About the 2018 Gathering of Games Closing Keynote:
After 25 years in leadership roles with organizations such as Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, DoubleTree Hotels, and PF Chang’s China Bistros, Ann Rhoades is a leading expert on building values-based organizations. She has proven that when implemented correctly, this kind of corporate culture not only creates a great work environment for employees but also increases all other performance measures.
Ann is respected in the industry for her creative approach for building strong values-based service cultures, blending cultures in merger situations and creating cultures around fun. When she led the People Department at Southwest Airlines, she solidified Southwest’s reputation of retaining and hiring the best people in the airline business despite Southwest’s rapid growth during that time. And, as one of the founding executives of JetBlue Airways, Ann took responsibility for the creation of their People Team in New York.
Based on her decades of experience driving trailblazing corporate cultures, Ann wrote Built on Values: Creating an Enviable Culture that Outperforms the Competition, in which she reveals exactly how leaders can create winning environments that allow their employees and their companies to thrive.
Steve Jones is owner and CEO of Jenner Ag Inc., a family of companies that has specialized in agriculture precision ag equipment sales and service for more than 55 years. He believes in teaching and training people to help them become stewards of agriculture and financial educators for the Great Game.
Steve has been practicing the Great Game for seven years, and under his leadership, Jenner Ag is one of only 2 two-time Great Game All-Star Award winners. GGOB has helped the company grow five-fold and pay out over 18% of EBITDA since their 2011 implementation.
In his talk, Steve will share their multi-faceted approach in playing the Great Game of Business, including how they educate from the front lines for a better bottom line. Steve has a unique take on the benefits of open-book, and loves to share how they use business literacy, Great Game philosophies and total transparency to close cultural, generational and education gaps in their organization.
Under Elizabeth Wilder’s leadership, Anthony Wilder Design/Build (AWDB) has become one of the most sought-after residential architecture, interior design, and construction firms in the Washington, D.C. area. The firm had always used open-book management (OBM), but it was not until Elizabeth met Jack Stack and adopted The Great Game of Business (GGOB) style of OBM that the firm’s success really soared—and GGOB became an integral component of that success.
Anthony Wilder Design/Build’s success with GGOB-style open-book management has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and on MSNBC’s “Your Business.” The firm has also been named by Washingtonian Magazine as a top workplace and was honored to be the 2017 GGOB Hall of Fame inductee.
In her talk, Elizabeth will share what they've learned about the importance of openness in their financials as well as other aspects of business, discussing the turning points where the Great Game helped her business survive and thrive.
In the last 20 years, Shawn Burcham and his wife Julie have grown their foodservice company from a small, one-man operation to a national player with operations in 38 states.
Along the line, an advisor recommended they read Jack Stack's Great Game of Business book, and they subsequently implemented many aspects of the management approach. It wasn't until they attended the 2015 Gathering of Games that they realized they had only begun to see the power of the Great Game. Upon returning from the conference, they started investing substantial time, resources and money to take their Game to the next level. It was then that PFSbrands began to see double-digit bottom line growth to match their double-digit top line growth.
In his talk, Shawn will share PFSbrand's journey from start-up to ownership thinking to 100% employee ownership, including how implementing the Great Game of Business improved financial performance and provided the final inspiration for selling 100% of the business to the employees in 2017.
The energy and willingness to share is unlike any other conference I've attended.