Kirk Perry is CEO of IRI Worldwide and one of our first guests (his threepeat!), returning for another learnings “deep dive” where we go deeper into a topic folks are passionate about. For Kirk, that topic is his faith. In this authentic, vulnerable, and revealing conversation you’ll hear of the grounded humility of Kirk’s faith, and how it permeates into the leader he chooses to be.
Kirk Perry is CEO of IRI Worldwide, a company that deals in big data analytics and insights that power, action, and growth. Previously Kirk served at Google for eight years as the Global President of Brand Solutions. Prior to joining Google Kirk was at P&G for 23 years – in various roles across marketing and general management – including President of Global Family Care and six years in Asia with assignments in South Korea and Japan. Kirk serves on the boards of The J.M. Smucker Company and Chick-fil-A, having previously served on the board of e.l.f. Cosmetics. Growing up from humble beginnings, Kirk and his family are also very active in giving back. Kirk is a member of the Cincinnati Innovation District Advisory Council and has been active with many nonprofit organizations, including board affiliations with The Ronald McDonald House, The CityLink Foundation, City Team, The United Way Campaign Cabinet, March of Dimes (national and regional), the University of Cincinnati Foundation, and the University of Cincinnati’s Bicentennial Commission. Kirk has also coached youth sports for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Jacki, have been married for more than 30 years and have four beautiful children.
In this ranging conversation between Kirk and co-host Rajiv Satyal, you’ll appreciate the value of how two people from different faiths and backgrounds can find common ground in their similarities and differences.
Remembering Norm Levy
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On Christmas Day, 2022, we lost Norm Levy. He meant so much to so many. For me, he made you feel privileged to be at Procter & Gamble–the absolutely best place you could be. What follows is a note from PGAN Chairman Ed Tazzia as well as brief remembrances from those who knew him.
Jack McFadden, Co-chair Communications, BS&HCP, Class of 1971.
While we can’t do special articles about all the alumni that we lose, Norman, along with his colleague Gibby Carey, were recipients of our highest alumni honor in 2007, the McElroy Award. That award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the art and science of satisfying the consumer whether that is the result of a single event or concept or the compilation of a lifetime of achievements. In Norm’s case, it was a lifetime achievement award.
Together with Gibby, Norm created what was called the Copy Services Department. It grew out of a belief that advertising could be studied and that P&G could increase its competitive advantage by understanding what made “Advertising That Works.” Through Copy College, Norm helped to train generations of P&G marketers. He taught us not only how to get better advertising, but also how to treat our advertising agency partners to get their best work.
Years later, fellow alum Kip Knight and I sought out Norm to be a part of a “faculty” that utilized the format of Copy College to develop a marketing and communication workshop for the US State Department. Norm was a critical part of that group that worked to help the people charged with communicating US foreign policy understand the key elements of effective communication.
As good a marketer as Norm was, he was an even better man. Whether you were a senior executive or a wet-behind-the-ears Brand Assistant, Norm had time for you and made you feel special.
I knew Norman for nearly fifty years and, like many of you who benefited from his wisdom, I will miss him.
Ed Tazzia, Chairman, PGAN
Norm was a remarkable person on so many levels. He always made time to help whenever called upon, and whenever he saw that someone needed help. I remember when he spent time with me as a young Brand Manager, teaching me about effective advertising. I still carry those lessons and now, teach them to others.
Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble
I had the pleasure of attending many of Norm’s advertising/copy seminars while climbing the brand management ranks in P&G Mexico and P&G Italy. Norm’s many anecdotes and uniquely witty presentation style helped bring his valuable content and learning to live. Norm’s spirit certainly lives on in generations of P&G Advertising personnel, including many alums around the world.
Deb Kielty, Board Chairman, P&G Alumni Foundation
One of the greatest advertising–and brand building–minds in P&G’s rich legacy of great leaders. And always with a wink and a smile. I loved how excited he got about a new idea or insight. He could not hold it in.
