GRS Group Directors, Amy Regal and Julie Sorensen, recently had the opportunity to attend Rockbridge Capital’s Rock the Road event, benefitting Pelotonia. Founded in 2008, Pelotonia is a cycling, entertainment and volunteer event raising money for cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute http://pelotonia.org
According to Doug Ulman, President and CEO of Pelotonia, just under 8,000 people were riding in the event in 2015, raising approximately $23 million.
Rockbridge’s Rock the Road conference brought together hospitality industry leaders from across the US to celebrate and support Pelotonia. Team Rockbridge has raised over $1.3 million for Pelotonia/cancer research over the past 5 years, with $650,000 raised this year alone. I was humbled to meet many of the team’s 121 riders, who rode 25, 50, 75, 100 or 180 miles during the event.
The conference theme was “Innovation — Leadership — One Goal”
Dr. Michael Caliguiri – Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center & CEO– James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute Ohio State University, spoke to the group regarding how cancer research is saving lives. He described cancer as a body’s failure to regulate cell growth. Dr. Caliguiri provided a practical description of the genetics associated with cancer, and how identifying a patient’s oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes can facilitate targeted treatment increasing patient survival. Pelatonia funds are helping create a database of patient genetic information, so that the exact treatments can be identified and delivered to the patients. Additionally, Pelatonia funded research that identified one the colon cancer genes that is hereditary. Now a mouth swab can be taken to determine if someone has this particular gene (100% chance of getting colon cancer). If identified, proactive measures can be taken to ensure these people will survive.
Robin Thurston, Chief Digital Officer of Under Armour–one of the founders of MapMyFitness–enlightened us on the innovation of Under Armour. Its Brand Vision is to Empower, and Connected Fitness is their digital platform. The first social network for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, Connected Fitness enables fitness enthusiasts to track analyze and share fitness activity. As the Under Armour clothing line changed the way athletes dressed, ConnectedFitness aims to change the way people interact and manage their fitness. Under Armour’s brand extension is a prime example of thinking outside the box.
Blake Smith, Director of Entertainment at Virgin Hotels shared the brand’s innovation in the hospitality industry. He provided a brief history of the Virgin brand from its start as a record store. As a new entrant into the hospitality space, Virgin Hotels is redefining the hotel experience for its guests. Some examples are an effort to provide its guests with a higher dose of local flavor than the typical hotel. Guests who download the mobile app can order room service, control the room’s temperature, book spa treatments, access entertainment recommendations, access a chat board and more. The hotel offers an evening complementary social hour and free WiFi.
Tim Kite – Owner, Focus 3 Culture, is a leadership coach. He works with organizations all over the world building leadership and culture. Leadership is influence based on trust you have earned, not the position of level of authority. Some key takeaways:
- The biggest determinant in employees’ attitudes is the leader’s attitude.
- We don’t control the events in our lives, but we can control our responses. How you manage your responses to events determines your success. How to manage your reponses:
- see the Event with clarity and courage
- be clear about the outcome you are pursuing. (what does this situation require of me?)
- choose the appropriate response that will get you to the desired outcome
- Know that events are out of your control. You do control how you choose to respond. It is your greatest asset. Events influence me but my response is always my choice. My success if based on the way I respond.
- When a situation occurs, there is what gets your attention and what really matters. What gets your attention easily distracts you from what matters. Your emotions get locked into what gets your attention. Step away from your initial reaction and give it time so you can find out what matters.