B KennedyBrian Kennedy Chairman of the Board of Argonaut Gold, LLC spoke in President Gillette’s Current Topics class on Tuesday evening. He previously served as President and CEO of Meridian Gold, Inc. from 1996-2007.  Brian has over 25 years of experience in the mining industry and a career that spans from the U.S. Naval Academy to numerous successful start-ups.  He discussed the challenges of the gold industry globally with varying cultures and regulations and in Nevada, particularly with possible changes in tax policy. He spoke about lessons learned during a lifetime of entrepreneurship in differing locations and sizes of organizations. Among his many entrepreneurial activities, he founded and is Chairman of Argonaut Gold; serves as Chairman of Meridian Gold; and currently serves as a Director of Western Exploration and Development Ltd., NV Energy, Sierra Pacific Resources, Sierra Pacific Power Co., as well as being actively engaged with a broad array of area non-profits.

One point he emphasized to the students was that no one ever accomplishes anything by themselves. He spoke about teamwork, and the challenge of learning to depend on your teammates without micro managing them. He also told a story about how he struggled with dealing with teammates after being promoted ahead of them, and still being able to cooperate as a whole.

He told students that ethics and character are fundamental, to bring your best to class, and never stop learning or improving. Be a team player, be resilient in failure, be optimistic and confident, and differentiate yourself positively. He commented, “Failure is just the opposite side of success.” It’s alright to be scared, but never be afraid; there is always somebody there that will help you. If you aren’t confident in what you are or who you are, take some risk to develop that confidence. Be your best supporter, because once you leave home and college, encouragement is going to come from the person in the mirror.