Richmond Home

Voice of Industry Professional Development Workshop Series

The value of The Richmond MBA goes well beyond what is learned in the classroom. We are committed to helping our students and alumni build their networks and develop their personal leadership style. 

The Voice of Industry Professional Development Workshop Series will focus on interpersonal and professional development and is intended to empower our students and alumni for individual and business success.

The Series consists of eight workshops/presentations focused on learnings gleaned from the 2018 Voice of Industry Report. The report states that professionals must be able to lead by:

  • asking good questions,
  • communicating complex concepts, and
  • influencing others to embrace and act on data-driven strategies.

Most sessions are experiential in nature, and themes will progress from one session to the next. 

Through the Series, participants will gain insights to be able to:

  • conduct and lead analytical projects designed to deliver new insights,
  • communicate those insights to senior-level executives,
  • make recommendations to drive strategy, and
  • deliver results.

Watch this video to learn more.

Presence: The Career X Factor
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Robins School of Business, Room 120


Danessa Knaupp
Founder, CEO, Executive Coach
Avenue 8 Advisors

Here is the bad news: “leadership potential” will not get you into the boardroom. Neither will your performance, your endless hours logged at work, or your sponsors. The truth - according to more than 4000 professionals, including 268 senior leaders and 50 top executives - is that 26% of what puts you in your dream job is something that is hard to define; it is executive presence. Presence, or lack thereof, is often cited as the reason strong performers get the dream job or are passed over. The good news is that presence is not as squishy and soft as it sounds. Presence comes down to three key components, each of which can be honed carefully in emerging leaders. Join our session to learn what executive presence is, how to hone yours, and how to avoid common mistakes. The discussion will also include a focus on the tension between presence and authenticity, as well as presence as a factor for women and people of color.

Evidence-based Management
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Robins School of Business, Room 113

JoelMier Joel Mier 
Managing Partner
The Mier Practice

As we all have experienced, far too often business decisions are made on partial or incomplete information, biased assessments, gut instinct, and even simple ego. But it does not have to be that way. Evidence-based Management is about making decisions through the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the best available evidence from multiple sources. The discipline has its origins in medicine—can you imagine a doctor "winging it"? Of course not. Business does not need to either.  In this talk, Dr. Mier will introduce you to Evidence-based Management through practical, real-world examples and leave you with a foundation that you can begin to apply immediately.

Innovation Strategy
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Robins School of Business, Room 113


Rick Ainsworth 
Director, Columbus Office Lead
CapTech Ventures, Inc.

Innovation strategy is about building a system to produce opportunities that align with the organization’s strategy, objectives, constraints and skills. This presentation incorporates a broad range of MBA topics bringing them together in a brief discussion that spans strategy, governance, structured creativity, business cases, valuation, design, market testing, building and go-to-market design and execution. CapTech works with clients to design Innovation Systems that predictably introduce change that matters; this session will cover that approach, experiences, challenges and other practical insights. 

Experience Innovation
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Robins School of Business, Room TBD


Micah Kessel 
Behavioral Designer

In the Experience Innovation session, we focus on creating an experience that best communicates you and your work. We will turn your strategic innovative ideas into an exciting, memorable and valuable experience for your target audience.

The Experience Innovation challenge is oriented around a proven process that begins with looking at your research, innovation, product, story or idea: your matter. Next, the process shows you how to ‘ideate’ an experience that communicates your matter more powerfully and is more emotionally marketable to your audience – while remaining authentic to you. This results in building capacity to design a core experience concept, a method for creating that experience in small doable steps, and a communications strategy.

The Idea Pitch
Monday, February 4, 2019
Robins School of Business, Room TBD


James Wasilewski 
Facilitator, Coach, Comedian
Haha to Aha

You have had the next big idea – check. You even have it planned out for its next steps – check. Now, it is time to develop a pitch. What is in a pitch? How do you create one? What really is a pitch? It is important to understand what values you and your idea offer and to tune-in to and intrigue audiences with your idea.

Now, you have created a great idea pitch – check. What is next? Sell it. There are important strategies and techniques behind an effective sales approach and delivery.  Learning how to elevate and sell your amazing idea is the key to opening the door of opportunity for your audiences. Let’s give them reasons to open the door when you knock.  

Through a variety of educational and fun participatory exercises highlighting storytelling techniques and transparent thoughtfulness, participants will recognize the elements of an idea pitch, craft a pitch and practice effective delivery skills. 

How to Get in Front of the Right People
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Robins School of Business, Room TBD


Kelley Powell 
Founding Partner, CEO
MacLaurin Group

Great businesses are not sold; they are bought. What problem are you solving? Do you have the key ingredient of empathy? What currency have you built up – authentic leadership, trust, relationships, keeping your promises?  Having the skill set of emotional intelligence to lean on different leadership styles based upon the individual, the situation, and the goals we need to accomplish is critical for leading a business. 

A bad idea can be well pitched. A good idea can be poorly pitched. When everyone is competing for capital, it is not about one defining moment. It comes down to adding up all the moments and how you have treated people along the way. And, contrary to popular belief, it is not about luck. It is simply showing up with the relationship currency you have developed and invested in others.

Moving from Idea to Execution
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Robins School of Business, Room TBD


Rick DeJarnette 
Owner, CapRock Venture Guides,
Consultant at CapTech

Beyond a basic lack of planning and program management, initiatives often fail because people do not consider the human dimension of change. This session explores how change management practices align with program and project execution, with the intent of increasing stakeholder adoption to achieve desired results.

Spectacular Failure is The Key to Success
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Robins School of Business, Room TBD


Danessa Knaupp 
Founder, CEO, Executive Coach
Avenue 8 Advisors

Do you remember the last time you failed spectacularly at work? Looking back, is it as awful now as it was then? I am willing to bet that it is not. I am willing to bet that, in fact, that full face-plant taught you some valuable lessons. This final session shares powerful lessons about failure, shame, and resilience. By embracing all three, leaders and corporations can drive innovation and power up performance. Join the session for a candid conversation unlike any you have had before, with examples of leader and company failure and resilience, as well as an overview of the research on failure – and its powerful connection to spectacular long-term success.