Steve coauthored Get in the Game as well as the update of the number one bestseller, The Great Game of Business—20th Anniversary Edition. Known for his engaging and irreverent style, Steve is a top-rated, sought-after speaker and coach on open-book management, strategy and execution, leadership, and employee engagement.
Steve Baker 2His audiences range from Harvard University to the Department of Defense, and he is a regular at Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 Conference. He has served on the Board of the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and SRC Holding’s Ownership Culture Initiative.
Steve is an award-winning artist and lives in Springfield, Missouri, with his trophy wife, JoAnn, and three above-average children.
Robert “Cujo” Teschner is a retired F-15 / F-22 fighter pilot. He is also a former F-15 Weapons School Instructor, F-22 Squadron Commander, senior Joint Staff officer, and combat veteran. He holds advanced degrees in Operational Art and Science and National Security Strategy and has extensive experience in tactical planning and execution and organizational leadership. From 2004 to 2006, he served as the US Air Force’s expert in post-mission debriefing, the methodology used by high-performing military teams to self-correct and improve continuously.
Cujo retired immediately after pinning-on full Colonel due to complications from cancer-related care and started an international business consulting practice based in St. Louis, MO. His company is called VMax Group. VMax Group’s mission is to teach, inspire and nurture teams on how to really “team”, making work more fulfilling and making teams much more effective.
Jennifer J Fondrevay is the Founder and Chief Humanity Officer of Day1 Ready™, a consultancy that advises forward-thinking business leaders, owners, and C-Suite executives on how to prepare for and manage the people challenges of business transitions, particularly Mergers & Acquisitions.
As a Fortune 500 C-Suite Marketing Executive who led teams through three separate multibillion-dollar acquisitions, Jennifer authored the satirical survivor’s handbook, “NOW WHAT? A Survivor’s Guide for Thriving Through Mergers & Acquisitions” which became a #1 new release on Amazon. Her NOW WHAT? audiobook was launched in March 2021 to similar acclaim.
She shares her M&A expertise as a contributor to Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, and Thrive Global; is a sought-after podcast guest and keynote speaker for conferences and associations; and has advised numerous small and mid-market as well as Fortune 500 companies, on how to prepare for and lead through the multiple transitions of the M&A-deal journey.
Scott Wozniak, CEO of Swoz Consulting, has consulted with leaders on six continents, including Silicon Valley startups, family enterprises and Fortune 500 companies. Scott is a member Mensa (international high IQ society), reads over 200 books each year and has written three books, with a fourth going through the publishing process. He earned a master’s degree in business with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership and has worked with some of the leading brands of our time, including multiple Silicon Valley “unicorns” and Nucor Steel. He also spent eight years as an employee at the Chick-fil-A headquarters, working directly with the founding family and executive team to design leadership development programs, set strategy, and lead company-wide upgrades-and though he is not an employee anymore, he regularly consults with their leaders.
Founded in 1946, ITR Economics is the oldest, privately-held, continuously operating economic research and consulting firm in the United States. With a long-term 94.7% accuracy rating, ITR economics has forecasted major economic events, such as the 2008 recession, well in advance and provides reliable industry and company forecasts tailored to clients’ needs. With a knowledge base that spans six decades, ITR has an uncommon understanding of long-term economic trends as well as best practices ahead of changing market conditions. Their reputation is built on accurate, independent, and objective analysis. Lauren is an experienced speaker and economist. She is responsible for providing reliable industry and company forecasts, presentations, webinars, and economic consulting services to small businesses, trade associations, and fortune 500 companies across a spectrum of industries.
Jim Canfield has long been interested in and focused on the unique leadership roles and responsibilities of CEOs and senior executives. After building two companies from start-ups, Jim devoted twenty-five years to the study of executive leadership in the CEO Peer group industry and has logged over 10,000 hours coaching CEOs and high-performing teams. Currently President of CEO Tools by Aprio, Jim is building a content-based coaching and consultant practice inside
the CPA-led advisory firm Aprio. Jim is the author of CEO Tools 2.0: How to Think, Lead and Manage Like a CEO.
