Posted: October 01, 2013
GenXYZ: Christopher Hemming, 35
President, C10 Exclusive Executive NetworkBy
Strategic connector, Hemming is the president of C10, a private network of C-level businesspeople and technology leaders that hosts exclusive events in cities across the U.S.
You started as a marketing guy for a software company selling telecom solutions to the Department of Defense. How did you transition to networker extraordinaire?
We did a lot of travel to different DoD sites. While I was sitting on an airplane one night I happened to be next to a guy who looked important, but I didn’t know who he was. I was going through the airline magazine and I saw a picture of the guy sitting next to me. I turned to him and asked, ‘Is this you?’ And he said, ‘Yup, good to meet you. Doug Parker, CEO of US Airways.’
I turned to him and asked, ‘What was it that inspired you in your career?’ [He said] ‘Chris, the most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s about relationships of trust.’ … I was so inspired by that experience that I got off the plane and quit my job.
What’s your primary objective?
I’m hired by executives to help them grow their Rolodex and sphere of influence. I work and live by the law of service, building strong relationships of trust with leaders by first focusing on the give, not on the get.
Why are pro athletes a part of the package you offer?
Our goal is to help leaders connect on a deeper level with their peers in a safe environment. We find that doing an event with their families and professional athletes helps strengthen relationships of trust between executives. Simply put, we all remember the first baseball game we went to with our dads. We want to create that same kind of impact for each leader and their families.
What’s the significance of the name, C10?
My kids drive me to be successful. I named the company C10 after the gate at the Portland Airport where Frontier Airlines lands every time I fly out to see my kids.