Peyton Manning Headlines CSU's Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum

COLUMBUS, Ga. --- The Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, hosted by the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University, began Monday afternoon, Sept. 12, with MasterCard President and Chief Executive Officer Ajaypal Singh Banga. The evening featured Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning.

Banga talked about the success his company has had with building a team, especially in terms of involving women and younger workers.

Manning drew lots of laughs and told stories of his NFL career, equating some of his life lessons to the business environment. His remarks embodied the forum's theme -- “Leadership: It Takes a Team” -- when he said "true leadership is about the people around you."


Tuesday's scheduled speakers included Bill Curry, coach and Super Bowl champion; Bonnie St. John, Olympic medalist and best-selling author; and many others. The two-day event was held at the Columbus Iron Works and Trade Center.

For the third year, students currently enrolled with a valid CSU ID could watch the forum, including Monday night’s keynote address with Peyton Manning, live via simulcast from the University Hall Auditorium.

The 11th anniversary speaker lineup included:

-- Ajaypal Singh Banga – President and CEO, Mastercard
-- James H. Blanchard – Former chief executive officer, Synovus; chairman, Jordan-Blanchard Capital, LLC Board of Advisors and founder, Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum
-- Dr. Henry Cloud – Psychologist, communicator, life coach and author
-- Bill Curry – Former Super Bowl champion, coach, inspirational speaker and author
-- Warrick Dunn – Former NFL player and founder, Warrick Dunn Charities
-- Patricia Florissi – Vice President and Global Chief Technology Officer, EMC Corporation
-- Marcus Luttrell – Former Navy SEAL and author of “Lone Survivor”
-- Peyton Manning – Five-time NFL MVP and NFL’s all-time leading passer
-- Jim Nantz – Sportscaster, three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year
-- Tommy Spaulding – Former President and CEO, Up with People; New York Times best-selling author and leadership expert
-- Bonnie St. John – Leadership consultant, Olympic medalist and best-selling author
-- Shana Young – Director, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University

For more information about the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, visit