2011 Recap - The World Leaders Forum | Judson University

WLF 2011 Event Summary

VIP Reception

2011 VIP Event
Judson University President Jerry Cain speaks during the VIP Reception at the World Leaders Forum. All photographs courtesy of Robb Davidson '08 and Kevin Sherman '09

Earlier in the evening, 225 business leaders and sponsors of the World Leaders Forum attended a VIP reception, where they had an opportunity to network with local business and leaders, such as former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar. During the reception, Elgin Mayor Ed Schock presented President Bush with a 100-year-old Elgin men’s pocket watch, which Schock said has more meaning since the famous watches were once produced in Elgin. Following the reception formalities, VIP guests were given the opportunity to meet and have a photo with the former president.

Main Presentation

2011 Main Presentation
Dr. James MacDonald, senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, opens the World Leaders Forum in prayer. All photographs courtesy of Robb Davidson '08 and Kevin Sherman '09

After the VIP Reception, more than 1,300 attended the Main Presentation. A central message to the evening's main event was the value of personal principles regarding faith and freedom. In his keynote address, 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush encouraged the crowd of professionals to follow their principles.

"Principles last forever," said the President. "I say I came to Washington with a set of principles and I've left Washington with those same principles still in place."

2011 Main Presentation 2
Former President George W. Bush waves goodbye after his participation in the World Leaders Forum. All photographs courtesy of Robb Davidson '08 and Kevin Sherman '09

"Be ready to make decisions," Bush said adamantly to the group of local leaders and entrepreneurs. "A set of values that won't change is essential when leading an organization in the midst of a changing environment." After President Bush's keynote address, Judson trustee Carol Thompson moderated a formal question and answer session in which the president responded to questions from Judson students, staff and faculty.

A panel of entrepreneurs also answered questions submitted from the Judson community which were moderated by Judson's Dean of the School of Leadership and Business, Dr. Tom Berliner. Nathan Latka of Lujure Media, Lisa Canning of The Institute of Arts Entrepreneurship, and Kraig Kleeman of Blaire Group shared wisdom and guiding principles of entrepreneurship and leadership that helped them become successful.

2011 Main Presentation 3
Lisa Canning, from left, Nathan Latka and Kraig Kleeman discuss ideas with Judson's Tom Berliner during the World Leaders Forum. All photographs courtesy of Robb Davidson '08 and Kevin Sherman '09

When asked about balancing ethics and profits during the moderated question and answer session for accomplished entrepreneurs, panelist Kraig Kleeman of Blaire Group contributed to that idea stating, "Ethics versus profits is an issue on the minds of the American people since the recent economic downturn. When I think about ethics versus profits, AGI, Lehman Brothers, and many other corporate names come to mind. Greed is a catalyst for financial meltdown. Entrepreneurs can never ever trade ethics for profit. Never. Never. Never. End of story."

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