Jim Stengel, former GMO, Procter & Gamble
Norm was a force of nature. He taught so many Benton & Bowles kids about what advertising was all about and strengthened the bonds between P&G and the agency. Frankly, he could also be an occasional pain in the ass, but always for the right reasons.
Arty Selkowitz, Advertising Agency Executive
Norm made a contribution to my recognition of how I needed to lead that was indelible.
It happened over 35 years ago, passing in the hall. It was a tough time in our U.S. business and evidently, I was showing it. What he said to me was simple: “John, you ought to smile more!” That brought me up straight. That got my attention. I had not realized that my appearance was conveying that I was discouraged but apparently it had been. That was ironic because, while the business situation was serious, I had the utmost confidence we would succeed.
What Norm told me that day in no more than 30 seconds affected how I tried to present myself; not pretending to be different than I was, but putting a genuine, positive face on it that I felt internally.
John Pepper, former CEO, Procter & Gamble
Photo from Tim Love, Friend of P&G
2022 P&G Alumni Foundation Grant Recipients
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Ten agencies worldwide received $200,000
for life-changing grants.
Thanks to record donations made by you, our alumni, ten charitable agencies received a total of $200,000 in grants ranging from $15,000-$25,000 in November 2022! Our dedicated Alumni Grant Champions write recommendations and help ensure the funds achieve maximum benefit. On behalf of the P&G Alumni Foundation Board, we wish to thank our donors, grant champions, and volunteers. You are unsung heroes bringing our shared values to life around the world.
From business training, micro-loans, access to higher education, computer skills, beekeeping, and improved farming methods, our grants provide funding to train and provide employment opportunities to thousands. Through the efforts of the grantees, our funds will provide jobs and employment for over 1,700, job-related skills training for almost 2,000 people, and create more than 800 new business ventures impacting some 12,000 family and community members.
To learn about the grant recipients and their projects please click on the pictures below. The links will take you to the P&G Alumni Foundation website with individual profiles for each grant recipient.
Our impact continues to expand and the stories of those who have benefited are inspiring. Thanks to you, the P&G Alumni Foundation has given 112 grants totaling $1.78 million, spanning 40+ countries on five continents. More importantly, we have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world create a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.
With a committed global board of 15 talented leaders, 185+ Ambassadors, 120 grant champions, close to 400 donors, and thousands of talented alums around the world, we are able to do even more! Thank you for your continued support.
James Veraldi, LOOP Co-founder & CEO—Accomplished Entrepreneur
Published January 20, 2023 by pgalums in
James Veraldi is the CEO & Co-founder of Loop.co—a company focused on Improving the world’s social and mental health. So many of us—including the people we love and work with—have had struggles with mental health, and solving these challenges aligns with “touching lives, improving life.”
As an accomplished entrepreneur, James’ work embodies the very purpose, values, and principle-driven approach to work so many of us P&G’ers hold true. Mental and social health is especially a challenge for the younger millennial and Gen Z workforce today—which has a potentially massive impact on performance, productivity, and overall engagement and retention. If you’re a manager of people, an exec or HR stakeholder, you can learn more and sign up for a free 30-day trial for you and some of your colleagues—just visit Loop.co/work.
James began this recent chapter while serving as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at GGV Capital. Prior to that, he led product strategy at TikTok, which he joined in early 2017 prior to its 2018 acquisition and rebranding from ByteDance. Prior to TikTok, James led content strategy at Snapchat, which followed his work as a founding team member at one of Youtube’s earliest partners Fullscreen, which was acquired by Otter Media in 2014. James worked extensively with P&G, Danone, and many other top brands when he co-led a small digital content agency called The ZiZo Group, leading his team to the earliest forefront of branded content marketing. James also had early career experiences at Target, Viacom, and Accenture. He spends a lot of his time in the climate & conservation spaces, where he has done a number of angel investments in climate tech, and founded a popular platform and podcast called Animalia where he leads discussions on a number of climate and conservation solutions. James is a dog lover, beekeeper, and even rehabilitates the occasional squirrel or crow. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about a career journey that led to a greater good—building meaningful solutions for the world of social and mental health—and you will hopefully be inspired on how you can make a difference.
