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Susan  Packard

Susan Packard

Co-Founder of Scripps Networks Interactive & Former Chief Operating Officer, HGTV


Susan Packard is co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) and former Chief Operating Officer of HGTV. She was the 2nd employee of SNI and helped to build the company to a market value of over $10 billion. Read More >

SNI’s media portfolio includes popular lifestyle television brands HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, country music network Great American Country (GAC) and the Travel Channel. Packard held a variety of senior positions during her tenure at SNI. In addition to being COO of HGTV, she created and served as president of Scripps Networks New Ventures, where she oversaw the development and launch of DIY Network, and online interactive platforms. She was also president of worldwide distribution for the Scripps cable brands.

She began her cable career at HBO, then moved to NBC and was part of the start-up team for CNBC. In 1994 she joined HGTV and became Chief Operating Officer in 1995. Under Packard’s helm, HGTV became one of the fastest growing cable networks in television history. Today HGTV is available in more than 99 million U.S. homes and distributed in 175 countries and territories.

She has been recognized by industry peers, colleagues and employees as an innovator, role model and mentor. She received the Woman of the Year award by Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) and was profiled in Modern Visionaries, a book chronicling the contributions of women to the cable and telecommunications industry. Contemporary Economics, a high school textbook, profiled her as an entrepreneur in the field of media specialization. CableWorld magazine honored her among “The Most Influential Women in Cable” numerous times. In 2008 she was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.

Packard was the first woman elected to serve on the board of directors of Churchill Downs, Inc. (NASDAC: CHDN), the owner and manager of the Kentucky Derby and other horseracing properties. In that capacity, she served on the Audit, Strategic Planning, and CEO Succession committees.

She is active in national, local business and community affairs. She has served on the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication’s Board of Advisors. She was named a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni at Michigan State University. She is past vice chair of the board of an independent collegiate day school and an advisor on job training programs for the homeless as board member of Lazarus Ventures LLC. In 2011 was named to Villanova Business School’s Dean’s Advisory Council, and to the Tennessee Governor’s Commission on Film, Music and Entertainment. In recognition of her outreach work, she received the E.W. Scripps William Burleigh Award for distinguished community service. She was admitted to The Committee of 200, a select group of senior women executives dedicated to inspiring future women leaders in business. In 2015 she was elected to the C200 Foundation Board, charged with granting scholarships and doing outreach to young, aspiring business women. In 2016 she will add duties to chair Communications for the Board.

She is an active speaker at global business forums and at universities such as UCLA, Fordham, and the Darden Business School at University of Virginia. In February 2015, she spoke at Stanford Business School as part of SBS Executive Breakfast Briefings.

Most recently, Susan has been certified to teach a form of meditation called Centering Prayer, and teaches leadership and mindfulness retreats at St. Mary’s, a retreat house in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.

Susan Packard lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband and two female felines named Diva and Dart. They have a son, Andrew. She has written a book to help women lead in the workplace called New Rules of the Game, which was published by Penguin/Prentice Hall in February 2015. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace

On Leadership

Young Entrepreneurs Dinner

TEDTalk: Whose Am I?

Staying Connected

Thinking Outside the Box

Speech Topics

Fully Human: 3 Steps to Grow Your Emotional Fitness in Work, Leadership & Life

Susan Packard shows you how to increase your personal satisfaction and productivity —in work and life—via her three-step path toward EQ Fitness. Read More >

Emotions can sink us, or they can power us like fuel to succeed. Many of us show up for work, and life, feeling lonely even in a room full of people, or bringing unproductive emotions into work, like anger or fear. You don’t have to feel this way. Susan Packard offers an accessible new guidebook to grow your emotional fitness, and it’s arrived just in time, as technology is quickly becoming our main interface for communication. Packard lays out how to develop supportive work relationships, and for leaders, how to build healthy company cultures. No matter where you are in your career, success is an inside job.

