Keith McFarland

Two-time CEO; author of the #1 bestseller THE BREAKTHROUGH COMPANY and BOUNCE; frequent speaker to executive and business groups; former business school dean; founder of the RED Strategy Group

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McFarland has provided management insight to organizations for more than 30 years. He has provided strategic advisory services to more than 200 companies, including Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Vans, House of Blues, Motorola, and scores of middle-market growth firms.

McFarland’s first book, The Breakthrough Company—heralded as “Good to Great” for growth companies, represents the most exhaustive study of successful growth companies in history. He and his research team spent seven years assembling and analyzing a database of more than 7,000 of America’s fasted growing companies.
In addition to debuting as the Wall Street Journal’s #1 bestseller, the book was also named a national best seller by the New York Times, USA Today, Businessweek, and the Los Angeles Times. Keith’s second book, Bounce, is a how-to book for coping with difficult times. Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness, called Bounce “An indispensible guide for leadership and life. McFarland mines deep truths on how we can meet whatever challenges life throws our way.”

Prior to establishing the RED Strategy Group, Keith was CEO of Nivo International, which, as the global exclusive provider of certification services for Microsoft Office, operated more than 2,000 testing centers in 56 countries. Prior to that he served as Chairman and then as CEO of two-time Inc. 500 winner Collectech Systems, where he led the transformation of Collectech into the dominant customer contact and accounts receivable management firm serving the telecommunication industry. Under his leadership, Collectech grew revenues from $10 million to $100 million in just two years and secured multi-year contracts with Verizon, AT&T, Direct TV, and numerous other tier one telecommunications firms.

During his tenure at Collectech, McFarland pursued a life-long dream of studying with management theorist Peter Drucker. McFarland completed his coursework and qualifying exams for a doctorate from the Drucker School of the Claremont Graduate School in 1992.

Keith began his career as an academic administrator. At the age of 26 he became one of the youngest business school deans in the nation. As associate dean of the Pepperdine School of Business and Management he developed joint venture educational programs in Europe and Asia and founded the quarterly business journal Management Insight.

McFarland is a frequent speaker to executive forums and business and trade groups. He and his wife Kelli and their two boys live just down the hill from the chairlifts at Snowbird, Utah.

Mark Kennedy

Engaging entrepreneur and high growth global business builder; Three-time CEO; Six-time INC 500/5000 winner; Relentless AAU championship basketball coach; RED Strategy client and consultant

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Kennedy has 25 years experience helping organizations achieve market-beating performance and has seen a lot. Industry challenges facing financial services, consumer products, insurance, automotive, pharmaceutical, sporting goods, big box retail, specialty online luxury, airlines, publishing, food and beverage, quick service retail, wholesale distribution, aerospace, global consultancies, electronics and wireless communications to name a few. Disruptive technologies like online commerce, cloud computing, and smart phone-enabled mobility. Globalization of markets, labor and human capital. Multitudes of regulatory regimes and new business models and challenges unimaginable just a decade ago. Kennedy joined RED Strategy Group after successfully implementing RED over a 5 year period to transform a stagnant system integration firm into a fast growing agency positioned at the convergence of online commerce and marketing. Kennedy’s work as a RED consultant brings this unique blend of breadth of experience with direct RED expertise to bear for his clients.

Prior to joining RED Strategy Group, Kennedy spent 6 months leading a Nike AAU girls basketball program to a national runner up finish. Prior to that he was founder and co-CEO of Crown Partners, a full service eBusiness agency. Over a 14 year period, Kennedy and his business partner grew Crown into a successful global agency with clients and business operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Crown’s growth was recognized six times by INC Magazine’s INC500/500 list and four times by the Software 500. In 2014, after a 5 year RED Strategy makeover, Crown was acquired by Publicis Groupe of Paris and integrated into razorfish. The acquisition was awarded the 2014 M&A Advisors Strategic Acquisition of the Year. Crown clients included Keurig, General Motors, Johnstone Supply, The Pampered Chef, Amway, Clinique, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Exxon Mobil, US Army, Fidelity and many more. Crown produced an annualized ROI of 130% for investors.

A valuable lesson: Kennedy’s first outside board directorship was with firm that provided statistical analysis software. During preparation for the first board meeting with the Chairman, Kennedy peppered the Chairman with questions about his role on the board and what the expertise the firm was lacking. “Is it strategy? Sales process? Product roadmap? Strategic marketing? Technology process?” "No," said the Chairman. "It’s your enthusiasm. This company is boring as hell and your enthusiasm is contagious. They need to catch some."

Kennedy has an electrical engineering degree from Bucknell, where his most distinguished accomplishments came on the baseball diamond. He and his wife Christine and their four children live in Terrace Park, Ohio.

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Rick Coker

Australian Representative

Business owner; two-time CEO of private companies; holder of management positions in several others, including General Manager, Operations Manager, and Engineering Manager; proven success in both turn-arounds and managing high-growth companies; entrepreneur; speaker to business owners and forums.

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Coker has more than a decade of experience in leading and managing companies and teams, with roles in Engineering, Manufacturing, and Operations management, and more recent roles including General Manager and Managing Director, primarily within the manufacturing and mining sectors.

As a former client of the RED Strategy Group, Coker has experienced firsthand the growth and focus that RED brings to a company, from which he discovered a personal passion for creating and implementing strategy. Working directly with McFarland as a client for 4 years likewise gave Coker deep insight into the RED process and the value it creates. Using that insight, Coker implemented RED at subsequent companies to great effect, including the turnaround of a struggling manufacturing business in less than 9 months. Coker’s proficiency in business has seen him build and restructure leadership teams, co-create and execute strategic plans, reconfigure and direct sales initiatives, and lead the development and implementation of new systems in Engineering, Sales, Manufacturing, and Logistics.

As an entrepreneur, Coker owns and runs several businesses, and continues to evolve and grow them using the RED principles. The ability to continually adapt and change his businesses has been critical to his success, particularly throughout the economic volatility that has become part of the Australian business landscape since the end of the mining boom.

Coker’s experiences have also been broadened and enhanced by engaging with clients and customers in Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Indonesia, Mongolia, PNG, Mexico, and the USA, with a practical appreciation of the challenges and opportunities presented by exporting goods and services globally.

As a non-executive board member and a chair and member of various advisory boards and committees, Coker brings broad governance and advisory experience to combine with his practical and hands-on leadership and management skills.

Coker has a PhD and bachelor degree in mechanical engineering, and spent his early career designing OEM equipment for the mining sector before moving into leadership and management roles in a nationally recognized and awarded company in Australia. He and his family live near Toowoomba, Queensland.

What a terrific experience! Not a minute was wasted, and all of our independent thinkers came together with clarity on how to reach their individual goals. You can definitely herd cats!
— Margaret Black, Regional Vice President, Morgan Stanley