AZ: World’s Best Connectors’ Conference Will Explore What It Takes to be Successful in 2023 | Trade and Industry Development

AZ: World’s Best Connectors’ Conference Will Explore What It Takes to be Successful in 2023

Sep 26, 2022
WBC's 4th annual conference--Leading...From the Top--presented by Arizona State University will explore how being a successful CEO in 2023 is different than being one in 2019.

Since mask restrictions have been lessened in most places, many people feel the COVID-19 pandemic is over. But the repercussions of the past 2+ years will plague those that lived through it, for the rest of their lives, as The Depression did to The Silent Generation. The long-term effects will be different for different generations. Pre-schoolers and kindergarten children may remember it as the period they spent the most time ever with their parents. Gen Z’ers and Millennials may always regret not having the senior prom for which they had already bought those dresses or tuxedos. Gen X and Baby Boomers, who were riding high and thought they had it all figured out, may still be in shock (and newly in debt).

For its fourth annual conference, The World’s Best Connectors (WBC), with its Presenting Sponsor Arizona State University, will host “Leading…From the Top.” This event will explore how being a successful CEO in 2023 differs from being one in 2019, at SkySong Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, on October 27, 2022.

WBC is a virtual community and think tank of CEOs, who help other executives do what they do not have the capacity or interest in doing but need to. WBC members act as consultants (helping executives enhance their connections with family, employees, clients, government, and the media). The organization offers workshops and conferences on topics that business owners should know more about but may not have had the time or access to expertise to learn about. For example, on October 6, there is a live workshop in Phoenix: “How to Enhance Your Security: An Introduction for Arizona Business Leaders,” which will provide a quick introduction to cybersecurity and physical security threats for everyone from bookkeepers to schools and police forces.

“Leading…From the Top would benefit any CEO, business owner, or government official,” says Denise Meridith, CEO of WBC, “Who is trying to regroup for the uncertain times ahead, now that everything is open, but everybody and everything are not back.”

Attendees will first begin networking during a continental breakfast and be welcomed by government officials, such as Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Scottsdale Vice Mayor Solange Whitehead, a representative from Senator Mark Kelly’s office, and ASU Director of Social Embeddedness Christina Ngo.

A panel on “Government and Business: Can We Still be Friends?” will provide participants a rare moment to hear about how that is possible from Shannon Smith, the Regional Engagement Office of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Arizona Congressman Greg Stanton; Tempe Mayor Corey Woods; and City of Chandler Councilman OD Harris.

The challenge and methods of regaining market share will be discussed by master networkers, like David Cogan, CEO of Eliances and the panel moderator; Robert Theobald of the Arizona Commerce Authority; Tricia Benn of the C-Suite Network; and Charlene Ignacio, the CMO Guru, in “Recapturing Partners, Clients, and Customers.”

A common post-pandemic issue among seemingly all industries is how to recruit and retain employees while wrestling with cultural changes, such as rewards, dress codes, valuing diversity, and working from home. Juliette Young of ISOutsource will moderate the “Employees: Where Are They Hiding Now” panel with Dr. Ryan Starzyk of the BlueFire Group and Joanna deShay of the Black Russian Line. There will be a special talk on “Fostering Inclusive Excellence” by Rhonda Todd of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who will be joining us from Ithaca, New York, by Zoom.

Should a CEO still try to invest in network television ads or switch to some newer methodology like reels, streaming TV, or podcasts? How can business owners best use newspapers? What’s a metaverse anyway? Finally, there will be a lively group of experts addressing “The Future of Media in Business: How to Effectively Communicate in the Future, ” moderated by Phoenix Business Journal Publisher Ray Schey. Speakers, including Battinto Batts, the new Dean of ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism, Eric Sperling of STN TV, and Larry Witherspoon of Connect to Your City, will provide knowledgeable predictions about the changes in, and how to now best use, media.

Some CEOs did not seem to realize they had families until COVID forced them to live with spouses and children 24 hours a day. WBC thought it necessary to spend some quality time on these relationships. So, the luncheon—“Keeping CEO’s Families Healthy Physically, Mentally and Economically” will feature Gerran Bettison-Clark, author of the new book Baby Boomers Blueprint to the 21st Century; Jonathan Mason, Director of Project NILO, a new initiative for college athletes, and their parents; and Tanya Best of Keats Coaching. Moderator Lucy Howell, co-founder of The Force for Health, will introduce another new initiative--My Healthy Arizona—which uses social media and gamification to enhance family members’ knowledge of health issues.

This will be a unique and exciting opportunity for attendees to acquire resources, referrals, and references from top leaders in many fields and network with many other executives during breakfast, lunch, and the post-event happy hour. There will also be a special get-together, before the conference starts, for WBC Advisors and sponsors, which is hosted by WBC partners, such as the Arizona Commerce Authority and JM Arbour Wealth Management.

This is a live event. CEOs, business owners, and community leaders need to register quickly as there is limited seating in the beautiful SkySong Center ballroom in Scottsdale. But WBC encourages its national members, partners, and clients, as well as any other business, government, or community leaders and their teams, who cannot attend in person or for the whole day to purchase tickets to the live Zoom coverage of the event. For more information, readers can go to the WBC website ( or register now.

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