Silver-Star Winning Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso Speaks to Current, Future Leaders of Acceller, BGT Partners
MIAMI, June 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Lieutenant Colonel (R) Tom DiTomasso, who served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, spoke with the employees, executives and friends of Acceller, Inc. and BGT Partners Tuesday, at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Country Club in Miami. He led his soldiers in training and in combat when he served in the military, including when he was a member of Task Force Ranger in the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia. That mission was later depicted in the movie, “Black Hawk Down.” The raid led to the capture of two key aides to General Aidid, and DiTomasso was awarded the Silver Star for showing gallantry against a U.S. enemy.
The speaking engagement was hosted by both Acceller and BGT Partners, an award-winning interactive marketing agency headquartered in Miami.
“Define the basics, then train and enable your people to do those well all the time,” Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso told those in attendance. “Have an end state that everyone on the team knows.”
Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso then encouraged the audience to ask themselves several questions in assessing how to lead their teams. “Are you approachable?” he said. “How many of your people are ready to step up? What is your creed?” Now, retired from the military, DiTomasso is the managing partner at Fulcrum Concepts LLC, where he provides leadership training and operational consulting.
Not only did Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso lead his team in Somalia, but he later joined the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, where he served as a Troop Commander, Deputy Commander and Squadron Commander, with multiple combat deployments to places like Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq. He also ran the Special Ops Command for General David Petraeus in Afghanistan. Among some of his missions, DiTomasso led several manhunts looking for former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, as well as numerous war criminals, including the recently captured RatkoMladic, a former Bosnian-Serb military leader.
With several hundred people in attendance, including Acceller CEO Steve McKean and BGT Managing Partner David Clarke, Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso broke down exactly what happened in the mission in Somalia, including a video, a PowerPoint presentation and taped interviews with several of his soldiers. The audience paid rapt attention as they listened to the lessons learned by a courageous man who led dozens of soldiers into battle before he even turned 26 years old.
“DiTomasso’s impression on our employees, who we hope will emerge into great leaders, was invaluable,” said McKean, who has led Acceller for more than a decade. “And his influence on our current team of executives should only foster more great leadership. We were very excited to hear him share his stories and experiences – and he certainly didn’t disappoint.”
David Clarke, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of BGT Partners, was equally affected. “We can all learn from DiTomasso’s tremendous experience as a military commander,” said Clarke. “He did a remarkable job of putting into context how to be a leader in the most strenuous circumstances.”
“Know your team’s families,” Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso said. “Once they know they can trust you, you’ll be well on your way to building a team that will do anything for you.” He also went on to explain the differences between management and leadership. “You manage things – but you lead people.”
Also in attendance for Acceller were President Dan Liechtenschlag and Chief Marketing Officer David Atkins, both of whom help manage operations for Acceller’s digital services comparison platform, DigitalLanding.com.
Lt. Col. (R) DiTomasso explained that “leadership is hard and inconvenient,” which is why it’s not easy to become a very strong leader. His definition of leadership: Purpose, direction and motivation. By supplying people with those three things, a leader will form a successful team in almost any endeavor, he implied. “Take care of your people – put them first in all things.”
The presentation lasted for two hours, including a question and answer session at the end in which he discussed everything from his thoughts on the mission to get bin Laden and how to deal with an incompetent leader. He also implored the audience to show their appreciation to the soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, by simply telling them, “Welcome home.”
Acceller is a leading aggregator of Internet, television, phone, and other digital services to consumers. Acceller’s innovative comparison shopping platform at DigitalLanding.com, enables customers to easily shop for digital services, compare offers, and place orders directly to leading providers; including Comcast, AT&T, Cox Communications, Verizon, Dish Network, and Charter Communications.
Acceller’s innovative ecommerce platform powers consumer portals, including the Digital Landing resource for TV, Internet and related services, an XFINITY services locator, and an AT&T site for the latest U-Verse offers.
About BGT Partners
BGT Partners is a leading global independent interactive marketing agency that helps companies strengthen their brand and business relationships through digital and technology solutions. A Microsoft Gold and Adobe Omniture Fusion certified partner, BGT has been recognized as an Ad Age Best Place to Work, and provides innovative solutions for international brands and Global 2000 corporations. For more information about BGT Partners, please visit www.bgtpartners.com, www.facebook.com/bgtpartners and www.twitter.com/bgtpartners.
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