Three LDS business experts will be speaking at the Empower Your Dreams and New Venture Competition next week. The Willes Center will be hosting the events. The keynote speaker, Elder Gary Crittenden, will speak on March 20 at 7 p.m.; Scott Petersen will speak on March 18 at 3 p.m.; and Mark H. Willes will speak on March 21 at 4 p.m. All the speeches will take place in the Aloha Center Ballroom.
Richard Tanner, director of The Willes Center, said of Willes and Crittenden, “They are the best combination of spiritual speakers.”
Willes will be speaking at the commencement ceremony of the competition. Willes is who The Willes Center is named after. He started his career as a business professor and then became president of General Mills. He later became the CEO of Times Mirror Company and publisher of the “Los Angeles Times.” He served as mission president of the Hawaii Honolulu Mission from 2001-2004 and as a chairman of the board for the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Crittenden will be speaking on the first day of the conference, on the topic of “How Entrepreneurship Builds the Kingdom.” Tanner, who knows him personally, stated this of Crittenden, “He is considered to be on of the leading business professionals in the country let alone the church.” He continued, “He has integrity in the core of his bones, and he is one of my heroes, actually.”
Shawn Tanner, Richard Tanner’s wife, stated, “People are really missing out if they don’t go to this.”
Crittenden serves as an Area Authority in the Salt Lake Valley. He graduated from BYU in Provo in 1976 and Harvard Business School in 1979. Crittenden started his career at Bain and Company and went on to become the CFO of several large companies including Sears, Monsanto, American Express, and Citigroup. Crittenden is now a managing partner of Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. He now resides in Salt Lake City with his wife of 37 years.
Tim Zemp, a junior majoring in business finance from Canada and co-chairman of the Willes Center conference and competition, said of Crittenden, “He spoke at the 2011 LDS Business Conference in Park City, Utah, where top church officials and businessmen came to listen to him speak as keynote speaker, and he floored everyone.”
Petersen will be speaking in a pre-conference training entitled “Principles and Attributes of Successful leaders.”
Petersen is the managing director for the BYU Marriott School’s Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, whose program is rated third in the nation by the Princeton Review. Petersen serves on the board of directors for Health & Benefit Systems, one of the largest voluntary benefits companies for large corporations and hospitals in the country; APU Solutions, the market leader for salvage and alternative parts for the auto industry; and Millenniata, a technology company specializing in archival and long-term data storage. Petersen is a longtime entrepreneur, having harvested three businesses in addition to founding or partnering in his current businesses.
According to the BYU Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Petersen’s management philosophy includes, “Establishing an environment of honesty, integrity, trust, high performance, establishing clear expectations, providing consistent performance feedback, setting significant goals, and evaluating progress.”