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Susan Packard          

Media Entrepreneur, Mentor, Author, Leadership Speaker & Expert on Emotional Fitness

Susan Packard has been on the ground floor and helped to build powerful media brands like HBO, CNBC, and HGTV. She was the second employee at HGTV, its co-founder, and its former chief operating officer. HGTV became Scripps Networks Interactive when we created new brands and platforms. She helped build these businesses to a market value of over $15 billion.

Packard left the corporate media world to become a writer, mentor, and a leadership speaker. She has an established platform as an author today. Her first book, "New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace," was published in in 2015 and her second book "Fully Human: Three Steps to Grow Your Emotional Fitness in Work, Leadership and Life" was published in 2019. Both of these books explore how practices of good emotional health can help us to create better lives and careers. In "New Rules" she touched on grit, resilience and team trust. In "Fully Human," she wrote about emotional fitness, a practice she teaches today to leaders, which was at the core of their success at HGTV. Packard gave a Tedx talk about emotional fitness at UCLA. In 2020, she was named one of the top 40 women keynote speakers by RealLeaders, and continues to be an active speaker at organizations and universities like Stanford Business School, Carnegie Mellon and University of Alabama.

Packard was the first woman elected to serve on the board of directors of Churchill Downs, Inc., the owner and manager of the Kentucky Derby. She has done many things in her career others might consider “brave,” but the most courageous thing she’s ever done was to ask for help for an on-going substance use disorder. In 2019, she gave a Commencement address at Michigan State University, her alma mater, and shared with the 5,000 graduates and their families some of my addiction and recovery journey. There she was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor in Humanities.

She was so moved by the sober college students she met at MSU’s Collegiate Recovery Center that she decided to write a third book, called "The Little Book of College Sobriety: Living Happy, Healthy, and Free." This book also focuses on good emotional health for those in recovery and their families.

Packard has practiced a form of meditation called Centering Prayer for over ten years, and now teach this wisdom practice at various venues, and incorporates it when she facilitates leadership and mindfulness retreats. She’s also done podcasts, where she teaches meditation practice together with the audience.

Speech Topics

Move Fast, Think Big: Building a Brand Leader

HGTV took a big idea - a cable television network devoted to all things home - into a marketplace dominated by media giants and emerged the leader. Now launched in more than 98 million homes, HGTV changed how we envision our homes and, in the process, established a new model for business innovation and success. Packard shares with audiences strategies for forging and promoting a brand while gaining customers who'll remain loyal to it, and provides ideas for expanding into other channels and platforms to secure even greater market share while maintaining brand integrity.

The Leader Within: Growing Your Leadership Team

What do leaders need today to excel? Hear from HGTV’s co-founder, Susan Packard, as she shares leadership lessons from businesses she has helped to build, and from the leadership work she is doing today. She will discuss how vision, audacity, and relentless focus are some of the key factors that make great leaders today. She will also share some unusual insights and stories about diversity as a business practice today.

How Culture Impacts Employee Engagement: Timeless Lessons on Talent

Two of today’s toughest challenges are recruiting and retaining the best talent. Learn how a $7 billion business did it from the ground up, and how these lessons can apply to you. HGTV co-founder Susan Packard will cover critical areas such as team structure, having a sense of mission, and how small, inexpensive things can impact loyalty and workplace excellence. Having the right people in the right jobs with the right amount of motivation is crucial to any successful organization and Packard shares what employers must do to create a workplace that can become the envy of any industry.

Now What? Creativity, Innovation and Turning Ideas into Icons

So you have a great, innovative idea that is without peer in the marketplace—how does that become a great business worth over $7 billion such as HGTV? Packard shares with the audience her experiences and the lessons learned in growing a multi-billion dollar business which today includes cable networks, books, DVDs, interactive properties and a family of trusted television personalities. A leader who inspired those around her to push the boundaries in innovating products to achieve business success, Packard shares the leadership skills necessary to incubate—and execute—game changing ideas.

Advancement Through Gamesmanship

How do employees reach that next level in their career? Baseline talent gets everyone in the game. Then people begin to compete for advancement and factors such as likeability and trust influence who is promoted into senior roles. Susan Packard, co-founder of HGTV, lays out an approach to help your employees succeed called gamesmanship-a strategic way of thinking, as well as a language of business to help people advance. We are taught that 'winning' at work means collaboration and perfecting what we do. But these two drivers are not always the best way to move forward. Through a dynamic and down-to-earth approach, Packard lays out the rules of gamesmanship, based on her upcoming book, New Rules of the Game, and illustrates how employees can better compete for promotions and plum assignments by speaking an alternative language, as well as how they can handle the many stresses that come with being in the workplace.

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