Business Leaders Blog

Sep 27 2014

Matthew Corrin Makes Fresh, Healthy Food Convenient and Affordable

Matthew Corrin is the founder of Freshii, a global restaurant chain that’s making healthy food affordable and convenient. Corrin was in his early 20s and working in New York City when he noticed the many fresh food mom and pop delis in the area. Determined to create a restaurant brand that helped people live healthier and longer, he opened the first Freshii store in Toronto in 2005. It was a huge success, and Freshii has been providing fresh and nutritious meals to people on-the-go since then. The company’s menu includes green wraps, quinoa bowls, salads, and fresh pressed juices. Named 2013’s “Top Franchise of the Year in Canada,” Freshii now has locations in over 50 cities and 10 countries around the world.

In 2011, Corrin received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. He has appeared on Bloomberg, CNN, and Undercover Boss as the youngest CEO in the show’s history.

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Sep 26 2014

Jason Ross: The Discount Shopper Who Founded Men’s Online Shopping Club JackThreads

Jason Ross is the founder of JackThreads, a members-only, flash sale site for men. Members get up to 80 percent off on the hottest street, skate, surf, and contemporary men’s fashion brands. JackThreads’ goal is to empower men to “feel like a million bucks without spending a million bucks.” The company scours the globe to find the freshest looks and the biggest discounts available and delivers them to its members’ inboxes daily. Every day at noon, members are treated to three to four sales featuring both well-known brands and promising newcomers. Sales, most of which last for about three days, are never repeated.

Ross was raised a discount shopper and always had an eye for exclusive fashion. After graduating from Ohio State University in 2003, he co-founded a sports marketing company but later realized he wasn’t passionate about the business. Ross promised himself that his next venture would involve something he was passionate about.

In 2006, he began writing the business plan for JackThreads and researching the market, something he never did for his previous business. He forced himself to write the business plan, and his efforts paid off. “The more research I did, the more it was so apparent there was a huge opportunity,” he says.

At the time, there weren’t any flash sale sites targeting men. Ross spent two and a half years working out of his house to get the company off the ground. JackThreads, which is named after Ross’ grandfather, launched in mid-2008 with six brands. In 2010, JackThreads partnered with Thrillist, a men’s digital lifestyle publication with more than 2 million subscribers. Today, the company ships to 15 countries worldwide.

JackThreads has been featured in Entrepreneur, WWD, and was named to Internet Retailer’s “Hot 100” list in 2013. Ross was named to Inc.’s “30 Under 30” list in 2011.

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Sep 19 2014

Young Living’s D. Gary Young Turns Tragedy Into Success

D. Gary Young is the founder and CEO of Young Living, the world leader in essential oils. He first discovered the power of essential oils to transform physical and mental health more than 20 years ago. When a tree hit him in 1973, Young sustained 3 open skull fractures, 16 crushed vertebrae, 19 broken bones, 11 ruptured discs, and 2 herniations in his spinal cord. He even contracted meningitis lying in the hospital. Following the devastating accident, Young was on morphine for three straight years and then different forms of oxycodone and codeine for seven years. He also took antidepressants for many years due to the terrible depression he was experiencing.

After witnessing the incredible healing power of essential oils in his own life, Young decided to share it with the world and transform other people’s lives. He traveled to study essential oil distillation techniques around the world and learned about the wide discrepancies in the quality of essential oils on the market. He discovered that chemically altered or adulterated oils were often ineffective and even harmful. Rigorous analysis of finished oils was vital to ensuring their purity and potency.

Young started his first organic herb farming and distillation operation in 1993. The company subsequently developed more farmland in Idaho and Utah and built the largest, most technologically advanced essential oil distillery in North America. At the same time, Young established the Young Living Therapeutic Grade standard, which preserves the integrity of natural essential oils. Through its proprietary Seed to Seal production process, Young Living produces the most authentic essential oils in the world today.

In addition to serving as Young Living’s CEO, Young oversees operations on the company’s many farms, directing the growth, harvest, and distillation of the plants. A recognized authority on plant-based therapies, he regularly writes and speaks about the life-changing benefits of essential oils.

