Geno Auriemma

Here's a press release from the UConn School of Business and UConn Huskies women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma about a new leadership conference:

STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut School of Business and UConn Women's Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma are teaming up to launch a major new leadership conference that will blend best practices with creative, effective approaches to today's business challenges and opportunities.

Auriemma joined UConn President Susan Herbst, School of Business faculty, staff and students, and corporate partners on Tuesday to announce the innovative new leadership initiative. It is presented in partnership with Walmart, several other partners, and dedicated UConn alumni.

The inaugural Geno Auriemma-UConn Leadership Conference will focus on leadership excellence in an ever-changing environment and will take place April 29 and 30, 2013, at Mohegan Sun Convention Center.

"Being passionate about leadership and sustaining excellence, I have been working with the UConn School of Business to develop a conference that brings together provocative thinkers from different fields to share their perspectives and provide insight into some of the challenges business leaders face today," Auriemma says.

In addition to Walmart, sponsors include Virtus Investment Partners, Aetna, The Hartford Courant, Fox CT (Fox 61), Hartford Magazine, WTIC-AM 1080, WTIC-FM 96.5 and Lite 100.5 WRCH. The UConn Alumni Association also is supporting the initiative.

Auriemma's leadership skills on and off the court have earned him widespread recognition as a creative thinker with a talent for developing potential in others and finding effective ways to address challenges. Those leadership traits have also helped several UConn School of Business alumni reach the top of their professions.

One of those leaders, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon '81, '88 MBA, will deliver a keynote speech, "Leading in a Time of Crisis," to kick off April's inaugural conference. The two-day event also features several other prominent speakers and highly relevant discussions, including guidance on how to lead a multi-generational workforce and strategies for sustaining excellence.

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"This program will give us a terrific opportunity to connect our talented pool of business school faculty, the wide-ranging knowledge of our UConn alumni, and some of the topmost leaders from across varied industries and communities," President Susan Herbst says. "It will serve as a valuable forum where we can learn from one another about what it takes to excel as leaders in today's ever-changing business environment."

Tuesday's announcement also marked the launch of the program's website, a comprehensive resource that includes a registration link, details on the schedule and speakers, and other useful features.

The site,, also gives visitors an opportunity to join an email list to receive conference highlights, leadership resources, useful links and other information.

UConn alumni will be eligible for registration discounts. Proceeds from the conference will be received by the UConn Foundation, Inc., and will benefit Leadership Education at the University of Connecticut's School of Business.

UConn alumni and other officials in the business community have often asked the UConn School of Business to provide leadership programs for corporate executives outside of the traditional classroom setting. This new conference will offer them a hands-on, transformational learning opportunity designed to sharpen their skills and gain inspiration from others.          

"Leadership is a most critical need in today's ever-changing business environment," says Lucy Gilson, academic director of the Geno Auriemma-UConn Leadership Conference and an associate professor of management in the UConn School of Business.

"This conference provides a unique opportunity for its participants to benefit from the expertise of our faculty, the skills and experiences of our alumni, and the knowledge of our business partners," she says.

About Geno Auriemma:

Geno Auriemma has redefined the meaning of success in women's college basketball in his 27 years as head coach of the University of Connecticut. During his illustrious tenure, Auriemma has transformed the UConn program into the standard that all others are measured, both on and off the court.

He has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, and led the 2012 U.S. Women's Basketball Team to a Gold Medal in the Olympic Games in London.

Under his guidance, the Huskies have garnered seven national titles, 13 Final Fours, four perfect seasons (1994-95, 2001-02, 2008-09 and 2009-10) and 37 BIG EAST titles.

He also led his team to an NCAA record 90-straight victories from 2008-11. Off the court, his leadership is evident in the flawless, 100 percent graduation rate among his four-year players, and one of the most beloved and followed sports teams in the country.

About the UConn School of Business:

 Founded in 1941, the UConn School of Business is one of the most comprehensive business schools in the nation, offering widely respected academic programs at UConn's campuses in Storrs, Hartford, Stamford, Torrington and Waterbury.

The School of Business has established a strong reputation for high-quality research and academic programs, spanning a wide array of functional disciplines: Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Operations and Information Management.

The School of Business is committed to being a globally recognized provider of exceptional managerial and business leadership. Also, as part of New England's premier public university, we are committed to enhancing the competitive advantage of Connecticut's workforce in an expanding global business environment.

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photo credit: john woike – hartford courant