Chris McChesney is the lead-author of the bestselling book in the world, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, on strategy execution. Chris’s career with Franklin Covey began by working directly with Dr. Stephen R. Covey and has continued for more than 20 years. Chris has been the Global Practice Leader of Execution for Franklin Covey Co. and has led Franklin Covey’s ongoing design and development of these principles, as well as the consulting organization that has achieved extraordinary growth in many countries around the globe and impacted hundreds of organizations.
David Horsager, MA, CSP, CPAE is the CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute, Trust Expert in Residence at High Point University, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Trust Edge. David has advised leaders and delivered life-changing presentations on six continents, with audiences ranging everywhere from FedEx, Toyota, MIT and global governments to the New Yok Yankees and The Department of Homeland Security. Through David’s industry leading research, The Trust Outlook™ and firsthand experience working with the world’s highest performing organizations, David reveals how top leaders and organizations drive business results to become the most trusted in their industry.
Frank Harrison, Chairman and CEO, of Coca-Cola Consolidated and his t-factor team who shared their stories of transformation and how Coca-Cola Consolidated became a company that successfully honors God, serves others, pursues excellence and is driven to grow profitability. Key Senior & Executive Leaders discuss how to operationalize/execute their purpose and its impact on their culture and business results.
Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is the author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace. Prior to Choose People, Boesch was the CEO of Exodus Moving & Storage. Under her leadership Exodus became the largest mover in Northern Colorado with a turnover rate nearly 40% less than the industry average and a bottom line twice that same average. Kris has been featured as a workplace culture expert in Inc., Entrepreneur and Forbes and was named one of the Top 100 Leadership Speakers for 2018 by Inc.
Mark Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. Mark is listed as one of the Top 5 Leadership Experts in the World by GlobalGurus, and has given over 2600 presentations in every state and 14 countries. Mark has worked with leaders at every level for 34 years and has authored eight books and more than two dozen videos and audio training programs. He posed the common questions on leaders’ minds and suggested effective and realistic responses. Mark shared his recently completed research across five generations on leadership lessons learned during COVID-19 and implications for the future.
Lamar is the founder of Loretto Properties, LLC, a real estate investment company specializing in operation and management of residential properties, as well as Loretto Foundation, LLC, a private Charitable organization. He also owns the Kansas City Maveriscks, LLC, a member team of the East Coast Hockey League. He is best know as a member of the founding family of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mitch Holthus is the voice of the beloved Kansas City Chiefs. He is also a college basketball announcer for SPNS, hosts the “Chiefs Insider” and “Chiefs Live”. Holthus has been with the Chiefs Radio since 1994 making him the longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in Chiefs history. He presented the timeless leadership attributes he has seen and observed from his front row seat that have produced championship performance on and off the field for the Chiefs. His famous quote closed out the Super Bowl, “The game is over, and the Chiefs Kingdom has firmly planted its flag on football’s highest summit!”
Byron Emmert is a Senior Certified Consultant at Trust Edge Leadership Institute where the mission is to develop trusted leaders and organizations. With a background in Communications, Broadcasting, and as Director of Leadership Development for National Organizations, Byron has coached thousands of leaders and delivered life-changing presentations in over 20 countries. Based on the book, The Trust Edge, Emmert describes the actionable tools to increase performance, build trust and grow in your leadership.
Scot Hunsaker purchased an engineering firm operating as a sole proprietorship from his father. That firm, Counsilman-Hunsaker, designed aquatic facilities all over the world, including Olympic venues. He has spoken on the topic of developing exceptional leadership teams and fostering ownership-minded cultures across the US and internationally. Scot shared his personal experience in how he taught his management team to do think like owners, which fueled his company’s performance, results and growth.
