Olympian, Ace chairman will discuss  culture of innovation at lecture series

March 25, 2014

Lisle, Illinois ~ Former Olympic speed skater John Coyle and Ace Hardware Corporation board chairman David Ziegler will address the next Leadership Lecture Series event hosted by Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership (CVDL).

The event, sponsored in part by the Chicago Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, will be held from 1:00-4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 4 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive in Chicago. The theme of the lecture series is “Cultivating a Culture of Innovation.”

Coyle, a 1994 Olympic speed skating silver medalist and senior vice president at the consulting firm Maddock Douglas Inc., will explore the characteristics of organizations that excel in fast-changing environments and the role culture plays in responding to the marketplace with innovative products and services. Coyle and his colleagues have helped more than 25 percent of all Fortune 100 companies innovate for success.

Ziegler will share how innovative responses to economic challenges and competition led Ace Hardware through the recession to find a path of growth that continues to defy expectations. In 2013, Ace posted their best sales year in the firm’s 90-year history.

“Leaders today face seemingly intractable challenges and know they need constant innovation to conquer new markets and shape a positive future,” said Jim Ludema, Ph.D., CVDL director. “This event will offer powerful ideas for driving innovation and equipping companies to thrive.”

Senior leaders travel to the CVDL at Benedictine University – the fastest growing university in the country – to increase their knowledge for creating sustainable organizations that transform society through values-driven leadership. The CVDL is the first university program in the world to offer a doctorate in Values-Driven Leadership.

The Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Business Administration (Ph.D./D.B.A.) in Values-Driven Leadership are specifically designed for senior leaders committed to using the creativity and discipline of business to create short-term and long-term shareholder value, enrich people’s lives, and produce products and services that benefit society and contribute to the sustainability of the planet.

The CVDL’s Leadership Lectures are an ongoing series designed to inform and inspire senior executives who are committed to leading at the intersection of ethics, sustainability and business results.

“Finding the capacity to thrive is grounded in a company’s higher purpose,” said Thea Polancic, founder and executive director of the Conscious Capitalism Chapter of Chicago. “We know purpose, values and resilience shape a company’s ability to innovate and unlock potential. Together, we will explore how these connections are made.”

Additional information and registration is available at cvdl.org/innovation. Questions can be directed to Amber Johnson at amberjohnson@ben.edu.

About Benedictine University

Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2001-2011 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.

About the Center for Values-Driven Leadership

The Center for Values-Driven Leadership offers research, education and outreach opportunities to help business leaders forge new paths to profitability. It is a gathering place where top executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders come together to innovate at the forefront of values-driven business practice. More information can be found at www.cvdl.org or by calling (630) 829-6225.

About Conscious Capitalism

Conscious Capitalism is a movement that is dedicated to elevating humanity through business. Conscious Capitalism Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing this movement through transformative thinking, programs, events and communities of inquiry including a network of International Chapters. Chicago is the home of the first North American Chapter. Learn more at consciouscapitalism.org.

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