Business Leaders Blog

Apr 10 2014

Sharen Turney, Head Angel at Victoria’s Secret

Only one of two women on Glassdoor’s “2014 Highest Rated CEOs” list, Sharen Jester Turney is the president and CEO of Victoria’s Secret, a $6 billion specialty retailer of lingerie and beauty products. Turney joined the company in 2000 as president and CEO of Victoria’s Secret Direct, the catalog and e-commerce arm of the brand. She assumed her current roles in 2006 and is responsible for overseeing the entire Victoria’s Secret brand, which comprises Victoria’s Secret Stores, Victoria’s Secret Direct, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, and Victoria’s Secret PINK.

Turney joined Victoria’s Secret from Neiman Marcus, where she has served as executive vice president for merchandising, creative production, public relations, and advertising; senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Neiman Marcus stores; and president and CEO of NM Direct, the company’s direct marketing division which includes the catalog and e-commerce businesses of Neiman Marcus, Chef’s Catalog, and Horchow. An alumna of the University of Oklahoma, Turney began her career at Foley’s and subsequently worked at Byer California and Federated Department Stores.

In addition to her responsibilities at Victoria’s Secret, Turney currently sits on the board of directors of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative advisory board at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the board of directors of M/I Homes, and the operating board of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Additionally, Turney supports the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts and the Family Violence Coalition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

A member of the Hall of Fame Business of Education at the University of Oklahoma, Turney received the 2005 Dr. Catherine White Achievement Award from HeartShare Human Services and the 2009 Hug Award, which is given to those in the fashion industry “with a heart.”

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Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO Goldman Sachs

For almost eight years, Lloyd Blankfein has served as chairman and chief executive officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a leading global securities, investment banking, and investment management firm headquartered in New York. A director since 2003, he is also a member of the company’s board of directors and management committee.

Prior to assuming his current positions, Blankfein was president and chief operating officer. Earlier, he served as a vice chairman for nearly two years, overseeing Goldman Sachs’ Equities and Fixed Income, Currency, and Commodities (FICC) divisions.

While he is not on the board of any other public company at the moment, Blankfein is affiliated with several non-profit organizations and is a member of the board of dean’s advisors of Harvard Business School, the dean’s advisory board of Harvard Law School, the dean’s council of Harvard University, and the board of the Partnership for New York City, among others.

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Apr 03 2014

Mark Templeton: Work and Life in Harmony Through Technology

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Citrix is a leading provider of virtualization, networking, and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable people to work better and live better. At the helm of this innovative company for more than a decade is Mark B. Templeton, who has served as president since 1998 and chief executive officer since 2001. Under his direction, Citrix evolved from a $15 million company with a single product, one customer segment, and one go-to-market strategy to a $2.9 billion global powerhouse serving over 260,000 organizations and millions of people around the world each day.

As president and CEO, Templeton oversees Citrix’s product strategy, market direction, and commitment to customer care. He also guides the organization’s unique culture by emphasizing integrity, respect, innovation, and fun.

Templeton first joined Citrix in 1995 as vice president of marketing. He has received several leadership accolades over the years, including the Excalibur Award, the EVIE Award, and the AeA Abacus Award.

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Matt Ferguson: Helping Job Seekers Build Careers

Matt Ferguson is the chief executive officer of CareerBuilder, the largest online job site in America and the leading human capital solutions provider in the world. With a focus on empowering employment, Ferguson transformed CareerBuilder from a job board operator into a world-class organization offering a complete range of recruitment solutions, from labor market intelligence to talent management software. Under his leadership, CareerBuilder revolutionized recruitment and job search and became the top company in the online recruitment industry in just five years. Ferguson’s commitment to delivering the greatest ROI to clients has propelled the company’s impressive growth, setting the bar for the industry. Today, CareerBuilder continues to exceed its competitors in revenue, traffic, and technology innovation.

Founded in 1995, CareerBuilder sees over 24 million unique visitors seeking new jobs and career advice every month. CareerBuilder helps match the right people with the right job more frequently than any other site. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America, the company works with employers around the globe, including 92 percent of the Fortune 1000, as well as powers the career sites of MSN, AOL, several newspapers, and 1,000 other partners.

Ferguson joined CareerBuilder following its acquisition of Headhunter.net, where he was senior vice president of business development. Widely regarded as an expert in the online recruitment industry, he is often called upon to provide advice for job seekers and insights on trends. Ferguson co-authored The Talent Equation and has appeared on ABC World News, the Today Show, CNBC Squawk Box, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg TV, Nightly Business Report, and more.

