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EXECUTIVE CONJUNCTION

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Where the CEOs are

From left: the Carroll School of Management's Peter Rollins, DaimlerChrysler's CEO Dieter Zetsche, and Massport's director of aviation Thomas Kinton, at Zetsche's October talk. By Justin Knight

Best Practices in Corporate Communications (BPCC), a Washington, D.C.–based consulting firm, has released its biannual report profiling the nation's principle speaking venues for top-tier business executives. The Chief Executives' Club of Boston, which operates in partnership with the Carroll School of Management, leads the list for the second time running.

The report draws on data from 1,600 speaker forums. BPCC evaluates the forums according to criteria that include mission, prestige, audience demographics, and media coverage. According to Shane McLaughlin, BPCC's senior writer, the Chief Executives' Club of Boston stands out as the only forum on the list with an all-CEO roster of speakers.

The Chief Executives' Club was established in 1992 by the Carroll School's executive director of corporate/government affairs, Peter Rollins. The club sponsors seven luncheon talks a year, with recent CEO guest speakers including Patrick Stokes '64 (Anheuser-Busch), Jeffrey Immelt (General Electric), Richard Branson (Virgin), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), and Carly Fiorina (Hewlett-Packard). Recent talks have included "Leadership Lessons Learned Under Fire" and "Riding the Second Wave of Globalization," but speakers are encouraged to introduce any topic about which they are passionate. Ted Turner, who visited in 1999, discussed Bosnia.

At the luncheons, the audience is often as distinguished as the speaker. "Our audience is unique," says CSOM's Rollins. While other speakers' clubs may draw thousands to a lecture, offering corporate tables and hosting attendees from all levels of management, Rollins says the approximately 400-strong membership of the Chief Executives' Club consists entirely of corporate heads and managing partners.

To extend its reach, the club has an arrangement with New England Cable News (NECN) to tape half-hour segments with speakers following the luncheons. These interviews air on the NECN program CEO Corner.

Among the other 12 venues profiled by BPCC are the City Clubs of Cleveland and San Diego, the Denver Forum, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. The Chief Executives' Club of Boston is the only one on the list affiliated with a university.

Nicole Estvanik

 

Photo: From left: the Carroll School of Management's Peter Rollins, DaimlerChrysler's CEO Dieter Zetsche, and Massport's director of aviation Thomas Kinton, at Zetsche's October talk. By Justin Knight

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