Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CEO's, Take Her Lead

Not only did I recently get to attend a workshop event hosted by Build-A-Bear which I recently talked about with my Connecting in the CyBear Century post, but I also met one of the kindest and most generous CEO's of all-time. Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear, embodies what a company and it's corporate level should be about.

I've always imagined most CEOs to be stuffy and above the level of their workers, but I can say that I have met one that is genuine and down-to-earth. I got the pleasure of having a coveted spot of sitting right next to Maxine during the first day workshop and immediately fed off her positive aura.

For a little background, Maxine founded Build-A-Bear Workshop in 1997 and has received numerous honors for her works. She published her first book in 2006, The Bear Necessities of Business: Building A Company with Heart, which I received a copy of and can't wait to read. Due to her dream and dedication, there are now more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide.

Maxine seemed genuinely interested in what other attendees had to say during the workshop and was attentive to what bloggers wanted. For our evening meal Thursday, attendees of the workshop were invited to Maxine's home to eat. Although she has a beautiful home, she did not make it feel stuffy or of an "I'm better than you" level. She even mingled with all the guests and hired a balloon artist and magician to entertain the children. Maxine is one of those people you can connect to instantly and feel true warmth.

If only all of corporate America were like Maxine, I can imagine that the workplace would be less stressful and the teamwork of being in a company more pleasurable.

Build-A-Bear sent me to St. Louis to participate in a 2-day blogger event. They put me up in a hotel and paid for transportation costs to allow me to attend. I also received products from Build-A-Bear as a thank you for attending the event. Although I got to be a part of this awesome event, I can assure you I was not asked or influenced in any way to write this post about Maxine. I like her personality and ethics so much that I had to let others know about her.


Alexis AKA MOM said...

What an amazing event and even better a GREAT place to work and person to work for!!!

I'm so glad you got to go and they provided the hotel and transportation that really is sweet!