A former lawyer at Baker & McKenzie, Ferguson holds a law degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has been named one of Glassdoor’s “Highest Rated CEOs” and Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 Under 40.”

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Apr 02 2014

The Center for Counseling and Health Resources: A Way Out of Addiction

Established three decades ago in the Seattle area by experienced mental health professional Dr. Gregory Jantz, The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, Inc., focuses on treating individuals coping with abusive relationships, trauma, and a wide spectrum of addictions. Dr. Jantz and his staff members understand that, in order to heal successfully from addictive behaviors, clients need an approach that looks at the whole person’s physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual requirements. The Center for Counseling and Health Resources provides personalized, respectful care in cases of addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling, in a warm and supportive atmosphere.

The Center for Counseling and Health Resources conducts thorough assessments of each client’s medical, nutritional, fitness, and emotional status in order to work toward full recovery from addiction to unsatisfying substances and behaviors. In their quest to help their clients conquer addictive patterns, staff members draw on their in-depth knowledge and experience of the causes and manifestations of addictions of all kinds.

Most physicians and experts today believe that there is a genetic component to addictive behavior, whether that addiction involves drugs, alcohol, or food. For example, recent research has demonstrated that an alcoholic father’s son can have three to four times the normal risk of becoming an alcoholic himself. In addition, being predisposed to addiction to one substance generally crosses over to apply to many other substances as well, with perhaps 75 percent of cocaine addicts also displaying signs of alcoholism.

Even so, researchers have not yet identified a specific “addictive” gene. Some experts believe that certain individuals, particularly those addicted to opiate drugs, may have faulty reward systems in the functioning of their brains, with diminished pleasure receptors or a lower than normal amount of natural pleasure-inducing chemicals in their bloodstreams.

Some scientists have concluded that early traumatic life experiences can lead to an increased vulnerability to addiction. Many patients who present with chemical addictions lack the important ability to soothe themselves in times of stress, a skill usually learned in early childhood from nurturing parents. And similar to chemical dependency, overeating can be seen as an attempt to soothe oneself, or to make up for lack of early warmth, through the use of food.

The Center for Counseling and Health Resources seeks to be “A Place of Hope” for people dealing with addiction, no matter what the cause.

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Mar 28 2014

Fox’s Peter Rice: From Intern to Chairman and CEO

Peter Rice has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Networks Group since August of 2012. He oversees all aspects of Fox Broadcasting Company, FX Networks, Fox Sports Media Group, various National Geographic Channel brands, and Fox International Channels. Previously, Rice served as chairman of entertainment for Fox Networks Group and chairman of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company. In the latter role, he was instrumental in helping Fox maintain its streak as the top-rated broadcaster for eight seasons.

Prior to handling the company’s television businesses, Rice was president of Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic. Under his leadership, Fox Searchlight released some of its highest grossing films in history and received 51 Academy Award and 42 Golden Globe Award nominations, including a record of 12 nominations and 8 wins at the 81st Academy Awards.

Rice first joined the company in 1989 as a marketing intern at Twentieth Century Fox.

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Douglas Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar

Douglas R. Oberhelman is the chairman and chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction equipment. Oberhelman joined Caterpillar nearly four decades ago in 1975 and has fulfilled various roles over the years, including senior finance representative for Caterpillar Americas Co. in South America, district manager and region finance manager for the North American Commercial Division, and managing director and vice general manager for strategic planning for Caterpillar Japan Ltd. in Tokyo.

In 1995, Oberhelman became Caterpillar’s chief financial officer. In this position, he oversaw the company’s accounting, tax, treasury, information services, investor relations, and marketing support services for three years. He was subsequently put in charge of the Engine Products Division and assumed responsibility for the market development, supplier management, and worldwide marketing, among others, for Caterpillar’s engine business.

Oberhelman was elected a group president and member of the executive office in 2002. For the next seven years, he supervised Caterpillar’s legal services, financial products, human services, corporate treasury, and global purchasing, to name a few. In 2009, the board of directors named him vice chairman and CEO-elect. Oberhelman became chief executive officer and a member of the board in July of 2010 and chairman a few months later.

