Voices of the Region: Be Paranoid – Sustaining Your Business During Constant Change (If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It)


Learn from influential business people in our Voices of the Region speaker series.

In the business world, change is all around us, almost every minute of the day. Merely acknowledging these changes is not sufficient to provide for successful business outcomes. Join Brian Henry, Jeanet Wade, and Tracy Whelpley in “Be Paranoid – Sustaining Your Business During Constant Change” to learn about how they successfully navigate change and develop appropriate and effective processes to properly manage such change.

Date: October 25, 2019

Time: 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Location: One Metropolitan Square, Suite 1300, St. Louis, MO 63102


Our Speakers

Brian Henry, Vice President, External Affairs, Cigna

Brian has served as Vice President, External Affairs since January 2019, joining Cigna from Express Scripts following closure of the acquisition in December 2018. He is responsible for public relations, media relations, issues management, and reputation management for the enterprise, working closely with Corporate Communications, Marketing, and across the enterprise to build and protect our brand.

Prior to joining Cigna, Brian served as Vice President, Corporate Communications at Express Scripts from 2011-2018. He has also held leadership roles in marketing and communications at Paragon Biosciences, Medtronic, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the American Heart Association. Brian started his career as a newspaper reporter in Southern Illinois and also worked at a leading international public relations agency in Chicago.

Brian currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Inc., a national non-profit organization that helps bereaved parents after the loss of a child. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Foundation.

Brian earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Jeanet Wade, Certified EOS Implementer, Business Alchemist

Jeanet Wade has helped small and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries across the U.S. get more from their business. Over the past 25 years, she has been on management and leadership teams at large corporations and small family-owned businesses and can bring that experience to any organization that would like to achieve their vision, get traction, and improve team health. Also, she has been Managing Partner of her own firm for 19 years. Jeanet’s proven process is the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). It is a set of timeless business principles and real-world tools that help leadership teams of growth-oriented companies systematically and permanently improve.

Tracy Whelpley, Director of Strategy and Business Development, Cannonball

Tracy Whelpley is a communications strategist and agency leader who has been working for more than 25 years to help brands, businesses and movements grow by creating authentic experiences and compelling messages that draw people in and make them want to engage.

Digital and location-based technologies, globalization, and rapid-fire innovation have disrupted nearly every industry, and elevated consumer expectations for branded products and services. By constantly scanning the market for what’s next now and turning that knowledge into fresh brand solutions informed by rich behavioral insights, Cannonball enables global, national and local clients to navigate change and stay relevant with their audiences as their businesses evolve.

As a St. Louis-based agency that once derived 65% of its revenues from advertising and promoting adult beverages, Cannonball has also reckoned with forces of change since its founding in 2004. But despite the great recession, the relocation of ABInBev’s marketing teams, and a radically different media landscape, the creative agency has expanded its client base and achieved 15 years of consistent growth. Cannonball’s brand story is one of resilience, strong client relationships, and an unwavering commitment to the timeless value of exceptional creative work. In order to operationalize for change, the agency embraces strategic partnerships, real-time vetting and adoption of digital technology, continuous learning, and a highly adaptive organizational structure.

Working in collaboration with Broughton Brand Co., Tracy and the Cannonball team have played an instrumental role in uncovering a unified narrative for St. Louis and activating the STLMade movement, with the goal of attracting talent and accelerating economic development in St. Louis.

Tracy credits her professional endurance to the “marathon mentality” she’s nurtured through the completion of nine marathons and parenting teenagers.  After 12 years of working remotely from Kansas City, Tracy and her husband now call St. Louis home and are taking every opportunity to experience the city’s creative culture – including the World Naked Bike Ride.  A colorful reminder they’re not in Kansas anymore.


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