• 75°

BIC founder to be speaker

The keynote speaker at this year’s 117th Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet is a man who publishes North America’s largest multi-industry, multi-departmental and construction publication, BIC Magazine.

Earl B. Heard is the founder and CEO of BIC Alliance, which includes BIC Magazine, BIC Recruiting, IVS Investment Banking and BIC Media Solutions. Heard has more than 40 years of combined experience in industry and marketing.

He founded BIC Alliance in 1984 and BIC Media Solutions in 2005. In addition to other services, Heard has helped grow industrial service companies through marketing and training consultation, mergers and acquisitions and executive recruiting.

In discussing what topics might be covered for his presentation at the Chamber Banquet, Heard said, “It’s going to be about leadership and the power of networking. Leadership and networking go hand-in-hand.

“One of the key elements of leadership is having the right connections to help people. So, mastering the art of networking is vital to success in our professional and personal life.”

Heard talked about the benefits of organizations like chambers.

“Being a member of a professional organization is kind of the cornerstone of networking. When I started out, my background was in training. I love training people.”

Heard related an account of how he almost drowned three times before he learned how to swim. A lifeguard took him under his wing and taught him how to swim.

“I told him, ‘I don’t know how to swim,’” Heard said. “Then the lifeguard asked, ‘Well, do you know how to listen?’”

In addition, Heard said the lifeguard told him that he would become a lifeguard one day.

“It amazed me. But he trained me.”

Heard carried that love of training with him throughout both his personal and professional life.

“I’m 74 years old and still love training and helping other people,” Heard said. “I’ve done this presentation for years under Alligator Marketing. It’s kind of like Marketing and Managing 101 — you learn the basics of management and communication.”

Heard spoke further about the benefits of networking and improving one’s station in life.

“The definition of networking is getting together to get ahead,” Heard said. “The key about networking is that by helping the other person, you in turn help out yourself.”

When speaking of public presentations, Heard likened the combination of stories and presentations as parables being used in speeches in the Bible.

“I like to integrate stories into my presentations,” Heard said. “I try to leave people who listen to my presentations with at least three things they can take away with them. In 20 minutes, I try to weave in three stories.”

In listing ways to be successful, Heard recommended giving three referrals a day and saying something nice to someone who is not expecting it.

“The foundation for success is 1.) faith 2.) family and 3.) kindness toward others.

“And knowing how to network,” Heard added.