Open Letter to the CEOC Community on Social Injustice

An Open Letter to the CEOC Community

This is the time for people, companies, and organizations to come together for the greater good, to right the wrongs, and change the world in which we live. 

CEO Connection represents the largest group of Mid-Market CEOs in the world.  As business leaders, we have the opportunity to impact not only the businesses we lead but also the communities in which we live and work. 

When we embrace diversity and include those left out or marginalized, we not only set an example for all to see, we give hope to those who often have none.  We must “place before the world the common sense of the subject, [in] terms so plain and firm as to command their assent” that fair and humane treatment of every human being is their right, no matter the color of their skin, race, gender, or sexual orientation.  We need to do it because it is the RIGHT thing to do, not just because it makes good business sense. 

It is unfathomable to me that in my grandparents’ lifetime African Americans were denied access to an equal education; in my parents’ lifetime African Americans were denied access to jobs and housing; in my lifetime African Americans were not allowed to use the same bathrooms or eat at the same restaurants; and in my children’s lifetime, in our country – The United States of America –, African Americans and other people of color are viewed with such suspicion that the justice, afforded to so many others as a matter of principle, is denied to them as a matter of due course.

We cannot rely on, nor wait for, the government to make things right.  We need to take some action now.  It is our moral imperative. Ignoring an injustice is an injustice. It is inherent upon the business community to lead the way.  To that end, today, as CEO of CEO Connection, I am creating a taskforce of Mid-Market CEOs to identify and implement programs that make equal opportunity in our companies and communities a way of life not just a slogan.

We do not undertake this project lightly.  We do not know what is coming next.  However, we do know that all people deserve equal opportunity; we know that the government has not been able to achieve this yet; and we know that the business community can and should lead the way.

This will not be easy and there will be challenges ahead, but we must do all that we can to make a change. I am quite confident that Mid-Market CEOs can do anything…and this is the right thing to do.

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world….” Imagine what the leadership of the mid-market can do together.

If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

If you are interested in joining the taskforce click here.

Stay healthy and be safe.

Kenneth Beck
Chief Executive Officer, CEO Connection

Ensure Mid-Market Companies get a “Seat at the Table”

A Letter to the CEOC Community:

Mid-Market companies must be represented on the COVID-19 “Opening the Country Councils.” They need a seat at the table.

As a Mid-Market CEO, you know that Mid-Market companies are essential to global economic success. Combined, they create over $10 trillion dollars in gross receipts and 30 million jobs.

You also know that the programs in the COVID-19 stimulus packages focus on large companies and small businesses, but do not address YOUR company needs. Currently, local, state, and federal governments are creating task forces to help plan the relaunch of the economy.

The Mid-Market must be represented! You need a seat at the table.

We are facing a once-in-a-generation event that impacts everyone. This is the time for people, companies, and organizations to come together for the greater good.

Please take a moment to help ensure that Mid-Market companies have a seat at the table by doing the following:

  • Sign the Mid-Market “Seat At The Table” Petition, by clicking here.
  • Have all of your employees, friends, and family sign the petition too.
  • Forward this email to your elected officials (local, state, and federal).

Finally, if you would like to join the CEOC Mid-Market Taskforce click here.

We will get through this together.

Speak to you soon,

Kenneth Beck
Chief Executive Officer  |  CEO Connection
Chairman  |  Wharton Club of New York
T 646.416.6991  |  F 646.292.5129

Ventilator Solution

We are facing a once in a generation event that impacts everyone.  This is the time for people, companies, and organizations to come together for the greater good. Here is an update on what CEO Connection and one of our members, AES Controls based out of Cincinnati, have been doing over the past few days:

AES Control is providing a unique solution to help during this pandemic that will help save lives. The talented engineers at AES have designed, developed, and are now building invasive or non-invasive Stage 1 ventilators for immediate hospital use. AES has done this by a creating a controller to adapt readily available CPAP machines that can be: 

  • Attached to either a non-invasive ventilation mask or an endotracheal tube; 
  • Will regulate breathing modulation and; 
  • Has an anti-aerosolization containment / filtration measures for expired breath; 
  • Can convert used or new units.

While AES is creating, CEO Connection is connecting.  Our strategic partner, Ballard Spahr, filed a patent for AES.  Through our community we are in touch with the White House, the National Governors Association, Johnson and Johnson, Dr Oz, numerous hospitals, and we have members who want to provide materials, labor, expertise, and logistical support.

As a result, the first manufactured conversions will be shipped to the current epicenter of the pandemic, New York City next week. Then AES will start partnering with idle CEO Connection member manufacturers to scale up production to 10,000 a week, depending on parts availability. This is the power of partnership, relationships, and connections through CEO Connection. 

As CEO of CEO Connection, we are so proud to be working alongside our members to provide extraordinary solutions for these extraordinary times. You do great things on your own…we can do greater things together! And together, we can save lives! 

Please share this information with hospitals, medical centers and anyone on the front lines who might need ventilators.  They can contact

COVID-19 Business Resource Center

A Letter to the CEOC Community:

We are facing a once in a generation event that impacts everyone.  This is the time for people, companies, and organizations to come together for the greater good.

You do great things on your own.… We can do even greater things together!