Marlon Hernandez, Director of Innovation at Molson Coors Beverage Company
Published January 15, 2023 by pgalums in
Marlon Hernandez is Director of Innovation at Molson Coors Beverage Company where he’s leading the creation and expansion of the company’s new non-alcoholic beverages division, a part of the company’s revitalization plan launched in 2019. Marlon has spent 6 years rising through the innovation ranks of Molson Coors, and another 10 years in the spirits industry working in innovation for companies like Corby Spirit & Wine, and Pernod Ricard.
Marlon actually got his start in Venezuela at 3M as an Operations Manager and made the jump to marketing at P&G in Fabric & Home Care Latin America. Marlon received his MBA from the IESA—School of Management in Caracas, Venezuela. And studied Production Engineering at University Simón Bolívar in Production Engineering, where he also received his master’s degree in Statistics. Marlon lives in Chicago with his wife and their twins. You’ll enjoy this conversation on the evolution from brand management to product management—and hearing Marlon’s fundamental belief that the launch of a product is not the finish line, it’s just the beginning.
This is hopefully the first of many conversations with leaders on the topic of Innovation. We wanted to dive deeper into how innovation is evolving in today’s rapidly changing world—by taking a “look under the hood” of some innovative companies. Joining our conversation is P&G Alumni Wayne Fisher, President of Rockdale Innovation—a consulting group that helps companies build their internal innovation capability that has hosted more than a few Innovation events for both P&G and P&G Alumni. Got a reco for an innovation story we should share on the pod (we know there are more than a few of you out there)? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tackling Imposter Syndrome—P&G Alumni Coaching
Published January 6, 2023 by pgalums in
With a new year comes a desire to get better—so we wanted to share a powerful conversation on tackling imposter syndrome AND the power of coaching. Research shows that 70% of people experience imposter feelings at some point in their careers. Recently, this important topic was discussed by several P&G Alumni Coaches: Carol Yang, Heidi Piper, Carol Fusek, and Ilhiana Rojas—all accomplished executives with global career experiences AND certified coaches from the P&G Alumni Women’s Leadership Forum.
Carol Yang spent 13 years at P&G, with 23 years of senior corporate experience across Asia Pacific and North America. As a coach, Carol has multiple certifications with a special focus on leadership mindset, behavior shifts, and positive intelligence. Carol is a firm believer that you are most successful when you lead from the core of who you are.
Heidi Piper spent 30 years at P&G, across the US, Belgium, and Germany. Currently, as a coach, she holds several certifications. Heidi believes we have our own innate wisdom and when we’re deeply listened to and really seen, heard, and accepted, we can achieve our full potential in work and in life.
Carol Fusek spent 26 years at P&G—starting in Cincinnati and then across Asia-Pacific in leadership roles, primarily in supply chain. As a coach, she is certified in the neuroscience of leadership and is a certified dementia practitioner. Carol believes that what makes leaders exceptional is their sense of people and ability to connect to the hearts and minds of the organization they lead.
Ilhiana Rojas started her career at P&G Mexico, after which she continued her career across different Fortune 500 companies in Mexico and in the US. As a coach, Ilhiana is focused on leadership development.
Over the new year, we’ll share more powerful coaching discussions with P&G Alumni Coaching—a recently launched program by the P&G Alumni Women’s Leadership Forum. Just as professional athletes have a coach to help them perform at their best, coaching can help you thrive in life. Coaching is for anyone willing to challenge themselves to go after their professional or personal aspirations through powerful questioning, exploration, and action planning. P&G Alumni can sign up for their first FREE coaching session on their website. Because unlocking your full potential is a great way to start the new year.
