Bill Lavinder ’93, a Roanoke Valley native, says that people are ultimately the key to a successful business.
The ability to inspire and motivate people is a valuable skill, and he says he learned this at Radford University. “At Radford, I found myself and my voice to help me motivate and inspire people around me.” As President and Managing Partner of a national health care consulting firm, ChampionOne Group, LLC, he and his team travel to healthcare practices in more than 20 states and assess their practices and develop strategic business plans. His team, based out of Atlanta, specializes in increasing profits, inspiring human resources and improving efficiency for their respective clients.
“It is all about people. When we visit a medical practice, we first assess the culture and human resource environment. We work hard to ensure every staff member is valued and understands their role and impact in the practice’s overall success. We determine the practice’s collective and individual goals and help them become more profitable, efficient and provide the very best in patient care. Changing the culture from a human resource standpoint is a force multiplier” he says. One of the biggest rewards for Lavinder is seeing his clients grow and succeed. “These practices are helping so many more patients. It’s rewarding to start working with a business and look down the road a year or two later after and see how much it has grown and how much happier everyone in the practice has become,” he says.
Lavinder says the biggest reward is often times also its biggest challenge, but one that is embraced. “It is a challenge to work with so many different personalities, understand everyone’s goals, and gain their trust to let us do what we can to make positive changes,” says Lavinder. “If you have a plan that no one likes, you won’t get anywhere.”
He remembers serving as historian and chaplain for his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi while at Radford. “I learned the foundations of teamwork and how to gain trust through my leadership experiences with Pi Kappa Phi,” he says. He uses those skills in his business today. Lavinder still visits campus to remember his time at RU. “I sit by the fountain, take walks around campus, look around and it brings back so many fantastic memories. I took many of my days for granted when I was there, so I stop by at least once a year to remember it all,” he says.
He says his life has been a great journey since graduation, and his degree has served him well. My time at Radford gave me a foundation to allow me to be successful. It strengthened my confidence and developed my passion for helping and working with people.” He advises students to not take their time at Radford for granted. “Students should realize that Radford will open doors that they don’t even realize are there. Don’t rush it, enjoy it,” says Lavinder.