As of today, all of CEO Connection’s energy and resources will be reallocated to help you, our community, and our country come through the COVID-19 crisis.  Over the next few days, we will be announcing a series of actions based on the feedback we are getting from our members.  Here are the first four:

  1. Free Executive Coaching:  We are offering three hours of free executive coaching to any CEO Connection member who needs it. Click here for more information or to register.
  2. COVID-19  Business Resource Center:  We have been curating best practices and other information from our partners, members, and other sources. Click Here to access our resources, and check back regularly as we will be adding to them frequently.  If you have something valuable to share with the other members, please send it directly to me.
  3. CEO COVID-19 Roundtables:  Our virtual off the record video calls with small groups of CEOs each week will continue for as long as they are needed, and we are adding committee calls for those interested in specific topics. Click here for more information on these calls.
  4. COVID-19 Mid-Market Hotline:  We have set up a hot line for anyone who needs non-emergency business help. Email or call 800.244.4719 x (511). We can connect you to potential resources, including but not limited to:
    • Capital
    • Employment law
    • Pensions
    • Employee disaster support
    • Government support

Finally, if you just want to talk, I will be available for any one-on-one calls and will help you in any way I can.

We will get through this together.

Speak to you soon,

Kenneth Beck
Chief Executive Officer  |  CEO Connection
Chairman  |  Wharton Club of New York
T 646.416.6991  |  F 646.292.5129

Fund Proposal for COVID-19 Recovery

COVID-19 has created a health and economic environment unlike anything we have ever experienced. 
As the leadership of the mid-market, we are uniquely positioned with the knowledge and resources to ensure that our communities have jobs and a stable economy after this crisis is over. We need to join together to manage the challenges ahead.

What can we do?

As such, I am proposing that we set up a fund to help small and mid-market companies and their people get though COVID-19. I am envisioning a combination of the war bonds effort from World War II and the Farm Aid movement of the mid-80s to provide equity, debt, and/or convertible funding to small and mid-sized businesses.
We have had many discussions with business, academic, and government leaders.  CEO Connection member Scott Jackson, CEO of Global Impact, can set up the infrastructure for this project in a matter of days. Now it is time to act.
You do great things on your own … We can do even greater things together!

Can you help?

Join the Task Force

Share with your network

Share this announcment on your social media pages to spread the word about this proposal.

Announcement: A message about Coronavirus

A message from Kenneth Beck, CEO of CEOC


Like many of you, I have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation. The media coverage of the virus is creating fear and panic which is having a disproportionate and perhaps premature impact on businesses around the world.

Over the past several weeks, my team and I have been talking with CEO Connection members, government officials and industry experts regarding the potential impact of the Coronavirus on mid-market companies. We wanted to know how they are handling the situation and what we can do to help them – their response was been clear: help us gain access to insightful information and strategies, particularly from other mid-market CEOs to manage both the perceived and real challenges ahead.

As a result, we are taking a number of steps to support our members immediately.

To start, we are organizing small-group video meetings to create forums for CEOs to connect, share insights, and to strategize. Here’s an overview of this program:

  • Confidential, Small Group, Video Meetings. CEOC will convene a series of small, interactive, 60-minute video conference calls for our Premium members. Initially, we will host two sessions for eight CEOs each (CEOs only). This format will enable close, confidential conversation and meaningful dialogue. We will consider scaling this program to additional CEO members as well.
  • Focused Agenda. The agenda for each meeting will be focused on each CEO sharing what he/she is seeing and doing in four areas:
    • Individual Observations – Both in the U.S. and internationally (if applicable);
    • Financial/Business Impact – Impact to operations, supply chain and financials;
    • People strategy – Communication/morale/remote work strategies; and,
    • Forecast/Planning – Insights about what might happen next, ways to prepare, etc.
  • Facilitated Discussions – Joe Hart, CEO of Dale Carnegie and the Chair of our Talent Management Committee has agreed to co-facilitate these meetings. With 200 operations in 86 countries, Joe has been on the front lines of the Coronavirus situation with his team since the very beginning and can share first-hand insights and strategies.
  • Timing – The first two meetings will be on Thursday, March 12th at 3 pm Eastern and Monday, March 16th at 5:30 pm Eastern. If you are interested in participating, you can register by clicking here. We will take the first eight registrants for each meeting and then go to a waitlist.
  • Preparation – As preparation for these calls, here are two useful articles one from McKinsey and one from our very own George Bradt:


In addition to these small group meetings, CEOC is taking other steps to support our members:


  • Webinar – We will host a webinar for all Premium CEOC members on Monday, March 30th at 5:30 pm Eastern to review the types of strategies and insights from the small group meetings, as well as to discuss new developments. To register for that webinar, you can click on the link below.
  • Mid-Market Coronavirus Task Force – We are establishing a task force, which will: 1) Marshal the combined resources of the mid-market; 2) Share best practices; and 3) Implement any actions recommended by the membership. More to come on this shortly.
  • Mid-Market Coronavirus Hot Line – We will create a hotline for members who have specific issues they need to manage. More to come on this shortly.


Our country is at its best when faced with a common challenge. I have full faith that the government (both parties) and medical experts will put their differences aside and once again, as Americans have always done in the face of adversity, rise to the occasion to find a solution that will stop the spread of this disease.   In the meantime, we as the Mid-Market business community will join together to help each other manage the challenges ahead.


You do great things on your own … we can do even greater things together!

Access resources

We have compiled resources from our partners and members to aid businesses during this time.