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The Power of Perserverance

By Norm Thiele

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance." - Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs was right. Today's business leaders must find ways to point their companies in the direction of profitability and growth despite an economic storm that continues to buffet business. And doing so requires smart decisions and the perseverance to see them through.

Company chiefs face pressures unforeseen in generations past; pressures that require a new path forward, paved with ingenuity, fortitude and resilience. Revitalizing core competencies and accessing new avenues of growth are vital to thriving in a shifting, dynamic global economy.

At no other time in business has sound preparation and smart strategy been more important. Careful planning, vision - and a healthy dose of fortitude- are essential for business growth, whether you're an entrepreneur ready to launch or an established business leader looking for an exit strategy.

The Association for Corporate Growth Denver is the premier business association in the Rocky Mountain region offering access to skilled professionals and critical resources to drive middle-market growth. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ACG Rocky Mountain Corporate Growth Conference, which I am honored to chair. This year's conference theme, "Leading Resilient Growth," will celebrate how successful business leaders are seizing new opportunities and prospering despite continuing economic ups and downs.

Colorado stands as one of the nation's leaders in economic growth - our business leaders are at the forefront of new ideas and innovation that is driving business forward. We have much to learn from our peers in the business community in the region, and conference attendees will be exposed to an array of contemporary business thought leadership and best practices including developing and leading high performance cultures, international growth strategies, trends in M&A from the point of view of both strategic and financial buyers, and best practices in preparing for an exit.

The conference also offers extraordinary networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for top executives and dealmakers from the region and around the nation. Highlights of the conference include:

Keynote: Carly Fiorina

It's an honor to announce Carly Fiorina as the ACG conference keynote speaker. Her record of hard work and success includes more than two decades at AT&T and Lucent Technologies, where she led the largest-of-its-time IPO of Lucent and became president of its largest business. In 1998, she was first named Fortune magazine's most powerful female American executive and continued to top this list throughout her tenure at HP. Carly has led profound change and transition within her companies, and she will share her insights on how her leadership drove HP, as well as AT&T and Lucent, to capitalize on opportunities and always stay adaptable.

Conference panel sessions

The conference will highlight six panel sessions where knowledgeable moderators will facilitate discussions with an unmatched slate of successful Colorado business leaders from a variety of industries. These accomplished business leaders and dealmakers have grown companies that are fluid, flexible and fast, and each will share proven strategies for long-term growth and durability. Please make sure to review our conference agenda for venues and times of our "can't miss" panel discussions.

Capital Connection

ACG Denver Capital Connections is the most popular corporate deal-making event in the Rocky Mountain region. Here, private equity groups, intermediaries and capital providers, corporate executives and advisers participate in robust networking and information exchanges. This informal, friendly and fast-paced event is the best place to connect with the resources needed to grow your business, integrate into a great deal, and help achieve your growth aspirations.

Networking and Luncheon Events

Conference attendees will have more time than ever to make vital business connections. Breakfasts both mornings are intentionally designed as opportunities for conference attendees to meet other attendees, or to network with contacts new and old, and forge enduring relationships that enable business. Recognizing the essential nature of relationships to successful business, ACG Ambassadors will be on hand throughout the conference to facilitate personalized introductions with the people most important to you.

And we hope all attendees will join us to celebrate the successes of some of Colorado's most innovative businesses at our premier Corporate Growth Awards luncheon where ACG Denver honors outstanding Colorado companies in both large corporate and emerging business categories. Winners are selected based on key criteria including sustained top-line growth and profitability, leadership, innovation, social responsibility and community involvement.

I would like to thank the many people who make the annual ACG Rocky Mountain Corporate Growth Conference a huge success. Our conference sponsors are unwavering supporters of ACG Denver and provide the key resources in making our annual conference possible. The success of the event would also not be possible without the tremendous time and energy commitment from a large contingent of dedicated ACG volunteers. Please join me in thanking these supporters, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Norm Thiele is managing director of Emergent Global, ACG Denver board member, and chair for the 2012 Rocky Mountain Corporate Growth Conference.
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