The Persimmon Group
Bill Fournet is the President and CEO of The Persimmon Group, the management consulting firm he founded in 2004. Bill consults clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small and mid-sized businesses in various industry verticals, including energy, financial services, aerospace, and government. Bill has helped enhance organizations such as AT&T, IBM, Boeing, and The NORDAM Group.
Bill speaks on Generational Diversity, Leadership and Project Management. He believes “we are in the midst of a great transformation”. Bill analyzes data and trends on where we have been and where we are now to help businesses understand the future of work.
Bill’s experience in managing high-performance teams has directly influenced the unique business philosophy and atmosphere that has created one of the leading small businesses today. In 2011, The Persimmon Group was awarded the Blue Ribbon by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its success as one of the leading small businesses in America. The Persimmon Group was also named in 2011 to the Inc. 500/5000 list for the U.S. Fastest Growing Companies.
Bill earned a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He is a member of the State of Oklahoma Governor’s Business Roundtable, a member of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, and member of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Metro Chambers of Commerce. In 2010, he was named Small Business Person of the Year by Tulsa’s Metro Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as a Member, Board of Directors at Boy Scouts of America, Indian Nations. He is a two-time honoree for “Most Admired CEO” in Oklahoma. He resides in Tulsa with his wife, Christy, and their 3 sons.
LEADERSHIP and BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
Thank you so much for presenting from Typewriters to iPads at our All Staff meeting. Your presentation shared wonderful information about communication and understanding to help us with interaction between each other, as well as, our clients. Our employees have continued to talk about your presentation a week later. Thank you for so generously sharing your time and talents with our employees.
- DVIS, April 2012
The first time I heard Bill speak was at the Project Management Institute Global Congress in Texas, 2011. He was the first speaker of the day towards the end of a long, but exciting (and tiring) event. That is not an easy spot to fill. Most people had been at congress for 4 days and were tired, but Bill would have none of that. From the get-go he had everyone’s attention and the crowd engaged. In fact, his speech “How to Stop Herding Cats: Leading Project Teams through the Chaos” was so popular and the group so lively, that people were walking in from other sections and the volunteers had to get additional seats. That’s when I knew we needed him to speak at our Chapter’s Professional Development Day 2012. He was a hit at our event as well. His sessions “Herding Cats” and “The Electronic Dilemma” were some of the most attended sessions at our event. We had several positive comments, but none sum up Bill better than these: “Absolutely amazing! Bill was engaging. His presentation style was fresh, not boring, I thoroughly enjoyed it!” and “Awesome presenter, wealth of knowledge, bring him back next year!”
I would enthusiastically recommend Bill for any professional speaking engagement where you want to get away from the humdrum of speakers today.
- Project Management Institute, September 2011
“Bill: Thank you for another wonderful job speaking for my client BICSI. As an international information technology association, their diverse audience is extremely difficult to please and you have now been a huge success for them twice. In fact, one of the association’s past presidents emailed me the following note during your presentation:
‘Arnold. Great opener in Niagara. He has the focus of about 600 in the audience. NO ONE HAS LEFT the theatre since he started. Great presentation and subject matter. I am even staying. Don’t want to miss anything!!!! Good job…AGAIN!!’
You made me look like a hero for recommending you so strongly and I want you to know how much I appreciate that. In addition, your TPG Speakers Director, Jill Nickerson, is a pleasure to work with on the front end and ensures that all small but very important details needed to successfully manage the engagement are taken care of before I even ask…making my job very easy indeed! Thanks again for a job well done all around.”
- Sports, Marketing, and Entertainment, Los Angeles, May 2012
“Bill is a top-notch speaker and consultant, bringing years of experience and expertise to the table in an easy to grasp and inspiring way. He impressed my audience with his take on generational diversity and its effects on the workforce, providing them with action steps and take aways to implement both with their employees and their clients. I have heard nothing but rave reviews of his presentation.”
- Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation, May 2012
“I first heard Bill speak at the 2011 PMI Global Congress which was held at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine Texas. He possessed a degree of Leadership and Insight that I knew would benefit the PM Practioners at Southwest Airlines.
