USC Alumni Leadership Conference
It Takes a Village

On September 15, Trojan volunteer leaders returned to campus for a day of inspiring programs—including presentations by the university’s senior leaders—to enhance their leadership skills for engaging the Trojan Family lifelong and worldwide.  See highlights from this year’s conference on our Storify feed.

Alumna asking a question during a forum at the Alumni Leadership Conference

Each year, the USC Alumni Leadership Conference brings together volunteer leaders from across the university and around the world, including representatives from regional alumni organizations, alumnae groups, industry networks, affinity programs, age-based groups, the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, USC school alumni boards and USC Athletics support groups.

The 2017 conference included exclusive sessions with USC President C. L. Max Nikias, Provost Michael Quick and university leaders, as well as with current students, who gave insight into student life at USC today. After participating in interactive workshops exploring the topics of engagement, leadership development and strategic communications, attendees capped the day with a tour of the new USC Village, followed by a dessert reception, with special remarks by Al Checcio, senior vice president for university advancement.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017
University Park Campus

All morning sessions take place in Town and Gown, except where noted.

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.
Check-In and Breakfast Buffet
Once you check-in, exchange ideas and share best practices for engaging alumni while enjoying a full buffet breakfast.

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Conference Welcome
Jaime Lee ’06, JD ’09
President, USC Alumni Association Board of Governors

Patrick E. Auerbach EdD ’08
Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Annual Presidential Address
USC President C. L. Max Nikias
The 11th president of the University of Southern California shares how he has helped guide USC into the front ranks of the world’s private research universities.

10:00 – 10:10 a.m.

10:10 – 10:30 a.m.
Athletic Compliance Reminder
Michael Blanton JD ’97
Vice President for Athletic Compliance

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
A Look Inside the Keck Medical Enterprise
Moderated by Michael Quick
USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Thomas E. Jackiewicz
Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer for Keck Medicine of USC

Rohit Varma
Dean, Keck School of Medicine of USC

11:25 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Workshop Session 1 (Various Locations)

Select one of the following:

  • “From Engagement to Commitment: Stories, Gifts and Purpose”
  • “Leading the Village in the 21st Century”
  • “Reaching Out by Reaching In”

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Networking Lunch (Ronald Tutor Campus Center Grand Ballroom)

USC Student Showcase
Moderated by Ainsley Carry
Vice President for Student Affairs

2:00 – 2:45 p.m.
Workshop Session 2 (Various Locations)

Select a different topic from the list above.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
USC Village Tour (USC Village)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Dessert Reception (University Club)                                                                                       

Featuring Al Checcio
Senior Vice President for University Advancement

5:00 p.m.
Pep Rally (Heritage Hall)
(Optional and subject to change based upon USC Athletics)

Engagement Strategies

From Engagement to Commitment: Story, Gifts and Purpose
Being socially conscious and making a difference are priorities for many of us. But with so many volunteer opportunities available, how do we convince fellow Trojans to join our cause, engage in our efforts and motivate others to give back? In this interactive workshop, learn how to inspire people to commit their time, energy and expertise to making an impact. 

Susan Inouye ’74
Executive Coach

Susan Inouye is an executive coach with a proven track record of creating lasting change and greater success for executives, business owners and such companies as Fluor, Manufacturers Bank and Southern California Edison. Integrating mind and body practices, her “power-centered” approach to coaching helps executives discover their unique gifts and identify their blind spots. She teaches executives how to make the right decision at the right time. As a result of her coaching, companies have undergone dramatic turnarounds, workplace cultures have been transformed and profitability has increased.

A 1974 USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences graduate, Inouye received a Congressional Award for her outstanding contributions to the community. Her first book, Leadership’s Perfect Storm: What Millennials Are Teaching Us About Possibilities, Passion and Purpose, will be published later this year.

Leadership Development

Leading the Village in the 21st Century
It takes a village, or, in this case, the Trojan Family, to support the overall advancement of USC by engaging all alumni for life and building a culture of philanthropy.  This interactive session will discuss the leadership skills needed in today’s ever-changing world to lead our “village” to success.

Gena Yuvette Davis ’91
Founder and Chief Potential Officer, True Synergy, Inc.

Gena Yuvette Davis is a lead executive coach, corporate trainer and organizational development consultant who helps corporate leaders advance their careers and run their companies effectively. An expert in change management based on behavior, Davis takes an evidence-based approach to working with clients, and uses tools from neuroscience, positive psychology and cognitive behavioral science to recommend solutions that can strengthen a corporate system.

Before founding True Synergy, Davis spent nearly 20 years working as a marketing professional and executive for some of the biggest entertainment brands in the world, including Fox Filmed Entertainment, Warner Bros. Studios and the Walt Disney Company.

Davis regularly shares her professional strategies and skills with audiences across the country. She graduated from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 1991.18

Marketing and Communications

Reaching Out by Reaching In
Although there’s no shortage of ways to communicate in the digital age, getting the word out to your audience is more difficult than ever, due to sheer information overload. In this breakout session, learn how to clear through the clutter by strategically using long-standing techniques and the latest social media tools to boost your marketing and communication efforts.

Fritz Battcher ’94
President, USC Alumni Chapter of Northern Nevada

Fritz Battcher is the current president and a longtime board member of the USC Alumni Chapter of Northern Nevada. A corporate attorney, he specializes in transactional work, mergers and acquisitions, and venture financing at the Reno, Nevada law firm of Holland & Hart.

Battcher graduated from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in 1994.

Derek Nielsen MS ’15
Co-Founder and Head of Hardware Development, Stasis Labs

Derek Nielsen is a co-founder of and the head of hardware development for Stasis Labs, an international medical-device startup based in Los Angeles, with offices overseas. He has hands-on experience developing and implementing strong internal communication methods that accommodate a global workforce.

Nielsen earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2015.

Adam Rose, USC Price Alumnus
Senior Editorial Producer, CBS Interactive

Adam Rose is a journalist who has worked in digital media for more than 12 years. Prior to joining CBS Interactive, he worked at the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times and LAist. He has managed social media accounts with millions of followers, served as the main administrator on a Google Apps account with 1,000 employees, and frequently uses such off-the-shelf communications tools as Slack, Asana and JIRA.

Sarah Huoh ’00
Senior Director, Global Communications, Edwards Lifesciences

Sarah Huoh is the senior director, global communications, for Edwards Lifesciences, the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring. In this position, she oversees the company’s external communications and media relations, as well as speaking opportunities for senior management. Huoh also serves as the company’s primary media liaison, interacting with reporters from such media outlets as ABC, Bloomberg, CNBC, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Huoh graduated from the USC Annenberg School.

2016 Alumni Leadership Conference
Photos from the
2017 USC Alumni Leadership Conference

If you are looking for information about the Volunteer Recognition Dinner, click here.