Business Edge Briefing with Mark Coopersmith

April 10, 2018


“Is my job going away?” You ask.

”YES!” Mark Coopersmith answers.

“Why is that?” You ask.


Mark Coopersmith, Senior Professor at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Business launches into a one-hour answer, complete with slide show, videos, antidotes, humor, and personal insights.  The audience is already fully engaged, being comprised of members of the CEO Club of Marin, North Bay Leadership Council, and Dominican University staff and students, all who have vested interests in knowing the next answer.

“Well, there are six key areas in which technology is accelerating and changing our lives today.  They are:

  1. Voice returns as the dominate interface (Alexa! Hey, Siri!, DingDong! etc.)
  2. I. gets smarter and more ubiquitous. Are you smarter than a machine in math? Science? Research? Diagnostics?
  3. The IoT becomes pervasive…always listens attentively, knows when you are around, and remembers everything. Can you?
  4. 3D printing expands
  5. Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) move beyond the gamers.
  6. Robots pervade our homes, factories, warehouses, logistics, retail, food service, delivery, and our farms.

These changes are happeining around the world, though in uneven distriutions.  The United states, China, Singapore, Korea, Russia, and others all are competing to lead the way in certain areas, with inconsistent technology development, commercialization, and acceptance.

Where does this lead you?  Well, as the saying goes, ”Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba, the world’s largest eCommerce company and largest U.S. IPO, states that a future education in math or science is a risky investment, as machines can perform better than humans in those areas.  Instead, invest your own education, training, and development in liberal arts, music, creativity, customer service, and other ”soft’ skills that machines won’t readily replace.

In summary, lead…don’t just follow or be run over by the coming of the age of Automation!








Summarized by: Paul Herrerias

Comments by: Mark Coopersmith, Senior Professor, U.C. Berkeley.  Innovation and Automation.

Mark Coopersmith is an educator, entrepreneur, and best-selling author.
A Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the founder of the
international Learn2Launch at Berkeley program, he teaches entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership to current and future leaders at UC Berkeley and around the world. As a Fortune 500 executive and corporate entrepreneur he has built and run global businesses for Sony and Newell Rubbermaid. As an entrepreneur he has launched and built  Silicon Valley startups  (his ecommerce startup  WebOrder  is now owned by Google).

Crowdfunding Campaign for Northern California Fire Relief Efforts

Dear Members,

Our October meeting was abruptly canceled due to the fires sweeping Northern California. We will be rescheduling the event on Involving your Family in your Business Enterprise to a later date in Spring 2018. We will proceed as scheduled for our November 14th meeting.

In the meantime, we have commenced a crowdfunding campaign for Northern California Fire Relief Efforts (Click here to Donate).

Please read on below and considering supporting our efforts to help those affected by this tragedy.

Wildfires have spread across the Wine Country and 8 Northern California Counties, causing widespread devastation, displacement, and even loss of life. Our friends have lost their homes, vineyards, ranches, stores, and in some cases, their businesses and jobs. Our employees, partners, clients, family, and friends who are affected by this natural disaster are showing tremendous resilience, comradery, and compassion.

Rising tides raise all ships.

Stanton Chase – San Francisco is committed to raising funds to support the victims of the Northern California wildfires. Our goal is to leverage the business community to help mobilize resources, donations, and even volunteer to support families endure this tragedy and work towards rebuilding.

We will be working in partnership with the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, CEO Club of Marin, and the global Stanton Chase network to drive fundraising efforts. Your contributions will help our neighbors stay safe, support evacuation centers, provide food and clothing to displaced families, and aid in clean-up and rebuilding efforts.

100% of donations will be donated to local city, community, and business organizations helping coordinate relief efforts.

Please help us support our community. Your compassion and goodwill are deeply appreciated.

Thank you,

Stanton Chase – San Francisco

Paul, Rich, Steve, Marie, Kim, and Musa


Sonoma County Website: How You Can Help

Google: Fire Crisis Map

Continuous Improvement and Peak Performance with Fighter Pilot Anthony “AB” Bourke

Anthony “AB” Bourke, our speaker today, quoted Nelson Mandella in saying “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  Sometimes we feel fear in life or death situations, other times we feel fear when asking for a raise, or countering a client’s demands.  As a boy with a strict dad, a flight school freshman encountering a demanding instructor, or F-16 fighter pilot scrambling to protect his country, Mr. Bourke has had to learn to face fear and conquer his fear.

