April 2013: Renowned Alumnus Mike Smith Address Alumni during Seattle Cruise


AIESEC alumni had the chance to enjoy a cruise on Thursday, March 28, to welcome members of the AIESEC US national team and the Local Committee Presidents who were visiting Seattle for the National President's Meeting.  This is the first time AIESEC Seattle has hosted an AIESEC US conference in over 20 years. Local committee members and alumni enjoyed the opportunity to meet the AIESEC US leaders right there in Seattle.

Headlining the cruise was AIESEC alumnus Michael Smith (Madison '83), who is currently CEO at Full Circle, an organic food delivery service, and serves on REI’s Board of Directors.  Previously, he was president and CEO of Classmates.com, a leader in online social networking and the fourth largest paid content site on the Internet.  Mike also served as President of Nordstrom.com and orchestrated a turn-around for the company that resulted in its first quarterly profit. In 1999, he founded LifeSketch.com, the first scrapbooking site and prior to that, served as president and CEO of Lands’ End Inc.  While launching LandsEnd.com , he executed another company turn-around that led to record sales and profits.  Michael was a member of AIESEC Madison, and his company Lands End was a major sponsor of AIESEC US in the 1990s.

When sharing highlights from his career during the cruise, Mike stated that the one thing he has enjoyed most is mentoring in order to help others grow into leaders.  He also encouraged new graduates, who are job hunting, to be open to taking the road less traveled.  After graduation, he turned down a better salary at a bigger company for a more interesting offer at Lands' End -- where he later launched their online sales and became President and CEO.  A key insight from his AIESEC days and carried throughout his career, he remarked on meeting so many people from different backgrounds yet everyone shares the same basic needs This knowledge has enabled him to find common ground with others and be successful in teamwork.

AIESEC Life would like to thank Mike for taking the time out to speak with our alumni.  We would also like to send a big thank you to Arthur de Hann  (member of the AIESEC Seattle Board of Advisors) and Lili Hein (Seattle Hub Co-Leader and past President of AIESEC Life) for generously sponsoring the cruise!  You are a shining example for other alumni to follow!

Interested in getting involved with future Seattle alumni events? Contact Lili Hein at liliseattle@hotmail.com.



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