Driving Superior Results by Serving Others.” Former CEO, Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. is a passionate, purpose-led business leader who transformed a tired brand and discouraged organization into a top-performing quick service restaurant chain. The story of the Popeyes success is chronicled in her book Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others. As a result of her transformative leadership at Popeyes, Cheryl was recognized as The World’s #1 CEO of the Year for 2017 by Inc. Magazine.
CEO of Hobby Lobby, David Green, believes that generosity and building a legacy based on giving can lead to getting back what you really want: a family that stays together, prays together, and shares life joyfully. Green tells the story of caring for the small things and starting Hobby Lobby in their garage. He shares the difference between the worlds of “having and hoarding” and a world of “giving and generosity,” the principle of working for God and not for men, and that now is not too soon to consider what you want your legacy to be.
Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change. Listed by Leadershipgurus.net as one of the top 30 leadership experts in the world, Mark is an award-winning speaker and the author of eight books, including The Fred Factor, an international bestseller and a New York Times, Business Week, and Wall Street Journal bestseller.” His message focused on how to accelerate leadership effectiveness.
In 2017, Bob Chapman, CEO of $2+ billion firm Barry-Wehmiller, based in St. Louis, was recognized by Inc. as the No. 3 CEO in the World. Barry-Wehmiller has more than 80 acquired companies with over 11,000 team members in more than 100 locations around the globe. Chapman’s book “Everybody Matters,” has inspired organizations and leaders across the globe to embrace the Truly Human Leadership philosophy and set a higher standard on the meaning of impact and influence through business platforms. Brian is a Partner with the Barry-Wehmiller Leadership Institute and Director of the L3 Journey at Barry-Wehmiller.
Acumen’s Partner community and platform has grown to include some of Kansas City’s top businesses and business leaders. This quarter, we celebrate the impact and influence our collective businesses have on the community, employees, families, customers, vendors and suppliers and countless others. Literally millions of people in our region! The facilitated and purposeful panel structure will include best practice discussions, Q&A and interactive think-tanking that will enable attendees to engage in a catalytic workshop environment and be encouraged and inspired by other Partners and Leaders from the KC Acumen community.
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), with over 11,000 members worldwide, and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” held at MIT, a program in which he still teaches today. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 180 partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. So what are the barriers to scaling? What are the four key decisions driving growth? What are the real key performance indicators leaders track who scale most successfully? And what is the universal #1 focus of all companies and its senior team?
Dayton Moore is the General Manager of the World Champion Kansas City Royals Baseball Club. Rex Hudler is a TV Color Commentator for the Kansas City Royals and a former Major League Baseball player. Together, they discussed what it takes to have a World Series winning team, grow young players, and lead themselves, their families, and organizations.
Haydn Shaw has been teaching generational leadership to businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies for more than 20 years. Hailed as a “leadership guru” by the Washington Post, Hadyn has been featured in Forbes, Time and the Chicago Sun-Times. He also writes for the Huffington Post on Generations and is the author of “Sticking Points”, a bestseller in the generational leadership book category. Haydn’s most recent publication, “Generational IQ” hit the shelves on October 1, 2015 and is certain to be a best seller. For the first time in history there are four generations working together – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, GEN Xers, and Millennials. Are you maximizing the contributions of your diverse workforce?
Whenever you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, it’s likely a crucial conversation is keeping you stuck. Crucial Conversations teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics—at all levels of your organization. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you’ll surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment.
More than 15 million people worldwide have discovered their Top 5 talents through the Clifton StrengthsFinder [Gallup]. What too few of these people realize is that understanding all 34 of the talents/strengths is a key driver of fulfilling their human potential. Over the past 17 years, Roy West has committed his life to helping people attain their optimal potential/performance by consciously importing how they naturally think, feel and behave [their talents/strengths], into the fabric of their personal and professional lives.
Certainly from year to year we’ve experience double digit growth. And I attribute a good portion of that to my involvement with Acumen.”