More than 350 members of Delaware North’s leadership team this week traveled from all corners of the world to Buffalo, N.Y., for the company’s Global Leadership Meeting – themed “Next” – to help anticipate industry trends and set the pace for an innovative future.
The three-day event kicked off Sunday night at Delaware North’s new global headquarters, where the group of company leaders and local dignitaries converged for a reception that featured six floors of chef-attended action stations. For a majority of the crowd – which included leadership from the United Kingdom, Australia and United States – Sunday’s event was their first time in Delaware North’s new home.
Monday’s agenda included a candid discussion with Delaware North Chairman Jeremy Jacobs, who was interviewed by Delaware North board member and strategic adviser Chuck Moran, the company’s recently retired president. Later that day, Corporate Communications Manager Katie Gorman moderated a panel discussion that featured Co-CEOs Jerry Jacobs Jr. and Lou Jacobs, and CEO of Delaware North’s Boston Holdings Charlie Jacobs.
Also on the docket for Monday was keynote speaker Salim Ismail, a futurist and the founding executive director of Silicon Valley’s Singularity University.
Ismail gave a thought-provoking look at many of the trends that will be shaping Delaware North’s industries in the future, and how the company can respond in anticipation of those changes. Among other topics, he discussed how innovations such as Google’s self-driving car could affect how fans get to the sporting venues in which Delaware North operates. He also touched on how the development of drinkable meals could affect the company’s food service business and how popular digital games – such as Candy Crush – could affect its gaming business.
Executive Vice President and CFO Chris Feeney kicked off Day Two by discussing the importance of each Delaware North associate in shaping the business, before turning things over to keynote speaker James Brown (pictured at right) – a sports analyst and broadcaster with CBS.
“How much of a vote of confidence must it be that your name – Delaware North – might not be as recognizable as the [professional sports] team might be, but that the ownership of those teams throughout the country and world have been locked in with a relationship with Delaware North?” Brown said after giving a riveting presentation. “And to me, that’s akin to a baseball team, football team, hockey team. Sometimes there’s a player who doesn’t get the same media attention as the team star, but he or she is just as important as the team’s star. I firmly believe that a team can only be successful if nobody cares who gets the credit.”