South Sound Business recently hosted its first CEO Roundtable event at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club in Lakewood to unite local business leaders and to share best practices.

The purpose of the gathering was to bring together local entrepreneurs and top-level executives — from companies including Heritage Bank, Anthem Coffee & Tea, 7 Seas Brewery, Chuckals Office Products, Watson’s Nursery, and Olympic Landscape, among others — to hear from guest speaker and Milgard Windows & Doors President Vishal Singh. Guests also were encouraged to take part in an open conversation about business leadership in the South Sound.

CEO Roundtable at Tacoma Country & Golf Club. Photo by Joanna Kresge.

After a quick introduction from South Sound Business President and CEO Josh Dunn, Singh led things off with a comprehensive history of Milgard Windows & Doors — one of the South Sound’s largest private employers — and the principles on which it operates. Namely, the cultivation of its workforce.

Singh said each of Milgard’s more than 3,000 employees get two reviews. However, he cautioned that finding an employee who is the right fit is more important than that individual’s knowledge of his job. “It’s more about the people than about the results. If you don’t have the right people, you are not going to be able to get things done.”

Following Singh’s presentation, a question and answer session naturally evolved into a collaborative, popcorn-style conversation as Singh took his seat and guests enjoyed their lunches. Topics ranged from employee benefit packages to regional traffic issues to retaining a millennial workforce.

The event was one that Dunn said he had wanted South Sound Business to host for a long time, and one that he hopes to host at least twice each year.

“I want to report out of this so that we can, at any point in the year, get a pulse on what the leading CEOs are thinking locally,” Dunn said. “I just want to be the connector. I want to pull it together, and then elevate it.”

The CEO Roundtable event was sponsored by Heritage Bank. To participate in an upcoming CEO Roundtable event, email South Sound Business at info@southsoundbiz.com.