodiverse.

But it’s not just about attracting new talent. As an industry, we need to do better at retaining women by creating a culture in tech that is more adaptable and more attuned to the behaviors and styles of women. Companies need to think about how they can adopt flexible work models and better support women in defining their own career paths.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been supported by Accenture throughout my career, so I didn’t have to choose between my job and my family. I worked part-time for ten years when my children were young, and I was even promoted while I was on maternity leave (on merit from before starting maternity leave, rather than because of it, of course). Flexible career options, personalized conversations and sponsorship made all the difference in allowing me to pursue my passions, both at home and at work.

You have been with Accenture for more than 25 years. What has made Accenture so special for you?

I love the art of the possible that technology enables. From leading our Technology business in the U.K. and Ireland, being the group technology officer for our Communications, Media and Technology industry, and overseeing our business with Microsoft, to my role today, I’ve spent my career at Accenture architecting and delivering technology solutions for clients. I’ve gotten to work on everything from cutting-edge innovations to large-scale core solutions.

It’s given me the opportunity to channel my curiosity and passion for examining the world and figuring out how we can come together to be bold, dream big, and drive change. I’m so proud of the work Accenture has done to make a real difference, like helping to rapidly transition millions of people to remote work in a matter of days at the start of the pandemic and helping businesses meet their sustainable development goals.

I am incredibly excited to be at the heart of the digital enterprise transformation – working with amazing partner organizations to fundamentally shift how we approach technology and innovation, unlocking new business models, and finding new ways of working and new opportunities for our clients and for our people.•

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“Within Enterprise & Industry Technologies, we are hyper-focused on working across our ecosystem to create repeatable, interoperable, industry-led solutions that can be configured and reconfigured to rapidly develop new capabilities and build flexibility into the core of the business.”

Masters of Forethought

EDITORS’ NOTE Maggie Hui serves as Chief Accounting Officer of SL Green Realty Corp. Hui joined SL Green in September 2004 as Vice President, and in 2007 was promoted to Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller. Before joining SL Green, she was Vice President and Controller at Acadia Realty Trust, where she was a key member of the financial management team at the time that company became a real estate investment trust. She had previously held positions at a public accounting firm and a private real estate investment firm. Hui is a graduate of Binghamton University with a BS degree in accounting.

COMPANY BRIEF SL Green Realty Corp. (slgreen.com), Manhattan’s largest office landlord, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust, or REIT, that is focused primarily on acquiring, managing and maximizing value of Manhattan commercial properties. As of December 31, 2022, SL Green held interests in 61 buildings totaling 33.1 million square feet. This included ownership interests in 28.9 million square feet of Manhattan buildings and 3.4 million square feet securing debt and preferred equity investments.

How do you describe SL Green’s culture and values?

The culture at SL Green is rooted in determination and true teamwork. Each and every person on this stellar team works diligently to help and uplift each other, no matter the circumstances. It’s these values and strong internal culture that have guided my proud 19-year tenure with the firm.

What do you feel have been the keys to SL Green’s industry leadership and how do you define the SL Green difference?

SL Green embodies innovation and the ability to pivot quickly and strategically while in the midst of changes. The pandemic is one recent example of this tenacity. After years of meticulously planning One Vanderbilt Avenue, we could not have predicted that its opening would be during such a tumultuous time in the world, though we stood strong in our goal and our confidence in delivering a skyline-defining office tower to Midtown

Manhattan. We learned that firmwide dedication and steadfast leadership were critical to developing One Vanderbilt to the highest standards –and these lessons, among many others, have laid the foundation for our approach to the business moving forward. We have decades of experience that allow us to be masters of forethought – this is the SL Green difference.

Will you highlight your role and areas of focus?

As Chief Accounting Officer, I oversee a team of 50-plus people managing the company’s financial reporting, internal controls, and accounting operations. Fundamental to the success of my organization is nurturing our existing talent and maintaining a healthy company culture. I’m deeply passionate about working to strengthen the well-being, development, and overall success of the firm and our employees.

How critical is it for the chief accounting officer role to be engaged in business strategy?

It’s of the utmost importance that all financial aspects of the company are fully integrated into business strategy. Because I oversee all accounting and reporting, it’s crucial for me to be involved in the overall business strategy so I am well-versed when it comes to planning for new developments, investments, and so forth. From new acquisitions to refinancings and repositionings, it’s essential that all new business ventures are evaluated by me and my team to ensure it aligns with our company vision and capabilities.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

It goes without saying that real estate industry has long been a male-dominated industry, though I am happy to see that now more than ever, there are increasingly more opportunities for women to grow and succeed in this sector. Female mentorship, particularly through having a great support system, is an extremely valuable tool that will encourage young, passionate women to grow in the sector. I’m proud to serve as a mentor to many incredible women within my team, and hope these young women continue to pay it forward as well.

What advice do you give to young people beginning their careers?

My best advice for young people beginning in their careers would be to challenge themselves and push themselves professionally – but don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions at the same time. Don’t be afraid of a challenge simply because there aren’t many others already doing it – challenge yourself to create your own path and leverage your support systems and networks to do so. I truly believe that if you have a passion for what you do, it will be demonstrated by your work ethic and attitude, and you will realize you can truly achieve anything you want if you put your mind to it.

You have spent 19 years of your career with SL Green. What has made the experience so special for you?

There are many reasons why I’ve been so pleased to lend a large part of my career to SL Green, but one standout reason has been the opportunity to play a direct role in shaping the future of New York City. For the past 25 years, the success of New York City and SL Green has gone hand in hand. I can’t think of another organization more committed to building an environmentally and socially sustainable legacy as New York continues to emerge as a global leader in a multitude of ways – from innovation to human capital to climate change. Among several other incredible projects, One Vanderbilt Avenue and One Madison Avenue in particular represent a future-forward design for office space that has quickly set a new standard for development across the city. Playing a role in bringing these projects to market and assembling a portfolio that creates long-term value and is responsive to dynamic market conditions has been a particularly meaningful experience in my career. Above all, our firm-wide enthusiasm and dedication to continue upending the status quo for real estate development make every day here exciting and special for me.•

Maggie Hui An Interview with Maggie Hui, Chief Accounting Officer, SL Green Realty Corp.
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One Vanderbilt Avenue
Where major real estate transactions happen Top-ranked legal advisors counseling you through every market cycle friedfrank.com FRIED, FRANK, HARRIS, SHRIVER & JACOBSON LLP Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Stay connected with us: @friedfrank @friedfrank @ffhsj /company/friedfrank

The Interconnection Between Finance and Technology

EDITORS’ NOTE Shijing Li recently joined Bank of China U.S.A. and serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager of America Data Center. She leads the Bank’s retail banking, clearing, accounting, settlement, back-office operation management, and IT functions. Li has more than 30 years of banking, IT, and management experience. Since 2007, she has taken various senior leadership positions in Bank of China Group. In the past seven years, she served as the General Manager of the Data Center at Bank of China Head Office. During this time, she directed and established the enterprise standards, policies and guidelines of IT project management, information security, IT risk assessment, and incident management. Under Li’s leadership, the team successfully implemented critical projects including data security, infrastructure/application upgrades, disaster recovery strategy, and internal organizational structure optimization to support the Bank’s business development worldwide. Li holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and technology from Tsinghua University.

COMPANY BRIEF As China’s most international and diversified bank, Bank of China (www.boc.cn/en) has a well-established global service network with institutions set up across the Chinese mainland, as well as in more than 60 countries and regions. It has established an integrated services platform based on the pillars of its corporate banking, personal banking, financial markets and other non-commercial banking businesses, which covers investment banking, direct investment, securities, insurance, funds, aircraft leasing and other areas, thus providing its customers with a comprehensive range of financial services. Bank of China U.S.A. (BOC U.S.A.) (www.bocusa.com) has branches in New York City, Queens, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

You joined Bank of China U.S.A. last year. What excited you about the opportunity and how has the transition been?

As people around the world can attest, coming to New York to work is an extremely exciting opportunity. As an international financial center, it offers incredible opportunities

to succeed in business. It’s also a diverse and vibrant city – attracting people from all over the world who speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds. From the magnificent skyscrapers to the quiet and beautiful Central Park to world-class museums, Broadway shows, and modern concert halls –New York has so much to offer.

At Bank of China, I’ve had a tremendous opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the financial industry and the new trends in Fintech, learn the successful practices of a leading financial institution, and exchange ideas with industry leaders with subject matter expertise and management experience. While change is never easy, our company’s employeedriven culture has allowed me to establish strong relationships with my co-workers, which has helped me better understand each person’s roles and responsibilities and to work collaboratively across the business. With the support of the executive management and the help of my colleagues, I have gradually adapted to the new position.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I joined BOC U.S.A. in May 2022 as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of America Data Center. In this capacity, I am in charge of the Bank’s retail banking, clearing and settlement business, back office and accounting operations’ management, and information technology throughout our U.S. branches. With a constantly evolving landscape of products and services and the technology support required in banking, financial institutions are becoming increasingly dependent on information technology and security. The macro trend indicates that banks will utilize information technology not only as a technical means and tool for business development, but also to enhance or create new business models and processes. Bank of China Head Office has established a long-term plan to promote the deep interconnection between finance and technology, and accelerate digital transformation, innovation, and integration. I will focus on combining traditional technologies with emerging technologies – such as big data, artificial intelligence and cloud technology – to provide customers with automated, online and intelligent services, improving

customer experience, optimizing internal operational processes, streamlining operational efficiency, all while reducing operating costs. At the same time, it is essential to improve the IT governance structure, continuously optimize the IT risk and assessment methodology, and heighten IT management policies, procedures and standards that meet highly complex regulatory and compliance requirements. It is also important to constantly refine cyber security management and controls to ensure the security of customers and critical business information.

Will you discuss Bank of China U.S.A.’s investment and commitment to technology?

Information technology has become a critical component to the Bank’s success, and we are committed to continuously investing and improving our IT infrastructure and innovative technologies to adhere to regulatory requirements, BOC Group strategies, and BOC U.S.A.’s business objectives. To achieve this goal, the Bank is implementing several efforts, including researching and applying artificial intelligence and big data technologies to financial scenarios, conducting research on security tools for cloud computing and integrating them into the Bank’s IT applications, exploring new cybersecurity monitoring technologies, and continuously enhancing the cybersecurity infrastructure. Additionally, the Bank proactively conducts research on industrial technical infrastructure and standard development trends to optimize internal technical infrastructure, enhance technical standards, and advance IT management. These meticulous efforts reflect the Bank’s commitment to delivering superior customer service, refining operational efficiency, and driving business growth.

How is new technology impacting the way Bank of China U.S.A. operates?

New technologies, including AI, Cloud Computing, and Big Data, are significantly changing the way banks operate. These technologies are helping financial institutions like ours improve efficiency, enhance customer experience, reduce operation costs, and manage risks more effectively. Since 2017, Bank of China U.S.A. has actively explored new technologies and deployed machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve due diligence, AML case management, and cybersecurity monitoring to boost efficiency and enhance compliance management. We are currently working on shifting to cloud-based technology which

Shijing Li
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An Interview with Shijing Li, Executive Vice President and General Manager of America Data Center, Bank of China, U.S.A.

will allow the bank to become more agile, costeffective, and to better serve clients in today’s digital age. The Bank is currently planning and preparing to expand the usage of cloud computing to optimize back-end operations and maximize internal efficiency. This important adoption and integration of new technologies into the Bank’s operations allows us to build a stronger cybersecurity framework that will enhance the safety and security of customer data and financial information.

Will you highlight Bank of China U.S.A.’s retail banking platform in Manhattan and Queens?

As the largest Chinese Bank operating in the United States, Bank of China U.S.A. acts as the bridge connecting the world’s two largest economies – China and the United States. Our current retail banking platform covers midtown Manhattan and Queens, providing retail bankers with a range of financial services including checking and savings accounts, deposits and loans, currency exchanges, transfers and remittances, safe deposit boxes, online banking, etc.

We serve cross-border customers, namely international students, embassy and consulate staff, employees of “Going Global” enterprises from China, international business travelers, and many others to provide cross-border financial services. We also serve local U.S. customers in the local communities we operate in, like our branch in Flushing, Queens, which has been widely praised for our commitment to community financial services and community reinvestment.

In addition to the traditional retail banking services, we offer similar services to mainstream U.S. banks – we utilize our RMB clearing bank to provide RMB accounts, RMB deposits, RMB exchange, RMB remittance and other specialized services. Currently, we are also actively developing RMB payroll products. With a global footprint in more than 60 countries and regions, we have the advantage to conduct global business, provide customer referrals, extension of counters in different places, remittance discounts, and much more to conveniently facilitate clients’ needs.

BOC U.S.A. has actively improved our digital services to improve our retail banking operations, strengthen the infrastructure of electronic channels, bolster our customer experience, and optimize customer service. We also practice green finance and promote a paperless work environment. In addition, we have a strict compliance management structure to ensure we meet various legal requirements such as U.S. regulations and consumer protection.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the banking industry?

While a traditionally male-dominated industry, today’s banking industry offers a range of opportunities for women to grow and lead. Many banks, like Bank of China U.S.A.,

are taking steps to create a more inclusive workplace culture, where women can thrive and advance in their careers. I’m fortunate to work at a place like Bank of China U.S.A., an organization that is thoroughly committed to creating and retaining a diverse, inclusive workplace. BOC U.S.A. has developed a culture that values women and their strengths and capabilities as leaders.

out its mission, “bridging China and the world for the common good.” We are committed to serving the local U.S. communities we operate in and to build on our track record as a community leader in the United States.

In addition to our branches in Manhattan, Bank of China U.S.A. also has locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Queens, New York. The Queens Branch is FDIC insured and provides a range of services to customers in the community – including deposits, loans, remittances, foreign currency exchange, safe deposit boxes, and RMB-related products. The branch also provides capital loans and financing for small and mediumsized enterprises, and has established longterm relationships with local customers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queens Branch made a distinct effort to ensure business continuity and has been operating without interruption, which has strongly supported the local community in its recovery from the pandemic.

With a wide range of products, highquality services and a good reputation, Bank of China U.S.A. branches across the country actively support and promote the economic development of local communities. In addition, BOC U.S.A. is committed to giving back and actively fulfilling our corporate social responsibilities. We have a proven track record in community reinvestment, helping LMI groups, hosting charity activities, sponsoring community activities, and participating in volunteer activities. These efforts have made a positive impact in our local communities and contributed to strengthening the cultural exchanges between China and the U.S.

At the same time, serving our local communities allows BOC U.S.A. to gain an in-depth understanding of the needs and concerns of residents, families, and businesses to better tailor our products and services to meet their needs.

I’m privileged to work with a number of women who I am able to learn and grow from every day. BOC U.S.A.’s female leaders are critical thinkers, effective communicators, patient, and attentive to detail – all critical skills needed to be successful in the banking industry. We also have a number of female employees who come from strong technology backgrounds as we continue to transition to a more digitalfocused industry.

The banking industry offers a range of exciting and challenging opportunities for women to grow and lead, and organizations like Bank of China U.S.A. that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion are more likely to attract and retain talented women in the industry and build stronger businesses.

How important is it for Bank of China U.S.A. to be engaged in the communities it serves?

As the oldest and largest Chinese bank in America, Bank of China U.S.A. continues to carry

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in banking?

I wholeheartedly encourage young people to consider a career in banking. It’s a fulfilling industry that makes a difference in the lives of people across the world. To be successful, however, you must be willing to continuously learn and build on your expertise. Banking is a very complex industry that requires employees to have deep understanding of a range of issues, including regulatory compliance, accounting and finance, risk management, customer service, technology, sales, and marketing. It’s also an ever-evolving environment that requires proactive engagement to stay top-of-mind on the issues, adapt to challenges, and create opportunities for your personal development, your business, and your customers.

