Global Upstate Conference on International Business and Foreign Affairs announces 2023 keynote speaker

June 13, 2023

Upstate International and World Affairs Council Upstate are pleased to announce that Bob Chapman, Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, will be the distinguished keynote speaker of the upcoming Global Upstate Conference on International Business and World Affairs. The event will take place on October 3rd and 4th, 2023 at the City of Greer Event Hall & the Cannon Center, and promises to be a thought-provoking gathering of international business leaders, scholars, and community members.

Bob Chapman’s visionary leadership tactics have garnered extensive recognition, including being named Tharseō CEO of the Year by the Society for Human Resource Management, ranking as the #3 CEO in the world in an Inc. publication titled “The World’s 10 Top CEOs (They Lead in a Totally Unique Way)”, and being placed among the Top 10 Social Capital CEOs by the International Business Times.

As the driving force behind Barry-Wehmiller, a global capital equipment and engineering solutions company with 12,000+ team members, Chapman has defied conventional management practices with a people-centric approach known as Truly Human Leadership. Under his guidance, Barry-Wehmiller has experienced remarkable growth with over 120 successful acquisitions.

Chapman’s unique leadership philosophy inspired his 2015 Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family, co-authored by Raj Sisodia. The book has captivated readers worldwide with its profound message and transcended language barriers with translations in eight languages.

In this work, Mr. Chapman perfectly summarized his belief that effective leadership transcends mere management of employees as a collective: “Once you stop treating people like functions or costs, disengaged workers begin to share their gifts and talents toward a shared future. Uninspired workers stop feeling that their jobs have no meaning.” This revolutionary strategy has resonated with leaders worldwide, igniting a movement that seeks to redefine success by valuing individuals above all else.

Beyond his transformative work within Barry-Wehmiller, Chapman and his wife Cynthia established the Chapman Foundation for Caring Communities in 2013, extending the success of their Listen Like a Leader training outside the company. In 2015, the Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute was founded, offering culture transformation and leadership training to businesses.

Chapman has graced prestigious stages around the globe, such as the United Nations Global Compact Transforming Education Summit, Brazil’s Virtuous Leadership Conference, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. His ability to merge strong business strategy with care for people has highlighted the powerful synergy between creating value and nurturing individuals.

“The Global Upstate Conference on International Business and World Affairs is honored to have Bob Chapman as our keynote speaker," said Tracie Frese, Executive Director at the World Affairs Council Upstate and Upstate International.” His creation of a people-centered approach to business aligns perfectly with our mission to foster cross-cultural understanding and engagement. We believe his insights will inspire our attendees to positively impact their own organizations and the Upstate community.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear Bob Chapman share his inspiring story, offering a glimpse into the future of leadership and the limitless possibilities of integrating compassion and purpose into the building of business. Learn more about Mr. Chapman and the other top-notch speakers for the Global Upstate Conference at


Upstate International

Upstate International is a 501(c)(3) organization empowering global people and businesses to thrive in the Upstate by connecting them through programs, events, and initiatives fostering exchange of international cultures and ideas. Our World Affairs Council Upstate is dedicated to fostering a deep understanding of foreign affairs, international business, and global education.