Leadership Summit showcases entrepreneurs and women in business

The Lundy-Fetterman School of Business Leadership Summit welcomed more than 150 guests to the Student Union today to inspire and inform leaders for the business world and beyond. Workshops, panelists, and a keynote speaker addressed the topics of leadership, women in business and entrepreneurship over the course of the day. 

The Summit allowed ample time for guests to connect and network with business owners and community members in order to grow their business and become a stronger leader in their field. Presentations kicked off with a keynote address on modern entrepreneurship by Bryan McGann. 

Bryan McGann is a clinical professor of law, director of the Start-Up Ventures Clinic and faculty advisor to the Duke Law Coalition Against Gendered Violence. Prior to joining the Duke Law faculty in 2016, McGann had a broad career as a lawyer, entrepreneur and commercial banker. He is of-counsel to the Smith Anderson firm in Raleigh, an entrepreneur in residence at the University of North Carolina and a contributor to the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

Bryan McGann, a veteran entrepreneur, investor and attorney, is the inventor and founder of Pill Pockets® pet treats, the world’s leading medicine delivery aid for animals.

McGann discussed good growth principles for businesses in 2021, particularly addressing the changes COVID-19 has pushed upon the business world. Drawing on his experience as the inventor and founder of the Pill Pockets® brand pet treats and as co-owner of Sundial Homes, McGann encouraged attendees not to sit on their business ideas, either for fear of failure or a sense of apathy.

The keynote speech was followed by three breakout sessions, where attendees could choose between two speakers and topics to listen in on in the Union ballroom. Session one featured Coach Mike Minter speaking on leadership and Vicky Ismail speaking on social entrepreneurship.

Vicky Ismail, right, demonstrates how to section a pineapple at Carroll’s Kitchen. “This is a healthy environment,” says Ismail, “If you’re going to fail, fail here. This is a safe place to fail.” – from ActivateGood.org

Ismail is co-founder of Carroll’s Kitchen, a non-profit social enterprise restaurant that employs women recovering from crisis. She noticed that women and children looking for solutions to poverty and homelessness were an underserved population, and pitched her idea for a restaurant that exclusively hired struggling women at a Shark Tank-like event. 

“My friend always tells me ‘do what makes your heart sing,'” Ismail said. “But you also have to have a solution to a problem and something that makes your model unique in order to create change. Our restorative employment model is made up of two programs to support both personal and professional growth, and it is so different that when we explain what we do, it does catch people’s attention and interest.”

Continuing the theme of women in business, Professor and Chair of Psychology Laura Lunsford presented “Mentoring: Get a Great Board of Advisors” while alumnus Allison Sikes, an author, president and CEO presented “Leadership, Women in Business.” Over lunch, a Campbell Women in Leadership Panel including Jenna Carpenter, Sherri Yerk-Zwickl, Sandy Connolly and Faithe Beam shared experiences and took questions. 

The final breakout session included Melanie Wright presenting “Paying it Forward: It Takes a Village” and Katharine Jarman presenting “Passion Turned Purpose.” Additionally, two optional workshops run by Campbell’s Professional Golf Management staff and Karen Mishra allowed guests to explore their own preferences in the workplace with a color exercise and gave hands-on golf practice to those looking to improve their long and short golf game.  

“If I had been teaching an entrepreneurship class today, I would have cancelled it and had my students come to hear from these entrepreneurs,” said Professor Shahriar Mostashari. “This is one of the perks of Campbell Business School — learning from industry leaders with resumes and experiences that inspire you.”