An interview with Mina Breuker, reveals why senior executives attend executive summits

In the past few weeks I have written a couple of articles about the executive summits sponsored by Marcus Evans.  In order get a complete picture what they are all about I interviewed Mina with the goal of asking why she and other senior executives take time from their busy schedules to attend these things.

Christian Living Services/Holland Home

Holland Home is a three campus faith based not-for-profit CCR located in Grand Rapids Michigan.  The organization started in 1982 with a single home for 8 people.  Today it is Michigan’s largest non-profit provider of senior services.  They have more than 1,000 team members and daily serve more than 3,500 seniors.  

The Marcus Evan Value Proposition

Mina has day-to-day operational responsibility for the entire enterprise which means she is busy.  This kind of responsibility is pretty typical for summit attendees so asking “Why do you bother?” is a great question.  Here is Mina’s list:

  • It’s a way to condense time, this means being able to get absorb a lot of information, meet a bunch of colleagues and check-in with a number of carefully selected vendors in a very short time. The bottom line is that it is incredibly efficient.
  • The summit provides an opportunity to meet with and hear from “best of the best”.  Presenters at the  July summit include former Senator Howard Dean; Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs and Analyst on Health, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer; and a number of senior housing thought leaders, including Mina.
  • Exposure to this group of executives and experts gives her practical information she can use and take back to her team.
  • It is also a way to validate or repudiate her plans, programs and ideas.
  • It provides a residual network of peers she can consult with on ideas, programs and problems.
  • Because it is a smaller group, there is more real learning that takes place.
  • When compared to LeadingAge or other more general purpose conferences, she finds these summits more specifically meet her needs.

Meeting with Vendors

I have described this whole process as being sort like a very high end condo pitch and I asked her about this.  It was interesting because she had a very positive view of the vendor part of the summits.  She said that well before the event she is provided a list of sponsors and that she then specifically picks the vendors she wants to meet with.  They generally fall in two categories:  The first are existing vendors she wants to catch-up with.  The second are vendors who are offering services or products she needs.  There is a third category and that is one that is more strategic or more informational.  These are vendors who are doing something new or doing something old but in a disruptively different way.  From a practical point of view it means she is not likely to make a direct buy decision in the near term, but it is a way to make sure she is ahead of the curve with new products, new services and new technology. Her bottom line is that she walks away a mental satchel full of information and ideas that will have a huge positive impact on her staff, her community and her residents in future months. What are you doing to get new information and new ideas?