Thursday, August 05, 2010

Executive Dinner

Dinner with Ursula Burns and Lynn Blodgett
Last night was one of the cooler nights of my career. The story starts back shortly after Xerox had announced it's acquisition of ACS. Xerox's CEO, Ursula Burns and ACS's CEO, Lynn Blodgett had a meeting for our sales teams talking about their goals wanting to see deals involving synergy between our town organizations occur, deals where the value of the two organization brought deals to bear that could not have happened separately. Off the cuff, Ursula and Lynn announced that they would have dinner together with the team that made the first synergy happen. During this call I was IMing with the team for one of our large accounts, and we agreed that we would get that dinner.

We had that dinner last night.  Mark Kohne, a good friend of mine and co-worker, myself and the rest of the team on the account were there along with Ursula, Lynn, our CFO Larry Zimmerman were there for dinner. Mark and I ended up sitting next to Lynn, who is a fantastic and gracious guy.  He was as interested in us as we were in him and shared some great stories on some of what happened behind the scenes during the acquisition of ACS.  He's huge into photography and has published a book already called Finding Grace on America's Homeless, he shared with us that he's working on another book right now around the men of the military as an honor to their service for our country.

Meeting our CFO was very cool as well.  Larry is legendary in our company and was one of key people behind the ACS Acquisition.  I spent a few minutes with him as well and he was great to talk to, not nearly as intimidating as I'd expected, but I'm sure he can be when the time calls for it.

The highlight for me was when Ursula came down and sat with us for a bit, bringing her iPad as well.  I'd been out in a half day workshop with her earlier in the year and she played with my iPad there for a while and it was cool to see she'd picked one up since.  As she sat down next to me, we talked about our mutual love of them after which she got my contact information for future iPad support and said she'd be calling.  She also took us through some of the pictures on her iPad , which included pics with of her family, President Obama, Sting and others.

It was really an honor spending the time with the executive leadership team.  I have a deep passion and loyalty to Xerox and these are people I look up to in what I do, and I wasn't disappointed.  The executives made it their goal to have personal interaction with everyone in the group and it was a better reward than cash for me.  As many of you know, I was an equally big fan of Anne Mulcahy (I went back and saw just how many entries I had on my blog praising Anne) and now you'll to bear with me on similar entries about Ursula.  From the color and style of my hair, and the beauty of my tie, you can see that it's been some a while since I had my picture taken with a Xerox executive:
anne and dave

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