Author Archive

Three of Our Favorite People To Learn From on Twitter

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

Anne Loehr. Twitter: @anneloehr

Twitter bio: “I help leaders prepare for the four workplace trends that will change our organizations in the next ten years. Are you ready?”

Why she made TEAM VPI’s list: We started following Anne because she is a fellow generational author and speaker. Since the multiple generation workplace is our favorite topic, we tweeted her to ask how she first get interested in the subject. She really got our attention when she tweeted back “12 years in Kenya, getting tribes to work together. Generations is the same thing!” She talked about her work experience in Kenya, including leadership, race, gender, and the generations on a @WeMeanBiz interview. We watched it here and were inspired by Anne’s business savvy and adventuresome nature.






Doug Conant. Twitter: @DougConant

Twitter bio: “Founder, ConantLeadership; Former CEO, Campbell Soup; Chairman, KELI; Chairman, Avon; Dedicated to helping improve the quality of leadership in the 21st century”

Why he made Team VPI’s list: In Doug’s article on Harvard Business Review: “CEOs Can’t Give Feedback Only to Their Direct Reports” he writes about some of our favorite topics: employee engagement, leadership, and modeling desired behavior. For example, Doug writes: “We witnessed that modeling the importance of growth and leadership development at a high level translated to engagement with learning at every level.” Well said!



Tim Maurer. Twitter: @TimMaurer

Twitter Bio: “Personal finance is more PERSONAL than it is finance. I write for @CNBC, @Forbes & @Money. My opinions, not my employer’s.”

Why he made TEAM VPI’s list: We first connected with Tim after we shared his article titled, “Why You Should Always Take A Two-Week Holiday.” In this article, Tim provided 10 reasons he supports a two week holiday. #10 on his list was our favorite: “You Come Home a Better Spouse, Parent, Employee — a Better Person.” We certainly know a 10-day holiday is not always available, but TEAM VPI believes in setting goals and encouraging a culture that encourages employees to come back to work rejuvenated.






What is the bottom line? Lots to learn on Twitter! Follow these folks, plus TEAM VPI @vpistrategies for more like this.


Team VPI Celebrates Making a Difference: Supporting All Generations and Sectors

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

We are celebrating our success in San Diego and beyond! TEAM VPI is busy volunteering, fundraising, teaching, and expanding horizons to make a difference in our community and beyond. Read on for highlights and help us celebrate by sharing with your networks.


Terry Cunningham

Team VPI

Traditionalists and Baby Boomers are intent on leaving a legacy. Terry has worked tirelessly for AIDS awareness for the last 30 years. Terry Cunningham received the KPBS LGBT Pride Month Local Hero Award for dedicating his life to fighting AIDS. Cunningham became known for being outspoken about HIV/AIDS. After his friend John Ciaccio died of complications from AIDS, Terry started the Ciaccio Memorial Clinic, naming it after his friend. His philosophy in dealing with the epidemic was always about being proactive. Pictured right are Terry and Senator Chris Kehoe. Read the full article here.


Ilana Herring

“Millennial Marketing Sensation”: Ilana was the guest speaker at an industry association event attended by 55 San Diego business leaders. She spoke about “Strategic Social Media: Secrets and Strategies to Amplify Your Brand.” Attendees learned how different generations use social media, discovered the best channels to connect with their ideal customers, and how to make Social Media Marketing more fun and profitable.


Jennifer Whitney

Supporting the next generation, affectionately known as GenZ, Jennifer has been participating in her local school district on the Parent/Teacher Organization Board of Directors for the last ten years. She has worked in several positions on the Board in efforts to gain outside resources to assist schools with funding for extracurricular activities such as art enrichment programs, physical education, music, and needed classroom supplies. The very large budget cuts to the educational system forced school districts across California to cut these creative programs. Feeling the negative impact on the children drove Jennifer to volunteer countless hours in and out of the classrooms. Assembling, organizing and bringing together the community in efforts to support the local schools has been so rewarding to Jennifer.


Chris Coughlan

Also supporting GenZ, for 14 years Baby Boomer Chris Coughlan has been a Board of Member of the East County Family YMCA, a Branch of the San Diego County YMCA. Chris devotes his time and resources to this cause because he strongly believes that families and children must have a safe place to go within the communities that they live in. He was the Annual Support Campaign Chair for three consecutive years, and this year they exceeded the $455,000 goal with 300 volunteers in 35 days. Most recently, Chris was voted the 2015/16 incoming Board of Member Chairperson.


Scott Suckow

Healthcare in California is an issue that impacts all generations. VPI Strategies was awarded a community organizing grant from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to form a San Diego County affiliate of the California Chronic Care Coalition comprised of voluntary health agencies representing patients living with specific chronic illnesses.

Team VPI The California Chronic Care Coalition was a sponsor of the California Partnership for Access to Treatment (CPAT) forum in Sacramento on 6.9.15.  The “Molecule to Miracle” forum provided an overview of the drug discovery and development process sharing knowledge and insight about the drug discovery and development process. The speaker panel included Scott Suckow, Dr. Burke with BioTech Primer, Shawn Joist with the ALS Association and Tony Maynard with the Hemophilia Council of California (pictured right).

Scott was also the appointee on three San Diego County Health and Human Services commissions and named one of San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch”.


Sherri Petro

Speaking of people to watch, we are watching our founder Sherri Petro take her generational and organizational development knowledge internally. Now an Organizational Development and Human Resources Director at an analytical lab and environmental engineering firm, Sherri gets to apply the generational knowledge each day in the development of performance management, total rewards, training delivery, and leadership development. The desire to spread the generational word in the nonprofit sector hasn’t stopped, Sherri will be speaking early this fall to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s 2015 Hunger Conference and the Public Pension Financial Forum National Conference in San Diego.


Team VPI

Gathering the strengths of each generation, all of TEAM VPI is committed to educating and freely sharing of their expertise.

Jack Baxter’s Most Revealing Interview Questions

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

Revealing Interview QuestionsGuest Post by: Jack Baxter

I believe the most revealing interview questions are ones that are tied to the competencies required to do a specific job.

In Competency Based Hiring (Interview) questions are developed based on the critical competencies required to do the job. For example, in a job that requires a knowledge of operations, questions would be developed that would help the hiring manager to determine if the individual had the ability to diagnose operational problems, as well as make intelligent decisions based on the understanding of company (industry) knowledge. So the interviewer might ask question(s) similar to the following:

In your previous experience how have you used operational data to diagnose a problem or improve a process or service?

Give me an example of how you have used operational expertise to implement or complete a project?

Questions are developed that cover all of the critical competencies. Most jobs have multiple over lapping and sometimes dependent competencies. Would you hire an individual that was competent as an operations manager but was not competent in financial analysis? Probably not!

The major advantage to this type of approach is it allows the hiring manager to prioritize and set realistic expectations for the new hire.