The first time I heard Greg Reid speak was during an ambitious but far too long program sponsored by Meeting Professionals International during the Motivation Show this past October (which in itself is a tiring event). I was feeling a little weary. As I sat there, eyes closing, he started to speak eloquently and passionately about his company, Yellow, and how it uses meetings to help achieve strategic objectives. His enthusiasm was infectious. His stories about how he used meetings to light a fire under a complacent sales force were hilarious. Then he told us that Yellow attracts hundreds of paying customers to its annual conference. From then on, I was hooked.
Reid's background is in marketing. He held management positions with Procter & Gamble, Bristol Meyers, Shaklee, Memorex, and Ryder Logistics before being snapped up by Yellow four years ago to help transform Yellow Freight System from a trucking company into a global service provider.
“From day one, even before I knew him, Greg was a believer that meetings can be designed to deliver strategic objectives,” says Tony Lorenz, CMP, president of ProActive Inc. in Chicago. Lorenz has worked with Reid since the first Yellow sales conference in 1997, and recommended him as a speaker for the MPI event.
About a month after his presentation in Chicago, Reid was promoted from senior vice president of sales and marketing for Yellow Freight System to senior vice president and chief communications officer for Yellow Corp. That means he's in charge of overall strategic communications for a $3.6 billion, Fortune 500 corporation. There's no question, he says, that he'll be using meetings companywide to help “galvanize customers, reinforce the corporate message, and assist people in the process of change.”