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Sep 18 2014

David Craig Utts Helps Execs Supercharge Their Businesses

David Craig Utts is the founder and CEO of BeaconPoint Leadership, a management consulting firm that has helped C-suite executives take their businesses to the next level since 1999. Utts and his company have assisted top corporate, small business, and non-profit leaders recalibrate and turn their vision into reality, boost team performance, and energize the growth of their organization. Clients include AT&T, Cisco Systems, Sallie Mae, Discovery Channel, Ernst & Young, and more.

For more than three decades, Utts has studied, researched, and developed practices that enable leaders to achieve their most important goals faster. He has studied leadership principles, organizational development methodologies, Eastern and Western philosophy, and recent neuroscience findings. Utts has taken what he has learned and created an “operating manual” that supports leaders to grow their businesses at lightning speed.

With over 15 years of experience as a business advisor and executive coach to some of the world’s most prestigious companies, Utts is a regular speaker at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship Speaker Series and the creator and facilitator of The Leadership Breakthrough Experience event.

Sep 13 2014

Beth Mooney, One of Banking’s Most Powerful Women

Beth Mooney is the chairman and chief executive officer of KeyCorp, one of America’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp provides investment management, consumer finance, retail and commercial banking, and investment banking products and services across the United States and internationally.

Mooney has served as KeyCorp’s chairman and CEO since May of 2011. She joined the company in 2006 and her previous roles include vice chair of Key Community Bank and president and chief operating officer of KeyCorp.

Mooney has more than three decades of experience in retail banking, real estate financing, and commercial lending. Prior to KeyCorp, she served as the senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of AmSouth Bancorporation (now Regions Financial Corporation). She has also fulfilled roles of increasing responsibility at Bank One Corporation, Hall Financial Group, Citicorp Real Estate, and Republic Bank of Texas/First Republic.

In addition to leading KeyCorp, Mooney is the chairman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, one of the largest Chambers of Commerce in the country. She is also a member of the boards of Catalyst, AT&T, and the United Way of Greater Cleveland. Mooney is a trustee of The Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Moreover, she holds membership in The Financial Services Roundtable and the supervisory board of The Clearing House.

After graduating from the University of Texas in 1977, Mooney obtained her Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University in 1983. Southern Methodist named her a 2007-2008 Distinguished Alumni of the Cox School of Business. In 2013, Mooney took the top spot on American Banker Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Banking” list. She has also been recognized as one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes Magazine and one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine.

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Sep 11 2014

Rajiv Kumar: MD Harnesses Social Networks to Enhance Employee Health

Dr. Rajiv Kumar is the founder and CEO of ShapeUp, an online wellness platform for companies and health plans that harnesses the power of trusted social networks to promote well-being. During his clinical rotations, Dr. Kumar realized that the patients who successfully changed their lifestyles and improved their health were those who leveraged their friends, family, and colleagues for support, accountability, and motivation, instead of doing it alone. Dr. Kumar has since dedicated his life to helping people achieve their health goals.

ShapeUp was born on a piece of notebook paper in the library of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Over the past seven years, the company has used social networking, gaming, and behavioral economics to assist more than 200 employers and health plans around the world in empowering their employees and members to improve their health. Clients include GTECH, Cleveland Clinic, Amica, HP, KeyBank, and Paychex.

Sep 05 2014

Jill Cartwright, Award-Winning Consumer Goods Expert

Jill Cartwright is a consumer goods and services expert with over 15 years of experience in retail, manufacturing, and financial services. She is currently the executive director of Brixy, a trade association for independent baby stores across the US and Canada. Brixy helps local retailers get the same discounts as national chains. As executive director, Cartwright oversees the association’s strategic plan and development.

Cartwright has spent the last eight years in the children’s industry, working for an independent baby store in Boston and founding and heading Go GaGa, a company that designs ergonomically safe diaper bags. Cartwright built Go GaGa into a global brand and its products have been a hit with parents, retailers, the press, and celebrities.

Cartwright ws named one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women in 2008 and Babson College’s Rising Entrepreneurial Stars in 2011. She has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and USA Today.

