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Leadership Summit 2015: Becoming a Great Leader in a Rapidly Changing Environment

In April 2015, the GSQC and Center for Women’s Business Advancement at SNHU partnered to present Leadership Summit 2015.   A diverse group of current and aspiring leaders gathered to learn from Keynote speakers Tom Raffio and Dave Cowens and Panelists Aaron Brandt, Amanda Grady Sexton, Kate Lukzko, and Donna Lencki. Attendees also had time to share their best practices and experiences with each other. The conversation continued at the post Summit networking reception featuring some amazing food catered by SNHU’s student-run restaurant, the Quill.

Panel                   LeadershipSummit Sign                      Summit Discussion

Here is some of the feedback on the Summit:

Mr. Tom Raffio's and Dave Cowens' speech was excellent. Seeing the parallels between these leaders in their varying backgrounds and their styles was very interesting.

All of the speakers in the panel were engaged and knowledgeable. Aaron Brandt was particularly interesting. The culture of his company are quite different (positive) than mine. Initial thought was "wow that is the type of company I'd like to work for"... followed by a more proactive approach. "How do I make my company think like that?"

The Panel was a wealth of experience and knowledge. They also had very diverse areas of expertise covering corporate, government and lifestyle topics. Very good mix of speakers

Having the opportunity to speak with the Panelists at the end of the session was helpful. [They were] able to share some valuable insight on their experiences

Click "Read more" or see below for some insights from our Speakers and Panelists

Tom Raffio (President & CEO Northeast Delta Dental) and Dave Cowens (NBA Hall of Famer):

  • Work harder than your competition – you can’t control the rest
o   Find the right people/players for the right position. Having the right workforce will provide you with a 7 year advantage over the competition
o   As a comparison Innovation will provide a 2 year advantage, Improving processes will provide a 1 year advantage, and Price will provide a 6 month advantage
  • Be involved in the community. Contacts make contracts.
  • Most problems are the result of communication. Have informal face-to-face communications with employees (For more information see Chapter 8 of Tom and Dave’s book There are no Do-Overs). 
Aaron Brandt (VP of Engineering, Hypertherm)
  • Know your audience: The meaning of “yes” in Asia is an indication of understanding not agreement
  • Build a diverse team and get their feedback and buy-in
Amanda Grady Sexton (Public Policy Director, NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; City Councilor, Concord)
  • Identify leaders and people who inspire. Surround yourself with them
  • It is all about relationships – even if you disagree
  • Be humble; lift other people up; don’t be boastful
Kate Luczko (Executive Director, Stay Work Play New Hampshire)
  • Educate young people about opportunity
  • Mentorship means that seasoned and newer people learn from each other
  • Collaboration – find a way to work together
Donna Lencki (Chief Marketing Officer, Capital BlueCross)
  • As a leader, talk to people in the company
  • You have to make tough decisions; Treat people honestly in tough times


Leadership Summit 2015 was presented in partnership by The Granite State Quality Council and the Center for Women's Business Advancement at SNHU

Lead Sponsor: Northeast Delta Dental         Promotional Sponsor: Business and Industry Association


LeadershipSummitFlyerOVERVIEW 2015 23Mar.pdf206.58 KB
2015 Speaker Bios 23Mar2015.pdf124.3 KB