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IACS Professional Development Conference Held In Atlanta

Atlanta, GA, September 6, 2018: The Indo American Community Services (IACS) – one of the premier national not for profit organization hosted a professional development conference on the theme ‘Personal Branding and Leadership’ on August 18th at the Atlanta Marriott in Alpharetta, GA.

The keynote speakers included senior executives from the industry – Kenneth Escoe, VP and GM, ITW Hi-Cone, Sue Kolloru Barger, Partner and MD, The Boston Consulting Group and Jana Kanyadan, CIO, Mohawk Industries.

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The event and discussions were moderated by Vishal Patell, VP – Marketing and Customer Solutions, CHEP USA who introduced the speakers and welcomed them to the conference. The speakers shared practical advice on why personal branding is important, what strategies to follow to build and re-invent your personal brand, how to discover your value and align them with that of the organization goals and more importantly how to create a brand that will advance your career into the path of leadership.

Kenneth Escoe specifically talked about how personal branding and leadership forms an important part of the business at ITW as the company is constantly focusing on diversity and inclusion. He also pointed out that the journey of the people behind the brand is as important as the brand itself and that brands are much more than a logo and more importantly, reflect the people who make those brands successful. The 3 strategies to take away from Kenneth’s talk would be to recognize that you already have a brand, understand the gaps and do things to drive your passions and transition over time by incorporating people’s perception as this will proactively help shape yourself. Kenneth holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Sue echoed Kenneth’s views and said that your perception of your brand might be very different from the reality. Getting positive or even negative feedback from peers, customers, managers and family is critical for re-evaluating your brand. Sue also talked about 3 dimensions to develop a personal brand where you assess what are the values of the company you work for, how do you exemplify these values and focus on the important characteristics of your current role or the role that you are striving to get into as these are the attributes that really make you unique and stand out in a crowd. Sue holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Ottawa and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Jana talked about how going to a good school and getting the right education is a big investment in yourself. This forms the foundation of who you are and this self-improvement provides a jumpstart to your personal brand. He pointed out that investing in yourself and communicating in a way others understand and in the right context is what makes people listen to you. Jana holds a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Iowa State University and an MBA from the Duke University.

Vishal moderated the panel discussion and the Q&A session. He commended the speakers for sharing their valuable views on personal branding and how it helps leadership growth. Vishal holds a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern California and an MBA in International Business from the University of South Carolina.

All the 3 speakers participated in the panel discussion and talked about how they evolved over the course of their career to incorporate others perceptions and views into their own brand, how companies can use personal branding to understand and strengthen teams of younger and new employees, do women have to try harder to brand themselves, how to overcome stereotypes that stems from your background or ethnicity, etc.

The grand success of the conference is attributed to the IACS conference organizing team that included Lakshmi Nagamohan, Anu Sundaram, Kayal Ramesh, Katyayani Dave, Selvi Sankar, Sunita Davis, Paul Punyasamudram, Prema Rajan, Sree Kummarapurugu, Vidya Sukumaran, Sujatha Narayanan and Anurag Sahay.

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