Bo Kemp Talk

June 4, 2020

I’d like to invite you and your teams (and families) to a session in several weeks — Thu, Jun 25 at 1pm ET — with Bo Kemp, former COO of the City of Newark, senior advisor to mayors, and private equity investor. 

Bo has spent years researching and developing this presentation exploring the history of race in America — and he will present it for the *first* time when he joins us in three weeks (all the details below).

Would you like to join us for this important conversation — Thu, Jun 25 at 1pm ET?

If yes, reply back. 

And feel free to invite colleagues, friends, or family. Just email me (or have them email me).



P.S. Below are more details on Bo’s powerful presentation. 

Pursuit of Happiness, Spoils of War?

What does “Race” mean in America?

Few better to answer that question than Bo Kemp, former COO of the City of Newark, senior advisor to mayors, and private equity investor. 

Bo and his family literally embody the complicated, troubled, and triumphant story of the United States.

How so?

Between Bo and his wife, their genealogy reflects:

– Earliest settlers to Virginia from England 
– Persecuted religious followers from the Netherlands and France 
– African slaves brought to the New World before 1700
– Taino and Caribbean slaves brought to New Orleans from the islands
– Native Mississippi delta Choctaw tribe 

In other words, all the history of people, economic, immigration, migration, technology, culture, and of course the spoils of war are reflected in the story of his family’s combined DNA.
“Pursuit of Happiness, Spoils of War” is Bo’s attempt to tell the unvarnished story of America using tangible examples of people, documents and stories to bring to life the amazing, complicated, troubled, and triumphant story of the making of the United States.

Bo Kemp – Biography

Bo Kemp
Senior Director
Faegre Baker Daniels

Bo Kemp partners with a national network of advisors, advocates, government, and business leaders to help drive growth, tackle major initiatives, and boost efficiency in municipalities. Highly experienced in the structuring and execution of public-private partnerships, Bo has a reputation for driving innovation in municipal utilities, public infrastructure, and economic development for “legacy” cities. For the last 15 years, Bo has worked with municipal executives around the country to address some of the hardest to solve problems.

Opportunity Zone Strategy & Transactions
In 2018, Mr. Kemp turned his attention to Opportunity Zones and has worked with investment funds, municipalities and developers on the implementation of the Opportunity Zones program across the country. This work has included developing city and regional strategies to attract Opportunity Zone funding and projects in the greater New Orleans and Tampa area and as well as working with corporations, developers and fund managers to leverage Opportunity Zone funding. Bo previously worked with Senator Cory Booker, who co-sponsored the Opportunity Zones bipartisan bill. In addition to representing municipalities. these efforts have included closing OZ transactions with family offices, helping to raise OZ funds with asset managers, representing corporations leveraging OZ investments. Mr. Kemp has spoken at nearly fifty OZ conferences and published more than a dozen articles but in the US and Internationally on the Opportunity Zone program. As of 2020, Mr. Kemp has become a featured speaker with the Opportunity Now Federal team touring cities around the nation discussing OZ projects and structuring.

Newark, New Jersey Business Administrator (Chief Operating Officer)
Mr. Kemp spent the first decade of his professional career in finance with Morgan Stanley and TSG Capital Group, a private equity group. Then, after leading Cory A. Booker’s successful transition to the office of Mayor of Newark, N.J., Bo became the city’s Business Administrator (COO). In his time with Booker (now a U.S. Senator), Bo and the senior leadership team helped Newark evolve from a city close to bankruptcy to a community growing in population for the first time in 40 years.

In this role, Bo oversaw all 5,000 city employees and the operations of the city, including public safety (police and fire), economic development, child and family well-being, public works and administrative services. He also was responsible for all state and federal lobbying, union negotiations, and emergency management/ homeland security preparedness.

Senior Advisor to Mayor in Gary, Indiana
After leaving Newark, Bo returned to the private sector until 2011 when another mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana asked him to run her transition and to continue to help lead her effort to reposition Gary for future growth once she took office. Under the direction of the Mayor, Mr. Kemp developed a strategy to leverage analysis and to present data to secure Federal, state and philanthropic grants as well as to establish partnerships with universities and private companies to initiate major initiatives including:  a $100 million public-private partnership with the Gary/Chicago International Airport, the development of the Gary Port Authority and intermodal facility, a Clean Tech strategy to address blight elimination, a restructuring of the Gary Sanitary District (waste and stormwater) and the development of several economic development projects.

Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting
Bo’s work at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting has included several public-private partnerships including a restructuring and P3 with the Illinois Lottery, work with a private company developing electric vehicle infrastructure as well as growth strategies for philanthropic advocacy organizations.  

Educational Background and Personal Interest

Mr. Kemp graduated with a BA in Economics from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

Bo enjoys traveling and hopes to visit 100 countries in his lifetime. Bo speaks child-like Spanish and passable French. He’s a dangerous golfer (and not in the good way) but an aspiring aquaponics and micro farmer.

P.P.S. We have lots of other great talks coming up and archives worth watching. See below. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.

Most Popular Recordings

Upcoming Sessions

  • The Art of Transformation: Beyond Control – Fri, June 5 @12pm ET
    Pete Anderson, VP, Agile Experience Owner, Transformation Office, US Bank
    We recently learned that longtime CG member, Pete Anderson, has been preparing to give a TEDx talk on his professional learnings from two Fortune 125 Transformation efforts.  To get some practice under his belt, Pete will be doing a dry-run of his talk for the CG community. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.

    And, email Britany if you’d like to schedule a dry-run of a talk you are preparing (members only).
  • Solutions to Racism and Police Violence? – Tue, June 9 @12pm ET
    Antoine Joyce, Vice President and City Leader, All Stars Project of Dallas
    Antoine Joyce, a global leader in building long-term solutions to racism and police violence, has designed creative programs bringing together cops and kids, corporate executives and young people, and bridging many other communities. This week he wrote a widely-read Op-Ed Hard Conversations about Race and he will join us to talk about that and help us learn how to talk about and, more importantly, do something about racism in the United States.
  • ‘Animals Included’ at the Zoomaha Zoo – Wed, June 10 @4pm ET
    Tina Cherica, President & CEO of the Omaha Zoo Foundation, and Cheryl Morris, Ph.D., Vice President of Conservation, Omaha ZooMost don’t know that Omaha is home to one of the top 3 zoos in the world. Further, it holds this position largely because of its intense focus on conservation and user experience – including that of its 4-legged, winged, aquatic, and amphibious customers.  Tina Cherica and Cheryl Morris will talk about how the Zoo has built a vigorous program of scientific investigation in the fields of molecular genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition, and conservation medicine. And then they will take us behind-the-scenes with some of the zoo’s residents. (Spoiler: one of them is from the Indian subcontinent, the other from sub-Saharan Africa. One more hint: one has a prehensile lip and the other teams up with her cousins and sisters to hunt. Can you guess which animals you’ll be meeting?). Email Britany if you’d like an invite.
  • Leadership Lessons from the Early Innings of COVD-19 – Tue, June 16 @3pm ETElizabeth Harz, CEO,
    When the world changed overnight with the COVID-19 pandemic it created immediate and enormous challenges—but also the opportunity to make a difference. These are the times in our lives that truly reveal and define us.This is the story of what Elizabeth Harz, CEO of learned in the first innings of this pandemic. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.
  • Getting Started with Visual Methods – Thu, June 18 @12pm ET
    Summer Koide, Senior Director of New Ventures, TargetIf you’ve ever seen Graphic Recording live at a conference, or been the benefactor of a visual facilitator for an offsite or workshop, you may have seen the power that visuals can bring to any group setting. Join this adventure to get started with the basics of visuals. Council member Summer Koide from Target will talk about why visuals work, how visuals can appear in your work, and instruct you through some hands-on practice. This session is designed for beginners and those interested in clearing the first hurdle in your visual journey. All you need is paper and a pen – bonus points if you scrounge up drawing utensils in multiple colors. Email Britany if you’d like an invite.