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Sep 03 2014

Tad Smith, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company

Tad Smith is the president and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), a leading sports, media, and entertainment company based in New York. MSG’s portfolio of brands include the iconic venues Madison Square Garden, Beacon Theatre, and Radio City Music Hall in New York; the Forum in Inglewood; the Wang Theatre in Boston, and The Chicago Theatre. MSG owns and operates the New York Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty; the Westchester Knicks; and the Hartford Wolf Pack as well. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Rockettes, and regional sports and entertainment networks MSG and MSG+ round out the company’s entertainment and media properties.

Smith oversees all aspects of The Madison Square Garden Company, from overall strategy to daily operations to administrative areas. He is also the alternate governor to the National Hockey League on behalf of the New York Rangers.

Before being named president and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, Smith served as the president of local media at Cablevision Systems Corporation, MSG’s former parent company. In this role, he managed Cablevision Media Sales, News 12 Networks, and Newsday Media Group. Prior to joining Cablevision, Smith was the CEO of Reed Business Information, the US business-to-business division of Reed Elsevier Group, a global provider of business information. He has also previously served as a vice president at BMG Entertainment and the senior vice president of e-commerce at Starwood Resorts and Hotels Worldwide.

Smith currently sits on the boards of Tribeca Enterprises and SiTV Media. He has been teaching at the Stern School of Business at New York University for the past 15 years and his course, Strategy and Finance for Technology, Media, and Entertainment Companies, has reached more than 800 students.

A member of the Digital Media Hall of Fame, Smith has been named Media Business’ Top Innovator, min’s Top Executive of the Year, and Folio’s Executive of the Year.

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Aug 27 2014

Vlad Shmunis Reimagines Business Communications

Vlad Shmunis is the founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of RingCentral, a business communications solutions provider headquartered in San Mateo, California. Shmunis founded RingCentral in 1999 and launched its cloud business phone service in 2003 after realizing that businesses needed a cheaper and more flexible alternative to hardware-based phone systems.

Under Shmunis’ leadership, RingCentral has reinvented business communications. The company now helps more than 300,000 customers work the way they want in a mobile, distributed world through a variety of products and services.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Northern California Award finalist, Shmunis has over 25 years of industry and management experience. Prior to RingCentral, he founded a desktop software communications company called Ring Zero Systems, which he led as CEO.

Shmunis graduated from San Francisco State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science. He is a named inventor in several US patents.

Aug 25 2014

James L. Dolan, CEO of Cablevision

James L. Dolan is the chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, one of the leading telecommunications and media companies in the US. Founded in 1973, Cablevision delivers television, phone, and Internet services to millions of households and businesses across the New York metropolitan area.

As CEO, Dolan oversees the company’s extensive telecommunications properties, including its popular digital cable television, high-speed Internet, digital voice, and Wi-Fi services under the Optimum brand. He also supervises Cablevision’s award-winning local media and programming properties, which include News 12 Networks, the country’s first 24-hour hyper-local news service; amNewYork, a popular New York City daily; and Newsday, Long Island’s leading daily newspaper.

Dolan guides Cablevision’s community and philanthropic efforts as well. The company’s Power to Learn program is a nationally recognized education initiative that gives K-12 schools free access to its full suite of Optimum-branded services. In 1998, Dolan, chairman Charles Dolan, and former vice chairman Marc Lutsgarten launched The Lustgarten Foundation to support pancreatic cancer research. With Dolan’s approval, Cablevision has made a multi-year commitment to underwrite the non-profit’s costs and use its assets to promote the curePC campaign, which raises awareness about pancreatic cancer.

Aside from leading Cablevision, Dolan serves as the executive chairman of MSG, a former subsidiary of Cablevision. Dolan oversees the company’s overall growth strategy and the management of its various entities, which include Madison Square Garden, The Chicago Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, and the New York Knicks, among others.

Dolan also sits on the boards of directors of Cablevision, MSG, AMC Networks, The Lustgarten Foundation, the Breathe Easy Play Hard Foundation, C-SPAN, and Tribeca Enterprises. He is a member of the Dean’s Council at New York University Steinhardt School. Dolan joined Cablevision in the 1970s and has held several executive positions at Cablevision and former subsidiaries MSG and AMC Networks.

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