Another tradition dating back to 2006 returned to Grand Valley January 27 as the Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture Series resumed following a pandemic-related pause.
Presented by the Seidman Affinity Network Board and the Seidman College of Business, the series was created to contribute to community connections and business innovation by promoting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship through showcasing successful business models.
Friday’s event, “Leadership Transition, Opportunities, and Obstacles,” included a panel discussion at the L. William Seidman Center with three executives who are new to West Michigan.
Tom Hill, CEO and board member of Marketlab; Jon Husby, CEO and president of ADAC Automotive; and Alison Mast, senior managing director and president of western Michigan for Northern Trust Wealth Management shared their leadership journeys, what brought them to serve as an executive leader in West Michigan, what obstacles and challenges they faced during their transition, and what they have learned along the way.
Husby, the first non-family member to lead Cascade Township-based automotive supplier ADAC, told the audience he’s committed to listening and developing a diverse team of leaders, but that can sometimes be challenging.
The company has been forced to evolve over the past two years as it dealt with supply chain issues, price fluctuations and other issues, Husby said.
“What that does is it gives everyone an opportunity to rethink; and that’s exactly why I was brought in, to rethink, to bring some of that global experience,” he said. “What I’m finding is this deep desire to want to see more of what’s going on in the rest of the world.”
Mast, an English major who attended the University of Michigan, said her challenges since arriving in Grand Rapids have included counterbalancing “West Michigan nice” with making deep connections in a community that is known for being tight knit.