Hard work, patience, and persistence –along with the support of colleagues and mentors – will lead to a successful and fulfilling career in banking.•

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The headquarters building for Bank of China U.S.A. in Manhattan

Transformative Work in the Technology Sector

EDITORS’ NOTE Katherine Forrest is a partner in Paul, Weiss’ Litigation Department. She previously served as a federal district judge in Manhattan and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. A veteran trial attorney, Forrest handles sensitive investigations and high-stakes, complex commercial disputes and antitrust matters. She is recognized nationally for her cutting-edge work on the legal implications of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. She joined Paul, Weiss in January 2023.

FIRM BRIEF Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (paulweiss.com) is a firm of about 1,000 lawyers with diverse backgrounds, personalities, ideas, and interests who provide innovative and effective solutions to their clients’ most complex legal and business challenges. The firm represents many of the world’s largest and most important public and private corporations, asset managers and financial institutions, and clients in need of pro bono assistance.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Paul, Weiss and made you feel it was the right fit?

Paul, Weiss has an unparalleled roster of talent and clients, coupled with an extraordinarily broad, world-class platform. My practice is multifaceted and wide ranging, spanning antitrust, intellectual property, internal investigations, and high-tech matters involving AI and cryptocurrency. Paul, Weiss’ deep-rooted strength in all of these areas allows me to advise on all of them.

I was particularly drawn to Paul, Weiss because of its transformative work in the technology sector. The firm’s world-class talent across cryptocurrency and blockchain, cybersecurity and data protection, and intellectual property and patent litigation – combined with AI – offers clients a unique, all-encompassing platform to meet all their legal needs with digital technologies. I knew the firm would provide a strong foundation to continue to build my AI practice and publish in this area. I have already received tremendous support, including through client introductions and business development.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I have a deep interest in many areas of the law, and given Paul, Weiss’ strong platform, I am able to practice across all of these areas. I really enjoy the AI and crypto work that I just mentioned, and I also love my antitrust matters. Being an advisor in the antitrust area – counseling companies on issues involving competition, pricing, joint ventures, the structure of transactions, and more – is fascinating work.

In addition, I love doing investigations, which most often involve business and reputational issues of extraordinary importance to companies, and may be the key to averting a potential crisis.

IP is another important area for me and one that often converges with my other areas of practice, such as copyright issues arising in the AI space and ownership rights over NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the cryptocurrency space.

How did your experience as a district court judge and senior DOJ official prepare you for your current role?

Being a judge and an antitrust regulator were invaluable preparation for me as a returning practitioner in private practice. Presiding over more than 100 trials – more than most judges – gave me a deep understanding of what it means to prepare a case, including how the rules of evidence are implemented and how to construct a compelling narrative for a jury. Seeing how different practitioners approached such narratives has been incredibly helpful to me as I advocate for clients.

Meanwhile, the ability to do fact finding as a judge has aided me immeasurably in conducting investigations today. I honed my abilities to carefully assess the credibility of witnesses and to determine how people are motivated to do or not do things.

I was fortunate to be appointed as an MDL judge for complex antitrust cases which helped me to understand how complex civil procedures and case management are handled. Finally, serving as a judge provided me with insights into

Katherine B. Forrest An Interview with Katherine B. Forrest, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
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“I was particularly drawn to Paul, Weiss because of its transformative work in the technology sector. The firm’s world-class talent across cryptocurrency and blockchain, cybersecurity and data protection, and intellectual property and patent litigation – combined with AI – offers clients a unique, all-encompassing platform to meet all their legal needs with digital technologies.”

the pressures judges face, the diversity of judges, and some areas they may consider, such as insulating their decision from reversal on appeal. This experience has helped me in counseling clients on how to approach disputes.

My earlier stint at the Department of Justice has given me unique insight that I leverage in counseling clients on antitrust matters, including how mergers are reviewed, the ways competition issues are investigated, the roles of policy and politics in the antitrust space, and more.

Will you discuss Paul, Weiss’ embrace of tech sector work and how the expertise of its lawyers with crypto, fintech and digital assets aligns with your interest in artificial intelligence?

As I mentioned, one of the most incredible things about Paul, Weiss is the breadth of the firm’s talent, from partners, counsel and associates to paralegals and the operations team, as well as the firm’s impressive clients, which include some of the world’s largest and most important companies, private equity firms and financial institutions. These factors, combined with the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit, make Paul, Weiss a force in the areas of cryptocurrency, fintech and digital assets, and put the firm in prime position to tackle AI-related issues.

AI is one of the most significant areas of law to develop since the internet, and companies will be struggling with AI-related issues over the next decade. At Paul, Weiss, we have unmatched multidisciplinary experience in AI, cryptocurrency, fintech, digital assets and the broader metaverse, and our team is ever-focused on how to combine our knowledge and skills to best meet the evolving needs of our clients in this space.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of AI in the legal sector?

The evolution of AI is happening at lightning speed. We are entering the fourth industrial

revolution with AI; ChatGPT has shown us the pace at which this revolution will occur. Companies are grappling with tools they don’t understand, or ones they used to understand that are now changing rapidly. Regulators are trying hard to keep up with this revolution and understand what they should regulate and where innovation needs room to grow. The most effective practitioners will be able to translate complex AI issues into a language that is useful for companies learning to navigate these areas. I am fortunate at Paul, Weiss that we have the talent and expertise in-house to do this.

How important is it for leading law firms to build diverse and inclusive workforces to mirror the diversity of their clients and the communities they serve?

It’s incredibly important for law firms to prioritize diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization. Law firms are often the training ground for future leaders in corporate America, on the bench and in the government, where having a strong value system is so important for our broader communities.

Support for diversity and inclusion has to come from the top down. When I see the extraordinary diversity across the ranks at Paul, Weiss, I see a community that is finding success, in large part due to the leadership of Brad Karp, who is vocal on the firm’s long-term commitment to DE&I and racial justice. Brad’s strong voice in this area and the resources the firm devotes to DE&I and racial justice initiatives have had a profound impact.

On a more individual level, valuing DE&I is vital for building a cohesive community within the firm. When I entered the legal field, it was rare for me to find someone else with my background; as a child, my family had a low income, experienced homelessness and used food stamps. As a Big Law associate, I didn’t

have experience navigating the types of hotels, restaurants and social situations that many of my colleagues did. The only way for someone from my background to feel included is to find another person who will provide guidance and share tips for succeeding in the industry. I know from personal experience how extraordinarily important it is to help those from different backgrounds feel like they belong.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the legal profession?

Absolutely. The keys are keeping women lawyers top of mind for new opportunities and recognizing and promoting them for exceptional work. In-house counsel have been particularly important voices in this area, by appointing women as lead counsel, as well as selecting outside counsel with diverse teams. Many judges have also had a crucial impact here, stating in their courtrooms, as I did when I sat on the bench, that it is important to give women opportunities to first-chair proceedings and have speaking roles in court.

At Paul, Weiss, women lawyers are encouraged and supported in taking on leadership roles, both in client matters and internal firm initiatives. We build diversity into our teams, and maintain it throughout a matter, because we know that our work is stronger when different backgrounds and perspectives are represented.

Paul, Weiss is a firm that is deeply committed to pro bono work and supporting the communities it serves. Do you see this as a responsibility for leading law firms?

It is critical that law firms support their local communities because part of our responsibility as lawyers is to serve the public interest and those in need. As lawyers, we have specialized skills to help others navigate the legal process, which is often confusing and intimidating. Giving back in this way allows the legal profession to make real change. At Paul, Weiss, we have a team of lawyers who are entirely dedicated to pro bono, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to giving back and supporting its lawyers in this important work.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in law?

I recommend taking time each day to read the business section of The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, especially if you don’t come from a business or economics background. Educating yourself on how the business world works will help you immensely when you enter the legal field, not because all law is about big corporations, but because you can glean so much about the American economy and the powers influencing our economy. Educating yourself on how the world works will provide an invaluable foundation for your future practice.

I would also dedicate time to learning more about how the judicial system works. Listen to Supreme Court arguments and watch proceedings for free online. Attend proceedings at local district court houses; as a member of the public, you are welcome to attend, and it is an exciting way to start exploring the legal field.•

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“The most effective practitioners will be able to translate complex AI issues into a language that is useful for companies learning to navigate these areas. I am fortunate at Paul, Weiss that we have the talent and expertise in-house to do this.”

The RXR Difference

NOTE Whitney Arcaro is responsible for overseeing the marketing and communications of RXR’s 25.6 million square feet of commercial assets in Manhattan and the surrounding region, as well as the concepts, design strategy, marketing and strategic branding initiatives for 6,200 multi-family units in planning across the region. As the Head of Retail Leasing, she oversees the strategy and implementation for the 1.1 million square feet of retail space across RXR’s portfolio. Prior to joining RXR, Arcaro served as Managing Director of Business Development for SHVO. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Vornado Realty Trust, one of the largest publicly traded REITs in the U.S. Earlier in her career, she was a commercial real estate broker working on tenant representation, landlord agency, consulting services and investment opportunities for multinationals and institutional organizations. Arcaro has been listed as one of New York’s Real Estate Power Women each year from 2018 to the present. She is a member of the Leadership Committee of the American Lung Association. Arcaro has produced award-winning feature length and short films featured at SXSW and Sundance Film Festivals, including a critically and politically hailed feature on conditions of Veterans, which garnered over 12 awards and coverage in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and The New York Times. Arcaro earned a BA degree from Vanderbilt University.

EDITORS’

COMPANY BRIEF RXR (rxr.com) is an innovative investor, developer, and place-maker committed to applying a customer and community-centered approach to building properties, services, and products that create enduring value for all stakeholders. Headquartered in New York with a national platform strategy, RXR is a 500+ person, vertically integrated operating and development company with expertise in a wide array of value creation activities, including ground-up real estate, infrastructure, and industrial development, uncovering value in underperforming properties, repurposing well-located iconic properties, incorporating cutting edge technologies and value-added lending. The RXR platform manages 93 commercial real estate properties and investments with an aggregate gross asset value of approximately

$20.7 billion, comprising approximately 30.5 million square feet of commercial properties, a multi-family residential portfolio of approximately 8,800 units under operation or development, and control of development rights for an additional approximately 3,500 multi-family and for sale units as of December 31, 2022. Gross asset value compiled by RXR in accordance with company fair value measurement policy and is comprised of capital invested by RXR and its partners, as well as leverage.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

When you look at how much real estate has evolved and think about some of the themes that our Chairman and CEO, Scott Rechler, has been so committed to, real estate goes beyond the four walls. When it comes to my role leading marketing, my team touches every asset class and every geography where we operate. When it comes to my role overseeing retail leasing, retail is part of the overall placemaking and overall

value creation. The meaning of retail has also evolved, and it goes far beyond the ground floor – it is also tied to the amenities in the buildings, the programming in the buildings, and when done well it greatly benefits the owner/tenant relationship across office and residential assets.

How do you communicate these services to your customers?

RXR is fortunate to have a very strong customer communications platform that continues to get better each year as technology improves, and we really leaned in even before the pandemic to take the technology interface further knowing that behaviorally this is how the world has shifted. We also use traditional marketing that happens on-site at the property level to make sure that we are effectively communicating with the audiences in each building to let them know the programming and experiences available to them.

How important is brand awareness for the RXR brand?

I would quote Scott and our President, Mike Maturo, who have a defining philosophy that “Doing Good and Doing Well Means Doing

Whitney Arcaro An Interview with Whitney Arcaro, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing and Retail Leasing, RXR
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The new food hall at the Starrett-Lehigh Building on Manhattan’s West 26th Street (Olly Olly Market)

Better” and this means that the brand awareness needs to be bigger than what is happening in a specific transaction. I believe that when you reach a certain level of success, it is not about being best-in-class or the best in the industry –it is about being a best company, period. This means that there is a different level of social responsibility and civic engagement that is required, and it is about comprehensive community impact. I feel blessed to say that I work for a company and for leaders in this company like Scott, Mike, Jason Barnett (Vice Chairman and General Counsel), and Todd Rechler (Co-COO), who believe in this responsibility and pursue it authentically.

What excited you about the opportunity to join RXR and made you feel it was the right fit?

When the opportunity presented itself, I reached out to a few people who I knew had good relationships with RXR, and I just had a feeling that it was a place where I would thrive. I was attracted to the fact that there was so much activity going on, and there was so much momentum at the company. The projects were critical to the future of the communities and the regions where we operate. RXR works on transformative projects and to be a part of that purpose is a special opportunity.

How does RXR approach marketing as it expands into new geographies?

We take a very deliberate approach and have a New York expertise that can be very welcome in other markets. New York City is the global flagship for real estate. This is extremely valuable as we enter new markets, particularly when they see what we have done in those urban/suburban markets surrounding New York in places like New Rochelle and Glen Cove, Long Island. We have replicated

many of the lessons we have learned in New York in other parts of the country, in places like Phoenix, Tampa, Denver, and Apex, which is in the Raleigh-Durham area. We’re taking an investment approach of targeting the outer ring of other superstar cities with strong transportation systems that allow people to travel easily to and from a city’s core. These cities have the potential to become Superstar Regions.

How important are metrics to track the impact of RXR’s marketing efforts?

The real estate industry has been behind other industries when it comes to metrics and measurement in general – commercial more conspicuously so than residential, specifically to marketing, but we have made tremendous strides over the past 10+ years, and metrics are extremely important. Metrics tie to a more formalized measurement, as well as our ROI connecting marketing expenditure to the transactional success.

Do you feel there are strong opportunities for women at senior levels in the industry?

I think role models are the most important thing, not only for women’s initiatives, but for all of what DEI means. You need to have role models, as well as strong advocates and allies. I have been very fortunate in my career as I have worked for many incredible men and I have worked with many incredible women. While my reporting lines have always been to men, I never felt that there was a recognition or a promotion because I happened to be a woman. It was about looking for the best person for the job.

I feel it is now incumbent on me to embrace the role that I can have as a role model and to put myself out there to support the next generation of women coming into the industry. I will always make time for people who seek

out help and guidance since this is a way for them to build a network which is so critical in our business.

How is RXR able to maintain an intimate, family feel as it has grown in size and scale?

I still pinch myself often when I think about the RXR culture. The RXR culture is one of the most special traits of our company, and it is about a genuine sense of kindness, compassion, and collaboration. This can be a tough business and there are times when you need to be assertive and aggressive, but I believe that one of the secret sauces in RXR is the genuine level of goodness in people which allows for faster growth in a mentoring system.

RXR’s leadership, Scott, Mike, Jason, and Todd, always say that you learn from mistakes, and this is a very important philosophy for the young people who are new to the industry and entering the organization because it allows for a coaching moment and an opportunity for growth.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in real estate?

I think that it depends on what your specific discipline is. I started out in brokerage, which is different from someone starting off in construction management or finance or law, for example. I would say that the commonality is the importance of building your network and knowing the market. These two areas go hand-in-hand: once you know the market, you begin to build your network. In this industry, you end up doing a lot of work and deals with people you enjoy working with and those with whom you build long-standing relationships. Knowing the market has the potential to give you access to many things; knowing your product has the potential to give you expertise in many things; and then, it is about growing your network and maintaining relationships.

You mention the value of building relationships. With the impact and growth of technology, how important is it to not lose the personal connection and human touch?

I think we are fortunate to be in an industry where you need to do both. There are clearly efficiencies and benefits of technology-driven communication, and the speed of which we can receive and evaluate information through the growth of technology. However, when you are on the product side of the business, you need to go to the building and talk to the people and learn from those that have the experience and knowledge of the product. The combination of the personal connection with the technological capabilities creates value and results in a win.

