Wednesday, April 16, 2008

After Tax Day Thought: Intuit CEO Returning To Speak In West Virginia

West Virginia claims its share of high profile thinkers leading and funding some of the most innovative companies and businesses in the world. Add to this list Brad Smith, President CEO of Intuit, Inc.

Last week I learned from Matt Ballard, President of the Charleston Area Alliance that Mr. Smith will be returning to West Virginia to serve as the keynote speaker for the Charleston Area Alliance's Annual Celebration on May 6 from 5:15pm to 8pm at the Clay Center.

Mr. Smith is a native of Kenova, West Virginia and graduated with a degree in business administration from Marshall University. According to his bio, Mr. Smith became Intuit's president and chief executive officer in January 2008, culminating a five-year rise through the company in which he successfully led each of its major businesses. Before being named CEO, Smith was senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's Small Business Division, including being responsible for the company's portfolio of QuickBooks, Quicken and Payroll products. Prior to this he ran the company's QuickBooks Group from May 2005 to May 2006.

I look forward to hearing Mr. Smith's keynote speech and hope to talk to him about Intuit's efforts to bring the Quicken approach to health care reimbursement/payment through its product, Quicken Health. Last year I attended the Health 2.0 conference and learn about Quicken Health from Mike Battaglia.

As a member of the board of the West Virginia Health Information Network I would like to brainstorm on how Quicken Health might be incorporated into West Virginia's efforts to provide better and more affordable health care for West Virginians.

The CAA Blog post on the upcoming event mentions that this ties in well with Governor Manchin's "Come Home to West Virginia" concept (listen to another native West Virginian's version). Recent story on the effort from the State Journal, Bringing Our Children Home.
Here is the except from the Governor's State of the State mentioning the concept:
However, we can’t continue down this path without help. As everyone knows, our best resource has always been our people – and not just those who are here today living and working in West Virginia, but those who were born or raised in West Virginia and have left the state because they felt they had no other choice in order to make a living. Unfortunately, we are all guilty of teaching an entire generation that they couldn’t find a good job in West Virginia, so don’t even bother trying. Well, that’s absolutely not true today, and now our challenge is to reverse these thoughts and show those who have left that this is the perfect time to come home.

Some of the most successful people in the country are native West Virginians – Sylvia
Matthews, chief operating officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Wes Bush, president of Northrop Grumman; Ralph Baxter of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe who has come home to West Virginia to co‐chair our 21st Century Jobs Cabinet and, of course, as previously mentioned, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems. And I know there are many, many more success stories out there, both large and small, that most of us aren’t even aware of – except for the proud mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who deep‐down wish their loved ones were achieving success here in West Virginia.

Regardless of your field of expertise, we need you, and your intellectual capital, ingenuity and work ethic, now more than ever. We need those of you who have an entrepreneurial spirit, or those who have accomplished your goals and are looking for a place where you can teach others all that you have learned. You’ll recognize much of what you left behind, but you’ll also find a work force and a business community that have made tremendous advancements.

While your coming home will help us to make this an even better place to live and work, it will also be rewarding for you as well, because you’ll be able to give something back to this place that I know you’ve always carried with you in your heart and is such an important part of who you are.

So to get the word out, we are going to start a “Come Home to West Virginia” campaign this year through our Department of Commerce. This recruiting campaign will be aimed at bringing former West Virginia residents back home to either work in West Virginia’s growing industries or to expand in West Virginia the businesses they have started in other places.
These West Virginia born knowledge leaders bring a new direction that I hope West Virginia takes to transition itself into a state for the creative class to grow and thrive.

For more check out the blog posts at the CAA Blog and Skip Lineberg at Maple Creative.

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