Mr. “AB” Bourke shared his stories and photos with us to share his journey with us, allowing us to see and feel his goals, dreams, and fears.  We each translated his stories into our own lives, and re-examined how we faced our fears and how we did or could learn to conquer them.  We learned and were inspired.  We left feeling stronger in our convictions and knowledge that we, too, could overcome, if we are willing to face our fears.

To prepare for this moment of reckoning, we also must stay focused on our dreams and goals, be willing to learn and sacrifice, put in the hard work, work as teams, and stay true to our goals and moral compass. 

With a sell-out crowd and standing room only, Mr. AB Bourke gave us his full measure, and we all benefited from his contribution.  We thank him, and look forward to our next speaker who will share with us on October 10th, at Il Fornaio Restaurant in Corte Madera.

2017 Summer BBQ at the Herrerias Residence

What an amazing time we had at this year’s annual summer barbecue with members of CEO Club of Marin, COO Forum, and friends of Stanton Chase.

We hosted close to 60 people throughout the evening, seeing many of the “regulars” and meeting new friends too. There was a lively entrepreneurial spirit in the air as many of our guests shared their passions and ambitions about their startup companies or growing business units. Spouses and family members joined the lime light, enriching the evening for everyone.

For example, Glace Luxury Ice, a premium ice company founded by Roberto Sequeira, produces the perfect ice ball with absolutely nothing in it. This purest form of H2O minimizes the melting time and ensures an undiluted taste for aficionados of fine liquors, teas, and other beverages. Roberto’s ice is now served at the finest hotels, restaurants, casinos, and resorts in the world.

SmileyGo is a business intelligence model that helps companies make smart, large-scale decisions in achieving their Corporate Social Responsibility goals. Pedro Espinoza, Founder and CEO, and Lydia Ma, the impressive 17-year-old who is their Technical Sales and Marketing Specialist, shared their journey and success as part of U.C. Berkeley’s SkyDeck incubator program.

It’s always inspiring and invigorating to hear stories of entrepreneurs, experienced and fresh, who dedicate so much passion and hard work towards their dreams, who are not shy to pitch their companies at every turn and seek out constructive ideas to fuel them to travel further and faster. This is the spirit of the CEO Club – colleagues and peers who provide mentorship, access, and friendship to one another.

Remember my speech? Dream clearly, enlist mentors, refine your plan, and work relentlessly.  Put your dreams in writing and visuals. Rising tides raise all ships, so let’s work together to raise the tide through mentorship.  Use your mentors to constantly polish your plan. You are not defeated until you quit, so keep your dreams in clear focus and pursue your plan relentlessly. And…when you learn to paddle-board, people are watching your relentless effort and will cheer your eventual success!

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us and we hope to see you again for our Holiday Party in December!

Getting Ready for Millennials to Run the World

In March we hosted an exciting event titled: Getting Ready for Millennials to Run the World – in partnership with our good friends at Dominican University’s Business Edge Briefing Breakfast and North Bay Leadership Council.

We invited a panel of experts who shared invaluable insights about Millennials and how, as business leaders, we can learn to leverage their talents, skills, and interests to develop an effective workforce.

Big thanks to our panelists for their time and contributions:

Cynthia Murray laid out the groundwork with a series of facts and figures that established the greater context for our conversation. Rekha Schipper shared best practices in leadership through a personal account of what it’s like to manage the next generation in the workforce. And Craig Nelson examined key industry trends and urged the audience to follow-up with Simon Sinek’s illuminating talk on Millennials. Check out Simon’s and these other links for more further discussions on Millennials:

Musa Akbari engaged the attendees with insights from a Millennial perspective, discussing a fundamental quality of this generation: The Platinum Rule. You can view his speech below:

Millennials and The Platinum Rule

Millennials and The Platinum Rule

Thank you for everyone’s hard work and participation in making this event a success, please enjoy these photos!

Uncovering Opportunities for Business Growth

ceo-club-feb-14-photo-4Our first meeting of the year got off to a swift start with a rapid-fire session on sales growth and business expansion. We had a great turnout as many eager minds joined us to learn about new ways of thinking about growing their businesses. Through a series of contemporary examples, Sandra illuminated some of the high-impact ways to strategically grow revenue and expand business in competitive markets.

