LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 300 Network of Executive Women (NEW) members and guests learned to "lead through change" at the NEW Southern California spring event, May 14, 2013, at the historic Millennial Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
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Region co-chair Kendra Doyel, vice president, public relations at Ralphs/Food 4 Less/FoodsCo, kicked off the event and briefed the audience on the Network's mission and the Southern California region, outlining ways that industry members could get involved. The half-day event included an opening reception, buffet dinner, silent auction and a "scavenger hunt" networking game using photos from attendees' cell phones.
Tom Herman, senior vice president, merchandising and procurement for Northgate Gonzalez Markets, and Subriana Pierce, managing partner of Navigator Sales and Marketing, then moderated a panel discussion focused on leadership in the midst of change. Pierce introduced the panel and reviewed the powerful changes reshaping the consumer goods and retail industry. She noted that gender roles in the home were changing, with more women becoming the prime breadwinner and men assuming more household duties. She also noted that the population is getting older and there are more blended families and mixed-race couples. The panelists included Bryan Kaltenbach, president of Food 4 Less; Tanya Domier, CEO of Advantage Sales & Marketing; Caryn Olson, division vice president, category and shopper development at Nestlé USA; and Carmen Moch, senior group vice president at Target.
"Leaders are the architects of change and have to remain in the moment and accept adaptive change," Kaltenbach said. "Technology has created this amazing amount of information (about our customers) and it's happening extremely fast. Change is just one day after the next and we have to keep ahead of it. The companies that will be world-class tomorrow are ones that have associates that understand that."
"Industry leaders buy into change much earlier than others, and you have to bring everyone along," Domier explained. "It can help to lay out how you, as a leader, got to the acceptance of that change. The fear of not changing should be greater than the fear of changing."
Olson said, "To embrace and leverage the opportunities that come with change, leaders must create a sense of urgency among the entire organization, not just at the top." It's important to set the stage for people and get them almost riled up about having the change. Find where the change is working and celebrate those successes."
Moch encouraged attendees to stay team-focused during change, which she called "a part of life." Understand where everyone is in the process of change, she advised. "Check in often. Compassion is important."
At the conclusion of the event, attendees were provided Change Leadership Tip Cards with quotes and suggestions to help navigate change in their organizations. They also received gift bags and had many opportunities to network with other NEW members and guests.
This special NEW event was made possible by the generous support of the following regional sponsors: ATA Retail Services, Brown-Forman, La Croix, Learning Evolution, Mission, Northgate Markets, One Source Industries, PopChips, Samuel Adams, SignCo, Smart&Final, Social Sampling, Sunrise Growers-Frozsun Foods, Sunset, Southern Wine & Spirits of California, Inc., Unified Grocers, and USC Marshall Executive Education.
About the Network of Executive Women
The Network of Executive Women is the consumer products and retail industry's largest diversity organization, with more than 7,000 members representing 700 industry companies. The Network has 90 national sponsors and 20 regional groups in the United States and Canada. For more information visit www.newonline.org.
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Source: Network of Executive Women