In case you were busy and missed it Thursday afternoon, the conference was evacuated when fire alarm sounded. Well, lets be precise -- only part of the conference was evacuated. Everyone else missed the news. The entire hotel lobby, the shopping area, the Management Briefing Seminars conference registration area and media room began emptying to the sound of fire alarm about 4:30 p.m. But a few steps away in Governors Hall, where the main conference had just ended, attendees continued nonchalantly with their end-of-the-day business talk, oblivious to the emergency. People stood chatting at booths. Hotel workers stacked chairs to prepare for the Thursday night banquet. So as you leave Friday and think about whether there was calm after the storm, consider this: there was calm during the fire alarm.
GETTING EDGY -- Phil Martens, group vice president for product creation at Ford Motor Co., had an answer for those who have criticized Fords recent designs as too stodgy. We're going to change that, he vowed. The Fusion, in that segment, is for us very edgy. We can now start to move the Ford brand more in that direction, he said at the Management Briefing Seminars. Edgier design is going to be a constant theme.
JUMPING IN WITH BOTH FEET -- Patty Dilger got to jump headfirst into her new job this week. Dilger became the new director of sales for Microsofts automotive branch in North America in July. So what better timing than to spend a week at the Management Briefing Seminars? A 9-year Microsoft veteran, Dilger is responsible for developing Microsofts automotive strategy, software portfolio and other duties. Says Dilger, Its a fabulous opportunity to network with peers, colleagues and industry luminaries, and a chance to have a good time in Traverse City. Dilger, who works in Microsofts Southfield, Mich., office, replaces John Fikany. Fikany has been given an expanded role as general manager of the U.S. Enterprise Manufacturing Sector with responsibility over multiple industries.