Packard introduces us to successful people and companies that are rich with “connector” emotions like hope, empathy, and trustbuilding. She tackles unconventional topics, like how workaholism keeps us emotionally adolescent, and how forgiveness belongs in the workplace, too. Packard shares her EQ Fit-catalyzed success at HGTV and the stories of the executives she coaches in mindfulness and other emerging techniques, and she teaches an inside-out practice of self-discovery, which helps you uncover unproductive emotions, and dispel them.

The best leaders balance power and grace, and everyone can effectively use resilience--an ability to endure tough situations and make tough decisions, and vulnerability, a willingness to open up, change, and admit when we need help. She offers new tools to bring our strongest emotional selves to work each day. Read Less ^

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for Today

Based on her new book Fully Human: 3 Steps to Grow Your Emotional Fitness for Work, Leadership and Life, Susan Packard outlines why EQ is more important today than ever, and offers practices that help us to grow our EQ and leadership skills. She shares cautionary tales of workaholism, and how to avoid getting stuck in power and ego traps, and inspiring ways to build honest, morally courageous cultures. Moments of reflection can strengthen EQ skills, and she shares stories of business leaders, how they actively practice great EQ everyday, and how we can too. As a certified meditation instructor, if a group is interested, she can lead a meditation exercise too as part of this discussion.

New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace

In this brand new presentation, Susan reveals the findings from her new book, New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace which provides insights, tips and direction to women in business, based on experiences from Susan's own 30 year career, along with a dozen other prominent executives. Packard advocates for a revolutionary new perspective for businesswomen, which she calls “gamesmanship" – a strategic way of thinking that cultivates creativity, focus, optimism, teamwork, and competitiveness. Read More >


These strategies are seen in the gaming and sports worlds and often among men, but women can utilize these skills as well to learn to compete outwardly instead of inwardly, provide the necessary tools and techniques to succeed at work by thinking tactically, step up with more grit to get the next win, and level the playing field by understanding how male colleagues think and win at work, and add excitement to their careers. The information within New Rules of the Game will become a handbook, and playbook, for the future of women in business. The message is to think like a winner and act like an athlete, but at the same time don’t be afraid to use a little humor in the workplace.       

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Now What? Creativity, Innovation & Turning Ideas into Icons

So you have a great, innovative idea that is without peer in the marketplace—how does that become a great business worth over $7 billion, such as HGTV? Packard shares with the audience her experiences and the lessons learned in growing a multi-billion dollar business, which today includes cable networks, books, DVDs, interactive properties and a family of trusted television personalities. A leader who inspired those around her to push the boundaries in innovating products to achieve business success, Packard shares the leadership skills necessary to incubate — and execute — game changing ideas.

How Culture Impacts Employee Engagement: Timeless Lessons on Talent

Two of today’s toughest challenges are recruiting and retaining the best talent. Learn how a $7 billion business did it from the ground up, and how these lessons can apply to you. HGTV co-founder Susan Packard will cover critical areas, such as team structure, having a sense of mission and how small, inexpensive things can impact loyalty and workplace excellence. Having the right people in the right jobs with the right amount of motivation is crucial to any successful organization, and Packard shares what employers must do to create a workplace that can become the envy of any industry.

The Leader Within: Growing Your Leadership Team

What do leaders need today to excel? Hear from HGTV’s co-founder, Susan Packard, as she shares leadership lessons from businesses she has helped to build, and from the leadership work she is doing today. She will discuss how vision, audacity and relentless focus are some of the key factors that make great leaders today. She will also share some unusual insights and stories about diversity as a business practice today.

Move Fast, Think Big: Building a Brand Leader

HGTV took a big idea – a cable television network devoted to all things home – into a marketplace dominated by media giants and emerged the leader. Now launched in more than 98 million homes, HGTV changed how we envision our homes and, in the process, established a new model for business innovation and success. Packard shares with audiences strategies for forging and promoting a brand while gaining customers who'll remain loyal to it, and provides ideas for expanding into other channels and platforms to secure even greater market share while maintaining brand integrity.