Are you able to enjoy the process and take moments to celebrate the wins?

While I appreciate the wins, I am always looking for the next opportunity or next thing to tackle, because this is what keeps you fresh and makes each day exciting. When it comes to marketing and retail, I like to be three steps ahead in order to be successful.•

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Tend Dental, an RXR tenant located at 230 Park Avenue in Manhattan

Meeting the Needs of Patients

EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. Kelly Cassano, an internist, served for three years as Senior Medical Director of the Continuum Medical Group at Roosevelt Hospital and was responsible for clinical, operational, and financial oversight for 10 primary care practices in 15 locations. Her duties included developing practices, implementing quality measures, recruiting and retaining physicians and staff, and coordinating Mount Sinai Accountable Care Organization enrollment and participation. Dr. Cassano also spent 15 years as Medical Director for the West Park Medical Group, which she transitioned from a private practice to a hospital-owned model. She received her Bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz and her Doctorate’s degree from University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

INSTITUTION BRIEF Mount Sinai Health System (mountsinai.org) encompasses the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and eight hospitals, as well as a large and expanding ambulatory care network. The eight hospitals – Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai Brooklyn, The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Queens, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Mount Sinai West, and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai – have a vast geographic footprint throughout the New York metropolitan region. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked number 14 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and ranked in the top 20 nationally in eight medical specialties in the 2019-20 Best Hospitals guidebook. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is also ranked nationally in ophthalmology.

How do you describe Mount Sinai Health System’s culture and what do you feel have been the keys to its industry leadership?

Mount Sinai Health System’s culture is inclusive and agile with a commitment to excellence in clinical care, a focus on innovation, along with a combination of being nimble and having the tenacity to navigate the everchanging healthcare landscape.

Will you discuss your roles and areas of focus?

As the CEO of the Faculty Practice, our goals include driving the clinical enterprise to continue to support the academic and research mission of the health system. By focusing on excellence in patient care and meeting our patients where and when they need us, we will continue to drive towards success.

As the SVP of Ambulatory Care, it’s to align all Ambulatory programs to ensure a single standard of care as we continue to provide care to the communities we serve.

Dr. Kelly Cassano An Interview with Dr. Kelly Cassano, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice; Dean for Clinical Affairs, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Operations, Mount Sinai Health System Mount Sinai Doctors facility on East 85th Street in Manhattan
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“We will continue to meet the needs of patients in communities where they live and work, when and how they need us.”

As Dean of Clinical Affair, its understanding and appreciating the myriad of innovation, education and research that takes place at the School each and every day and how it relates to direct patient care in our ambulatory practices.

Will you provide an overview of Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice?

We have 259 freestanding locations that see approximately 5.15 million visits per year and a combination of in-person and telehealth generating $1 billion in revenue.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities to grow the Faculty Practice in such a rapidly changing environment?

We will continue to meet the needs of patients in communities where they live and work, when and how they need us. We must make access to excellent care convenient with the patient at the center of all that we do.

How important is it for Mount Sinai Health System to integrate practices across

the Health System to strengthen cohesion, identity, and commitment?

We have done a tremendous amount of work to align our ambulatory platform and establish an infrastructure that has been optimized with a target focus on efficiency and growth. Our identity remains one of excellence, resilience, and a dedication to our patients.

You were deeply engaged in Mount Sinai Health System’s pandemic response. How proud are you to see the way the Health System led during this uncertain time and the resilience that was displayed by its workforce at all levels of the organization?

Very. In a very short amount of time, we came together as a Health System, removed silos, maximized our collaboration, and built relationships that strengthened us and established the foundation of a true Health System.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women in leadership roles in the profession?

Yes, just take a look at Mount Sinai’s executive leadership team. Regarding the profession overall, now more than ever woman are leading all aspects of healthcare across the country.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in medicine?

Go for it. Work hard, seek a balance, do what you love. It remains an amazing opportunity to serve others.

Did you always know that you wanted to pursue a career in medicine and what has made the profession so special for you?

I actually did not always know, but only made the decision in my last few months of college. It was during an experience working as an athletic trainer in a work study job that I realized that I truly enjoyed helping others. This remains true for me today.•

“By focusing on excellence in patient care and meeting our patients where and when they need us, we will continue to drive towards success.”
Mount Sinai Doctors facility on East 34th Street in Manhattan
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“Our identity remains one of excellence, resilience, and a dedication to our patients.”

Bedside is the Best Side

EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. Beth Oliver is responsible for the practice of nursing across the Health System and collaborates with the senior executive team as well as Chief Nursing Officers throughout Mount Sinai. For more than 28 years, Dr. Oliver has been a transformational cardiac nurse leader at Mount Sinai, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Cardiac Services for the Health System. In this role, she led cardiovascular service line strategy and operations for the Health System while also ensuring the delivery of quality care to Mount Sinai Heart patients. In addition to her Mount Sinai leadership roles, Dr. Oliver has led numerous cardiovascular health-related community outreach programs in partnership with the American Heart Association. In July 2018, Dr. Oliver was appointed President of the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in New York City, becoming the first nurse to hold the position of Board President. She received her MS from Columbia University and her DNP from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Oliver is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

How do you describe Mount Sinai Health System’s nursing culture?

Mount Sinai Health System’s nursing culture is built on collaboration. It’s our unique strength. During COVID, this was more apparent than ever. Titles didn’t matter –everyone jumped in and worked together. If there was one silver lining from the challenges during the pandemic, it was how well we worked together. Furthermore, I’ve recognized that we need to continue to have leadership accessible to all nurses, and I’ve started a series called Breakfast with Beth. We ask nurses to come for breakfast to hear from the front line – what we are doing well and what do we need to improve. Communication is key.

Will you discuss your role and areas of focus?

I am responsible for the practice of nursing across the health system. I collaborate with the health system’s senior executive team, our executive cabinet of nurse leaders, which I instituted when I was promoted in 2020, as well as the chief nursing officers throughout Mount Sinai. My top three priorities are to ensure

the safety and quality of care for our patients, transforming the care we provide, and decreasing the overall costs of that care. These priorities have improved our patients’ overall experience. I also am tasked to develop and maintain Mount Sinai’s national reputation for excellence in nursing services. I participate in creating the health system’s strategic plan – setting annual and longterm performance goals with our leadership team, and I leverage Mount Sinai’s nursing excellence to advance the achievement of these strategic goals, optimize clinical outcomes, enhance employee engagement, and promote a best-in-class patient experience.

Will you provide an overview of nursing at Mount Sinai?

We have a cabinet of nurse executives that form our operational and reputational nursing strategy for the health system. The cabinet includes executive positions in areas that include finance and operations as well as the dean of our nursing school. We then have chief nursing

officers who oversee nursing at our eight hospitals as well as ambulatory care. From there, we have nursing leaders that oversee strategic service lines and programs across the health system. Every nurse’s mission, no matter their titles, is defined in our nursing strategic plan. That mission includes a commitment to improve the patient experience, to build a culture of safety and quality through a team-based model, and to create value-based care.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities to grow nursing excellence?

Our greatest opportunities are really found with our new nurses. We have placed a priority on building a bridge from our own extraordinary nursing school to our hospitals. We want to make sure our new nurses feel safe and prepared to care for our patient population. Simulation is key in training, and our new state-of-the art location for our nursing school offers bedside simulation training and will soon offer operating room simulation training. As nurses have retired, we want to make sure new nurses feel comfortable so we can recruit and retain them. Another recruitment and retention tool that we’ve created is an upward mobility

Beth Oliver An Interview with Beth Oliver, Chief Nurse Executive and Senior Vice President, Cardiac Services, Mount Sinai Health System
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Nurses at work in the Mount Sinai Health System (above and opposite page)

program that allows nurses with Associate’s Degrees to earn their RN-BSN on the job, so they take classes at our nursing school to advance their degree while working in one of our hospitals.

What is the role of nursing excellence across the Health System to strengthen cohesion, identity, and commitment?

Mount Sinai Nursing places a high priority level on diversity, equity, and inclusion. By doing so, we are able to strengthen our teams, leverage and share new ideas, and deliver excellent patient-centered care. We are committed to also highlighting nursing excellence within our health system and externally to recognize our nurses’ crucial and diverse roles here and in shaping nursing care into the future.

You were deeply engaged in Mount Sinai Health System’s pandemic response. How proud are you to see the way Mount Sinai Health System led during this uncertain time and the resilience that was displayed by its nurses at all levels of the organization?

It’s something that I’ll never forget. It’s something that has shaped me. I was extremely proud of our nurses’ strength and resilience across the health system. We worked really collaboratively with our colleagues in emergency medicine to triage an almost impossible crisis, and we were able to shift and be agile. Our teams assisted across departments and even across all of our sites.

One success story was the work we did to help our hospital in Brooklyn, which was in one of the hotspots during the first wave of the pandemic. We sent a nursing leadership team into that hospital, and they righted the ship. Everybody just rose to the occasion as we were hit with thousands of very sick patients.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women in leading roles in the profession?

Historically nursing was a women’s profession, so naturally women had a little less of a glass ceiling to take on leadership roles. Now, the profession continues to diversify, and we have a growing male cohort. Moving forward, I think there is tremendous opportunity since COVID as we continue to shift to a community care model and go into the home. With these community and home-based care models, you will see nurses leading healthcare teams that

historically have been led by doctors. As nursing is elevated as a profession, there are more and more leadership roles available. At Sinai alone, we created our executive cabinet above our chief nursing officer title, which is a unique opportunity for growth in our profession.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in nursing?

My advice is that it is the best job. Our catch phrase is “Bedside is the Best Side,” but there are many roles beyond the bedside to explore. I also advise people to look at all of the diverse roles that a nurse can do – for example, research, education, informatics. And within bedside roles, there are so many different specialties. There’s something for everyone. With our scheduling flexibility, a nurse has a tremendous opportunity to prioritize work-life balance by working three days a week. It can provide you with the opportunity for much needed downtime, or the time to pursue your other interests and passions.

Did you always know that you wanted to pursue a career in nursing and what has made the profession so special for you?

I knew that I wanted to be a nurse since I was 14 years old. I loved the idea of being able to help people. We make a difference every single day. Nursing someone back to health should not be minimized. The ability to do what Florence Nightingale did is more important than ever. Nurses spend more time at the bedside than anyone. We give our patients the power of the human spirit. Beyond medicine, we get them up and walking to make progress in their healing. We talk to their family. We educate. When a patient comes to us, their care and healing is in our hands and it’s an amazing honor to care for them. It’s a special profession, and I work hard every day to ensure it’s well respected. •

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A Pioneer in Sustainability

EDITORS’ NOTE In her current role, Lauren Moss oversees Vornado’s industry-leading sustainability programs including initiatives focused on energy efficiency, green cleaning, waste diversion programming, technology and infrastructure, and healthy environments. Moss has more than 20 years of experience managing sustainability, energy, and capital improvements for large-scale buildings and portfolios, and is recognized as an industry thought leader and advocate on green policy, regulation, and compliance. Prior to joining Vornado, she was Senior Vice President at Adai, the administrator of the Fitwel certification program, and previously worked in the sustainability practices at engineering firms NORESCO and Steven Winter Associates. She is a member of the Board of NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association) and is the Executive Vice President of the New York Energy Consumers Council. Moss earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University.

COMPANY BRIEF Vornado Realty Trust (vno.com)

is a preeminent owner, manager, and developer of office and retail assets. Vornado’s portfolio is concentrated in the nation’s key market – New York City – along with the premier asset in both Chicago and San Francisco. Vornado is also the real estate industry leader in sustainability policy. The company owns and manages over 26 million square feet of LEED certified buildings and received the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award, Sustained Excellence 2022. Vornado is listed on the NYSE and is a member of the S&P MidCap 400.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Vornado and made you feel it was the right fit?

Vornado has been a pioneer and leader in sustainability and the development of ESG goals and programs for 10+ years. It’s clear through Vornado’s continuous recognition by the Energy Star Partner of the Year program and the many NAREIT Leader in the Light awards. The opportunity to be a part of an organization with a long-term commitment focused on implementing and achieving real impact for all

stakeholders is incredibly exciting and rewarding. I had worked with many of the people on our Sustainability team in previous positions, so I knew how committed, creative, and innovative the organization was and when I had the opportunity to meet with the leadership to discuss the next steps in the ESG journey, I was so impressed by the insightfulness and support shown to the position, the programming and the goals. ESG and Sustainability in the real estate world are at a critical juncture right now, where the commitments made require detailed, viable, and responsible roadmaps to achieve the goals.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

My role is to maintain Vornado’s role as a leader in this industry through developing innovative programs, achieving our commitments and meeting the needs of our stakeholders. ESG is a diverse area as our team manages energy procurement, energy planning, development of carbon emissions and energy reduction projects, maintaining certifications, reporting on our goals and progress, identification of new programming and projects like the development of a net zero program and an embodied carbon framework. My work also crosses over to the “S” and “G” to positively impact the health and well-being of our tenants and support our IT & Security team through certifications and alignment with our work and the existing ESG frameworks. My work is both internal and external, managing and supporting our team, and working with our senior management team to achieve and communicate to our stakeholders. Our team spends a tremendous amount of time engaging with tenants, educating, and aligning them on energy reduction projects and adoption of best practices for waste and water programs like the introduction of organics programs. I think of my role as one that spans our entire company – development, leasing, capital markets, operations, accounting – focused on aligning the needs and requirements of our stakeholders with the goals of our organization.

How important is it in your role to have such deep commitment and engagement from Vornado’s Board and senior management for its sustainability initiatives?

In my role, I cannot be successful without the support of the Board and senior management. Our Corporate ESG Team is comprised of our

Lead Trustee, President/CFO, CAO, Corporation Counsel and SVP of Human Resources. This provides me with support from the top down in the organization. I report to the Co-Heads of Real Estate to ensure that we are focused on the integration of sustainability across the entire organization and within development and leasing/tenant engagement. Our team sits within Operations and the COO supports the daily work that we do in our buildings. We are a service to the organization, supporting each department like Development, Operations and Property Management, to help ensure the longterm viability of our assets, the ability to meet the needs of current and future tenants and educate and support our own employees.

Will you discuss Vornado’s ESG Strategy and how ESG is embedded into Vornado’s operations and culture?

Vornado was one of the first public REITs to make a commitment to carbon neutrality, building upon the work that began in 2012 and was publicly reported on. Vornado is a 12-time winner of NAREIT’s Leader in the Light award – showcasing our long-term commitment to ESG. We have broad goals that require adoption by all facets of the organization.

Vision 2030 is Vornado’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality. We are relying on both existing and future technology, as well as meaningful stakeholder collaboration with our tenants, our employees, and our communities. In 2021, we made a SBTi commitment to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emission intensity by 64 percent per SF by 2030 below a 2019 base year. Our commitment is 1.5°C-aligned, the most ambitious designation offered. Vornado submeters our tenant’s electricity usage. Realtime energy monitoring and invoices are made available to tenants through interactive online submeter platforms. Vornado has procured Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) across our portfolio to document our commitment to renewable energy and the environment, including sourcing from hydro energy facilities located in the State of New York.

We are committed to providing clean air through a proactive indoor air quality program that tests twice a year for a range of IAQ indicators. Our building filtration media are equipped with the highest Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 13 or greater rating whenever possible, to reduce any particulates from

Lauren Brust Moss
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An Interview with Lauren Brust Moss, Senior Vice President – Chief Sustainability Officer, Vornado Realty Trust

supply air sources entering our buildings. We uphold our commitment to provide safe water to tenants through a proactive water safety and management program.

Our green cleaning program creates healthy workplaces using standards that combine best practices for the use of low environmental impact products with a particular focus on occupant health and indoor air quality. Vornado’s subsidiary, Building Maintenance Service (BMS), cleans and maintains our buildings to LEED, WELL, and Fitwel green cleaning standards.

