Highlights from Talent Connect 2022

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HBM was thrilled to host our first portfolio-wide in-person Talent Connect event since 2019 on Sept 21st & 22nd. Over 90 leaders from Mississippi Lime Company, Schafer Industries, HarperLove, Control Devices, and HBM gathered in St. Louis for a day and a half of networking, leadership development, and shared learning.

Reflections & The Future

The event kicked off with a welcome and networking reception. The energy in the room was buzzing, and it was clear people were glad to be back together. Don Roberts, CFO of HBM Holdings, shared reflections from his 23+ years within the HBM portfolio. He shared a few personal stories and summarized by saying that his favorite thing about HBM and our operating companies is how it is always about the people. He said this focus starts at the top, and he’s proud that people at the core is part of our DNA.

Growth & Talent are Interdependent

Attendees heard firsthand from Andy Fincher, CEO of HBM Holdings, the vision for HBM, our values, and how they fit into a larger network. Andy’s opening remarks highlighted HBM’s vision for growth across our portfolio. He also stressed the importance of our continued investment in talent development to support our people and future growth. Andy said, “Growth and talent are interdependent. You need both for long-term success.” This message set the tone for the rest of our event.

Operating Company CEO Panel

In addition to hearing from HBM leaders, the team had a chance to hear from our operating company CEOs. The CEO panel is always a popular event. This year, we had many new faces in Paul Hogan, CEO of Mississippi Lime, Scott Kerns, CEO of Control Devices, and Kenny Messer, CEO of HarperLove on stage, along with Eric Van Rens, CEO of Schafer Industries. This year, the panel reflected on the challenges and key wins of the last two years, shared their thoughts on the future of their respective businesses, and reflected on their personal leadership journey. Paul talked about taking an unplanned detour off his commercial path into Procurement to prepare himself to be a GM/CEO and how what feels like a lateral move can actually prepare you for a big move up. Scott talked about persevering from a setback when he didn’t make it to the majors in baseball and how that translated to leadership resilience. Eric highlighted the importance of the team in everything, and how you remember WHO, not WHAT, you did as you move through your career. As the newest leader, Kenny talked about how energizing the family culture of HBM is and how happy he is to be part of our growth journey.

Keynote & Applied Improvisation

Along with hearing from the HBM and Operating Company Leadership Team, attendees also had the opportunity to hear from a keynote speaker and participate in a non-traditional leadership development experience.

Alex Demczak, a former Mizzou quarterback and New York Times best-selling author, shared the highs and lows of his football career and discussed the importance of Integrity with reflections from his new book The Sale.

The team then participated in a non-traditional applied improvisation workshop. The focus was on learning tips to help leaders be even more effective when communicating, connecting, and collaborating. While there was some initial panic around the word “improv,” the entire team did a fantastic job leaning in and embracing something that felt different. Stacey Mason – from Mason on Leadership – who led the workshop, reflected on this and said, “I think the way this team showed up says something about the overall culture of the organization – which seemed incredibly strong.”

The Future is Bright

Talent Connect 2022 was an excellent opportunity to get back together and gain valuable insights. While we know change and uncertainty will be a part of the future, we also know the future is bright because of our team. As Andy shared in his favorite leadership quote, “The strength of a company lies in its people.” – Joe Heil

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