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CEO Essentials

Presented by the Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs) in partnership with the Robins School of Business 

Eight sessions covering the most-requested topics by VACEOs members. The sessions are specifically designed for CEOs and senior leaders from small and mid-sized companies. All sessions will incorporate action learning to immerse participants in the process and give them hands-on experience with the content. Participants will engage with experts and peers to address the most pressing challenges and deepen their connections with fellow CEOs and executive leaders. Class size limited to 24 participants. 2020 dates to be announced soon.

Weekly Schedule 

Talent Development: Coaching and Nurturing Employees / Succession Planning
Bob Piazza
CEOs want people who fit well in their companies’ cultures, who perform at an outstanding level, and who are committed to the long-term sustainability of the business. At the same time, opportunities for top talent to work elsewhere abound. The war for talent rages on. In this session, we will discuss executive succession from the top down, while focusing on organization planning, recruiting, development, and retention. You will learn strategies, processes, and techniques designed to broaden strategic discussions that explore succession options, risks, and contingencies. 

Strategic Planning: From Vision to Execution
Doug Bosse
Why does your firm exist? What purposes does it serve for your various stakeholders? How do you discover the main problem or opportunity in your market and then coordinate your full range of resources to exploit it? This workshop walks through strategy lessons learned from public companies and challenges you to think through a set of foundational questions that will help you prioritize the most important next steps in your firm’s strategic planning process.

Change Leadership
Rick DeJarnette
Change is no longer an exception, it's the new norm. Great leaders must therefore be change leaders, those who can identify, capitalize on, or counter the relevant historic, current, and emerging drivers of change affecting their business. They must also be equipped to sponsor change, promote change-agile cultures, and deploy tactics to manage change successfully. This course will help you understand the different types of change that affect your organization and give you tools to create and lead a change-agile organization.

Richard Coughlan
Negotiation skills can be learned. Whether you are involved in formal negotiations or simply looking to improve your success in influencing others, this interactive session is designed for you. Richard Coughlan combines his practical experiences with recent research to highlight the factors that separate successful negotiators from others. Using group discussion and role-play exercises, you will learn to approach negotiations with a structured plan that boosts confidence and provides multiple paths to success.

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Customer Centricity
Joel Mier
In today’s ever-connected world where consumers often have more information than the companies that seek to serve them, there is only one competitive advantage that can be sustainable: having a customer-centric culture. The firm that better understands and seeks to meet the needs of its customers of today—and tomorrow—will win in the marketplace. This course will help you understand the importance of customer centricity and how it can be a driver of consistent innovation and growth. You will learn about simple yet powerful tools and processes that you can implement immediately to help drive organizational understanding.

Using Financial Tools and Data for Success
Mike Matthews
This class is intended to provide the CEO with tools to guide data-driven decisions toward financial success. While accounting looks backward at how you’ve done, business finance provides tools to allow you to look forward at how you’ll be doing. Some of the key topics discussed in this class will include key financial ratios, company-wide performance measures, and cash flow analysis. 

Understanding & Leveraging Opportunities in Digital Marketing
Sara Hanson
The digital landscape is changing rapidly. It is critical that your business is not only present online, but also strategically positioned to maximize conversions. In this course, you will gain an understanding of the various digital marketing opportunities available and how to leverage these online tools to create customer value. We will discuss the KPIs and key metrics that should be top-of-mind as digital tools are implemented, as well as best practices for online reputation management via user-generated content (e.g., reviews, ratings, recommendations). 

Managing Conflict
Nettie Meluch
Conflict wears many faces. Whether you are dealing with difficult people or tough situations, you need a collaborative and productive process to resolve a problem. This workshop will give you the tools needed to manage relationships effectively with both internal and external stakeholders. Through a series of self-awareness and experiential exercises, this session will teach you how to maximize every business conversation and interaction you have.

Pricing Options 

$3,750 for the full program (VACEOs member price: $2,750)
$2,200 for 4 sessions (VACEOs member price: $1,700)
$600 per session (VACEOs member price: $500)

Registration is limited to CEO and top-level leader(s) only; limit 3 individuals per company per year.  Each full-program registration reserves a “seat”; organizations may choose whom to send to each session; limit 3 unique individuals. The deadline to register is September 25. After this date, please call (804) 289-8017 for more information.

Please complete the below information to register. 

*Indicates Required Field

Are you a VACEOs member?*




Indicate the number of sessions you are interested in attending:* 

Full Program (8 sessions)

Half Program (4 sessions)

Individual Sessions (1-3 sessions)

Once we receive your registration request, a representative from Executive Education will follow up directly with you for course preference and fee information.

Contact Joanne Even, business development director, with questions or to talk about designing a custom program, at for more information.

Executive Education

Robins School of Business
102 UR Drive
University of Richmond, VA 23173
(804) 289-8019