250 learn about the changing face of leadership from self-made millionaire, leadership panel at Marriott Pavilion at The Culinary Institute
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. (May 22, 2017) — More than 250 leaders of businesses and community organizations participated in The Accelerator’s inaugural Hudson Valley Leadership Conference: The Changing Face of Leadership Friday.
The event explored what leadership looks like in today’s unique and diverse business climate; the obstacles that leaders face in business and how to overcome them; how to leverage individual strengths for overall business growth and development; and how to turn struggles into successes.
“One of the things we do at The Accelerator, besides providing equipment, direction and business services for new and existing manufacturers, is to bring people together in conferences like this to address not only regional needs, but also topics that impact today’s leaders on a larger scale,” said Laurie Villasuso, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Orange County IDA and The Accelerator. “This event has been a resounding success, not only because so many people came but also because of the insight gleaned from our keynote speaker and astute panel of leadership guests.”
“The speed for deliverables now is unimaginable and this is what’s really impacting leaders,” keynote speaker Amilya Antonetti said. “The top 2 percent of the world of leaders and wealth spend 50 percent of their time thinking. Most people in this room don’t spend five minutes thinking. You have a life full of a myriad of details and you have no time to think. If you can’t think you can’t succeed. The formula for success is 50 percent thinking, 25 percent planning and 25 percent in execution. Most us … get a great idea and start. You skipped the 75 (percent thinking and planning).”
Antonetti became a self-made millionaire at the age of 19 and is now a media personality and turnaround expert known as the “Conflict Resolutionist.” She shared her personal story about her 30 years as a successful business owner and crisis manager, and how she learned the keys to growth, communication and success to become the powerhouse entrepreneur that she is today. Antonetti pioneered the “green” cleaning product movement with her company Soapworks, which she founded after she discovered store-bought household products were making her infant son ill, and has since built almost a dozen multi-million dollar companies to more than $100 million.
Antonetti applies many skills she learned from parenting to the various businesses she helps grow.
“The way to master conflict is not for me to convince you I’m right,” she said. “What I need to do is step over to where you are, from where you are pulling from, to see your perspective. I already know where I am. Once I can see your perspective, I can lay the bread crumbs to walk you closer to where I want you to be. But, in coming to your perspective, I learn. The brilliance that happens in conflict is by being able to have the art of the conversation.”
The event also featured a panel of industry-leading experts – both males and females of various ages – who discussed existing and upcoming leadership challenges and offered advice for emerging leaders today. Joseph Dans, Producer and Host, WTBQ 1110 Radio show “Creativity and Technology Solutions for Business and Life,” and head of Rogue Wave Creative Group, moderated the panel.
Benjamin Giardullo, CEO, BBG Ventures LLC: “As a leader it is really thinking ahead and trying to envision where businesses are going to need to be in the future and how the technology is going to apply. Rather than coming up with the next biggest idea it is more about looking at the infrastructure and the systems that are in place and how to improve them.”
Sue Sullivan, Founder, iSER Consulting: “You surround yourself with people who complement your skills and are better in areas where you don’t excel. … As a leader I can’t be good at everything. I need to count on people who are a part of my team who are vitally important to the success of whatever I am doing. And, we are all working to the same model.”
Robert T. Armistead, P.E., President, Armistead Mechanical, Inc.: “Back in those days the boss was the boss and he directed traffic. What I have seen over the last 30 years of leading our company, is that now it’s a collaborative effort, it’s a team. You empower the people that work with you. It’s collaboration, working together, technology is big. So, there’s been a lot of change in how we lead.”
Lauree Ostrofsky, Founder, Hudson Valley Women in Business: “One of the themes coming out today is the theme of listening. Visionaries have focus. They see a problem or they see a solution and they focus on it. And then there is this other piece about listening – to their customers, to their employees. Asking questions and putting it together and being able to talk about it and communicate about it.”
Lisa Sommers, Vice President, Focus Media: “Today, leadership takes on so many different faces and shapes and sizes. … We talked a lot today about the power of thinking and collaborating with one another and they didn’t have technology to do what we do today back in the ‘60s. We’re not looking to technology for the answers. We’re using it as a vital tool, but we’re open to taking a timeout and going into a conference room to brainstorm and spit ideas around the table because that is ultimately how we all learn and grow as leaders.”
Jason Geib, Co-founder and COO, ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixirs: “Leaders are almost like a mother bird going out and getting the information (in Geib’s example, changes in state regulations) and coming back, being flexible and making adjustments. You have to be that flexible person and have the mindset and the ability to adjust.”
The Accelerator wrapped up the event by handing out two Accelerator Awards for Leadership, which went to New York Sen. Bill Larkin and The Accelerator’s own Laurie Villasuso, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Orange County IDA and The Accelerator.
About The Accelerator
The Accelerator, strategically located in New Windsor at Stewart International Airport with proximity to major interstates, is a certified New York State incubator focused on bringing manufacturing back to the mid-Hudson Valley. Powered by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency, The Accelerator works to attract manufacturing-based businesses in the areas of fashion design and production, bottling, food and beverage safety testing, advanced technology and more by providing below-market occupancy costs, workforce training, mentoring programs, easy access to experienced professionals and a high-tech plug-and-play environment with SMARTT Pods and a host of other resources. For more information, visit theaccelerator.business.