ASI Keynote Speaker John Mackey Says Business Is ‘The Greatest Value Creator In The World’

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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey urged entrepreneurs at a Dallas trade show to recast the media-driven narrative of business as greedy, selfish and exploitative and instead consider it “the greatest value creator in the world.”

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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey urged entrepreneurs at a Dallas trade show to recast the media-driven narrative of business as greedy, selfish and exploitative and instead consider it “the greatest value creator in the world.”

Business has the power to create “win-win-win-win” propositions for leaders, employees, investors, communities and society as a whole, said the entrepreneurial capitalist, who cofounded a natural foods supermarket in 1980 and helped grow the Texas-based chain to a $16 billion enterprise.

“I think love is the most underrated quality in business in the 21st century,” said Mackey, 63, who champions “Conscious Capitalism and Conscious Leadership,” which calls on businesses to create good in the world. “Business,” he said, “has a great potential for a higher purpose.”

Mackey’s thoughtful message resonated with the audience at the show, hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI), the largest member organization in the $22.9 billion promotional products industry.

“The keynote this morning was beyond awesome,” said Tina Goss, of Studio Graphics Inc. “It was great to hear someone talk about spirituality, loving people and the positive side of business, instead of the dog-eat-dog world.”

ASI’s three-day trade show ended Friday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, after attracting nearly 3,000 distributors and over 400 suppliers of logoed products from 40 states and six countries.

The show took place in the country’s No. 1 region for promotional products, with Texas alone scoring $2.6 billion in sales in 2015 (the latest available figures).

The show featured 61 Texas-based companies, 40 women-owned companies and 57 minority-owned businesses. In addition, 15 companies chose Dallas to host large sales meetings.

Thursday, former Navy Seal Chris Gomez inspired distributors during a motivational breakfast, urging them to remember that adversity and failure are inevitable, but also teach valuable lessons, resiliency and humility. “You must choose,” Gomez said, “to execute better every single day.”

ASI President and CEO Timothy M. Andrews said, “A successful trade show experience boils down to a willingness to go outside your comfort zone, introduce yourself to new ideas and business contacts and make the most of your time on the show floor.”

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute serves a network of 23,500 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the promotional products industry.

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