Asking Bill to present to the Southwest PM Community and PM Forum was a blessing in disguise. He presented, “Going Commando: What the Special Forces Can Teach Us About Improving Project Delivery”. The presentation was consistent with his role as a seasoned speaker and CEO. He has a passion for demonstrating how to lead high‐performing Teams. The presentation fit well within Southwest’s unique culture due to its focus on how to deal with ever‐changing environments and situations (so true for the airline industry!). I highly recommend Bill Fournet and The Persimmon Group for any of your process improvement or strategic delivery initiatives.”
- Southwest Airlines, April 2012
“I met Bill Fournet at a BICSI conference. What a GREAT guy! He gave an excellent presentation and was extremely interesting to listen to. These conferences can be boring, at best, but Bill had great information that was presented in a very fun and clear manner…Definitely the best speaker there in my opinion. I have spoken with Bill since and have used his information in my own little world and would highly recommend him for any venue. I can’t wait to attend the next gathering with him.”
-Integrimax, Inc., 2011
“We had Bill give a keynote address at a large retail conference. His presentation was all it was supposed to be and more. Excellent stage presence. The audience loved him.”
-The Lavin Agency, 2010
“Bill did a great job talking to our members! They thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to having him speak at another event for us.”
-Edmond Chamber of Commerce, 2011
“After attending Bill’s session on the Multi-Generational Workforce and Ethics in Technology at the Network of Executive Women’s Leadership Summit, I knew that I had to get him to present for our DFW AMA Mentor Program – with a twist on Marketing talent. This is a hot topic that is impacting us all and will continue to evolve over time. Bill brought interesting and timely research and statistics, as well as actionable suggestions to take back to the office. He is a dynamic and energetic speaker, and kept our “multi-generational” audience engaged and talking about him well after the program ended. I would definitely have Bill speak again.”
-Director of Partner Solutions at River Logic, 2011
“Bill did a webinar presentation on generational issues in Project Management for the Global Diversity Community of Practice. The planning process for the presentation was very hectic, but he and his team were very flexible in making all of the arrangements so that everyone won. He and his team embraced the theme of professionalism which continued throughout the delivery of the presentation and thereafter. They all worked to ensure that not only was the presentation well received, but that the attendees could keep in touch with him as they review and reflect on his presentation. His presentation was dynamic and catered to all of our attendees who were approx. 60% internationally based. He addressed all of their questions verbally as well as via chat in the limited time for the webinar. Many attendees applauded his charisma and ability to take on some difficult questions. It is with my greatest pleasure to recommend Bill to anyone who is looking for a presenter who does not shy away from the difficult topics but rather ensures that attendees are satisfied when all the information has been received/delivered.
-Project Management Institute, 2011
“It was truly an honor and privilege to introduce Bill as a Super Session Keynote speaker at the recent Network of Executive Women Annual Summit. Bill absolutely hit the mark to a standing room only audience for both sessions! Everyone left the room with a deeper understanding of the multifaceted and multi-generational consumer of today. Bill’s content was both thought provoking and practical as any organization contemplates their communication strategies for internal associates or customers. Bill leverages a vast set of professional experiences and a superb set of skills to deliver top notch presentations. Bill’s dynamic style and engaging approach is a must have for your next conference!”
-Southeast Group Dean Foods Company, 2011
“I met Bill at the Network of Executive Women’s Annual Summit in North Carolina this year, where he was leading a session on multi-generational workforce trends. The content he presented was well researched, rich and very apt given the current global workforce and their diverse motivations. Bill definitely stood out as a highly credible industry leader who not only had his pulse on the up and coming talent management trends but also offered practical solutions to address the talent gaps global businesses will be facing in the very near future.”
-The Clorox Co., 2011
“Bill was a huge hit for my client, BICSI, last week in Las Vegas. Bill was the opening keynote speaker for the conference and really got things started for them on a high note. The president of the association wrote in an email to me following the event: ‘Bill did an excellent job! I was able to spend some time with him and got to know him on a more personal level. He spent time doing research on BICSI and included this into his presentation.’ I also spoke with their director of conference planning following his presentation and she said that Bill did a GREAT job! Please thank Bill for another successful event. The research that he does prior to his presentations is extremely evident throughout and he always makes me look good for recommending him! I have provided keynote speakers and entertainment for BICSI for over 15 years, really becoming a part of their team…and I have booked many outstanding speakers for them over the years, many at much higher honorariums. With the reduced budgets industry-wide, Bill helped me maintain and possibly even exceed the quality keynote presentations that the BICSI audiences have come to expect and I appreciate that. I’m looking forward to working with you, Bill and the Persimmon Group team again soon!”
