MCC grad leads the world’s leaders

July 21, 2012

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

CUSTER TWP. — When I was a kid, my family spent a lot of time at the Eikenberry farm on East Conrad Road. Phil Eikenberry was a classmate, customer and friend of my dad’s.

Phil died in 2007 but his children continue to own their father’s farm. I have been following his son, Kevin the past few years on Twitter and Facebook.

Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer and owner of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership consulting firm with a customer base that includes some of the top companies and organizations in the Midwest, United States and the world. Those companies include American Red Cross, Chevron, Discover Card Financial Services, Great Lakes Energy, John Deere, Toyota, NASA, Cinergy and many more. Customers also include the U.S. government.

Kevin, 51, graduated from Mason County Central and then went to Purdue University where he majored in agricultural mechanization. After college he worked for Chevron’s fertilizer division as a sales representative. From there he made his way to the company’s world headquarters in northern California and started working in the training and development division.

“I did that for 3 years and then decided to do it for myself,” he says. “I never liked working for someone else.

“It started out just me and now I have a team of seven people plus trainers and coaches who work for us on a contracted bases. It’s enough to keep me out of trouble.”

Kevin travels the world giving speeches and training people about leadership. He has written three books, co-authored another and has contributed to 25 more.

“Because of my books, in part, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over North America and to about 60 countries on all continents, except Antarctica, of course,” he says.

The company also offers several products around what it calls the Remarkable Leadership brand.

He gets most of the inspiration for his books based on talking with other leaders. Through those conversations Kevin learns about the challenges leaders face.

His products and services are in demand.

“Organizations are trying to run their businesses better. When you get outside of fundamentals, underneath it all, everybody thinks their issues are different but they really aren’t. People issues are people issues. When organizations figure out they want to get better, they realize their leaders need to be effective.

“One of the biggest challenges companies face is trying to get more productivity training to manage change better. Change is hard. If leaders can figure out how to do that, it makes things better.”

Kevin and his wife, Lori, have been married for 25 years. They have two children, Park, 20, and Kelsey, 13. Lori is a managing pharmacist for a Walgreens in Indianapolis.

Kevin and his sister, Paula Menenhall and their stepbrother Dan Kriesel now own the 100-plus acre farm.

Kevin uses it as a retreat.

“I think of this place as home,” he says about the farm. “We like Indianapolis. We have great neighbors and it’s just a great place to live. But, I tell people that this is God’s country, this and Purdue.

“When I come here, even though I spend half my time doing something that resembles work, I totally forget about everything else. When I get here it just totally changes things.

“I’m always telling people around the country that if they want a great place to vacation, you can’t beat this area. The weather is just great.

“Yes, this is home.”

Legally Speaking: Consent to search

Betten Baker Ford

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