Conference keynotes feature insightful, inspiring voices

More than 600 corporate members will arrive in Boston for our 2013 International Corporate Citizenship Conference this month. We look forward to welcoming all those who will be with us – and to keeping those of you who aren’t able to be with us on-site involved via social media in the important conversations that will take place.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. will get us off to a great start Sunday evening when Andy F. Bessette, Travelers executive vice president and chief administrative officer, introduces a panel of The Travelers Companies, Inc. colleagues who will talk about how they connect the areas of public policy, diversity, and community relations, with a continuing focus on aligning with the company’s business objectives. This collaborative style has been at the core of the firm’s successful efforts in executing corporate citizenship in a decentralized, matrixed organization.

Monday morning, Timothy R. Baer, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Target Corporation will tell us about the evolution of the company’s corporate responsibility strategy. Target has always linked its business health to the health and stability of its communities and now sees an emerging need for corporate citizenship leaders to have a public voice on issues and engage with consumers, peers, and other stakeholders to advance common goals.

Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, will speak about how the company strives to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. She will share her personal story and relate the ways that Campbell’s corporate citizenship works to nourish consumers, neighbors, employees, and the planet. Her presentation will touch on Campbell’s efforts to improve nutrition and wellness, leverage social responsibility and sustainability as drivers of their corporate culture, and reduce Campbell’s environmental footprint.

Altria Group’s corporate responsibility will be the focus of Monday afternoon’s keynote session, when Jennifer Hunter, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for Altria, will describe the journey that has taken the company to the No. 15 ranking on CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list and inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America. She will discuss how the company has addressed often difficult issues and created programs that have attracted input from a diverse group of stakeholders.

Michael Monahan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pitney Bowes Inc. will close out Monday’s keynote sessions with a discussion of how the company’s targeted philanthropic approach supports its business strategy. He will highlight Pitney Bowes’ involvement in addressing the critical issues of literacy, education, and workforce preparedness, and explain how Pitney Bowes links these priorities to employee engagement and team-building.

Tuesday morning’s keynote panel featuring Rob DeMartini, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. president and CEO, Christine Madigan, New Balance vice president of Responsible Leadership, and Sandra Fenwick, president and chief operating officer of Boston Children’s Hospital will explore how the core values of New Balance offer unique opportunities to drive culture, brand strategy, and innovation, and support healthy communities. The panel will also examine some challenges New Balance has faced along the way in achieving those goals while growing aggressively.

State Street Corporation sponsors Tuesday’s closing speaker, author Seth Godin, who will explore the question – Is corporate citizenship merely an obligation, or is it an opportunity? He will offer his perspective on the implications of humanizing the industrial voice, and how doing the right thing also turns out to be the one and only best thing companies can do going forward.

In addition to the great content that you’ll see on stage, the powerful network of professionals will provide plenty of lively dialogue and debate, and information about where trends, challenges, and opportunities are emerging – and how we can design solutions going forward.

I encourage you to go to the conference page on our website for the latest information on all of our speakers and breakout sessions. If you haven’t already, I suggest you take advantage of our online Member Community to connect with other professionals attending the conference. It’s a terrific way to get an early start on networking. I look forward to seeing you all in Boston!