-Sports, Marketing & Entertainment Agency, Los Angeles, 2010
“I brought Bill in to speak to my club to address what he sees as the major challenges businesses and business leaders are facing today. Bill did a wonderful job of speaking and had a very engaging presentation. I would highly recommend Bill.”
-L3 Communications, 2010
“Bill gave his presentation ‘Spinning only makes you dizzy’ at our Northwest Arkansas PMI Chapter, and it was a very informative presentation on how destructive Spinning instead of honestly is. I also was fortunate to see his presentation “Going Commando” at the 2010 North American PMI conference. It was a very powerful presentation. I highly recommend both presentations.”
-NWARK PMI, 2010
“Bill’s energy and knowledge was a perfect fit for our membership. He took the time to research our group and it showed in his understanding of their day to day work place challenges. He is an engaging speaker and was able to keep our members’ interest throughout each presentation. I would recommend Bill to anyone!”
-Association of Collegiate Conferences and Events Directors-International, 2010
“Throughout the entire process of speaker evaluation and contract signing to travel arrangements and the actual keynote, the Persimmon Group was as professional in dealings as I have ever experienced in my 15 years of program development. Particularly, the preconference telephone conversation between speaker Bill Fournet and I completely put me at ease his presentation Typewriters to Blackberries: How to Manage Generational Diversity in the Workplace would be on the mark, thought provoking, and engaging. Bill is not only well versed in history, which gives him a terrific frame of reference to discuss today’s technology and worker, but extremely knowledgeable about the social and psychological makeup of the various generations of the past 60 years. His material is not shallow and entertaining but truly revealing and challenging, so much so to the point the audience recognized they have much work to be done in order to continue to be successful. Perhaps the best part of having Bill speak to our group was his willingness to network with the conference attendees at receptions and breaks, at which time I was able to get to know him personally. He impressed me from his “Glad to meet you,” to his “Thank you for having me speak to your group.” I will absolutely have Bill speak to our group again.”
-Executive Director American Galvanizers Association, 2010
“Bill provided a dynamic opening keynote address for our annual conference and it paved the way for a super event. His knowledge, personable style and engaging delivery had our participants begging for more. I would recommend Bill to others who are interested in positioning their event as a credible and cutting-edge experience.”
-Valley of the Sun ASTD Chapter, 2009
“Bill is an excellent speaker, who breaks down key issues facing Business leaders today, making it easy to understand and comprehend. He connects with his audience by using good examples to illustrate his points. If you have an opportunity to hear Bill speak, don’t pass it up, you will learn something!”
-Proprietary Brand Director, BP, 2010
“Bill’s generational insights were a highlight of a recent conference hosted by CSP. Suggestions for using social media for business applications were right on target.”
“Bill conducted a full day workshop for the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. The topic was “Project Management”. Bill did an amazing job on several levels. His professionalism and expertise were evident. His content was relevant and applicable. His approach was creative and compelling. Everyone who attended the workshop walked away energized and empowered to take on challenging projects. I would highly recommend Bill Fournet as an exceptional subject matter expert on Project Management.”
-Los Angeles ASTD Chapter, 2010
“I had the distinct pleasure of attending Bill’s Project Management course at ASTD in Los Angeles. I have attended many courses on the topic, but Bill’s stage present, content selection, and highly interactive style clearly set him apart. Bill’s extensive experience as a highly effective and successful project leader is reflected in his content selection. His teachings focus on information and techniques that yield immediate results. If you are looking for someone with depth of knowledge and a pragmatic approach, Bill is a perfect match. ”
-Organization Development and Workforce Training Connection Inc., 2009
“Thank you for the invitation to attend Bill Fournet’s keynote presentation at the American Society for Training & Development event last week. I thought that Bill’s, “From Typewriters to Blackberries” was both informative and entertaining. The audience was engaged from beginning to end and you could tell that everyone related to the examples that Bill gave. I liked the fact that Bill was open to interaction from the audience during the keynote. That made the already intimate audience feel even more involved in the program and allowed Bill an opportunity to address issues that were affecting them in their organizations right now. I have already put Bill on proposals for two clients!”
-Sports, Marketing & Entertainment Agency, Los Angeles, CA, August 2009