January 27, 2011 | by Ernesto M. Santalla J. Max Barger
New president, goals for gay Chamber

Mike Larson (submitted photo)

Mike Larson has taken the reins as president of CAGLCC for 2011.

His key goals for the year center around strengthening membership. Besides growing the base, “We want to define what we do for our members, and to show that we have value for them.” He will be working with the Chamber’s board to develop membership goals and programs. “You are going to see some great membership campaigns, an influx of amazing new members over the next year.”

Besides leading the Chamber, Larson is a salesperson at Spectrum Printing & Graphics in Rockville. He has worked in the printing industry for 15 years, starting in production, and so understands how the printing process works from beginning to end.

“I’ve experienced so much that I can see it before it impacts a customer’s project,” he says. “I figure out how to achieve their goal from the beginning and minimize their pain along the way.”

The Chamber has been important for Larson’s business in building relationships with clients and in offering referral partners to his clients to other gay business leaders.

“At least three of my top 20 clients have come from the Chamber directly. I think that says a lot about the Chamber,” he says.

The recession was tough on the print industry. Larson noted that other printers would slash prices to stay afloat, which undercut everyone. It was a challenge to explain to customers that he couldn’t meet the super-low prices, and that sometimes cost him business.

“It’s tough — no one likes to lose a client,” he says.

But business is improving today. Since Spectrum merged with EPS in summer 2010, Larson notes that sales grew by 20 percent in just five months. He gives some credit to his customer service skills.

“I know it sounds cheesy – ‘I give good customer service’ – but it’s true.”

Author Denning to speak Jan. 31

Disgruntled employees and business owners abound. Those who love their work are the lucky and the few, while to many a job is a means to an end. Adequate compensation is paramount, yet insufficient. When combined with satisfaction, it can help make the difference between finding ways to be on Facebook and Twitter look like being productive, to having a meaningful career. Being told what to do and how to do it defines the “no brainer” job, but being empowered to think and contribute to the workplace spurs innovation and creates a sense of belonging and commitment.

In the introduction to his book, “The Leader’s Guide To Radical Management, Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century” author Stephen Denning says, “It’s about pulling apart the black box of traditional management and putting the pieces together in a way that creates innovation and client delight. It involves a wholly different way of thinking, speaking, and acting at work. It leads to workplaces that are more productive and more fun.”

This month, Denning will join CAGLCC’s Book Club on Monday, for a discussion of the seven principles of “Radical Management,” which he describes as a “self-reinforcing sequence, which together, constitute a radical shift in the practice of management and an approach that is well adapted to meet the challenges of the 21st century organization.”

Space is limited for this unique opportunity to discuss “Radical Management” with the acclaimed author and business expert. To register, go to caglcc.org/JanuaryBookClub.

CAGLCC member news

Glen H. Ackerman, of Ackerman Legal, PLLC, was appointed president of the Regional Board of Trustees of Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBT students of merit, pointfoundation.org

Bradley Reichard, of Focus Communications, was appointed to the Regional Board of Trustees at Point Foundation.

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