Vornado’s commitment to increase responsible waste diversion through broad recycling and reuse markets is accomplished through our progressive goals and improved building waste infrastructure. Most importantly, we have been and continue to be actively engaged with our tenants on best practice strategies to reduce overall waste across many waste streams to keep material out of landfills. We employ comprehensive data collection on these efforts, including annual waste audits and organics programs that lead to targeted programs designed to effect continuous improvement toward our waste reduction goals.

One focus of our social strategy is through our proprietary LIVE.WORK.DO. app, designed exclusively for our tenants to seamlessly connect with their buildings’ amenities, services, and work order system, as well as to connect the neighborhood to our tenants. We strive to foster and nurture the community

within our buildings for our tenants and visitors, and to enrich the neighborhoods and communities in which our buildings are located. This is apparent through our support of the communities via volunteering, charitable support, and the addition of green space in all of our redevelopment efforts.

Within Governance, Vornado is committed to rigorous cybersecurity protocols and employs a multifaceted approach for protecting our data and the computing environment utilized by our employees and external vendors. We engage with multiple third-party services that provide in-depth 24/7 network monitoring in addition to performing scans for vulnerabilities. In addition, we support and supplement our cybersecurity efforts with physical security to further protect and maintain the network and computing equipment that allow us to operate our assets efficiently. We believe strongly in educating our employees by utilizing both online cybersecurity education and performing phishing campaigns to understand areas of additional educational need.

What do you see as the keys to being effective in a company’s ESG efforts?

What is critical to being effective in ESG efforts is a willingness to listen, work with a variety of stakeholders, approach each challenge as an opportunity and to communicate throughout the process. We focus on understanding our business objectives, our stakeholder objectives, and aligning our ESG

goals with those objectives to progress towards better operations and better outcomes. I work to balance sustainability as a service with market conditions and tenant expectations to drive forward our mission and achievements. And, building support in all areas of the organization, especially with the Board and senior management, is critical.

How critical are metrics to track the impact of Vornado’s sustainability efforts?

Metrics are critical to our progress so that we can continue to do the work that we are doing, evaluate and understand our impact and make decisions about future projects and goals. We are constantly evaluating our impact in a variety of ways such as the number of tenants engaged with over a given year, certifications achieved, GHG reductions reached, financial return on building investments, and others. This allows us to report transparently and thoroughly to our investors and Board so we can quantify the impact that ESG has on our organization and continue to build our programming.

Will you highlight the importance of engaging Vornado’s workforce in its ESG efforts?

Our employees are the foundation of our business. We provide training and education, promote career and personal development, and encourage innovation and engagement to foster their talent and growth. Vornado operates in a diverse and inclusive environment that empowers the individual and enriches the employment experience. As a business leader in one of the most diverse markets in the world, we have a responsibility to improve representation in the real estate industry and enhance opportunities within our organization.

As mentioned, we rely on our workforce to implement our projects which is why it is so critical to have relationships throughout the organization. The Development team executes our certification and carbon neutrality goals while our Operations team ensures energy saving projects are implemented, air quality and water testing is complete and BMS ensures that we meet our procurement and green cleaning goals. We could not achieve the targets that we, a team of seven, have set without support throughout the organization.

What are your priorities for Vornado’s sustainability work as you look to the future?

My priorities are to achieve the sustainability goals that Vornado sets out including our SBTi target. We are working towards developing a strong DEI program to benefit our employees and communities, a longer-term net zero goal and an embodied carbon goal so that we begin to broaden our view as we reduce our operational carbon through energy consumption reductions and grid transitions. As we achieve our goals, we are constantly thinking through the next step in our journey which will hopefully include zero waste targets, broader water reduction goals and continued engagement with our tenants in a meaningful way.•

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An Engine for Talent

EDITORS’ NOTE Mina Alaghband is Partner in McKinsey’s Technology practice, where she works with software and hi-tech companies to achieve sustained growth and performance. Alaghband advises clients on advanced analytics, strategy, sales and customer success to deliver improved commercial productivity and growth. She is on McKinsey’s Technology Council, co-leads the firm’s East Coast initiatives and efforts on engaging and supporting women, and co-leads the flagship technology executive forum, Advancing Women Executives. Alaghband received a joint BA/MA from Yale University in history, and an MBA and MSc in environmental technology from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

FIRM BRIEF McKinsey (mckinsey.com) is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organizations accelerate sustainable and inclusive growth. It works with clients across the private, public, and social sectors to solve complex problems and create positive change for all its stakeholders. The firm combines bold strategies and transformative technologies to help organizations innovate more sustainably, achieve lasting gains in performance, and build workforces that will thrive for this generation and the next.

What is your leadership philosophy and how do you put it into practice at McKinsey?

My leadership philosophy is centered around harnessing my team’s unique talents and

skills – I ask what makes this person exceptional, and how can they excel in having impact in this situation. From there it’s about fostering a culture of collaboration, driving innovation, and enabling individual ownership. How does McKinsey approach Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) within the company, within its client work, and in the communities in which it works?

DEI is both an explicit set of targets and also a crucial enabler of our dual mission to drive client impact and create an unparalleled people experience. At the broadest level, we do groundbreaking research – over the past decade we have set out a compelling business and economic case for diversity, tracked progress across industries, and convened leaders to take action.

We support our clients with systems and capabilities to drive DEI outcomes. We leverage behavioral psychology, insights from hundreds of experts, and proprietary tools and technology-driven solutions.

At the micro level, it’s about making incremental changes wherever we can. An example that comes to mind is we had a client who was re-designing a talent management system. Embodying our value of obligation to dissent, an associate in one of my teams thoughtfully challenged the client executive on how the new system may enshrine bias. She came back with an alternative proposal, which was adopted across the whole business and increased their female talent retention at the manager and director levels by 15 percent in the first two years.

And then internally, we’ve been making progress – slower than we would like, but with some wins along the way – with nearly 50 percent gender parity across the firm, and half of all hires being women across all levels. I am proud that we also have more women in leadership than ever before.

What are some examples of ways that McKinsey fosters young leaders through mentorship and coaching?

McKinsey is a remarkable engine for talent, and the expectation of the leadership in the organization is to develop our people as a core part of our mission. It’s in the DNA of our firm, and a central component to our operating model: we track how we are supporting more junior colleagues, and are evaluated against our ability to develop collaborative, inclusive learning environments.

What does that look like? We encourage young leaders to get apprenticeship on the craft: identify managers who can train them on the tactics and methods of the role, and provide regular, real-time feedback. But also, to find mentors who can give them guidance and advice on their career paths, pairing them with sponsors who will create growth opportunities.

As one of the leaders in the Technology practice, and a member of McKinsey’s Technology Council, what are your observations on how to drive more female representation in tech leadership?

I am very passionate about this topic, and McKinsey has spent a great deal of time and resources researching it. There are several paths for progressing more women in the tech

Mina Alaghband An Interview with Mina Alaghband, Technology and Software Leader and Partner, McKinsey & Company
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“DEI is both an explicit set of targets and also a crucial enabler of our dual mission to drive client impact and create an unparalleled people experience.”

sector – but the most critical are to promote them through corporations, and to fund them as founders.

In our latest Women in the Workplace report, we highlighted that women typically fall out of the funnel at the manager level – it’s the broken rung in the career ladder. This is a sad truth about women’s progression across all industries, but it’s a significant issue within the technology sector. In hardware, IT services, telecom and even software, this problem is exacerbated with only 23-38 percent of the workforce at the manager level being women. That number just tapers from there.

In my years working for McKinsey and for software companies, I have observed a few solutions that are working: establish senior mentors and sponsors for women, provide line manager training to get women past that first rung, offer flexibility in location and hours, and have meaningful benefits to support women.

On the founder side, since 2014 female-led or co-founded start-ups have secured only 15 percent of VC funding in the U.S. What’s the solution here? Start by taking female consumers seriously and understanding their preferences. Women investors, who make up only 13 percent of decision-makers at U.S. VC firms, invest up to two times more in female founders. Limited Partners and General Partners demanding more female representation in investment committees would be another good starting point.

How will the advent of new, cuttingedge technologies impact women?

I think the jury is still out on a number of cutting-edge technologies. Early indications aren’t terribly promising, however with thoughtful

design and regulation there’s a huge opportunity to build inclusively.

For example, we just published research showing less than 10 percent of leaders in the metaverse are women – similar structural barriers persist even in new economies. New technology also tends to be built on historical data, which has bias within it. A recent study of photo moderation services showed that AI engines consistently rate photos of women as more sexually suggestive than those of men –even those which are medical and clothed. It’s a good example of how the technologies we’re building, if unregulated, could entrench structural inequalities we see in society today.

With that said, I’m generally an optimist and there is light on the horizon. For example, when we look at the future of software development it is becoming much more “low/no code”, which should empower those from backgrounds with less formal training as engineers. Or when we look at genomics reducing the cost to treat diseases, this may reduce the historical barrier of underinvestment in women’s health.

How should business leaders think about retaining and progressing more women in the coming years?

Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen, and ambitious young women are prepared to do the same. To make meaningful and sustainable progress toward gender equality, companies need to go beyond table stakes.

In what McKinsey is calling the “Great Breakup,” women are demanding more from work, and they’re leaving their companies in

unprecedented numbers to get it – and at higher rates than men in leadership. That could have serious implications for companies as women are already significantly underrepresented in leadership.

The reasons for this are telling. Women leaders are just as ambitious as men, but at many companies, they face headwinds that signal it will be harder to advance. They’re more likely to experience microaggressions, such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior. They’re doing more to support employee wellbeing and foster inclusion, but this critical work is spreading them thin and going mostly unrewarded. And finally, it’s increasingly important to women leaders that they work for companies that prioritize flexibility, employee wellbeing, and DEI.

If companies don’t take action, they risk losing not only their current women leaders, but also the next generation of women leaders. They are watching senior women leave for better opportunities, and our research suggests they are prepared to do the same.

What advice do you offer others looking to build their career in consulting or technology?

My advice in general is give mission to your life. Know what you are pushing for, what you want to achieve and what the underlying motivation for that is. It could be mitigating the current climate emergency through technology, empowering the next generation of women leaders, or simply providing a better life for your family – knowing your mission will turbo charge your motivation and authenticity.•

“McKinsey is a remarkable engine for talent, and the expectation of the leadership in the organization is to develop our people as a core part of our mission.”
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“Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen, and ambitious young women are prepared to do the same. To make meaningful and sustainable progress toward gender equality, companies need to go beyond table stakes.”

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Improving the Built Environment

EDITORS’ NOTE Kathryn Scheckel is responsible for identifying, accelerating, and delivering transformative ideas across the built environment and beyond. In this capacity, she oversees the progress and implementation of cross-functional initiatives at Hines that help push the business forward. Prior to this role, she led the Strategic Project Office in delivering firmwide strategies for complex, multi-stakeholder projects involving internal and external parties, reporting to the Office of the CEO. Since joining Hines in 2019, she has initiated the global relaunch of OneHines Women’s Network, which strengthens and empowers diversity, equity, and inclusion amongst women at Hines. Before joining the firm, her career included strategic roles at McKinsey & Company in New York, focusing on organizational strategy and commercial real estate; and at Arizona State University serving in a variety of roles including as a senior director in the Office of the President. She received her BS degree in molecular biosciences and biotechnology, a BA degree in piano performance, and master’s degree in public policy from Arizona State University.

FIRM BRIEF Hines (hines.com) is a global real estate investment, development and property manager. The firm was founded by Gerald D. Hines in 1957 and now operates in 30 countries. The firms manages nearly $96 billion in high-performing assets across residential, logistics, retail, office, and mixed-use strategies. Its local teams serve 480 properties totaling nearly 241 million square feet globally. Hines is committed to a net zero carbon target by 2040 without buying offsets.

How do you describe Hines’ culture and values?

At Hines, our values are built around a commitment to integrity, collaboration, innovation, and excellence. Our founder, Gerald D. Hines, was known for raising the bar in the commercial real estate industry by constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of what others thought was possible, and that approach to improving the built environment is at the heart of everything we do.

Hines strives to create a workplace that is supportive, collaborative, and empowering, and we value diversity, inclusion, and respect for all individuals. Our commitment to sustainability is also a core part of our culture, and we are dedicated to developing properties that are environmentally responsible and intelligently designed, as well as human-centered services.

Our culture and values reflect our dedication to excellence in every aspect of our business, from investment and development to property management and sustainability. We are committed to maintaining these high standards as we enter the next phase of leadership with Laura Hines-Pierce as co-CEO alongside her father, Jeff Hines, representing the second and third generations of the Hines family at the helm.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

As the leader of Hines’ Global Venture Lab, I am honored to be at the forefront of a mission to identify, accelerate, and deliver gamechanging ventures that will shape the future of the built environment and beyond, all while partnering closely with our leaders within Hines and in the broader ecosystem beyond Hines. The Global Venture Lab is focused on both building new ventures through an in-house incubator, and partnering and investing in areas of high-priority aligned with our investment thesis. We complement our core business, which is innovating every day. The Lab, part of a broader business unit called EXP by Hines, is committed to driving Hines’ business forward through cross-functional initiatives that push the boundaries of what is possible in commercial real estate.

Our Global Venture Lab team is passionate about exploring new opportunities and revolutionizing the industry through cutting-edge solutions that address three themes: the evolving use of physical space, next-generation ESG solutions, and revolutionary builtworld technologies. We believe that these areas are critical to the future of our industry, and we are committed to leveraging our expertise and resources to find new and innovative ways to create value for our customers and communities.

The GVL also partners closely with our Global ESG platform, led by Peter Epping, and under the leadership of Doug Holte, our CEO of EXP. Our collaboration is critical; we know that in addition to the transition of our business in the next decades toward net zero, we must also be pushing the boundaries in ESG –including in alternative concrete building materials, social platforms including attainable housing strategies, and energy transition accelerants. We work closely with Peter, and also our Chief Carbon Strategy Officer, Michael Izzo. We employ a set of ESG criteria in everything we do in the Venture Lab, in addition to “what” we focus on.

Through the Global Venture Lab, we are fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that empowers our team to explore new ideas, take calculated risks, and drive meaningful change in the built world.

Will you elaborate on the mission and purpose of the Hines Global Venture Lab?

Since our founding, Hines has constantly pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the world of commercial real estate. The Global Venture Lab is an extension of that ethos, and is dedicated to identifying and accelerating ventures, partnerships, and investments that will benefit our investors and the communities we serve while making progress toward our commitment to be net zero by 2040.

The Global Venture Lab is an industryleading function with a unique combination of a venture incubator for early-stage startups, as well as a world-class venture investing and partnering arm. Our talented team combines individuals with entrepreneurial and venture track records, and real estate experience, to bring new skills into our ecosystem.

The launch of the Global Venture Lab is a significant milestone for Hines, as it underscores our commitment to innovation, progress, and excellence. The Lab also builds on our commitment to innovation as we remain dedicated to driving meaningful change in the world of commercial real estate, and we are confident that the Global Venture Lab will help us achieve our goals in ways that we never thought possible.

What was the vision for launching EXP by Hines?

Hines has a history and culture of innovation and sustainability. That’s why we are

Kathryn Scheckel
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An Interview with Kathryn Scheckel, Head of Global Venture Lab, Hines

excited to introduce EXP, our new function that is focused on exploring and addressing unsolved market deficiencies, experimenting with innovative solutions, and accelerating progress towards a more sustainable and livable world.

EXP, led by CEO Doug Holte, consists of two business groups: Global ESG and the Global Venture Lab. We have assembled a dedicated and experienced leadership team to lead these groups, and we are confident that we will uncover new opportunities and disrupt the commercial real estate industry.

