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2014 Regional Report: The Midwest

A state-by-state look at what the Midwest has to offer.

In the late ’70s, William C. Kennedy Sr. was working as a registered pharmacist in Salem, Ohio, selling such products as compounded lotions to individuals and farmers. Among his bigger sellers was a moisturizer that reduced cow udder inflammation; sales peaked during the cold Midwestern winters. When he observed that the compound also moisturized human dry patches, he got an SBA loan and began commercializing the mixture for humans under the name—amber pun alert—Udderly Smooth.

Using packaging that comically featured bovine hide patterns, Kennedy pitched the moisturizer to regional retailers. Sales went national when a fledgling account—the big Phar-Mor drugstore chain, headquartered nearby—began stocking the mixture chain-wide. A guest on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show touted the lotion on air; sales skyrocketed.

Kennedy envisioned a global market. Learning export basics from seminars at the International Trade Assistance Center at Youngstown State University, Kennedy and his team attended trade missions and reached out to distributors on three continents. Today, Kennedy’s company sells Udderly Smooth in twelve countries, while continuing to bolster domestic growth.

Neighborly help from area businesses, government agencies and nonprofit institutes helps many Midwestern companies land their first overseas customers. Experienced globalists from locally headquartered multinationals often mentor younger executives on their own time, reflecting the neighborly spirit that characterizes the Midwestern business style.


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    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.