Young Presidents' Organization – Leadership Development

Engaging Colorado’s young executives + inspiring them to love their state

“Bespoke finds unique ways to convey to my clients that we are deeply interested in them and their situations and needs. That reflects back on our organization, driving loyalty and growth. When it comes to execution, working with Bespoke means the complete release of worry. They won’t let me fail. They just deliver no matter what.”

Katie Kramer, President and CEO
The Boettcher Foundation
YPO Member

Opportunity

Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is a global leadership community of approximately 29,000 chief executives in chapters in more than 130 countries. When Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation, assumed leadership of the Colorado chapter’s learning curriculum for the 2020/2021 term, she called on Bespoke to help her create a unique program that would engage and inspire Colorado’s young executives.

Bespoke Insights

Katie is a Colorado native with deep personal and professional roots in the state. In her role with the Boettcher Foundation, she’s had the opportunity to visit all 64 counties in Colorado. The exposure further enriched Katie’s understanding of what drives Colorado’s spirit and character in business and in everyday life, and she wanted to share that knowledge with her YPO peers. Together, Bespoke and Katie formulated her theme for the learning year: “Topophilia,” which means the love of place.

As a CEO herself, Katie understood the challenges of engaging YPO executives who were stretched to keep up with the demands of work and young families. Katie needed to find a way to connect through a medium that members could easily digest and embrace.

Strategy

The foundational strategy of Katie’s learning year was a podcast, which she hosted herself. Call Me Kate introduced listeners to the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. It also previewed upcoming YPO learning events. The name invited listeners into Katie’s close circle as she ended each episode with, “My name is Katie Kramer, but my friends call me Kate.”

For the group’s annual retreat, Bespoke took more than 50 chapter members on a road trip across the state. The two-day retreat started with a first-ever, multi-course dinner while riding in Aspen Mountain gondola cars, an event designed to showcase the city while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions. Executives then met with multi-generational peach farmers and learned how they meet the housing, medical support and transportation needs of migrant farmers. They drove through the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnel, a mile-long structure directly under the Continental Divide, and also traveled on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, one of the most extraordinary highway projects in the U.S. Along the drive, they listened to corresponding Call Me Kate interviews with experts on the role and history of tunnel development and the environmental impact of travel through Glenwood Canyon. For the final stop, Bespoke and Katie developed a day rich with leadership programming, followed by a fireside dinner and live music in a western Colorado canyon.

Results

The unique and stimulating 2020 retreat was the highest rated in chapter history. In addition, with its engaging content and easy-to-listen-to format, the Call Me Kate podcast achieved nearly
100 percent member listenership. Moreover, with no advertising or marketing, the podcast’s reach extended well beyond Colorado, having been downloaded in over a half dozen countries. It’s fourth largest listener base was Dallas, Texas.