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Lunch with the Boss

by Sheron Patrick | May 29, 2019 12:18:14 PM

Food, conversation, ideas. 
Three items at the heart of all great networking.  And luncheons can be some of the best
networking opportunities around. I get to attend many luncheons in my current role
as the BBB Marketplace Manager for Alaska. Tourism, oil and gas, economic development;
you name it, if they have a luncheon, I’ve likely attended. Some are great with
tremendous information that you devour along with the food.  Some you leave maybe taking just a couple
small chicken nuggets of ideas with you.

But what if you could sit down with the President or CEO of
a large company in a relaxed, intimate lunch? Just you and a dozen or so others
to hear their story, where they have come from, what drives them, what hampers
them, and ask one-on-one questions? I got to do just that! The Anchorage
Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professionals Group has a program called “CEO
Luncheon Series”. It’s the rare opportunity to
personally network with successful, local leaders with years of experience from
various industries across Alaska. Hear about their journey to becoming a CEO.

The most recent speaker was Julie Saupe, President and CEO
of Visit Anchorage. Saupe and her team are the ones responsible for, not only
attracting visitors to Anchorage by enhancing the visitor experience, but to
stimulate demand for Anchorage as a premier travel destination. There were
about 15 of us young, eager minds at the lunch today held in the conference
room of the Anchorage historic town hall. After Saupe gave us a brief synopsis
of her history and how she got to where she is, I asked what she’s learned from
leading Visit Anchorage? “I don’t think of myself as a leader but have to
remind myself that others do. Humility is a good quality but doesn’t always translate
into a leader because people are watching you and have expectations for you to
step up and say something.” I’ve known Saupe for a long time, and she is a very
well spoken, quiet person. She went on to say, “As simple as it is, integrity
is so important.”

The foundation of what we do at the Better Business Bureau
is trust and integrity. It’s good to know that there are other organizations
that believe in the same values and that their leaders are practicing those
values too.

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