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Starbucks gathers 12,000 managers and field leaders for largest ever employee conference

Starbucks is hosting its largest employee conference, the Starbucks Leadership Experience, to date in Chicago, United States, beginning 5 September.

Twelve thousand store managers and field leaders are gathering for the three-day event, designed to help transform leaders and solidify the foundation of the company.

On 4 September, the event was preceded with a community service expo at McCormick Place Convention Center, engaging with more than 35 community service organisations including Chicago Cares, the American Red Cross, and Feeding America.

The event began with an opening general session at United Center for more than 10,000 store managers from company-operated and licensed stores from across the US and Canada, plus 2000 regional leaders, the senior leadership team, and staff.

The gathering marks the first of its kind since Starbucks’ 2012 Global Leadership Conference in Houston and the first under the leadership of Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

“This is the largest partner experience in our company history, and a signal of our commitment to store managers and field leaders who are well positioned to lead us forward,” Johnson says in a letter to Starbucks partners.

After the general session, attendees took part in a series of interactive leadership sessions at McCormick Place over the next two days, with topics that include customer service, partner development, growing your business, and mental health awareness.

“At this transformative time for the company, we must continue to have the wisdom to honour our heritage and stay true to Our Mission and Values, while at the same time have the courage to boldly reimagine the future of Starbucks,” Johnson says.

In 1987, Starbucks opened its first US store outside of Seattle in Chicago, an experiment the company says gave it confidence to grow across the country and around the world.

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