Through Global ESG, we will be focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, and exploring how we can make our properties more sustainable and resilient. The Global Venture Lab will be focused on finding new opportunities and driving innovation in the real estate industry. EXP has the potential to enable us to better serve our clients and investors and make a positive impact on the world.

You initiated the global relaunch of OneHines Women’s Network. Will you discuss the focus of OneHines Women’s Network and the impact that is has made at the company?

We firmly believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but critical components of our success. That’s why we are immensely proud to have a powerful women’s employee resource group (ERG) called the OneHines Women’s Network that is laser-focused on supporting and empowering the outstanding women in our workplace. In my role, I have helped to relaunch this network alongside my co-leads, Anna Budd, co-Head of Legal for

The OneHines Women’s Network enhances the experience of women at Hines by providing allyship and a support network to share stories and serve as a global platform to empower and activate local initiatives. In addition to this, the group provides access to invaluable resources and tools, enabling our female colleagues to upskill, learn from one another, and advance their careers to even greater heights.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting women at Hines, as well as creating an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and fosters a true sense of belonging for all our employees. I am excited with the reinvigoration of our network in 2023, as we emerge from COVID and welcome many new Hines colleagues across the globe, and to see how this community will help empower even greater progress for our female colleagues and allies.

How important is it for Hines to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

A diverse workforce brings a range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas that are vital for creating value in our industry. By building a workforce that reflects the communities we serve, we can better understand the needs and desires of our clients and create more innovative and effective solutions.

Equally important is our commitment to equity and inclusion. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed, and we are committed to creating a workplace that is inclusive, respectful, and supportive of all individuals.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but it is also critical for our long-term success. We believe that by fostering a culture that values and respects diversity, we can attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement, and drive innovation. Our dedicated DEI team helps support this mission and connectivity to initiatives across Hines.

What do you see as Hines’ responsibility to be engaged in the communities it serves?

We view our work as a partnership with the people who live and work in the places we develop and manage, and we are committed to ensuring that our projects create lasting value for everyone involved. This includes not only providing high-quality buildings and amenities, but also contributing to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the communities in which we operate.

One example of our commitment to community engagement is our Südkreuz development in Berlin. In this project, our team went beyond the typical measures for affordable housing by including special needs groups, disadvantaged youths coming out of prison, seniors, and students in our design. We also created a vibrant community by incorporating shared amenities, on-site daycare, and various common spaces, including a green courtyard, music room, function room, hotel-type rooms for rent, and a co-working space.

Our efforts to create a socially responsible development not only proved to be the right thing to do, but also economically viable. We received recognition and support from both the community and the district’s officials, which opened up new development sites in the neighborhood.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women in grow and lead in the industry?

There are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the commercial real estate industry, and it is up to organizations like Hines to create and promote those opportunities. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our success as a company and as an industry, and we are actively working to create an environment in which everyone has the opportunity to succeed. We have a number of initiatives in place to support women in our company and in the industry more broadly, including mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and leadership development programs. Initiating dialogue within our organization and among peers and others in the ecosystem will continue to be critical, both in real estate and in venture within the built environment. Examples I’ve recently engaged in include through Arche, a networking group for women in CRE, started by Angelo Gordon’s Cubby Sporrong. I look forward to continuing to contribute to these dialogues. •

Hines, and Maria Elena Andrade, Senior Director and HR Business Partner for our Southwest Region.
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The Stack Deep Ellum, a Hines development in Dallas, Texas

People Strategy

EDITORS’ NOTE Carmen Canton leads the Human Resources function for New York-based hospitality company, Loews Hotels & Co. She brings more than 25 years of hands-on hospitality experience to Loews Hotels, working at a property, regional, and corporate level. Canton comes to Loews most recently from the Kessler Collection, where she led and pioneered the people strategy for the company. Previous to the Kessler Collection, Canton held the position of Area Senior Director of Human Resources for the Hilton Luxury Brands leading Human Resources Operations for 24 properties covering 10,000 employees across the Americas. Additionally, she spent time as the Human Resources Director for several RitzCarlton properties in Puerto Rico, Spain and Portugal. Canton is a member of SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) and earned a Master’s in Human Resources Management from EAE Business School in Barcelona.

was the commitment from the executive leadership team to ensure our team members are the most important part of our organization and, as such, our priority is to ensure we take care of them during their journey with us. How do you describe Loews Hotels’ culture and values?

Our company purpose is “to enrich life through exceptional experiences” and this applies not only to our guests, but also to our team members, partners, and the neighborhoods where our

hotels reside. Our principles are centered on Family, Care, Professionalism, Integrity, Value, and connection with our Neighbors. These principles are at the core of everything we do in every discipline.

The words Respect and Family are the most repeated words by our team members when asked to define our culture.

Will you discuss the role of the Chief People Officer?

I think the most important word in my role is People. My role is to lead the people strategy to engage the best team of professionals so they can deliver our promise to our guests. This involves

COMPANY BRIEF

Headquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels & Co (loewshotels.com) is rooted in deep heritage and excellence in service. The hospitality company encompasses branded independent Loews Hotels, and a solid mix of partner-brand hotels. Loews Hotels & Co owns and/or operates 26 hotels and resorts across the U.S. and Canada. Located in major city centers and resort destinations from coast to coast, the Loews Hotels portfolio features properties grounded in family heritage and dedicated to delivering unscripted guest moments with a handcrafted approach.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Loews Hotels and made you feel it was the right fit?

Loews Hotels & Co has always had a strong reputation as an employer of choice, mostly because of the culture of genuine care for our team members. This aligns perfectly with my values, both personally and professionally. A people-centric company like Loews Hotels is very appealing for any HR professional, especially in a position like mine where you have the opportunity to impact the business results through decisions related to people.

One of the most important factors that made me realize that Loews was the right fit for me

Carmen Canton An Interview with Carmen Canton, Chief People Officer, Loews Hotels & Co
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Loews Arlington Hotel

ensuring we have strong and meaningful programs and initiatives in every area that affects our team members’ experience and the company culture.

As a Chief People Officer, it is essential to continuously analyze and adapt our strategy based on the needs of our people and the company key objectives.

Some of the key areas for this role are talent management, to maximize everyone’s potential, compensation and benefits, to ensure we answer to the unique needs of our teams, and engagement, through best-in-class recognition, well-being and communication programs.

How critical is it for the role to be engaged in business strategy?

Having a Chief People Officer is vital for supporting the company’s business strategy. An organization’s success depends on the culture and engagement of its team members.

If we think about hospitality, I would say it is even more important, because we are a business focused around people. I can’t imagine how Loews would achieve our key business objectives without having the people strategy as a critical part of it.

What are your views on the future of work and how important is it for employees to be in an office to collaborate and maintain company culture?

The way we work has changed dramatically, especially after the pandemic. We need to be open and flexible to different models. These flexible options are what existing and potential team members are looking for, and likely each individual’s needs are different.

Being physically present in an office doesn’t always mean people are interacting or collaborating better than in a remote location. Each team within an organization

should identify their purpose and need and develop a balance that suits all involved. Utilizing technology, systems and processes will ensure connection and collaboration without being necessarily in the office five days a week.

Our industry does not have the capability to offer remote work or telework for many roles that require in-person human interactions, however we can always provide other types of flexibility because the traditional way of working will not probably come back. Giving choices to our people is a great competitive advantage.

Will you highlight Loews Hotels’ commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce?

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has always been in our company’s DNA. We are proud to say that our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce is not new, but we recognize that there is work to be done, especially at some levels in the organization, and this is reflected in our objectives for the next several years.

Our DEI purpose is a commitment to our multiple stakeholders and is held up by our 3 Pillars: Team Member Experience, Culture and Partnerships. We are committed to providing an inclusive and equitable experience for all team members, through each part of their career journey with Loews Hotels & Co. We promote a culture of authenticity, belonging, and accountability and we develop meaningful partnerships to support under-represented communities, educational institutions, and diverse suppliers.

Since last year we are investing in additional resources, and have prioritized our focus areas as part of our people strategy.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the hospitality industry?

Absolutely. The hospitality industry is an amazing industry for career growth. We continue to see the effort to ensure senior positions have female representation, but there is still some work to do in positions traditionally occupied by men, such as Executive Chefs.

I am proud to share that at Loews Hotels & Co, 42 percent of director roles and above are held by women.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers?

When thinking about advice for young people, I would likely use the same advice I give my daughter. I would tell them to be curious and be open to continuous learning and new challenges because they can find their true passion and true fit by trying and experiencing different opportunities.

Every individual is different, and I am not sure there is universal advice for young people, however I would also tell them to make sure they are selective in choosing the right company to work for, and to join an organization where they can be mentored, developed, have a sense of belonging and where they can grow to achieve their goals.•

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Loews Coral Gables Hotel

Transforming Healthcare

EDITORS’ NOTE Alexandra Villoch joined Baptist Health South Florida in June 2019 as Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Health Foundation. Her role also includes oversight of the organization’s Government & Community Relations and Hospitality & Business Relations divisions. Villoch most recently served as President and Publisher of the Miami Herald Media Company and East Region Publisher for McClatchy, a national media company and parent company of the Miami Herald Media Company. There, she led all digital and print operations at seven media companies, including the Miami Herald Media Company, as well as other media properties in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Miami Herald, she was United Airlines’ General Manager for Miami International Airport and the Caribbean. She also held roles with Southeast Bank and Eastern Airlines. Villoch is past Chair of The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency, and Chair Emeritus of the Council’s One Community One Goal Initiative. She has served on the Executive Committee of the United Way of Miami-Dade County, and co-chaired the annual campaign for two years. She also is past Chair of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Board of Miami-Dade County and has served on the Miami-Dade College Foundation Board and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. In 2012, she was awarded the International Economic Development Council’s Citizen Leadership Award, a national award that recognizes a community and business leader who plays a key role in economic development in their community. She has also been the recipient of the Boys & Girls Club Community Builder Award and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Power Leader of the Year Award, among other accolades. Villoch holds a BA degree in political science and an MBA degree from the University of Miami. She also attended Miami-Dade College.

FOUNDATION BRIEF The mission of Baptist Health Foundation (BaptistHealth.net/Foundation) is to inspire philanthropy and build extraordinary donor relationships in support of excellence, innovation, community wellness, and global leadership in healthcare at Baptist Health South Florida. Through philanthropy, the Foundation supports

and expands Baptist Health’s ability to provide outstanding patient care and bring the latest treatments to patients and families affected by a serious illness. Donor contributions also allow the Foundation to assist Baptist Health facilities in keeping pace with technology and equipment advances, perform cuttingedge research and offer continuing education opportunities to medical staff.

What interested you in joining Baptist Health and made you feel it was the right fit?

Throughout my career, I have always been with companies that are mission-based and give back to the communities they serve in different ways. The ability to make an impact on the well-being of our community has always been very important to me, and I’m grateful for a career that’s been both meaningful and rewarding. All the roles I have held in my career are similar in that they have offered me the opportunity to give back to the place that shaped both my personal life and career.

My current position as CEO of Baptist Health Foundation is part of this continuum – allowing me to promote our vision and develop meaningful donor relationships with the goal of transforming the future of healthcare in South Florida. Also, it is especially meaningful to me, as a 19-year breast cancer survivor, to be able to support our incredible physicians, groundbreaking research and compassionate care, right here where I live.

As an immigrant who came from Cuba with my parents in 1960, I was taught that we have been blessed and therefore we must give back in gratitude. I have been involved in the South Florida community in various non-profit board positions as a result. I served as Chair of The Beacon Council – Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency – and continue to serve on the Executive Committee. I also served as Board Chair of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Miami-Dade, along with chairing the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, and serving many years on the Executive Committee of United Way of Miami-Dade County. I also served on the board of the Miami-Dade College Foundation, as access to education can make all the difference.

Alexandra Villoch An Interview with Alexandra Villoch, Chief Executive Officer, Baptist Health Foundation
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Alexandra Villoch speaking about Bounce Back from Cancer™ , a partnership between the Miami HEAT and Baptist Health Foundation

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

As the CEO of Baptist Health Foundation, I lead the philanthropic efforts that support the Baptist Health organization, which spans twelve hospitals, four specialized institutes for cancer, neuro, orthopedic, and cardiovascular research and care, and outpatient, urgent care, and other facilities throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. My work also involves oversight of Baptist Health’s government and community relations, hospitality, and international divisions.

For Baptist Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organization, philanthropy is the key to advancing our mission and catalyzing our vision to become the preeminent healthcare provider in Florida, meeting and responding to today’s greatest challenges – and opportunities – in healthcare. In my role, I lead Baptist Health’s philanthropic strategy by showcasing the organization’s opportunities for transformative donor support and building the philanthropic partnerships that have a life-changing impact on our patients, the community we serve, and people everywhere who benefit from groundbreaking advancements in medicine and research.

As South Florida’s population grows and globalizes, the need for exceptional, accessible care and leading-edge research is more urgent than ever. In response, Baptist Health is expanding the reach of our institutes and pioneering innovative, world-class healthcare as we evolve into a global destination for research, discovery, innovation, and treatment. Philanthropy turns possibility into reality, and we are working to drive this momentum.

Will you highlight the history of the Baptist Health Foundation and how you define its mission?

Philanthropy at Baptist Health has come a very long way. Baptist Hospital was originally developed thanks to a gift from industrialist and real estate developer Arthur Vining Davis, who had a vision for healthcare to serve his residential communities. He donated 55 acres in what was then a remote part of Miami, as well as $1 million to build the hospital, which opened in 1960.

As the 1980s approached the Baptist Hospital Foundation was formally established. The Foundation began by leveraging hospital events to raise funds, and donations gradually increased. New hospitals, such as South Miami,

Mariners and Doctors, joined the Baptist family; and Baptist Health Foundation was formed as an umbrella organization that was modeled on the organizational structure of Baptist Health.

As the Foundation grew, it began to secure major gifts, with the most transformative gift from Victor E. Clarke, the founder of Gables Engineering, whose two $10 million donations included acreage in west Miami-Dade, an MRA machine for cardiac care and major funding toward the new Emergency Department on Baptist Health’s Kendall campus.

The Foundation’s most far-reaching initiative, however, was the creation of the Founders Society in 2000 to recognize the Foundation’s most generous donors – those who understood the importance of investing in healthcare in South Florida. Today this group, now known as The Giving Society, includes more than 2,800 of the Foundation’s top philanthropists that generously invest in insuring that our community has the best world-class healthcare available to all.

Over the years, funds raised have had an enormous impact on patient care throughout Baptist Health. Recently, Fishermen’s

Community Hospital, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2017, was rebuilt from the ground up with $16 million in support from the Middle Keys community. A helipad was built on the roof of Baptist Hospital’s Emergency Center to further reduce emergency response times, thanks to a multi-year campaign by the Ocean Reef community in the Florida Keys. More than 39 clinical trials in a wide range of specialties have been supported by philanthropy at Miami Cancer Institute. Donors fund a wide range of programs, including an oncology endowment to treat cancer patients at Mariners Hospital; web cameras for anxious parents of newborns in the South Miami Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); free community events for West Kendall Baptist Hospital’s Healthy West Kendall program; physicals for student athletes as part of Baptist Health Orthopedic Care’s Youth Athletic Outreach program; and mindfulness workshops for patients at Miami Cancer Institute.

As the largest not-for-profit hospital system in the region, with more than a million patient visits every year, Baptist Health is uniquely positioned to offer a wide range of educational opportunities. In 2020 Baptist Health Academics,

Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute
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“Baptist Health is expanding the reach of our institutes and pioneering innovative, world-class healthcare as we evolve into a global destination for research, discovery, innovation, and treatment.”

the hub for all nursing and medical education programs, was created to attract, educate, and retain highly skilled healthcare professionals to meet future workforce needs and support employee development. Through partnerships with academic institutions, such as Florida International University (FIU), over 9,000 students participate in programs offered each year.

