CEOs Discuss Leadership at HPU Roundtable


HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 8, 2013 – Believe. That was the message from three local business leaders at High Point University’s Leadership Roundtable discussion held on campus today. They said the key to being a successful leader is to believe in yourself, believe in your team and believe in your core values.

“One of the smartest things I’ve done is to hire people smarter than me, give them all of the resources I possibly can and then get out of their way,” said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, CEO and owner of Pace Communications. “We have an environment where people are allowed to make mistakes. Sometimes failure is the best thing that can happen to us. That can be our defining moment.”

Hunter was one of three panelists on the roundtable along with Kelly King, chairman and CEO of BB&T Corp., and Ric Elias, CEO and co-founder of Red Ventures. More than 400 people attended the roundtable discussion, which was moderated by Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president.

“There are only three things that are non-negotiable – our vision, our mission and our values,” added King. “It’s not about what you achieve, but how you achieve it.”

“Ultimately, you have to be authentic,” said Elias. “Leadership is a journey that never ends, and the only thing to keep you grounded is to be authentic.”

The panelists discussed the state of leadership in North Carolina and said that in order to improve the business climate for growth and job creation, political leaders and business leaders must come together.

“The best thing that young people and everyone can do is to be entrepreneurs and create jobs and opportunities,” said McElveen-Hunter. “When we do that, we have a bigger impact on the world. HPU is one of those special places that emphasizes entrepreneurship and holds high that business is good.”

The roundtable program will be aired at a later date on UNC-TV and featured in the December issue of Business North Carolina.

This is the second roundtable HPU has held. This past spring, the university hosted North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and several highly regarded business leaders, including racing CEO and businessman Richard Childress, as panelists in an entrepreneurship roundtable discussion.

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