I was invited by ACS (American Cancer Society) to attend their first CEO conference and dinner held in Chicago. Approximately 25 CEO's participated and I was the sole CEO representing Michigan (most were from IL). More about this in a minute.
I arrived in Chicago a day early to detail with one of our BE's, Marie. We visited a dozen or so salons. Many of them already converted to Kemon, a couple scheduled demo's and a couple the owner wasn't in. We toured the Oakbrook and La Grange suburbs.
Salons ranged in size from 1600 sq.ft. in a strip center to 15,000 sq. ft. in a stand-alone building. Overall, I found the salon owners and hairdressers friendly and excited to be working with Kemon and TNG. Other than location, I didn't see much difference between their salons and the ones here in Michigan.
Downtown was exciting as always except for the 10.25% sales tax. Ouch! There were more people wandering downtown than the entire downtown of Detroit in a month. I got to run the lakeshore and if you haven't been there, this is the best part of the city. Miles and miles of paths and every imaginable activity is available; there's even a restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner all with waterfront views.
Bars, restaurants and hotels were busy at 10:00 on a Thursday night. The city is alive and well. It's exactly what we yearn for here in Detroit. Perhaps one day.
The CEO conference was excellent. I got to chat and meet several CEO's from companies such as Walgreen's, AT&T, United Airlines and DeVry. I learned for instance that Walgreen's has 285,000 employees and over the past 10 years has raised $17 million for ACS. AT&T has 300,000 employees, United has more than 200,000 and here I am with less than 300. But hey, in 10 years we raised over $1.5 million.
It was interesting to get their perspective on cancer, wellness and health care. We all have the same issues. At least ACS is moving forward and bringing these issues to the forefront. If we could do that in Detroit with actual follow-through, who knows what could happen; there might even be people walking the streets!