There is great potential to further develop meaningful partnerships with FIU, and other academic institutions, through collaborations around clinical facilities, nursing education, and public health that would benefit both institutions and elevate South Florida on the global healthcare stage.

We are investing in innovative and enriching educational programs, such as the Baptist Health Nurse Scholars Program, to build a pipeline of talented nurses. Through academic partnerships with South Florida institutions of higher learning, programs such as this offer funding, faculty, classroom space and clinical sites for select nursing student programs. Philanthropy drives Baptist Health’s ability to invest in the next generation of nurses, physicians and healthcare professionals through significant annual donations and transformational investments.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, the Foundation established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which raised more than $4 million to cover much-needed personal protective equipment and hot meals for clinical staff, iPads for isolated patients to video chat with loved ones, and vital research in the fight against the disease.

The mission of Baptist Health Foundation is simple: To inspire philanthropy and build extraordinary donor relationships in support of excellence, innovation, community wellness and global leadership in healthcare at Baptist Health.

An investment in Baptist Health is an investment in the health of our South Florida community as we strive to expand the reach of our Institutes and set a new standard for exemplary care across every county and every neighborhood we serve. It is the transformational support that will help us meet today’s healthcare challenges and build a better Baptist Health for tomorrow’s patient.

How critical are metrics to measure the impact of Baptist Health Foundation’s initiatives and programs?

Metrics are very important. Our team is very connected to each of our hospitals, institutes and programs, and impact data is reported regularly to the Foundation, our boards and councils, and our donors. For example, in 2021, donor philanthropy launched 57 new patient clinical trials at Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute; provided medical evaluations for 230 patients for treatment at Baptist Health Baptist Hospital and provided nearly 2,400 Halo® SleepSacks at South Miami Hospital to educate families on safe sleep practices that help significantly reduce the risk of Sudden Unidentified Infant Death (SUID).

Donors are helping us make tremendous strides for our patients and community, and impact metrics tell this story in the most meaningful way.

How do you engage Baptist Health’s workforce in the work of the Baptist Health Foundation?

Baptist Health is a not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence. Every one of the organization’s more than 27,000 employees understands what the organization stands for and is committed to. It’s this sense of the Baptist Health “family” –employees who support our patients, our

community and each other – that sets us apart from other healthcare organizations and keeps individuals engaged and working towards common goals.

Baptist Health physicians play an enormous role in securing donor gifts. When physicians have the opportunity to meet with donors directly, explain their work and share their vision for expanding their research and treatment capabilities, donors want to support their work. Similarly, the Foundation’s Grateful Patient Physician Champions program helps leverage the gratitude of their patients to encourage philanthropic giving.

At the Foundation, we have various opportunities throughout the year for Baptist Health employees to get involved. Bounce Back from Cancer™, a partnership between the Foundation and the Miami Heat basketball team, is a grassroots community event to raise critical research funds for Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute. Employees at every level get involved in this annual event. Last year, the event raised $1.5 million for the Institute, in no small part because of Baptist Health employees. This year, we are on our way to hopefully raising over $2.5 million.

We also engage employees through our annual Employee Annual Giving campaign in the fall. Baptist Health employees are encouraged to give through one-time gifts, recurrent payroll deductions or donations of paid time off (PTO).

What do you feel are the keys to effective philanthropy?

In my experience, there are several. First is benchmarking. This should not be viewed as a number or a goal to be achieved; rather, the value of benchmarking is its use as a management tool to improve fundraising performance. For example, donors have a clear idea of what they expect to happen to their donations – relatively little should be spent on fundraising and administration with the bulk being invested in areas of direct impact. They expect that the cost to raise a dollar should be about 20 cents –but of course, it depends on many factors. As a Foundation, we work to keep it within that range, but we are always looking for innovative ways to improve our performance.

Second is transparency. We keep our constituents – our donors, board and council members – regularly updated on our goals, strategies, progress and performance. When they have a thorough understanding of our challenges as well as our accomplishments, we are able to build trust and, in turn, this trust leads to greater support and commitment to our mission.

But probably the most important key is building strong, long-lasting relationships. In a fundraising relationship, the balance of power is naturally tilted in favor of the donor. But when you invest the time and effort to listen to what is most meaningful to an individual or family, and get to know them on a personal level, you can connect your mission to their passions. Just like transparency, relationships help build trust, engagement and, ultimately, philanthropic giving.•

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That Perform

A History of Firsts

An Interview with Haiping Li, Partner, Corporate, and Co-Head, China Practice, and Paloma Wang, Partner, Corporate, and Co-Head, China Practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

FIRM BRIEF Founded in 1948, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and affiliates (skadden.com) is one of the world’s most highly respected law firms. Skadden has 21 offices, approximately 1,700 attorneys and more than 50 distinct areas of practice. The firm’s clients include more than 50 percent of Fortune 250 corporations, as well as financial and governmental entities, startup companies and nonprofits.

EDITORS’ NOTE Haiping Li has extensive experience advising China’s new economy companies on U.S. and Hong Kong IPOs; representing companies and clients to obtain private equity financing and M&A from financial and strategic investors prior to, in connection with, and after their IPOs; and advising investors on investments in companies in various industries around the world. She has been repeatedly named to Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific. She also was named Dealmaker of the Year –International at the China Law & Practice Awards 2022, in addition to being recognized in other publications, including as a Next Generation Partner in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022, and for her work in China Capital Markets by Best Lawyers 2020, the publication’s first-ever China edition. Additionally, she has been named one of the Top 15 Female Lawyers in China and one of China’s Rising Lawyers by Asian Legal Business

Paloma Wang is co-head of the firm’s China practice, focusing on public listings and other corporate matters. She represents both issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, advising investors and corporates on private equity investments and counseling listed issuers on compliance, general corporate, and regulatory matters. She was named IPO Lawyer of the Year at the ALM Asia Legal Awards 2021 and Dealmakers of Asia 2021 in the China Dealmakers category by Asian Legal Business. She was also recognized as a Leading Individual by Asia Pacific Legal 500 2022 and listed as a Rising Star Partner for Equity Capital Markets by IFLR1000 in 2022.

Will you provide an overview of your roles and areas of focus?

Li : I serve as co-head of Skadden’s China practice, alongside Paloma. In this role, we’re involved in various aspects of firm leadership, including client engagement, business development, recruitment and attorney development, DEI initiatives, knowledge management and pro bono efforts. We lead a team of more than 100 attorneys and other professionals across three offices, in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. My legal work focuses on public company representations – serving the corporate needs of U.S. and Hong Kong companies throughout their life cycle, including late-stage pre-IPO financings, U.S. and Hong Kong IPOs, public company reporting and compliance, capital markets transactions, cross-border M&A, investments and other general corporate matters.

Wang: In addition to my leadership role, which Haiping mentioned, my client work focuses on public listings, representing both issuers and underwriters in Hong Kong IPOs and other corporate matters, such as advising investors and corporations on private equity investments and counseling listed issuers on compliance, corporate governance and regulatory matters. A third facet of my work is heading the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council for Asia, including chairing our women’s initiatives steering committee in the region.

Will you highlight the history of Skadden’s China practice?

Wang: When the Hong Kong office opened in 1989, Skadden became the first major U.S. law firm to establish a local law practice here. Our Beijing office opened in 1991, and our Shanghai office opened in 2008. We have both inbound and outbound workstreams, representing Chinese and international companies. In our early years, we advised on the most challenging deals in the newly emerging market, and 30 years later, we continue to regularly take on industry firsts and devise novel transaction structures. One highlight

that comes to mind is our 2018 representation of Xiaomi in its public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange – the first Hong Kong offering to adopt a dual-class share structure and the first to list under Hong Kong’s new listing regime for innovative technology companies. We continue to be a market leader, advising on all of the secondary (“homecoming”) listings in Hong Kong in 2021 and, for example, representing Prenetics (Hong Kong’s first “unicorn” company) in its de-SPAC transaction, among other market firsts.

Li: By the 1980s, Skadden’s reputation as an M&A powerhouse was widely known, even in Asia. Our China practice therefore initially concentrated on representing Chinese state-owned enterprises and multinational companies in their cross-border M&A and investment transactions. With the rise of privately owned companies in the “new economy” sector, we quickly became leaders in advising on U.S. IPOs as well. For 13 consecutive years, Skadden has represented more high-quality, China-based companies in their U.S. IPOs and capital markets transactions than all other law firms combined.

The secondary listings we’ve worked on also rank among the most complex and noteworthy in the market. They include JD.com’s Nasdaq IPO and Hong Kong secondary listing, NIO’s NYSE IPO and secondary listings in Hong Kong and Singapore, and Li Auto’s Nasdaq IPO and dual primary listing in Hong Kong.

Will you highlight the strength of Skadden’s China practice team?

Wang: For Hong Kong capital markets, I believe we are second to none in our ability to anticipate trends and changes in the market that may impact the types of transactions our clients wish to pursue. The work we do is often cutting edge, and you see this in the number of “firsts” we have handled in this space: We are one of the few law firms to provide counsel on the full spectrum of product offerings, including advising issuers on the first two weighted voting rights listings (Xiaomi and then Meituan), on several of the very first pre-revenue biotech listings and, as I mentioned, on most of the HKEX “homecoming” listings to date, including two of the largest secondary listings, for JD.com and NetEase.

Li: We are also the best-known international law firm for complex China/ Hong Kong M&A deals, particularly transactions involving Chinese companies or multinational companies, across a range of sectors, including technology/ media/telecom (TMT), consumer products, healthcare, financial institutions and renewable energy. Additionally, we offer the full slate of services clients may need, including antitrust/competition, investment management, and dispute resolution advice from attorneys who practice at the top of their fields around the globe.

What advice do you offer to young people interested in a career in law?

Li: Being passionate about the practice you choose and loving what you do is important, as is remaining inquisitive, so that your education continues throughout your career. You’ll also need to be organized and hone advanceplanning skills. I practice (and recommend) mindfulness, which keeps me both calm and energized.

Wang: In addition to technical ability, the best attorneys have patience, empathy and consideration for others, which enable them to manage all kinds of relationships. Like Haiping said, the ability to organize and prioritize are vital skills. Communication skills, such as adapting your style until your message resonates, are useful in working with clients and colleagues alike.•

Haiping Li Paloma Wang
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Litigation

EDITORS’ NOTE Noelle Reed is the head of Skadden’s Houston office and the Houston litigation practice. She has extensive experience representing clients in complex litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts and arbitrations. She was a trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Division and an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of Texas. As a prosecutor, she handled criminal cases involving terrorism, public corruption, fraud, organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, environmental violations and tax offenses. Reed recently served as a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm’s governing body. She is a member of the American Law Institute and is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as well as The Best Lawyers in America and Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. She also was named Best Lawyers’ 2021 Houston Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year.

You served as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Division and as an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of Texas. Will you discuss these experiences and how valuable they have been in your current work?

Working as a prosecutor gave me the opportunity to try a wide variety of cases in multiple jurisdictions – invaluable experience that is very difficult to replicate in private practice. The intense pace of the Laredo docket and the nature of terrorism investigations both required me to hone my ability to make high-stakes strategy decisions quickly and often with less than perfect information. And because trials and investigations are always team efforts, I learned how to work collaboratively and leverage the different skills of team members to achieve a common goal. The biggest change for me in switching to civil litigation was the addition of a client to that mix. As a prosecutor, your client is more of an abstract concept. I already loved trials, but I’ve really enjoyed helping clients get through – or avoid – litigation and working with them to achieve their business goals.

Will you provide an overview of your position and areas of focus?

I serve as Skadden’s Houston office leader and head of the Houston litigation practice. I split my time between securities litigation and commercial trial work. I’m still really a generalist as a trial lawyer, which means I often get to work closely with my partners across the firm who have deep expertise in a particular subject matter or field of law. It’s a testament to the success and strength of Skadden’s platform that we are able to bring robust trial experience and deep industry knowledge together to build extraordinary litigation teams.

In my role as leader of the Houston office and its litigation group, I am acutely focused on the related tasks of growing our office and continuing to develop and retain our next generation of talent through mentoring and training young lawyers.

Please describe Skadden’s Houston office and its areas of focus.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of our Houston office. We serve clients in the energy, financial and petrochemical industries in commercial and corporate transactions, as well as in all types of litigation and investigations. We have handled some of the largest deals involving Texas-based companies along with precedent-setting litigation in courts throughout the state.

We are deeply committed to serving the local community through our pro bono work in a broad range of matters. And we put our competitive nature to good use as spirited competitors in the Houston Food Bank’s annual Food From the Bar Campaign.•

M&A

An Interview with June S. Dipchand, NY Partner, Head of Canadian Mergers and Acquisitions Practice, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

EDITORS’ NOTE June Dipchand is a New York-based corporate partner concentrating in mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and general corporate law matters. She advises public and private clients in connection with various U.S. and cross-border corporate transactions, including negotiated and contested acquisitions, dispositions, SPACs, mergers, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, carveouts, strategic investments, financings, restructurings, recapitalizations, and reorganizations. She has been recognized in IFLR1000, has been repeatedly named by Lawdragon as one of its 500 Leading Dealmakers in America and has been named by MergerLinks as one of the top 10 M&A Lawyers for Canada. Further, she is active in pro bono and diversity initiatives, both within and outside the firm. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society in New York and co-chairs the board’s diversity subcommittee

How do you describe Skadden’s culture?

The energy, vision, and tenacity that defined Skadden in its early days remain very much a part of our culture today, and I often feel as though I am part of a collective effort to continue to maintain and build upon that legacy. We are committed to excellence and going above and beyond for our clients – our approach to client service reflects the understanding that we do our best work as part of a diverse team, working together across offices and practices.

Will you provide an overview of your position and areas of focus?

I’m an M&A partner based in Skadden’s New York office, and I manage the Canadian cross-border M&A practice for our Toronto office. I focus on complex international transactions, governance matters, takeover preparedness, and other corporate law matters. I cover a broad array of transactions –varying by size, type, industry, and geography – as I have a diverse spectrum of clients. I spend considerable time traveling throughout Canada, where connecting in person with clients and local firms has been invaluable to building trust and enduring relationships in the region.

Will you elaborate on Skadden’s Canada M&A practice?

Our Toronto office was founded more than 30 years ago, and over the past three decades we have gained extensive experience advising clients in connection with transactions and capital markets matters involving Canada and Canadian companies. The practice has grown significantly over time, and it’s been exciting to be part of growing our footprint in the country.

I think what has helped us succeed in Canada is the strength and interconnectedness of our global platform – attorneys across the firm regularly work on multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary teams, and Canada and the U.S. rank among the countries we most frequently see involved in cross-border deals. We also maintain strong relationships with local Canadian law firms to ensure we’re seamlessly providing our clients with full-coverage service on these matters.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to advance in their careers and take on leadership roles in the legal profession?

There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in the legal field – and in the broader business community – when it comes to achieving equitable representation for women. But I’ve been encouraged by the progress I believe has been made since I started my career. People are more open to speaking about these issues, I’ve seen increased representation of women on both sides of transactions, and there are more women in senior positions internally at clients. I have been fortunate in my career at Skadden to feel supported in my professional growth, and I try to pay it forward to the next generation of lawyers through my role as a mentor. It’s one of the most direct ways I can help increase representation of women at all levels of the field.•

June S. Dipchand An Interview with Noelle M. Reed, Partner, Securities Litigation; Complex Litigation and Trials, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
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Noelle M. Reed

A Company of Doers

EDITORS’ NOTE During her 19-year tenure at UTA, Rene Jones launched the UTA Foundation in an effort to reinforce the company’s commitment to prioritizing social impact and inclusion for employees and clients and became the first female non-agent partner at the company. Jones has also played a central role in shaping UTA’s employee culture. Jones and her team oversee the agency’s Social Impact practice. Annually, the team provides guidance to more than 300 clients and their organizations as they navigate their philanthropic and charitable interests. Prior to UTA, Jones began her career working for social justice organizations and was an original member of the pilot program for National Service that led to the formation of AmeriCorps. She worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Barbara Boxer and worked on many other high-profile campaigns for women and people of color across the country.

