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Kelly Lockwood Primus  

CEO of Leading NOW

Kelly Lockwood Primus, Chief Executive Officer, oversees the strategy, research development and client relationship management to help our clients reach their global diversity goals.

Prior to being appointed CEO of Leading NOW, Kelly was CEO & President of its Leading Women brand.

Prior to joining Leading Women, Kelly was a member of the executive team for WFF, a national non-profit women’s leadership organization as Vice President for Marketing & Communications, and was instrumental in returning the organization to prominence in the foodservice industry as the authority for women’s leadership development, driving participation in the organization’s live and virtual events to “sell-out” status.

Before her time in women’s leadership development, Primus was a member of the executive team at Primo Water, a publicly held CPG company, in the role of Vice President, Marketing & Communications. Recruited pre-IPO, Primus was challenged with articulating the brand promise, creating the brand communication strategy and instituting integrated marketing campaigns to drive retailer and consumer brand preference. Within less than a year, the organization went public, had acquired multiple new retail partners including Walmart, and the company’s products were featured in leading trade publications as a product category to watch.

While a resident in North Carolina, Primus was a mentor to students at the Wake Forest University Graduate Women in Business Program, a panelist at their Women in Leadership Conference and a judge at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Annual Marketing Summit MBA Case Competition.

With experience on both the agency and in-house corporate sides, Primus was charged with developing The Goodwin Group’s global business and marketing strategy to expand the integrated marketing agency’s revenue opportunities within the pharmaceutical and medical association industries when she took on the role of Vice President, Strategy and Business Development. Utilizing research to identify a unique market opportunity, Primus reconstructed the organization’s service offerings resulting in new customer acquisitions and a revenue increase of 100%.

From 2000 to 2006 Primus held marketing & communication roles of increasing responsibility at the $700M privately-held consumer products company, The Holmes Group, Inc. (acquired by Jarden Corporation) culminating in the role of Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Lighting Division Business Unit.

A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Primus also participated in Executive Leadership Programs at Boston College and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get (aka Leadership and the Missing 33%™)

What’s missing from conventional wisdom about career success? For women, it’s the most important piece of advice—and we call it The Missing 33%™. Leading Women’s research has identified the 9 critical differentiators for moving women from the middle into senior and executive positions. The research also indicates that traditional career advice neglects key messaging of the career success equation – business, strategic and financial acumen.

Change Management

Never before has leadership been so dynamic and challenging. The pace of change, five generations in a global workforce, Artificial Intelligence, and the desire for organizations to impact social change all influence the actions of business leaders. What do you need to know to lead in this new decade of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity), and the five competencies needed to lead through Change.

The Female Capital Gap

How to use data within your organization to identify where your barriers are and how they are preventing women from filling your leadership pipeline.

Gender Dynamics

For years, Leading Women has tracked research on the ways over 15 mindsets impact talent decisions—we call these gender dynamics. Our global research into 10 of them tells us that those that create the greatest barriers to gender-neutral advancement vary by country and corporate culture. Our unique approach to educating people managers about these dynamics focuses on actions to minimize their adverse impact—helping managers (women & men) take actions to minimize gender barriers in women's advancement. Leading Women’s research-based approach to changing the mindsets of managers will enable more equitable and effective talent decisions.

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