LURA MCBRIDE, CEO VAN METER, INC. Lura McBride, President and Chief Executive Officer, joined Van Meter in 2008 as Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2010. In her role as COO, McBride had responsibility for the operational functions of the business, including distribution, sales support, information technology, facilities, marketing and business planning, and organizational effectiveness. On May 16, 2016, Van Meter was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer by the company’s board of directors.
“I believe that Van Meter is not just a place to work. It’s a place to grow and learn. It’s a place to make a difference,” said McBride. “My time at Van Meter has been life changing and I am honored to now represent our employee-owners as President and CEO. My focus will be on taking the innovative ideas of our employee-owners, changing needs of our customers, and opportunities presented by our supplier partners and shaping them into a vision and plan for our future.”
Prior to joining Van Meter, McBride led an operations team at Accenture in Chicago, IL, where her group defined business strategies and aligned people, processes and technology to achieve goals for the office of the COO.
McBride is a life-long learner who is passionate about education, both personally and professionally. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Iowa as well as a Mini MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
McBride was recently named one of the Corridor Business Journal’s 2016 Women of Influence for her commitment to serving her community. She is a member the Board of Directors for Tanager Place, volunteers as a mentor for iJAG and serves on the advisory board for Iowa BIG—an initiative based school that provides high school students with real life, hands-on experiential learning by partnering with businesses and organizations in the community.
“Lura is a true change agent. She is a ‘doer’ and makes things happen. Our community and company are better as a result of her passion and influence,” said Barry Boyer, Van Meter’s Board Chair. “I know Lura will take Van Meter to new heights. She has a keen mind for strategy, a deep commitment to company culture, and a critical understanding that people are the engine that power progress.”
NICOLE CLINE, TRAINING CONSULTANT - DALE CARNEGIE Nicole specializes in providing counsel and training to Dale Carnegie Training clients on such topics as team member engagement, leadership team collaboration, organizational alignment, conflict resolution, sales, customer service, communication effectiveness, and cultural impact. She particularly enjoys creating a highly personalized approach that’s tailored to client needs, and then providing customized delivery. Her clients include major companies in the manufacturing, metals, construction, robotics and hospitality industries.
Nicole is a four-time recipient of Dale Carnegie Training sales awards and she received a Dale Carnegie Training Top 10 Worldwide Total Quality Index score for her work as a trainer. She is also the recipient of the Leaders 40 Under 40 Award from Black Hawk College Foundation.
Prior to Dale Carnegie Training, Nicole worked in customer relations for a major telecommunications company. She received her bachelor’s degree in business from DeVry University. She is a member of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, the American Society for Training & Development, HAV Life, and Vineyard Church of Davenport.
In her personal time, Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband Phil and their children, as well as with her parents, connecting with friends and playing volleyball. She is also a frequent volunteer for organizations such as the Human Society, Habitat for Humanity, HAV Life and the Kings Harvest Shelter. She counts a mission trip to Haiti as one of her life’s greatest accomplishments, to-date.
SARIKA BHAKTA, CDP, PRESIDENT NIKEYA DIVERSITY CONSULTING LLC Equity + Diversity + Inclusion + Engagement = Empowered Results "Why are you switching to Diversity?" This was one of the questions that many asked Sarika Bhakta when she decided to pursue a new venture in her professional journey by forming Nikeya Diversity Consulting LLC, an Iowa-based company.
"Take care of your people AND your people will take care of you".This is Sarika's leadership, facilitation, management and philanthropic style as she incorporates this philosophy at every turn when collaborating with diverse teams and community ambassadors to enhance the workplace culture and/or the region's quality of life. After all, human capital – your talent, your community members– are your biggest non-owned asset.
It is essential for community/economic development entities, business partners and the regional/state groups to collaborate and integrate comprehensive strategic Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement initiatives that go beyond primary dimensions of diversity. Due to globalization, technology, changing demographics and population trends, it is essential to ensure a safe, welcoming, vibrant, culturally enriched workplace and region/state robust with professional opportunities and growth in order to attract and retain diverse groups, taxpayers and highly skilled talent.