COMPANY BRIEF UTA (unitedtalent.com)

unites ideas, opportunities, and talent. The company represents some of the world’s most iconic, barrier-breaking artists, creators and changemakers – from actors, athletes and musicians to writers, gamers and digital influencers. One of the most influential companies in global entertainment, UTA’s business spans talent representation, content production, as well as strategic advisory and marketing work with some of the world’s biggest brands. Affiliated companies include Digital Brand Architects, KLUTCH Sports Group, Curtis Brown Group, and MediaLink. UTA is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, New York, and London.

How do you describe United Talent Agency’s culture and values?

UTA has a robust culture of giving back to our local communities and a strong commitment to social and racial justice. The best part of working here is the company is made up of doers. An agent’s job is to turn a no into a yes, and I’m proud to say they flex this muscle for social good, as well. When the foundation team reaches out for agents and executives to participate in our mentoring program, the answer is always yes. When it comes to hands-on volunteering, the running joke is UTA needs twice

as much work as a typical volunteer group. Everyone is so focused and committed to making a difference. Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

As a Partner and Chief of Social Impact, I established and oversee the UTA Foundation, which provides charitable engagement opportunities for our global network of employees and clients.

Our Project Mentor program works with community organizations where we operate to connect agents from across UTA – music, film, television and beyond – to inspire the next generation of creatives to pursue careers in entertainment. We are particularly focused on recruiting young people from diverse backgrounds to help build a more inclusive industry. UTA Green champions climate, sustainability and environmental justice by supporting initiatives from volunteering to educational forums to working with clients to

raise public awareness. Our Civics pillar focuses on non-partisan issues of civic engagement and voting, working to encourage full participation in our democracy. In terms of our clients, the causes they are interested in are as diverse as the creatives themselves, so we work with them on an individual basis to identify opportunities that connect with them personally.

How is corporate social responsibility ingrained in UTA’s mission and purpose?

The UTA Foundation was established in 2004 when we were a company of 250 people. I was the fourth executive hire behind the CFO and heads of HR and Corporate Communications. So, the company has long prioritized social impact at the highest levels. And, as we continue to grow, we keep expanding that commitment. We now have a team that helps manage our community outreach in each of our offices – Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Atlanta and London. Every employee knows community engagement is central to our DNA. One of the most meaningful days of the year is Project Impact, an annual

Rene Jones An Interview with Rene Jones, Partner and Chief of Social Impact, United Talent Agency (UTA)
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UTA Foundation renovated a Central American school in partnership with Glasswing International

agency-wide volunteer day when the company shuts down from Los Angeles to London and employees fan out to volunteer opportunities throughout their communities.

Community engagement is very important at UTA. For example, here in LA, helping the unhoused is a huge priority, and our veterans in particular deserve permanent, supportive housing. I’m proud to serve on the national board for U.S.VETS, which is involved in creating the largest site of supportive veteran housing in the nation with over 1,800 residents in West LA. From our CEO leading a major capital-raising campaign to UTA delivering volunteers, we have been heavily involved in making this site a reality.

How does UTA guide its high-profile clients on their social impact strategies?

These are highly customized strategies that are unique to each client and their personal interests and passions. When a client is looking to align with an issue, it’s important to think big picture. We aren’t here to help with a photo op, but to look out across the nonprofit landscape and help identify the right organization for each client. We always say it is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time to learn about a cause, then utilize your platform to help bring light to an issue and encourage others to get involved. The opportunities are virtually limitless, and so are the ways to engage – from being a global ambassador for a humanitarian organization to encouraging a climate-related storyline in a project they’re working on to showing up and speaking out at important moments. Creative people are passionate people. It is inspiring to help them find meaningful ways to use their platform to make a difference on issues they care about.

Do you feel there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

The entertainment industry still has a way to go in terms of inclusive executive leadership across the board, but we have made real strides at UTA. I am proud to be the first female corporate executive to become a UTA partner and thrilled that many more have been promoted since. Shattering glass ceilings for women has always been a central focus for me, from my early days as an AmeriCorps volunteer, a Senate staffer and in the nonprofit world. Promoting women’s leadership helps everyone – and throughout my career I’ve stayed involved with personally supporting nonprofits like the International Women’s Media Foundation, Vital Voices, and GirlUp, to name a few.

You have spent almost 20 years at UTA. What has made the experience so special for you?

It has been an incredible opportunity to establish a division within a supportive and fastgrowing company that has been successful both as a business and as a dedicated member of their community. I feel lucky every day to show up, work with a dynamic team and have the opportunity to tackle some of the most pressing problems of our time. It is truly an honor to have a dream job, and we look forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of the UTA Foundation next year.•

After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the UTA Foundation traveled to Houston with a team of agents to help create affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity (above)
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Jones is a strong advocate for the environment through UTA Green and sitting on the board of OneGreenThing and CAL Volunteers Commission Climate Action Corps

Improving Human Welfare

EDITORS’

NOTE Kathleen Kearns is responsible for all fundraising programs and the strategic direction for the advancement of philanthropic support. Kearns’ 25-year-long distinguished career is dedicated to building support for mission-driven institutions. Most recently with the New York Genome Center, she successfully led development and external affairs initiatives to support the innovative work of the Center.

Prior to that she served as Senior Vice President of Development and External Affairs at Continuum Health Partners hospital system in New York where she held successive and progressively responsible positions over her long tenure there. Earlier in her career, she was the director of marketing and public affairs for the Hospital for Special Surgery. Active in civic and professional organizations, Kearns recently served on the board of the Hudson Square Business Improvement District and the development committee of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, among other civic leadership positions. Kearns earned a BA from Boston University, College of Communication, where she recently served as chair of the college’s annual fund, and holds an MBA from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University.

INSTITUTION BRIEF Montefiore Medicine

(montefiore.org) is the umbrella organization overseeing both Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Montefiore Health System is comprised of 10 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, employs more than 33,000 people, and has nearly 8 million patient interactions a year throughout four New York counties: the Bronx, Westchester, Rockland and Orange. In addition, Montefiore recently ranked among the top 1 percent of hospitals in seven specialties by U.S. News & World Report . For more than 100 years, Montefiore has been nationally recognized for innovating new treatments, procedures and approaches to patient care, producing stellar outcomes and raising the bar for health systems around the country and around the world.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

As the chief philanthropy officer and senior vice president for development at Montefiore Einstein, I lead the fundraising activities for our institution – one of New York’s premier academic health systems. I am piloting a team of talented development professionals who are diversifying and expanding our philanthropic sources to ultimately improve human welfare. My primary responsibility is to help our prospects and donors – individuals, family, private, and disease-focused foundations and companies –support Montefiore Einstein in delivering compassionate and research-driven care.

We pride ourselves in partnering with donors who step beyond traditional healthcare boundaries with us; in turn, influencing social factors that determine individual behaviors. Funds also allow us to invest in and pioneer scientific discoveries that will inform the future of care. This combination of comprehensive care and research inspires who we are as an organization and how we’re training the next generation of healthcare leaders.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Montefiore and made you feel it was the right fit?

My career and personal philosophy are formed around the belief that philanthropy plays an essential role in creating a better world. After meeting Dr. Philip O. Ozuah, our president & CEO, board members and other inspiring leaders at Montefiore Einstein, I knew that I could not serve in a better place to realize that ideal.

Montefiore’s excellence in medical care and commitment to health equity, coupled with research advances like developing and patenting immune checkpoint inhibitors that can unleash the full power of our immune cells to attack cancers, make me excited to walk into my office every day. We are only at the cusp of realizing the full potential that Montefiore Einstein physician-scientists have to offer.

A lifelong New Yorker, coming to Montefiore Einstein also was a homecoming for me. When I was born, my parents lived on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx – about 10 minutes from our Moses Campus in the Bronx.

What do you feel are the keys to being effective in Montefiore’s philanthropic efforts?

Our philanthropy efforts can only be as effective as we are in articulating our mission, accomplishments, relevance and uniqueness of our work to a diverse audience of funders and other stakeholders. Our focus on excellence and innovation alongside equity and access differentiates us from our peers, making us a coveted destination for both worldwide patients seeking complex care and our Bronx neighbors.

We need to constantly be partnering with our colleagues to identify and understand what is novel about our work and how we are saving lives. We also must be mindful about what enthuses donors. What we’ve found is that people often donate to Montefiore Einstein because they know we are committed to teaching, discovering, and advancing the health of the communities we serve. Staying true to our mission and vision is essential.

What do you see as Montefiore Einstein’s responsibility to be engaged in the communities it serves and to be a force for good in society?

Montefiore Einstein not only accepts but embraces our responsibility to support our community and be a “force for good.” We were founded by philanthropists who helped chronically ill populations that others would not. With pride, we continue to be a leader in supporting our community. As recently highlighted in the Lown Report, in 2019, of all hospitals in New York City, we spent more on community investments than we received in tax breaks, which we think is essential given our role as the economic engine of the Bronx.

We’re also forging new standards to ensure people who have been economically and socially marginalized receive the highest quality care they deserve. In fact, last year, we were the first in the world to perform an HIV-positive to HIV-positive heart transplant. Our internationally renowned physicians are constantly spearheading new ways to care for people in need while maintaining the highest medical standards.

How is Montefiore supporting programs that take care of its community and will you highlight these programs?

Montefiore serves one of the most diverse urban areas in the U.S. – one where the population is global, the disease burden is high, and

Kathleen Kearns
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An Interview with Kathleen Kearns, Senior Vice President – Development and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Montefiore Einstein

the need for quality care is great. Many funders are motivated to support this work in tackling healthcare inequities and addressing social determinants of health.

One such example is our Montefiore School Health Program, the largest, most comprehensive in the nation. One in four Bronx students are now at a school with the MSHP, setting children up for a more successful future. We also recently began having locations in Westchester. Now more children have swift access to medical services from urgent and preventive care to reproductive healthcare services and education to mental health, dental, and vision services. Philanthropy fuels much of the startup costs for these centers and funds services. These efforts have cut emergency room visits and hospitalizations among these school children with asthma in half. And nearly all students referred for mental health help follow up with counselors in their schools. Before this was available, approximately one in 10 students referred sought help in the community. This program alone is a lifeline for kids, parents, and schools.

Other examples of Montefiore Einstein’s vast community initiatives, all enriched by philanthropy, include Bronx Oncology Living Daily (BOLD) programming, which provides wellness and support services to anyone affected by cancer; Project BRAVO Food Pantry, designed to combat food insecurity for high-risk individuals and families; and Supporting Emerging Adults with Diabetes (SEAD) programming, allowing young people with type 1 diabetes to benefit from innovative support efforts. One community project for which we are currently seeking funding is a Mobile Mammography Van.

Will you discuss Montefiore’s focus on combatting social inequities in healthcare delivery?

We believe that healthcare is the driving force for social change – and that, person by person, we can lift up whole communities. Postpandemic, we are doubling down on social

determinants of care – poverty, housing, transportation, food insecurity, and education. As the Bronx’s largest employer, Montefiore Einstein has a unique opportunity to tackle these obstacles. Our outsized presence in the borough gives us a unique opportunity to be a hub of social progress and a financial anchor for the betterment of our communities.

As a research powerhouse, we strive to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities for families in the Bronx, who comprise almost 90 percent of the patients we treat in our Bronx hospitals.

By employing research and new care models that go beyond the walls of our hospitals and primary care sites, we are creating real pathways for change.

How is Montefiore funding research aimed at advancing bench science and research at Einstein and how will this effort help the Bronx community?

We believe in the importance of research that promotes health equity in the Bronx and also will inform care in our institution and throughout the U.S. Albert Einstein College of Medicine is one of the top ranked research institutions in this country. Long a national leader in biomedical research support from the federal government, Einstein earned more than $202 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2022. This includes funding for major research centers at Einstein in aging, intellectual development disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas of focus include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities.

It is critical that we prioritize projects that disproportionately impact our Bronx community like cancer, diabetes, HIV and asthma. More than 80 percent of patients who receive their care at Montefiore and over 70 percent who enroll in clinical studies identify as Hispanic or Black. People who receive care at Montefiore are enrolled in 380 ongoing trials, providing

them access to the most advanced treatments and helping to ensure the results of the studies are applicable to diverse populations.

Our care teams work tirelessly to remove barriers to care and improve access to clinical trials –especially among minority and underrepresented populations. For instance, Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center recently partnered with the Price Family Foundation to create the inaugural Price Family Foundation Health Equity Pilot Awards. These awards support basic, science, translational, and clinical investigators who are addressing the various causes of cancer from genetics to environmental exposures. Our hope is that the research not only promotes health equity in our region, but also around the country and beyond.

How do you engage Montefiore’s workforce in its philanthropic efforts?

The development team engages our workforce at Montefiore and Einstein in most of our work. Our partnerships with our clinical leadership, scientists, nursing and executive leadership are key to successfully engaging donors and prospects in our work. Offering our philanthropic partners the opportunity to hear from our colleagues at the front lines of care is hugely important to ensure we can secure resources that are vital for care delivery.

How critical are metrics to measure the impact of Montefiore’s philanthropic work?

Metrics to measure the impact of our philanthropic work serve as the basis for determining success. Development activities have a primary goal of raising money to support the organization, so primary measurement is simple. But it also is essential to recognize that building a robust development program takes time – the average six figure gift takes 18 months of cultivation. Measuring activity along the pipeline of a major gift is, indeed, just as important as the yearend final total number raised – and that activity is, perhaps surprisingly, not always financial. Our engaged prospects and donors also donate their time, leverage their relationships, and serve as vocal ambassadors for our work.

What are your priorities for Montefiore’s philanthropic efforts as you look to the future?

Our driving priority is to become a nationally recognized development operation of excellence, garnering exceptional philanthropic investment to fuel Montefiore Einstein’s clinical and academic aspirations.

We are enjoying some early successes that are enabling state-of-the-art care and science so we can deliver ground breaking treatments for the most complex conditions here in the communities we serve and well beyond. By increasing philanthropic support, Montefiore Einstein can continue investing in research and modern technology, as well as partner with local businesses to create more job and training opportunities. By focusing on the broader definition of advancing care, we can truly meet our goals in supporting the health and prosperity of our patients and community. I invite readers to learn more.•

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Montefiore Health System (opposite page); Albert Einstein College of Medicine (above)

At a Flipping Point

EDITORS’ NOTE Shelley Zalis is the CEO of The Female Quotient, an equality services company that creates platforms for women and solutions for organizations committed to closing the gender gap in the workplace. Through its signature Equality Lounge ® at key industry conferences around the globe, Zalis and the FQ are connectors for the largest global community of mission-driven business leaders. Zalis is a pioneer for online research, becoming the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry’s top 25. Today, Zalis works with Fortune 500 companies, impact organizations, and conscious leaders to advance equality in the workplace. A firm believer in giving back with generosity, Zalis is a proud mentor to women around the world. Zalis authors a Forbes column that provides virtual mentorship for women in middle management. She is co-founder of #SeeHer, a movement led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in advertising and media. Prior to her current role, Zalis was the Founder and CEO of OTX and the CEO of Ipsos OTX. Zalis earned her degree at Barnard College in New York City.