2022: A(nother) Year of Learnings from Leaders
Published January 2, 2023 by pgalums in
As 2022 comes to a close, we compiled some of the year’s learnings…from leaders. So sit back with your beverage of choice and enjoy. And give us a gift—leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts—hearing from YOU, our fellow Alumni, makes a big difference for our team as we reflect on the year. THANK YOU for the continued support of our podcast and our amazing guests…
- Suzy Deering: Ford Motor Company CMO
- Claire Elvers, Wayfair’s Head of Global Brand Management & Insights
- Matthew McConaughey, Academy Award-winning actor and producer
- Nitin Gajria, Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa
- Christine Fisher, Possip Co-Founder & COO
- Marissa Solis, National Football League (NFL) SVP of Global Brand & Consumer Marketing
- Tristan Walker, Walker & Co, CEO & Co-Founder
- Sharon Hall, Walmart’s VP of Global Executive Recruiting
- Seaphes Miller, Founder & CEO of Fusion Integrated Solutions
- Andrew Tarvin & Raman Sehgal reflecting on 100+ episodes
- John Pepper & Qaisar Shareef on Understanding Ukraine & Russia
- Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global Founder & CEO
- Raj Rao, IBM’s GM for Blockchain Ventures
- Malcolm Gladwell, Author & Journalist
- Dian Alyan: GiveLight Foundation Founder & CEO
- Kevin Hochman, Kentucky Fried Chicken, President, Yum! Brands
- Ikdeep Singh, Mars Petcare President, North America
- Qaisar Shareef, P&G’s former head of Pakistan & Ukraine
- P&G Alumni Comedians: Greg Warren, Josh Sneed, Rajiv Satyal, Andrew Tarvin
- Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard Psychologist & ‘Blindspot’ Author
- Mike Shangkuan, Lingoda CEO
- Gary Vaynerchuk (VaynerX) & Bracken Darrell (Logitech): Masters of Digital Disruption
- Aftab Pureval, Cincinnati Mayor
- Kevin Shapiro, Coty SVP of US Marketing
- Julie Eddleman, DoubleVerify’s Global Chief Commercial Officer
- Jay Sethi: Diageo Beer Company CMO & SVP of Diageo Convenience
- Shelly McNamara: P&G’s Chief Equality & Inclusion Officer
- Guy Raz, NPR Producer & Journalist
- Jakub Kocinski, Digital Safety & Trust (P&G, Google, TikTok, Meta)
- Poliana Sousa, Latin America’s Coca-Cola™ Lead
- Vivek Sunder: Cuemath CEO
- Katie Couric, TV Journalist, Producer, & Author
- K Patrick Davis: Blue Buffalo VP & General Manager
- Ana Maria Henao, PepsiCo’s VP of Global Marketing Excellence
- TEDx Talks with P&G Alums: Drew, Ida, & Rajiv
- John Pepper & Ursula Burns’ (Xerox former CEO) on Race & Understanding
- Tom Asacker, P&G Trainer & Author
- David Youn, Master Lock, President
- Alonya Tkachenko, Nommi CEO & Co-founder
- Paul Polman, Unilever xCEO on “Net Positive”
- Kyle Schlegel, Weber’s VP Americas Marketing & DTC
- Judy Okten: The Power of Disconnecting
- Edward Norton – Actor, Director, Activist, Entrepreneur (from P&G’s “More Than Soap” Podcast)
- Jim Lafferty, Fine Hygienic Holding, CEO
- JOHN SMALE – John Pepper & David Taylor’s reflections on John Smale
- Chip Bergh, Levi’s CEO: Advocacy, Activism & John Smale
- Bob McDonald & Bob Gill’s reflections on John Smale
- Janet Reid & Gordon Brunner’s reflections on John Smale
- A.G. Lafley & Charlotte Otto’s reflections on John Smale
- Oya Canbas, Bayer Global Brand Director
- Vahe Ayvazian, Abbott Divisional Vice President of Marketing & Core Diagnostics
- Sudha Ranganathan, LinkedIn’s Director of Product Marketing
- David Taylor, P&G’s Former CEO & Chairman
Heard something you missed? Be sure to go back and check out each guest’s full episode.
Got a suggestion for a future episode? Send a note to email@example.com—we’d love to hear from you! Thanks for your continued support of our Learnings from Leaders podcast!