Aside from leading Caterpillar, Oberhelman is a director for the boards of Eli Lilly and Company and Wetlands America Trust. He is also a member of The Business Council and serves on the Latin American Conservation Council of The Nature Conservancy. In the past, Oberhelman has served as chairman of the board of trustees for Millikin University, his alma mater, and chairman of the board of directors for Easter Seals. He is a former director for the boards of Ameren Corporation and South Side Bank. Oberhelman graduated from Millikin University with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

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Mar 20 2014

Marcus Ryu, the Guiding Force of Guidewire

Marcus Ryu is the president and chief executive officer of Guidewire, a technology company that builds software for the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and internationally. Ryu co-founded the company in 2001 and has managed the engineering, strategy, sales, and services departments. He was also instrumental in defining the company’s product strategy, communicating its distinctive value proposition, and securing key customer relationships.

As president and CEO, Ryu guides the operations and strategic direction of Guidewire. He is a frequent speaker to industry audiences, sharing his expertise in analyzing the underwriting and claims operations of insurers. Ryu has a 99 percent approval rating, according to Glassdoor.com. Under his direction, Guidewire has won several RAVE Awards, Xcelent Awards, and more.

In the past, Ryu served as an associate and engagement manager at McKinsey and vice president of strategy at Ariba. He obtained his A.B. from Princeton University and B.Phil. from New College, Oxford University.

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Kevin Reddy, Noodles & Company’s “Head Noodler”

Kevin Reddy is one of the “head noodlers” at Noodles & Company, a leading fast casual chain serving noodles, sandwiches, soups, and salads from around the world. Reddy joined Noodles & Company as president in 2005 and was named chief executive officer in 2006 and chairman in 2008. As chairman and CEO, he leads nearly 400 company and franchise-owned restaurants across America. Reddy is passionate about creating an authentic experience by offering fresh food and building solid relationships with customers and communities. In addition to overseeing Noodles & Company, he serves on the boards of directors of various non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Reddy began his career in the restaurant industry more than 25 years ago, working as a McDonald’s cook in his early teens. He went on to become a regional controller and subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility in domestic field management, home office operations, and international staff management. Reddy gained extensive experience in company and franchise operations, marketing, real estate, and finance, which enabled him to successfully lead over 310 restaurants as senior regional manager.

Before Noodles & Company, Reddy fulfilled the roles of chief operations officer, chief operating officer, and restaurant support officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill, which he helped grow to 420 locations in 22 states in less than 10 years.

Reddy’s achievements with Noodles & Company have been recognized many times over the years. He has been named Restaurant Business magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year 2009,” Ernst & Young’s “Rocky Mountain Entrepreneur of the Year 2010,” and Restaurant Finance Monitor’s “All-Star CEO.” Additionally, he has been included in Nation’s Restaurant News’ “2010 Top 10 to Watch” and “2014 Builders” lists.

Under Reddy’s leadership, Noodles & Company has earned a number of business and industry accolades, including Health magazine’s “America’s Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants,” Parents magazine’s “Top Family Friendly Restaurants,” Nation’s Restaurant News’ Golden Chain Award, and IFMA Chain Operators Exchange’s Innovation Award.

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Mar 14 2014

Gary Kelly, Captain of Southwest Airlines

Gary C. Kelly is the president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Southwest Airlines. He began his lengthy career at Southwest in 1986 when he joined the company as a controller and went on to rise through the ranks. He has served as vice president of finance, chief financial officer, and executive vice president. In July of 2004, Kelly was promoted to CEO and vice chairman. Four years later, he was named chairman and president. Under his leadership, Southwest became the largest airline in the United States in terms of originating domestic passengers carried. The company has also ranked regularly on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list.

As leader of the airline, Kelly is pioneering its transformation through various key initiatives, including the integration of AirTran Airways and the launch of international destinations for the first time in Southwest’s 43-year history. The airline has been profitable for 41 consecutive years and has consistently received the lowest percentage of customer complaints to the Department of Transportation since they started monitoring customer satisfaction. In addition, Southwest was named number one in customer service by the 2013 Airline Quality Rankings. What Kelly is most proud of, though, is the fact that the airline has never ever had a single furlough.

Kelly has been recognized for his leadership over the years and his accolades include being named one of Institutional Investor’s “Best CEOs in America” thrice, D CEO’s “CEO of the Year” twice, and Dallas Business Journal’s “CEO of the Year 2011.” In 2013, he was inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, and received the 2013 McLane Leadership in Business Award at Texas A&M University.

In addition to overseeing Southwest Airlines, Kelly serves as chairman of Airlines for America and is on the board of directors of the Lincoln National Corporation.

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