1996…The City By The Bay…
1996 brought us back to the west coast for a healthy dose of California sunshine, spirited debate, and inspirational surroundings. Haas debuted a beautiful new facility nestled into the Berkeley hills and an event focused on the theme of Entrepreneurial Spirit 2000.
The depth of the Haas School’s commitment to entrepreneurship soon became evident as we were treated to a slate of speakers and panelists second to none. Keynote Peter Ueberroth provided a very frank overview of the challenges he faced over a career spanning from the L.A. Olympics and Major League baseball to Doubletree hotels and sawmill investments. Said Ueberroth: “You have to build a team. Teams win. Individuals don’t. You have to be faster, tougher…you have to be more diverse and you have to have more values.”
The Haas panel sessions were equally impressive, with CEO’s like Gary Rogers of Dreyers and Don Fisher of The Gap sharing perspectives in panels ranging from Bringing Ventures Public to Young Entrepreneurs. Leo Helvel, active professor and start-up guru, was a key member of the panel Entrepreneurs who Failed before Succeeding. With over 100 personal start-up ventures and an inspirational book “A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline”, Helvel provided a unique perspective spanning over 60 years of American business. In a surprise move, the Haas team surprised Helvel with the Conference Business Leadership Award at the close of the session.
Our Friday evening Awards Banquet featured Community Outreach award winner Jody Handler, who instilled a profound sense of volunteerism and community at the Owen School of Management. Her “100% Owen” vision was realized over the course of the year with the support of the entire school – students, faculty, and administration. A vast majority of the student body ventured out into the community in 1996, with numerous accomplishments to stand as testimony to Handler’s efforts.
Co-chairs Lisa Hoskins and Jeff Cronk continued to impress the delegation throughout the weekend. Saturday’s workshops and leadership forum were highlighted by a presentation from Food From the Hood, a non-profit inner city Los Angeles high school student corps that leveraged a community garden into a packaged-goods Salad Dressing operation with distribution expanding throughout U.S. grocery stores. Not only did the students execute all tasks necessary to run the business, but they also utilized the profits to fund college educations for themselves.
I Left My Heart…
We wound up our 1996 event with an excellent Saturday evening itinerary into San Francisco. After an excellent reception and Dinner at the famed Trolley Car Museum, our assembly of fast-forming friendships and networked initiatives moved on to a superb ocean-borne excursion of San Francisco Bay. Ask anyone lucky enough to be along that evening – San Francisco is even more breathtaking by water.
In all-too typical fashion, Saturday evening soon gave way to Sunday’s brunch, warm farewells, and suitcases full of memories.