I was recently pleased to welcome Gina Schaefer to a Hannaford Leadership Meeting where she served as an inspiring keynote speaker.
Hannaford, a successful regional grocer, is in the midst of identifying ways that we can enhance our delivery model through calculated risk-taking and changing paradigms. In an era of disruption, Hannaford is eager to learn from others about approaches that not only distinguish us in the markets where we do business, but also in ways that align with our strategy and core values.
Gina’s perspective was not only relevant but thought-provoking. Of particular interest were her views on engaging and supporting local communities, a cornerstone of both the Hannaford and the Ace Hardware model. She also provided insight to store-modeling for new geographies, including integration into urban markets and the “thinking out of the box” innovation required to achieve success in otherwise saturated areas.
Gina’s insight, wit, authenticity, and ability to connect with a diverse group of leaders around a common theme made her an exceptional addition to our annual summit.
Art Freedman has brought a new way of thinking to our retailers in Ireland. The education Art has brought to our conferences from his “real world” experiences and his passionate presentation works very well in our country. Art’s energy has a way of not only inspiring the participants but also mobilizing them to ACT when they return to their business. When it comes to Customer Service, no one in the world I know of can present this message in a way that everyone can understand. When the participants leave, they have the confidence and knowledge, along with the inspiration to execute what they have learned
Tom’s message was very relevant and meaningful. He challenged our company and our customers with some ideas on how to improve business. There is credibility in his message because he feels and faces similar challenges every day at Ace. I would recommend Tom to most any business interested in a message that is real and can make an impact.
Ace Hardware’s outstanding reputation for service makes them the gold standard for independent retailing. When looking for companies that fit into a Business Session program on service culture, Ace was the obvious choice – and Tom Knox the perfect speaker. Tom’s presentation on Ace’s long-term strategy for amazing customer service was captivating, insightful, and just the inspiration our IGA independent retailers needed. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.
Your passion for customer service and developing employees was not only evident, but infectious. Your very relevant examples illustrated the how and why of paying attention to the details and left everyone with a renewed focus on going home and putting these principles into practice immediately. As a group of small business owners, your message certainly hit home and you instantly established credibility with your background of small business ownership.
The response from our ENTIRE organization to Gina’s address has been overwhelming! We knew that the idea of our folks hearing about the world of hardware for Gina’s perspective would be valuable but we did not anticipate how they would react. Gina made it personal. Her personal story and her honest detail of the daily opportunities and struggles of an entrepreneur launched a sea of ideas from all of the E.A. Langenfeld and TouchPoint 360 Associates of how we can help Gina and all Ace Retailers better…Yeah!!, that’s our job and why our company exists!! Almost everyone that I spoke with directly after you and Gina left asked when she was coming back. Mission Accomplished!
Gina quickly commanded the attention and respect of our elite independent tire dealers because she spoke with them as if she were one of them – a peer, a sister, and an entrepreneur fighting for survival. She methodically delivered a message of Tire Pros unity, of vision and of inspiration that validated our customers’ involvement in the partnership and system designed only to help them succeed.
The choice to ask Gina Schaefer to deliver the key note address at the 2015 Langenfeld Annual Meeting was a huge motivational success. Gina’s street level knowledge of the consumer, associate motivational needs and general business acumen made every theme she delivered something we could all relate to in our business. A simple focused presentation coupled with Gina’s embracing delivery style was met with a well-deserved standing ovation at the conclusion of the address.
Art Freedman has been working with our Ace Hardware retailers all over the world for the last 15 years. Art has a unique style of delivery that engages his audience immediately. Art has been an active participant in the development of our current Customer Service training and is our Helpful Expert in all of our Customer Service video training.
The survey results are in, and John Venhuizen is the highest rated speaker in the history of our PGA TOUR annual meetings! The unique ability that John has to combine humor, storytelling and humility into a presentation on Service Excellence is one that captured the attention of all in attendance. He seamlessly weaved the Ace Hardware concepts of Head, Heart and Hands into his session which hit home to all of our attendees. John spoke to the group in such a way that everyone felt they were having a one-on-one conversation with one of the most dynamic leaders they had ever had the chance to meet. Congratulations and many thanks for providing such a tremendous message on service and relationships to our team at the PGA TOUR.