Sey headshot

Save the date!
Wednesday, October 18
5:30 pm
Kittredge Central Conference Room N114 D 

Watch recording here

A note about registration: the Zoom link will be provided after you register. If you register for in-person, the Zoom link is also included. You will be counted as "in-person" if you registered that way and you can disregard the Zoom link. We apologize for the confusion this may cause. 

Short term paid parking available in lots 404, 406, or 423. More information or questions can be found on the Parking and Transportation website, or call 303-735-7275.

About the lecture

It’s long past time for true leaders to take the helm in corporate America. It is time to get back to business with a focus on product excellence, financial discipline and actual inclusion.  

Without courageous corporate leadership, American business ingenuity and creativity will wither. Without leaders who create the conditions for open debate and dissent to flourish in service of breakthrough innovation, businesses will stagnate and, eventually, fail. Or, even worse, corruption will hollow them out until they collapse.  

Delivering business results is why companies exist. Treating all employees fairly is one way that corporations demonstrate social responsibility. 

Dividing consumers with polarizing marketing and browbeating employees with divisiveness and distracting them from the business at hand, is thus a dereliction of duty to shareholders, employees and consumers.  

I saw this play out at Levi’s where I worked for 23 years. I was the Chief Marketing Officer for 8 of them. I did everything with a laser focus on the consumer – reinventing brand perception with newness and unifying marketing. This was achieved by making it clear to employees: I need to hear from you. Great ideas can come from anywhere. 

But I was ousted for my advocacy outside of work because it was deemed beyond the bounds of acceptability. I refused to conform when threatened with job loss. And my ouster is a reflection of the failures happening within corporate America.  

But it isn’t too late to get back to business. We’ll discuss what needs to happen for American business to flourish. 

About the speaker

Jennifer Sey is an American author, filmmaker, business executive and retired artistic gymnast. She was the 1986 USA Gymnastics National Champion, and a 7-time member of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Sey’s first memoir, "Chalked Up," was released in 2008 and detailed the coaching cruelty inflicted on children in the sport of gymnastics. She also produced the 2020 Emmy award-winning documentary film, "Athlete A," which connected the crimes of Larry Nassar to broader abuses in the Olympic movement.

Sey began working at Levi Strauss & Co. in 1999, rising to Chief Marketing Officer and then Global Brand President. In January 2022, she was asked to resign because of her public opposition to the extended closure of San Francisco’s public schools. Her most recent memoir, “Levi’s Unbuttoned,” tells the inspirational story of her corporate career, search for authenticity, and ultimate refusal to bow to the woke mob. She is a mother of four, and now resides in Denver with her family.

This event will be moderated by Todd Zwyicki, VSCTP fall 2023


In a Nutshell: Courageous Corporate Leadership (student event)

October 18, 2023, 4 pm, Benson Center suite (Kittredge Central, 2nd Floor)
Join Dr. Eric Alston on October 18 from 4 - 5 pm in the Benson Center suite (Kittredge Central, 2nd Floor) for a preview of Jennifer Sey's talk. Dr. Alston will help explain the major ideas and explore several questions with students, such as: what is courageous corporate leadership? How can we get back to business with a focus on product excellence, financial discipline and actual inclusion? What is needed for American businesses to flourish? The event is free and in-person only. Register today!
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