ZIPD Business Conference

10th annual ZIPD Business Conference


Wednesday, Nov. 4, and Thursday, Nov. 5

"A Whole New World"

Bringing relevant business and professional development topics to the forefront to validate the current global experiences

Session Highlights

  • Fireside Chat with Anthony Divalerio ’82 and Steph Pettit ’89 on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
  • ZED talks will take place on Thursday, Nov. 5, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
  • Keynote address on Thursday from Michael Angelo Caruso, global communication consultant and standup comic on "Engage Anyone in 15 Seconds" from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

The ZIPD Business Conference annually hosts hundreds of top-notch business professionals, a majority representing our successful alumni who willingly share their business expertise, connections, and wisdom with our students. Each business professional takes on the role of mentor during the conference and provides invaluable insight for our students to grasp, gauge, and grow.

The ZIPD Difference


ZED Talks
Keeping business relevant in change

Keeping business relevant in change

Change was the theme of the game including how the session rolled out. So much so, the last alumni panelist admitted to changing his presentation on the fly.

“Know what things should stay the same and which things to change about yourself or the company you work for,” said panelist Johnathon Wright '03, owner of The Wright Agency. “Be honest with yourself. Think, ‘if I keep doing this, will we be here in 10 years?’”

ZIPD Fireside Chat
Did you get my text? It’s the Real World here!

Did you get my text?

You spend four years in college preparing for the real world. Your first job can bring you incredible opportunities. First, you must nail your interview.

“In the prep stage, it’s important to make sure that you know the company you’re getting involved with,” Tom Mason '84, second vice president of Traveler’s Insurance. “Research is so important. Know the health of the industry, because you want to make sure there is job security within the field and company. Being able to speak to things like this helps with getting the job.”

Entrepreneurs offer advice based on experience

Failure is overrated

When Terry Zeigler ’76, president/CEO, Datacap Systems Inc. asked “Who here wants to own their own business?,” most students raised their hands. His follow-up question revealed that about 25 percent of the students’ parents own businesses.

“I learned business is a tough environment,” Zeigler said, talking about the early days of Datacap Systems, “and over time I gained experience and built up the company. Find people who are like-minded and willing to take on this situation with you.”

Brewing up success

Brewing up success

To be a woman in a historically male dominated industry is a challenge. To be a female CEO of a $3 billion market cap brewing company and distillery is groundbreaking. Rhonda Kallman and cofounder Jim Koch launched the Boston Beer Company in 1984, maker of the famous craft beer, Sam Adams. Since then Kallman has been called an innovator, an entrepreneur, and a trailblazer for women.

Her journey started at age 24, at a time where she was just a secretary who preferred whiskey over beer. Kallman didn’t have a background in marketing, but she did have a love for bars and the people in it. Using this drive and her fun personality, Kallman and Koch went from bar to bar delivering cold beer and a sleeve of cups to whoever would try it.

Patience is key to global enterprise

Patience is key to global enterprise

For Donald Gaughenbaugh ’79, Richard Wisniewski ’82, Bob Moore ’80 and Juli Herring Miller ’92, it's one of their favorite trips to make. These alumni are executives of global businesses and have tracked more airline miles than you could imagine. Working in global business is no easy feat. The overlying theme for the presentation was patience.

“In global business, you need patience and understanding,” said Gaughenbaugh. “There are three different ‘nows’ in global business. Now, just now and … now now.”

If your company works internationally, you need to understand that not all customers operate the same as in the U.S. Understanding which culture uses what kind of “now” is crucial to success and making a deal.

Overcoming the millennial label

Overcoming the millennial label

The word “millennial” brings with it negative terms such as “lazy,” “sensitive” and “self-entitled.” A majority of students in college fall within this generation, which means they can find themselves battling undesirable assumptions. Danny Fisher ’14, an alumnus and self-proclaimed proud millennial, presented five ways any student can shake off the negativity surrounding the term.

“You have skills that other people don’t have, so be yourselves,” said Fisher, reminding students that the bad things associated with them aren’t all true. “(In business meetings, the professionals) may treat millennials like ‘foreign aliens’ … and not understand that we are people trying to make a living.”