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Executive Development

WIPL is working in collaboration with the Executive Development program at CCU to add options to the conference this year. The Executive Development program offers advanced management training in a variety of different areas, all led by Coastal Carolina University professors who are experts in their respective fields. The program is designed for businesses seeking to enhance employee skills in specific areas such as project management, strategic thinking and talent management. The first session – Organizational Communication and Negotiation – will be offered at the Women's Leadership Conference on Feb. 7, 2017.

Executive Development program sessions are designed to promote personal and professional development as well as empower participants with management strategies that aid in the attainment of organizational goals. Sessions last all day and include lunch. At the end of the session, participants will receive a certificate from CCU acknowledging completion of the training. This year, one session will be offered at the conference:

Organizational Communication and Negotiation

Feb. 7, 2017  |  Sheraton Convention Center

‌Communication skills are essential to create business relationships, resolve conflicts and negotiate successful outcomes. This session will prepare participants to develop their skills communicating with others as well as handling conflict effectively. Participants will also learn how to negotiate effectively for themselves and others.

Executive Development Instructors

Peter Gasca Jr.

Peter Gasca is the director of the Community and Business Engagement (CoBE) Institute at Coastal Carolina University (CCU), a program that pairs high-achieving undergraduate students with local businesses to bridge the educational gap between theory and practice. At CCU, Gasca also serves as an Executive in Residence and associate instructor in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business. He also advises and mentors at the Grand Strand Technology Council, a tech-focused non-profit located in Myrtle Beach, focused on building the Grand Strand into the nation’s next tech corridor. Prior to joining CCU, Gasca co-founded and served as CEO of Wild Creations, a toy and game developer in Myrtle Beach. In 2010, Wild Creations was recognized as the No. 1 fastest growing company in South Carolina and an Inc. 500 honoree. In 2011, he was nominated for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas. He writes for and, and recently completed his first book, “One Million Frogs,” about his experience with Wild Creations. Gasca earned a bachelor’s in construction management from Arizona State University, and an MBA from Georgetown University. He serves on the board for Junior Achievement and the Small Business Council and Legislative Council for the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Jack Hopkins

Jack HopkinsJack Hopkins is a lecturer in the marketing department of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business at Coastal Carolina University. His previous faculty positions were as a lecturer in the management department of the College of Business at Clemson University and as the executive-in-residence and visiting professor in the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. In addition, he has a small business management consulting company – Keowee Consulting Group ( His primary focus is on marketing, strategic management and international business. Hopkins is a faculty advisor for CCU’s football team and a faculty advisor to the Wall College of Business. Jack’s experience covers a wide range of global business activities, including the introduction and marketing of millions of units of products such as cellular phones, pagers, chips and consumer electronics, among others. He has held senior-level, executive positions in Fortune 50 companies, such as Motorola and Nokia, as well as new venture/start-up firms, such as California dot.coms. Hopkins was the head of marketing for Nokia when it entered the U.S. market and oversaw its rise from a virtually unknown brand in the U.S. to No. 1 within three years. He lived and worked in Prague, Czech Republic, where he was in charge of New Europe (Central and Eastern European) marketing for Colliers International. On the academic side, Hopkins holds a bachelor’s and master’s in international relations from the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA in marketing from the University of Rhode Island. For the past 30 years, he has taught part-time and full-time international business, entrepreneurship and general management courses at the undergraduate, MBA and executive MBA levels in the U.S. and Europe. He has taught and lived in Russia under the auspices of the Russian government and in Denmark as a Fulbright scholar. Hopkins was selected by the U.S. State Department to be on its Fulbright Specialist roster, a group of academic and professional experts to be used on international Fulbright grant projects, for a five-year period (through 2018). He lives with his wife in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Leann Mischel

Leann Mischel, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Decision Sciences in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration at Coastal Carolina University. She previously served as an associate professor of management in the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna University, where she also was the director of the Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship. Mischel has held teaching or research positions at Bernelli, Delaware and Purdue universities, as well as at the University of Illinois, where she earned a doctorate in organizational behavior. Mischel has been on numerous start-up boards, has presented her research in many countries across several continents, and has published in leading journals in her field. Her work has been recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine, the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. She has also served as vice president of operations/customer service at and vice president of business engineering at JPMorgan Chase.

Larry Smith

Larry Smith, Ph.D., has taught integrated business communications in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business at Coastal Carolina University since 2014. In addition to teaching, he has a small consulting company, Behavioral Communications Solutions, LLC, where he focuses on sales, negotiations, and communications training and coaching.

Smith's prior work experience includes pharmaceutical sales and sales management, real estate sales, and military service. His 20-year pharmaceutical career was with Rhone-Poulence Rorer, Aventis and Sanofi pharmaceuticals where he worked with teams to successfully negotiate hospital and managed-care formulary approval and pull through sales.

Smith is also a licensed real estate broker in Georgia and South Carolina and has successfully negotiated more than 30 transactions in the past few years. He also owns and manages rental properties. Smith was first introduced to the psychology behind successful sales and negotiation strategies while training to become an interrogator with the U.S. Army Reserves specializing in Russian.

He served as chair of SCORE – volunteer small business consulting – from 2012 to 2014 and regularly volunteers to provide training on sales and negotiations for the Myrtle Beach and Conway chambers of commerce. Smith earned a doctoral degree at Capella University, where his research was in behavioral and motivational differences between sales executives and management. He also holds a master's degree in healthcare policy and administration from Mercer University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina. ‌