By Josiah Stegner – Scott McCormick, co-founder and current Chief Vision Officer of VML, Inc., delivered the annual Distinguished Executive Lecture in Business and Leadership at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in the Yates-Gill College Union at William Jewell College. His lecture, entitled “A Common-sense Culture for Creativity, Innovation and Fulfillment” was attended by several hundred students, faculty, members of College leadership and the business community. VML is the second marketing communications agency Mr. McCormick has grown, having helped build Valentine Radford, Inc. as the Executive Creative Director.
A copywriter by trade, Scott’s work has been recognized in competitions across the U.S. and internationally. As founder and President of VML, he shaped the culture that has been the key to VML’s rapid success, and that was the main topic of his lecture. He refers to it as a “commonsense culture”, based on a set of core values that are as much a way of living as they are a way of working. Horizontal management and an entrepreneurial environment were at the heart of VML culture long before they were industry buzzwords — and is why VML has twice been named among the 25 best companies to work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute.
As a follow-up to the lecture, students in several Business and Leadership courses wrote reflection papers and held classroom discussions concerning the concepts and principles presented by Mr. McCormick.
Scott is an active community leader, currently serving on numerous boards as well as holding national and local roles with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Scott was the Kansas City Ad Club’s Advertising Professional of the Year in 2004 and JDRF International Volunteer of the Year in 2008. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in business administration.
Previous presenters of the Distinguished Executive Lecture in Business and Leadership include: Thomas A. McDonnell, CEO of DST Systems, Inc.; Richard C. Green, Jr., Chair and CEO of Utilicorp United; Richard DeGeorge, Director of the International Center for Ethics in Business at the University of Kansas; Thomas M. Hoenig, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Neal Patterson, Chairman and CEO of Cerner Corporation; Russ Cline, President and Owner, RCA Group; The Honorable Carol Marinovich, former Mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County; Barnett Helzberg, Jr., former Chairman of the Board of Helzberg Diamonds; Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., Chairman and CEO of General Motors and Chairman Emeritus of AT&T; M. Susan Chambers, Executive Vice President of the Global People Division of Walmart; Todd C. Voth, Chairman and Senior Principal of Populous; Henry W. Bloch, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of H&R Block and Thomas M. Bloch, former President and CEO of H&R Block and Founder/President of University Academy.