February 25, 2021 4:00 - 5:00pm CST
10 years ago, Conscious Capitalism wasn’t taken seriously by mainstream businesses. 1 year ago, we were gaining traction with industry thought leaders driving change in business such as the BlackRock, the Business Roundtable, and World Economic Forum all adopting our principles. Then COVID hit, and the media called it an “Acid Test” for our principles, predicting that businesses would jettison them to survive. Instead, more businesses are coming to our movement now than ever before. The future of the Conscious Capitalism movement is brighter than ever before. Alexander McCobin, CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and Karen Sammon, former CEO, President and Board Member of PAR Technology Corporation and a board member of CCI, will discuss the implications of these changes and what the future looks like for businesses and the Conscious Capitalism movement.
Alexander has been the CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. since 2017, after serving as Co-CEO starting in 2016.
Alexander holds a BA in philosophy and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a MA in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a MA in philosophy from Georgetown University.
In his youth, Alexander’s entrepreneurial drive led him to start and run several businesses, both for profit and nonprofit. During college, though, he didn’t see business as a way to change the world, he thought the way to do that was through academia. So he began a PhD program in Philosophy at Georgetown University. As he began to work on a dissertation regarding corporate moral responsibility, he attended the first Conscious Capitalism Annual Conference in 2013, where he was inspired by business leaders dedicated to changing the world. Within a year, he left Georgetown without the PhD and dedicated himself to running one of the businesses he had started during undergrad. Before he joined CCI’s staff, he turned that organization into a multimillion dollar operation.
In his spare time, Alexander likes to read, hike, run, dive, kayak, and cook. He feels most at home when he’s in the Pennsylvania mountains and the California coast.
His favorite joke: A chemist, a physicist, and an economist are shipwrecked on a desert island with one can of beans and no can opener. Sitting around, trying to figure out what to do with their predicament, they each propose a solution. The chemist says, “If we rub salt water on the lid, it will erode the edges and we can open it.” The physicist says, “If we triangulate the sun’s rays, we can heat the can until the lid explodes open.” The economist says, “Let’s assume we have a can opener.”
Karen is a CEO, President, Management Executive, public company Board Member and committed Conscious Capitalist with successful record of spearheading turnarounds, driving corporate transformations including digital and culture transformations, and transitioning business models from transactional to recurring revenue. She delivers stability, strategically cultivating and empowering collaborative, engaged and high performing teams, through servant leadership and authenticity.
Karen is the former CEO, President and Board Member of PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR), an international company providing management technology solutions to the Company’s restaurant/retail and government customers worldwide, together with its subsidiaries. Across her roles, she led both company segments for the $240M revenue across Restaurant/Retail and Government, with its 1,100 employees in the US, North America, London, Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. Karen oversaw capital structure, corporate P&L, cash flow, investment oversight, and critical relationships with lenders and auditors.
With a focus on culture and values, Karen led the strategic turnaround of the company’s commoditized POS hardware and services business unit transforming it to a recurring revenue business model and a software restaurant management solutions powerhouse and preeminent leader in SaaS POS software and merchant services. She also transformed PAR’s Government business unit eliminating low margin business and focusing on highly profitable software development without impacting profitability. This transformation increased PAR’s valuation nearly 700% from $65M in 2013 to $500M in 2018.
Previously, Karen was the SVP of Operations for The CBORD Group, Inc. (NYSE: ROP; Roper Industries), overseeing full strategy and P&L for the US operation in one of six companies within the software applications segment, with revenues of ~$132M (2012). She led the largest number of SaaS solutions launched, introduced new partners and customers – adding 300bps to EBTIDA goals and setting revenue and contribution margins records in 2011 and 2012.
Karen is a Board Member of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., a global network of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs, acted as the Governance Committee Chair, and currently sits on the Executive Committee and contributes to several Task Forces. She leads chapter growth in New York State, guiding organizations to define a higher purpose, ensuring equal value for all stakeholders, building servant leaders and a conscious culture.
Karen’s is a published, NACD member, thought leader, sought after to speak at across numerous conferences. She regularly speaks on topics related to corporate transformation, leadership and Conscious Capitalism and is a supporter of women in business including the Colgate Program on Women in Business. She earned Executive MBA credit from Harvard Business School, holds a JD from the University of Cincinnati, and is admitted into the Bar in the States of Illinois and New York. She holds a BA from Colgate University. She is committed to learning and is a member and adjunct at the Stagen Academy.
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