According to Sandra, there are several key developments and trends to watch for to increase revenue, such as:


B Corps (Benefit Corporations) are for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 2,035 Certified B Corps from 50 countries, 30 states, and over 130 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Laureate Education is the first B-Corp to execute an IPO this year in January, and investors are lining up to invest in companies with a strong triple-bottom-line.

ceo-club-feb-14-photo-1Multi-stakeholder Models

Focusing on the power of collaboration, representatives from every facet of a project or undertaking get together for a shared purpose, leverage resources, and drive powerful results. The first successful example of this was a coalition between Fair Trade USA, the Government of Brazil, the university (Minas Gerais), executives from Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, and the coffee farmers (Marquez de Paiva), who worked together to achieve revenue and social responsibility goals, resulting in rapid growth, industry awards, and long-term sustainable practices.

Strategic Partnerships

The right partnership at the right time and place can stimulate growth at unprecedented rates, by providing new direction and energy to companies and their expansion campaigns. Parties can share expertise, resources, co-branding, promotions, and distribution into new markets. And what better example of this than our very own Lagunitas Brewing Co., who teamed up with Heineken to roll out to 10 new international markets in 6 months – a feat that would otherwise be insurmountable for the boutique brewery we’ve always known and loved.

ceo-club-feb-14-photo-2In today’s business landscape, successful leaders need to be nimble and adaptive. They need to keep a watchful eye on trends and promises of the future, and in some cases, even come to terms with the changes around them before their businesses fade out of the market.

The US Census bureau reported that as of July 2014 Latinos as the largest single ethnic group in the state of CA  at 39%, projected to hit 49% by year 2060. Demographics are changing; accelerator models are picking up steam; biodynamic food products are hitting the market feverishly, and direct-to-consumer channels are growing momentum via new and improved technologies.

Now more than ever, business opportunities are democratized and it’s not unusual for a small new player on the scene to take on an industry giant through innovation, social advantage, or added value to customers. Companies are investing more time and resources on innovation and new roles, such as Chief Growth Officers, are taking leadership of marketing and innovation departments in fast-growing companies.


How will you think about growth this year? What are the steps you’re taking in your business to propel into new markets and capitalize on new opportunities? Do you recommend other notable/novel growth strategies you’d like to share with our group?

Big thanks to everyone who was able to join us this week, and our utmost gratitude goes out to Sandra Beaton for a dynamic presentation that engaged everyone, instilled new perspectives, and made sure everyone learned at least one new thing at the breakfast meeting.

And if you missed your lesson of the day, here’s the Beaton Growth Model you can follow on your next strategy session!

To learn more about some of the topics Sandra spoke about, check out these resources:

sandra-beatonSandra Beaton is the Founder and CEO of a unique bi-lingual (Spanish), woman-owned consulting firm, Beaton Global Connections, based in Northern CA. Her mission, vision and values are aligned to make a difference and support authentic impact on a global, national or local scale. We drive results in both for profit and non-profit organizations based on innovative and strategic approaches. Her expertise incorporates driving significant revenue and brand growth, with simultaneous improvements in economic, social justice, and environmental issues.

On the Beaton path”, we walk together, collaborate and focus to achieve new levels of success. We lead growth with a wide range of clients for strategic planning and partnerships, business development, brand development, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility (triple bottom line results) and customized programs and promotions. Her success has been driven by a deep passion for helping others achieve their goals, developing authentic relationships which result in new business, and creating strategic and effective multi-stakeholder partnerships. She has experience working in the Food and Beverage, Wholesale/Retail, Hospitality/Tourism, Wine and Spirits and Technology industries.


Thank you Sandra!

Annual Holiday Party hosted by Stanton Chase- San Francisco

Thank you to everyone for joining us for annual Holiday Party! It’s delightful to be accompanied with so many great personalities and warm smiles. We enjoyed seeing our long-time friends and making a few new ones too! We appreciate your company, generous contributions, and above all, your friendship.

Many of you expressed gratitude for the party and appreciation for the new friends you made. This is really the essence of our mission… bringing people together as professionals, building trust and kinship, learn together, and nurturing our network.  We do this to encourage one another, grow and succeed together, and celebrate the good times hand in hand, year after year. The holiday party was a manifestation of this and the credit goes to everyone in attendance and our trusted vendors, partners, and the Stanton Chase team!

