Delegates of the AICC Emerging Leaders (EL) were looking forward to officially launching the restructuring of the program at the AICC 2020 Spring Meeting in San Diego, but due to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of the meeting, the group has been forced to re-plan.

As leaders, we will all face unexpected obstacles, this happens to be one of those times,” said Daniel Brettschneider, an EL delegate and committee member. “The important part is that we don’t lose this momentum and we adjust our plan to fit the current situation and the needs of our members.”

The launch of the restructure will continue through virtual meetings and online training opportunities, as well as focusing on the planning of the regional programs and events later in the year. 

“This has proven to be another opportunity where leadership skills are crucial,” said Cassi Malone, another delegate and EL committee member. “The EL committee has been focused on identifying ways that ELs can utilize their network during this time and continue making progress in this program. We look forward to launching an updated EL webpage and developing the training content they’ve requested. Our first web training will be April 30th and will cover the use of CRM as a sales and marketing tool.”

“The concept of the Emerging Leader program is proving itself during this time,” added Malone. “We had an EL member reach out to the group asking how others in the industry are handling the new restrictions and travel bans. This is why your network is important. You need to have people you trust to bounce ideas off.”

“Recognizing that others’ feedback is valuable and admitting that you don’t always have the answers – those are soft skills that successful leaders have developed over time, through experience,” added Brettschneider. “This program gives them an environment to develop and refine those skills, probably without even knowing they are doing it.”

The delegates said they still look forward to the EL Field Trip in Atlanta this August. Hosted by the AICC Vice Chairman, the trip is a two-day event that is very well attended and beneficial for all ELs, especially new members. The trip includes plant tours, training sessions and networking events, which members say is one of their primary reasons for joining.

For more information on the AICC Emerging Leaders, contact Scott Ellis of Working Well LLC and advisor to the  group, at (425) 985-8508 or leaders@aiccbox.com