Ivy Tech seminar helps people learn Disney-style leadership
BY AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tribune correspondent September 26, 2013 2:58PM
Kevin Gober, a Gary native, is a Disney Institute facilitator. | Post-Tribune
Updated: October 28, 2013 7:35AM
VALPARAISO – Meillisa Chavez is a financial aid specialist and a dance team coach.
She thought the leadership tips she picked up during a Disney Institute seminar held Thursday at Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso campus would be handy for both roles.
“I think it had a lot do with the messages Walt Disney had about value, and not just caring about customers, or what they call their guests,” said Chavez, who works at Ivy Tech’s campus in South Bend.
About 90 people from throughout the region attended the program, titled “Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence.”
Ivy Tech has been offering Disney Institute programs at its campuses across the state, said Karen Orosz, director of the corporate college program for Ivy Tech Northwest.
About half of those attending the program on the Valparaiso campus were Ivy Tech employees, Orosz said, adding leadership seemed like a good topic because of the restructuring and other challenges the community college has faced in recent months.
“Companies are facing similar challenges,” she said.
The seminar focused on a wide array of topics, including historical background and perspective on the leaders of Disney over time, from Walt Disney to Michael Eisner, said Kevin Gober, one of the Disney Institute facilitators for the day’s program and a Gary native.
“It’s really about the participants in the class focusing on their particular leadership and making it better for their companies and themselves,” he said.
The program also examines the qualities Disney’s leaders have had, and how participants might be able to apply those in their lives.
“What values did they have that I have, and how can I better portray those as a leader?” Gober said. “We ask participants to adapt that strategy to their particular organization.”