Recent Talks and Activity Recordings

  • The Gender Gap in Film 
    Diana Martinez, Ph.D., Film Streams’ Artistic DirectorIn this two-part session, we first hosted a watch party of the documentary ‘Half the Picture’, about the disparity in women directors in film, while chatting about it live on a Slack channel. Then, Diana joined us for a QnA based on the film and what members learned from it. This recording is of the QnA portion and features a robust conversation of the gender and diversity issue the industry is facing. (Note: this was originally scheduled as an in-person “adventure” for Council members meeting in Omaha). 
  • The Future Path of the Pandemic 
    Kirk Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Global Environmental Health at University of California, Berkeley
    UC Berkeley’ s Professor Kirk Smith is a leading epidemiologist and public health scientist and joined me for a live QnA. Smith is currently a Professor of Global Environmental Health, the founder and co-Director of the university’s Global Health and Environment Program, and Associate Director for International Programs at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Special thanks to member George Eberstadt who invited Professor Smith to speak to us. 
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and the Museum Experience
    Jack Becker, Ph.D., Executive Director & CEO, Joslyn Art Museum
    Over the last several years Jack Becker and his team at the Joslyn Art Museum have prioritized a diversity initiative – ranging from special exhibitions to diversifying the permanent collection (including acquiring works of art from Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, and Maria van Oosterwyck). Jack took members on a behind the scenes Zoom tour of the Museum’s ‘evolution of access.’ (Note: this was originally scheduled as an in-person “adventure” for Council members meeting in Omaha). 
  • Dan Ariely: How COVID-19 Changes Consumer Behavior (YouTube)
    Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University
    Dan Ariely, the best-selling author of Predictably Irrational and other books, is an Israeli-American professor and global authority on behavioral economics. He advises governments and a range of corporations on behavioral economics and policy including now during this global pandemic, and on this webinar, he shared how COVID-19 may affect consumer behavior now and in the long-term. Special thanks to member Doug Claffey for inviting the wonderful Dan Ariely to speak to us.
  • How Buffett Built a Pandemic-Proof Company (YouTube)
    Phil Terry, Founder & CEO, Collaborative Gain

    I teach a number of key concepts and values including what Buffett calls Noah’s principle: “Predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does.” And what an ark Berkshire has become. I walk listeners through a brief history of the company, its culture and values, and show how Buffett has designed a pandemic-proof company.
  • Fireside Chat with Don Graham (No Recording)
    Don Graham, Chairman, Graham Holdings
    Don Graham was the longtime CEO and Chairman of the Washington Post Company (now he is the Chairman of Graham Holdings). Graham and Buffett have been friends for almost 50 years and both joined the board of the Washington Post Company at the same time in the early 1970s. Buffett became a longtime mentor to Graham and has publicly said Graham is one of the smartest people he’s ever met. Phil adds that Graham is also one of the most humble and genuine. We spent 90 minutes in a fireside conversation with Don. Terrific.
  • Leading the NBA during Coronavirus (YouTube)
    Mark Tatum, Deputy Commissioner and COO, NBA
    Mark Tatum is second in command of what is now a ~$9 billion multi-media, content-streaming global juggernaut with a 215 country footprint. Tatum has been instrumental in many historic initiatives including the first NBA game in Africa, the launch of seven NBA Academies around the world for youth and elite development, and the debut of the Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its-kind global youth basketball tournament. His portfolio includes the league’s accelerating new-technology push, which has gained momentum since the crisis. Mark joined us to talk about what he’s learned in real-time about leading during this massive upheaval, including thoughts on how technology may change the game and when the league might re-open.
  • 2008 vs. 2020 – Financial Crisis vs. Pandemic (YouTube)
    Dean Cecilia Rouse, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton

    Professor Cecilia Rouse is the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and one of the top economists in the world, as well as one of very few African American women in the upper levels of the profession. A member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2009-2011, she spoke with us about the difference between the crisis we face today and the financial crisis of 2008.
  • Virtual Wine Tasting (YouTube)
    Anthony Giglio, New York-based sommelier, journalist, and author 
    A Virtual Wine Tasting with Anthony Giglio, one of the most entertaining wine and spirits authorities on the planet. He is a writer, educator, curator of the Amex Centurion lounge wine program and raconteur who motivates countless imbibers to trust their own tastes and relax the rules. Anthony led us through a tasting using what most of us have in our wine cabinet already – something sparkling.
  • Brainstorming on Zoom (YouTube)
    Elizabeth Peaslee, human-centered design practitioner, educator, facilitator, and coach, and CG Councils moderator
    While you have some of the basics of remote working down, you probably are finding it hard to brainstorm, ideate, and innovate with everyone on your team working remotely. If that’s true for you — and it’s for most of us — then watch this session where CG Moderator Elizabeth Peaslee ran training on tools and frameworks you can use to brainstorm remotely.
  • Managing Pressure​ During the Covid-19 Crisis (YouTube)
    Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry, President and Co-Founder, IHHP
    Everyone is feeling the effects of these uncertain times. Tough decisions need to be made; difficult conversations need to take place. Emotional intelligence expert Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry explained how to use emotional intelligence to best manage your team and the tough decisions and conversations you face through this challenging time.
  • See talks from the last month and beyond here.

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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