News from Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley
The Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley met again both in-person and virtually on November 18th, 2020 at the Steel Club in Hellertown over breakfast beginning at 7:30 am.
Julie Breter from Lutron Electronics presented on the do's and don'ts of creating a captivating presentation. She included best practices and tips to capture an audience's attention and shared real-life examples of good and bad presentations.
Coming off a wild election night with no certainty as to the clear winner of the U.S. Presidential race, Ken MacKenzie of Stifel presented a video on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, about the implications of the two potential outcomes. Ken introduced the below video which the Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley watched and later discussed.
One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic is mental health. Everyone across the world struggles to some degree with navigating the effects of COVID-19. For this reason, the Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley invited guest speaker Linda Brownback, M.A., an Allentown-based psychologist with 40+ years experience at Brownback, Mason and Associates. The topic was timely because many individuals struggle through the pandemic and battle feelings of depression, anxiety, and lack of control. Specifically for the Executive Forum, Linda was asked to speak to Lehigh Valley employers to help them understand and address issues that plague their workforce.
Linda opened the presentation with some background about her practices and the fact that she prides herself in a holistic approach, engaging the individual’s brain, body, and spirit. Under normal circumstances, about a third of Americans struggle with anxiety. COVID-19 has exacerbated that by creating food and job insecurity, the stress of parenting, social isolation, and loneliness. All these factors together create physiological effects on the brain, resulting in a tremendously negative impact on health. Additional mental stress includes burnout fatigue, election anxiety, fear of getting COVID-19, and mask anxiety. All this leads to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and depression.
As the pandemic maintains a firm grip on our national and local Lehigh Valley area, the Executive Forum continues to innovate to provide value to its membership. The business resource group is now producing two-minute business video segments for members to use to promote themselves in and outside of the Forum. This video marks the first installment of the Member Spotlight and features Scott Gingold of Lehigh Valley Technology. Scott provides an overview of his business IT company. Their focus is to make sure that your network, servers, workstations, mobile devices, and all your other technology systems are always fully operational and safe so you will be more profitable, efficient, and stress-free. Scott also discusses why and how the Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley has been an integral resource for their success.
Gary Bender, CEO and founder of The CFO Solution, presented to the Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley at The Steel Club in Hellertown. Gary's presentation centered around the highest priorities and considerations for CFOs and business leaders. He discussed challenges and opportunities amidst a world shaped by COVID, and he also addressed seasonal issues that decision-makers confront at the end of each year. This includes strategic planning, budgeting, and healthcare expenses.
The topic of health care is consistently a lightening rod issue because as Bender explains, "Healthcare is often the third or fourth largest spend, you would expect the financial executive would have a total understanding of the costs, the drivers, the risks and the alternatives. However, this is usually far from reality as that information is not generally provided and few understand the marketplace, the alternatives or even how to educate themselves." Bender shared best practices and successful outcomes to reduce healthcare expenses for employers and employees. He encouraged the members to take a closer look at health care options and consider out-of-the-box solutions especially now as companies work through the convoluted renewal process.