Gwendolyn S. O'Neal, Ph.D., is Professor and Head, Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies, at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. Dr. O’Neal’s record of distinguished contributions to the textiles and apparel field demonstrate her meritorious service and personal commitment to our profession. In 1995, she co-authored an articled titled, “Managing change: The key to empowerment”, noting that leaders must become adept at leading in constantly changing environments. Yet there is an obvious dearth of individuals being prepared to lead at a time when different competencies are needed to effectively lead organizations of all sizes. With change comes both opportunity and challenge. One of the greatest challenges an organization faces is the ability to make changes in its structure and culture such that it maintains viability during periods of rapid change. Dr. O’Neal’s lecture at the 2013 ITAA conference will explore challenges and opportunities of becoming a highly effective organization and the new skills and competencies needed by leaders to succeed in the coming decades.