COMPANY BRIEF The Female Quotient (The FQ) is a woman-owned business working with companies and conscious leaders to curate experiences, thought leadership, and solutions designed to achieve gender equality in the workplace and beyond. The FQ’s (thefemalequotient.com) end-to-end equality platform includes co-branded research, content campaigns, and partnership opportunities at its signature Equality Lounges® Visibility is further driven through The FQ’s robust social, media, and editorial channels. The FQ approach is intersectional, inspirational, and inclusive, working with leaders and rising stars in every industry and around the world.

Will you highlight the history of The Female Quotient and how you define its mission?

We are at a Flipping Point. According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 132 years until we reach gender equality. It’s time for today’s leaders to make meaningful changes that expedite our progress toward achieving gender equality. We don’t

have to wait more than 100 years to achieve it. At The Female Quotient, this is why we’re in the “business of equality.” The Female Quotient is a woman-owned business working with the world’s most influential companies to create experiences, thought leadership, media, and solutions to help all women succeed. Our mission is to change the equation to close the gender gap – and it starts in our workplaces.

It originally stemmed from what I called the “Girls Lounge,” which I started as a response to the “Boys Club” and feeling like I was the “only and the lonely” while in the networking rooms of mostly male leaders. I knew there were other women who felt alone or unseen when they were in these spaces, so the “Girls Lounge” became a safe space for women to own their strength and be who they are when attending predominantly male industry events. Years later, it expanded into what is now globally known as the Equality Lounge®, which was made by women for everyone. We invite conscious leaders across industries to join us at the world’s largest stages, like Cannes, Davos, SXSW and beyond, to collaborate and call for change.

We have a growing global community of one million conscious leaders in 100 countries. Additionally, we’ve made incredible progress as a thought leader in equality. We’re proud that our most recent Equality Lounge® at Davos was standing room only, filled with CEOs to rising stars. While we were there, The FQ was named a top 10 influencer. We have built a team full of people who are equally passionate about rewriting the rules of the workplace, and I have been incredibly empowered to join forces with other inspiring trailblazers who are bringing equality to the table. It’s time we create a new equitable playbook.

Will you provide an overview of The Female Quotient’s solutions?

Change happens when we see what’s unseen. To find the solution, we must change the equation and make the invisible visible. At The FQ, whether it’s through our experiences, like our Equality Lounges®, or through our digital and editorial content, we’re inspiring equality by sharing the stories of the “unseen” women who are the change makers in their industries. Likewise, connection is our power and one of our greatest solutions. One of my

proudest moments watching The Female Quotient evolve is witnessing the impeccable community we have built. This is why I call it the “power of the pack,” because a woman alone has power, but a group of women together have impact. At The Female Quotient, no one walks alone. We are a community of women and men, moving the needle together to make a genuine impact. One of my favorite moments that vividly showcased our community coming together took place at this year’s Equality Lounge® at CES. We invited more than 200 women to “Walk the Floor” of the CES showroom as one pack, presenting our force and highlighting our unequivocal bond.

Aside from our incredible Equality Lounges® and social community, we also conduct leadingedge research and develop in-house databases that help companies and leaders accelerate the path to equality within their organizations. I wholeheartedly believe that access is the answer. As true pioneers of change, we must hand women the keys they need to move themselves and other women forward. As an example, we’ve recently launched our Female Founders’ Expert Network: The Must-Know List – alongside JPMorgan Chase & Co. – as one of the tools we offer women entrepreneurs, supplying them with the ultimate list of experts in their fields to help advance their business ideas.

We are also launching one of our most significant equality solutions by working with ten global companies on a first-ever CEO accelerator program to close the gender gap in five years. It’s not rocket science, but it does take a moonshot mindset. We call this the Flipping Point. We’ve identified ten critical gap areas and each company is prioritizing an innovative approach in one key area. Each of our partners experiment with new ways forward with the best disruptors and design thinkers in these spaces, and we come back together to share what we’ve learned. Our partners are building legacies as the top equality companies and CEOs in the world. Through initiatives like these, we are putting in place concrete efforts to bring equality to the forefront and expand opportunities for women across the board. The future is ours, and this is how we can build it together today.

What do you see as the fundamental, persistent challenges to gender parity?

It’s 2023 and we’re still talking about gender equality. Why? The undeniable truth is

Shelley Zalis
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An Interview with Shelley Zalis, Chief Executive Officer, The Female Quotient

that gender inequalities still exist across industries, and it’s only getting worse. In the workforce alone, women in executive positions are trending downwards. Compared to 2019, women in the C-suite went from 12 percent to 9 percent. Similarly, women on executive boards are down from 9 percent to just 7 percent. These are the positions where decisions are made, so what does this say about our progress if women are vastly underrepresented in these rooms?

One of the reasons for this decline is that organizations are not constructing effective ways to close equality gaps and retain their best talent. The pathway to leadership is dependent on organizations developing policies and programs that invest in the progress of women. When women are not offered opportunities to advance their careers or find their work being undervalued, they will look for new opportunities elsewhere. Unfortunately, once a woman moves to a new company, this cycle often repeats itself.

What we’re seeing is how this is especially true for women of color and women who are positioned in the “messy middle.” Companies are losing them at rapid rates due to not having the structures and benefits in place that support their well-being and development. It is about making sure an organization and its leaders have strategies in place to keep their best talent engaged and aligned with their purpose. To establish parity both within and outside of our workplaces, we must invest in the women who are already here making strides. How are we upskilling our female employees who are at the heart of this function? What support systems do we have in place for women who have caregiving needs? Asking the right questions is how we form new policies that will disrupt this narrative.

More importantly, as conscious leaders, we have a significant opportunity sitting at the other end of these numbers. Rather than looking at what’s impossible, let’s look at what is possible. Everyone can create a new place of change if you want to. It’s about creating a new world for everyone to thrive in their lives, including at work. We, as great leaders, need to bring the change and make it happen.

Will you discuss the return on equality when more women are added to the equation?

When you add women to any equation, you get a return on equality. Here is what we know: Studies show when a CEO is female, 33.5 percent of board seats are held by women, compared to the 19.4 percent if a CEO is male. The numbers are telling us what it looks like when women hold positions of leadership –so why aren’t we listening? Companies who consciously build pathways for women to advance in their careers are in an optimal position to meet their goals, improve attrition rates, and increase overall performance. We also know when women are added into the equation it only improves impact as a whole. Paving the way for women to succeed has a direct effect on leadership, which almost doubles in strength and effectiveness. Additionally, companies that have more women in leadership also see an incline in their profitability.

Why is this the case? Investing in people is the foundation for great transformation. People are our most valuable assets, yet we don’t value them until they’re gone. Instead of holding exit interviews, which are purely reactionary, we should conduct “stay interviews” or “purpose interviews” as a proactive way to understand what our employees need. Through our own research, we’ve concluded that employees and employers alike want to believe that their work, their presence, and their effort has value, and it starts by creating equal opportunities for men and women in all industries.

I say, rather than focusing on our return on investment, let’s focus on a return on equality. Moving our attention toward creating impact will lead to substantial and long-term change. For this reason, at The Female Quotient, we are inspiring leaders to face the numbers and answer the call to action. We are pushing the boundaries and forming partnerships with the world’s most influential organizations who are taking this opportunity to innovate new ways forward and shorten the equality gap together. Representation matters, but when there is none, we must create it.

How critical are metrics to measure the impact of The Female Quotient’s work?

People don’t leave companies; they leave managers. As managers, metrics are critical for understanding where we currently stand, and they drive us toward the right direction. We can’t possibly know where we’re going unless we can accurately define where we are. Research has been the thread that has shaped my career because the truth is, we can’t argue with the numbers. My personal mantra has always been to measure what matters. We have all the metrics in the world to point us to the same answer: women are systemically left behind.

The real question is: what do we do with these metrics? Metrics matter, but it starts with purpose and prioritization. We can’t just talk about the solution; we have to be the solution. When you look around your boardroom, how many women of color do you see? How do you currently speak to your employees about their mental wellness, and are you encouraging those conversations? We must focus on how we are applying this information to our teams to drive tangible change.

Most importantly, we must not overlook any of the steps necessary to reconstruct our corporate systems from the bottom up. Let’s take ESG as an example. Organizations are leaning into ESG as one of the pillars that designs a work model of the future. However, within “ESG,” many companies are very comfortable focusing on the “Environmental” and “Governance” but not as much on the “Social” components. This means creating positive relationships with our teams and colleagues by identifying their needs and supporting their well-being. How we position ourselves at The FQ is largely built on answering for the social element of this structure – how are we prioritizing our people? It’s essential we pay attention to every detail that is going to level the playing field for women in these spaces. How we choose to design a workplace that’s equitable is intentional.

What do you feel are the keys to effective leadership?

Leadership is not about title; it’s about action. Action first starts with transparency, which is paramount for making any change happen. As effective leaders, we must be honest about how we need to grow as leaders and communicate this with our teams. Transparency builds trust. Through this, we open the lines of communication and eliminate barriers for the feedback necessary to evolve.

As leaders, part of this transparency is activated by holding ourselves and each other accountable. We must constantly be asking ourselves the hard questions that will help us evaluate if we are performing and leading in ways that match our message. If we are reaching for equality, what does representation look like within our leadership team? How are we prioritizing and building diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility into our infrastructure? We must be comfortable with holding each other accountable for prioritizing the efforts needed to move forward.

Lastly, I always say I hire for passion, and I train for skill. The same applies to how we should all operate as leaders. You can teach someone a skill, but you can’t teach passion. As leaders, the passion starts with us. You must have a moonshot mindset to see the path forward before anyone else, even if that path isn’t obvious yet. We know that passionate leaders created the internet in 25 years, landed on the moon in 10 years, and created a lifesaving vaccine in one year. We are at a Flipping Point moment when good intentions must move to intentional action. It’s time to not only “mind the gap.” Together, as conscious and passionate leaders, we can close it.•

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“As true pioneers of change, we must hand women the keys they need to move themselves and other women forward.”
505 Park Avenue at 59th Street, New York, NY 10022 • 212-838-7500 www.Sherry-Lehmann.com

Service-Based

EDITORS’ NOTE Melissa Jones leads CSAA Insurance Group’s efforts in corporate culture; employee and CEO communications; enterprise program management; charitable programs; talent management and leadership development; employee benefits, such as wellness, recognition and pension programs; and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, the company has achieved a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality index for LGBTQ workplace equality. She co-founded the company’s Women’s Professional Network and is also the executive sponsor of the Black Employees Association. Jones has been recognized with the Industry Leader Award from the Professional Business Women of California, and also sits on the board of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County. She received a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from California Polytechnic State University and an MBA from Brandman University.

COMPANY BRIEF CSAA Insurance Group (csaa-insurance.aaa.com), a AAA insurer, offers automobile, homeowners and other personal lines of insurance to AAA Members through AAA clubs in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 1914, it has been rated “A” or better by A.M. Best for more than 90 years and is one of the top personal lines property casualty insurance groups in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, the company has more than 3,500 employees with offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey and Oklahoma.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

As the Chief Human Resources Officer for CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer, I lead the company’s efforts in people programs, including corporate culture, talent acquisition and management, leadership development, total rewards, employee communications, enterprise change management, charitable programs, and inclusion and belonging. I’m the co-executive sponsor of CSAA’s Black Employees Association, and I also co-founded our Women’s Professional Network, which was created to

empower women to take risks, use their voice and make an impact in the workplace and in the community. How important is it for the HR function to be engaged in business strategy?

A company’s business strategy is only as effective as the people driving it. I’m charged with taking care of the best interests of our employees and the company. Creating line of sight for employees in how what they do drives and supports the company strategy provides meaning to their work. An unhappy workforce will create unhappy customers, bottom line, and that will impact company productivity, profitability, and the health and well-being of your employees. Retaining talent has always been critical, but even more so as the pandemic changed workers’ expectations. Today, flexibility is the number one question and request we get from prospective employees. Hybrid work and flexibility are here to stay, and you have to offer it if you want to compete for the best talent. Adapting your culture to support a virtual work experience –things like enhancing digital platforms, more intention in creating connections, revamping people programs – are all extremely important

to be prepared for the workforce needs of the present and the future, and to delivering on the company’s long-term business goals.

How do you describe CSAA’s culture and values?

We have a really strong service-based culture that focuses heavily on inclusion and belonging, development, community, and volunteerism. We have a set of core beliefs that are the foundation of our culture, and core to who we are and how we do our work: unwavering integrity, personal and mutual accountability, the power of inclusion, a passion for service excellence, thinking big and moving fast, and investing in ourselves.

We foster an inclusive community that values connection, creation and collaboration, regardless of where we physically work. The pandemic forced us to evolve our collective view about the viability of a more dispersed workforce. Today we lead with employee choice, and, as of this writing, a vast majority of our employees, approximately 84 percent, have chosen to work from home full-time.

CSAA Insurance Group embraces a hybrid work model to provide flexibility in how and where employees work. We support employees in doing their best work every day and in bringing their full selves to each interaction. The

An Interview with Melissa Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, CSAA Insurance Group
“Adapting your culture to support a virtual work experience – things like enhancing digital platforms, more intention in creating connections, revamping people programs – are all extremely important to be prepared for the workforce needs of the present and the future, and to delivering on the company’s long-term business goals.”
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Melissa Jones

diversity of experience, thought and talent at CSAA Insurance Group is the result of a strong culture and our approach to find the best candidates, wherever they may be. I believe a career path here is not defined by where you live, but by the skills you bring and your willingness to grow and contribute to the success of our company and each other.

Will you elaborate on your views about the office of the future and how CSAA is handling a largely remote workforce?

We have a company initiative that we call Future of Work, focused on what employee engagements will look like moving forward. Our goal is to enable and optimize a fully integrated, high-performing workforce comprising office, home and field-based workers. That’s a big statement that requires a lot of work and planning, and we can expect how and where we do work to continue to evolve over time. It might not look exactly the same for all of us and we’re gleaning insights and refining as we go, comfortable with not knowing all the answers right away. As we continue to experiment with a hybrid workforce, we are very candid with our employees about what we are doing and why. This includes evaluating and implementing new software platforms that are focused on employee engagement.

CSAA places a major focus on employee wellness. Will you discuss CSAA’s four pillars focused on Financial, Mental, Physical, and Social well-being?

Our award-winning Living Healthy at AAA well-being program is built around those Four Pillars of Well-Being. CSAA employees can access a wide variety of health and well-being support to encourage healthy behaviors, such as completing preventive care, biometrics and vaccines, using virtual visits, setting healthy goals and more. Programs that support the financial health of employees include a 401(k) match of up to 6 percent of eligible pay; a profit-sharing plan; 1:1 sessions with retirement counselors;

company-paid life and disability insurance programs; and student loan repayment, scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs.

Mental well-being is a focus for CSAA. This year, we’re introducing a new employee resource group (ERG) focused on mental health, and we’re continuing our partnership with One Mind at Work, a global employer-led coalition that works to improve mental health in the workplace. Mental well-being goes hand-in-hand with social well-being, which is the ability to communicate, develop meaningful relationships with others, and maintain a support network that helps you overcome loneliness, which is very important in the wake of the pandemic and more people working from home. In addition to our new ERG focused on mental health, we offer a wide variety of other ERGs that bring together employees based on ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual identity, life experiences and other criteria. These ERGs, each of which has an executive sponsor, support our diversity by helping to ensure we are an inclusive organization meeting the needs of our employees and customers, identifying areas for improvement, and celebrating the differences among us.

How critical is it for CSAA to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?

We believe it’s our differences, visible and invisible, that make every individual at CSAA Insurance Group strong and unique. We believe that diversity and fostering an inclusive workforce are critical to maintaining a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. It enriches our environment, leads to improved leadership effectiveness, a more fulfilling employee e