Crain’s MidMarket Perspectives

Crain’s MidMarket Perspectives

  • August 23, 2017
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Middle Market Reimagined

The middle market is more than just a revenue category; it’s about being agile and focused. It means realizing a sense of achievement while still having the opportunity to grow and be more. The middle market is an economic powerhouse that inspires.

The 2017 Crain’s MidMarket Perspectives event will pull insights and inspiration from business leaders who will talk about:

  • The importance of culture and how it plays a role in driving the success of your company
  • How focusing on customer experiences and feedback can influence positive change and growth
  • Ways to develop new business to take your company to the next level


Announcing the Speakers:

From the J.M. Smucker Company:

Mark T. Smucker, president, CEO and directorMark T. Smucker, president, CEO and director

Mark T. Smucker was appointed president and CEO of The J.M. Smucker Company in 2016.

The J.M. Smucker Company, headquartered in Orrville, is a leading marketer and manufacturer of consumer food and beverage products and pet food and pet snacks in North America.

Over Smucker’s 19-year career with the company, he has managed virtually every major business, including the company’s significant coffee business, Foodservice, Canada & International, and, most recently, Consumer and Natural Foods.

Jill R. Penrose, senior vice president, human resources and corporate communicationsJill R. Penrose, senior vice president, human resources and corporate communications

As the senior vice president, human resources and corporate communications at The J. M. Smucker Company, Penrose holds responsibility for human capital across the company.  She has been with Smucker for 12 years and has also served as the vice president, corporate strategy and organization development.

Robert D. Ferguson, senior vice president-supply chainRobert D. Ferguson, senior vice president-supply chainRob Ferguson was named senior vice president-supply chain in 2016.  In this role, Ferguson is responsible for procurement, contract manufacturing, fruit operations, customer logistics, planning, and transportation and warehousing teams.

Ferguson joined Smucker in 2015 through the Big Heart Pet Brands acquisition. Prior to his current role, Ferguson co-led integration and synergy efforts as vice president, project and resource management.  Previously, he served as a member of the Big Heart executive leadership team, holding various supply chain leadership roles.

WORKSHOP: Building and maintaining a high-performance environment


PRESENTER: Robert Sher, founding principal of CEO to CEO (San Francisco); author, “Mighty Midsize Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers”

Many great leaders are justifiably frustrated that so many employees don’t seem to care about the company like they do. Generous employee perks and an anything-is-ok workplace doesn’t create a high-performance company.  Yet, much is known about creating and maintaining a high-performance environment.  Learn what 14 years’ research reveals, explore a framework for understanding the key drivers of high-performance organizations and take steps to improve your own workplace environment.

What you will learn:
•        Learn the common causes of low-performance environments.
•        Learn how to apply performance pressure in a productive fashion.
•        Understand the power for visibility to drive results.
•        Learn when to put the risk of failure front and center.
•        Discover why your employees should not feel satisfied with their performance-ever.


Strategic Planning: Find your purpose and vision–and figure out how to get there

Middle market companies often reach the point of an identity crisis. The strategic planning process can offer the opportunity to refocus the organization and re-establish short-and long-term measures of success.


MODERATED BY: Tom Stewart, executive director, National Center for the Middle Market




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