It’s been a very successful year for the CEO Club of Marin, focusing on “Executive Challenges” and for the COO-Forum’s Marin chapter. We are very excited to continue our growth in 2017, and invite you to participate in our leadership and programming.

Enjoy these photos and Happy Holidays…see you in the New Year!


Failures – Opportunities in Disguise… When Embraced Properly

DSC_1200You know the old adage, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” It refers to the importance of keeping a vigilant eye on things that may be a threat to you. The same applies to business and failure; as a business leader, how you deal with failures can be the downfall of your business, or can result in opportunities for subtle improvement, or even disruptive positive change.

DSC_1211Who better to speak on this topic then long-time CEO Club member, Mark Coopersmith, an accomplished Entrepreneur, Executive, Educator, and Author of THE OTHER F WORD: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to WorkAs an award-winning professor at U.C. Berkeley’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Mark enlightened us with his learnings on how to leverage failure to drive innovation, growth, and employee engagement in your organization.

DSC_1207Mark shared a series of study cases that illustrate this concept. Ever heard of the app Burbn? Not many people have… it was first launched as a full-suite app that  let users check in at particular locations, make plans for future check-ins, earn points for hanging out with friends, post pictures of the meet-ups, etc. This app wasn’t very successful; users thought the app was too complicated and weren’t using most of the features. The company began to delve deep into their failure, asking users for feedback and focusing on giving their customers what they wanted. It quickly became clear that even though the app did not gain much traction, there was one feature that users loved – and that was the photo sharing app. Founders of the app decided to scrap 90% of the product and keep only the photo app, aiming for the utmost simplicity. The new app was called Instagram and was sold for $1 billion to Facebook in 2012.

DSC_1215There are countless examples of companies who were cognizant of their failures and set out to learn from their mistakes, and plenty others who failed to do so. Mark’s insights on how to leverage failure to discover new opportunities resonated deeply among the attendees, who’ve all faced failure at some point in their careers and learned to turn downfalls into chances to learn and do something new and different.

How can you leverage failure for innovation? Mark Coopersmith and co-author John Danner have identified the 7 Steps of The Failure Value Cycle and created a model that can be used to dissect and re-purpose failure.  Here are some key elements:

The Failure Value Cycle Diagram

The Failure Value Cycle

  1. Respect | Accept that failure is a natural part of business; no risk = no innovation
  2. Rehearse | Prepare for different circumstances
  3. Recognize | Identify the mistakes that were made
  4. React | Act swiftly to acknowledge the issue and resolve it before it grows and spreads
  5. Reflect | Look back to understand what went wrong and why
  6. Rebound | Re-craft your approach based on your learnings from the failure
  7. Remember | Carry these lessons with you into your next mission and objectives

Our gratitude goes out to Mark Coopersmith for a thought-provoking discussion on how we, fellow CEOs and Business Owners, can be more successful in business.

Diversity pays! Why Investors seek Women in Top Leadership

Janet CrawfordWhat do the Technology and Entertainment industries have in common? They both exhibit a stunning underrepresentation of women. Meanwhile, research shows a strong correlation between the number of women in top leadership positions and higher rates of innovative and overall business performance! However, leaders don’t always know how to change the culture to gain the benefits of a more inclusive culture. This is why they call Janet Crawford, our February speaker.

Janet Crawford has invested many years in developing an understanding of the nature of systems, first in environmental science, then business systems, and most recently in evolutionary biology and neuroscience. She is a recognized author, successful consultant, and sought after speaker, both domestically and internationally.

She holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Science from U.C. Berkeley, a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, and is former faculty at the JFK University Graduate School of Psychology and the Kauffman Foundation Center for Venture Education.

So, if you are like Disney, Pixar, Flextronics, Virgin America, Intel, and many other companies who have sought to gain competitive advantage by unlocking hidden potential in their work cultures by listening to Janet Crawford, join us for our upcoming CEO Club Breakfast. Janet shared some insight into her work at our January meeting, and was unanimously recruited to be our featured speaker in February!

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read some of Janet’s published articles and explore additional resources that pertain to biology and leadership. And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter!