SOMERSET, NJ – The Association for Corporate Growth New Jersey (ACG NJ) honored New Jersey business leaders Julie Auslander, Colin Day, Shari Spiro, Stephen Waldis and Randy Klein on Thursday morning at its 2015 conference at The Palace at Somerset Park. The conference included business networking, remarks by News 12 New Jersey news anchor Bryan Jenkins, as well as a panel presentation and a keynote address by Klein, who received the Corporate Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jenkins, who opened the conference, said, “Some of the most successful companies have found their greatest success in recession and reinventing themselves.” He noted, “for every one of you that finds success, there are hundreds that fail.”
Auslander, Day, Spiro and Waldis discussed a wide range of issues.
Day, who is the Chief Executive Officer of iCIMS, Inc. which develops talent acquisition software, said that it is important for employees to keep innovation focused on the mission at hand. “It’s not about the next big thing. It’s about being best to market our product,” he said. Day said that iCIMS has a “not to do award” that recognizes the employee who “killed off the stupidest thing we had been doing.” He said that he recommends embracing “the contrary” and believes by doing so, you foster a culture of innovation.
Auslander, the President and Chief Cultural Officer of cSubs, a company that designs, implements and manages subscription programs, said that “each person is responsible for innovation in their own lives.” She believes that innovation is a function of culture and is critical to sustainability. She noted that it is very expensive to obtain new clients and new employees so she works hard to create loyalty with both customers and employees. Auslander said that cSubs has a 98% client retention rate, which enables the company to grow, and has an 85% key employee retention rate. She said that innovation is a muscle that needs to be used and developed in small steps on a daily basis.
Spiro, the CEO and Founder of Ad Magic, Inc., the largest and most successful independent printer of tabletop games in the United States, said that at her company the staff determines the course of innovation in her business. She said it is critical to listen to what people are saying and that if you cannot hear what is going on, she can’t see how you can possibly be successful.
Waldis, the Chairman and CEO or Synchronoss Technologies, a world leader in cloud solutions and software-based activation serving communication service providers across the globe, said that companies not only need great ideas but need ways to monetize them. He said that “innovation is not only building the nice really cool thing but the nice really cool thing that can scale.” Waldis added that he recommends intelligent risk taking and believes that managed risk leads to high success.
In his keynote address, Klein, the President and CEO of Crestron Electronics, Inc. a billion-dollar AV industry leader with more than 90 offices worldwide and 3,500 employees, said that innovation is about changing, growing, and building “continually.” “Our people make Crestron great. The people make the company. The people make the innovation. The people drive us forward and give us our purpose,” Klein said. “We started with nothing,” Klein said, noting that the company was founded in 1969 as a repair company and that the company grew “one dollar and one customer at a time.”
Klein said that at Crestron, R&D is higher than at most other companies because they are a growth model company with 50 percent of their revenue coming from products introduced during the last 36 months. He said that it is critical to respect competition and that competition is important for success. “We all need competition. Without competition there is no way to differentiate yourself. It makes us work stronger and harder each day,” he said.
He concluded the conference with advice, “work hard, lead by example, respect the people who got us here and embrace chance and opportunity.”
Editor's Note: TAPinto is a media sponsor of ACG NJ. To find out more information about ACG NJ, visit www.acg.org/nj