ADS | ADS’ Levi Wilson Addresses Coast Guard Leadership Dinner
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ADS’ Levi Wilson Addresses Coast Guard Leadership Dinner

As a proud 30-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, ADS Vice President, Customer Focus, Levi Wilson found himself in an unlikely place on the Marines Corps’ 247th Birthday in November.

He was speaking before a group of 150 people at a dinner to honor newly promoted leaders of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Yet to the leaders who invited him to speak, Levi's presence at the event wasn’t out of place at all. To them, he was exactly the right guy in exactly the right place.

“The Chesapeake Regional Chief’s Mess was extremely honored to have Levi as our guest speaker, and we would do it again in a heartbeat!” said Pete Paniccia, the Coast Guard Sr. Chief who invited Levi to the event.

The dinner – the U.S. Coast Guard Chesapeake Regional Consolidated Chief's Mess, Chief's Call to Initiation – is an event held to celebrate the advancement of new Coast Guard leaders to the rank of E7. The dozen or so newly promoted chiefs had just completed an 8-week-long process that introduced them to the new responsibilities and challenges they will encounter in their new leadership roles.

Paniccia wanted to bring in a keynote speaker who could command the room. He knew there were few people better to do it than Levi Wilson.

Paniccia’s wife, Brandy, is a Senior Inside Sales Manager at ADS, and he had known Levi for years. He always admired the things Brandy would tell him about Levi, and how well respected he was within the ADS community.

"I knew Levi has had extensive exposure to being in a leadership position both in the military and civilian world, and I wanted a speaker who would give the new Chiefs motivation and wisdom to take with them as they branch into their new roles. His speech was very powerful."

- Pete Paniccia

What resounded most throughout the room, he said, was when Levi spoke to the principles of accountability and responsibility in a leadership role.

“It was certainly a great honor for me to address these newly promoted leaders in the United States Coast Guard,” Wilson said. “I reminded them that leadership is leadership. Responsibility is responsibility. No matter which branch of the military you serve, no matter which company you work for, or which generation you are leading, the principles of accountability and responsibility never change. They have held tried and true for generations.”

Paniccia said Levi’s speech had exactly the impact he was hoping for and clearly resonated among those who attended.

“He made it clear that no matter the generation of people that one leads, if you hold accountability and responsibility as your main principles, you cannot go wrong as a leader.”

After his speech, Levi stayed and enjoyed the dinner and camaraderie. He also had a little fun with the idea that a 30-year Marine Corps veteran would find himself speaking before the Coast Guard on the Marine Corps’ birthday.

Thanks for all you do, Levi. We’re so proud to have you on our team.

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