Corporate America November 2016

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NOVEMber 2016

AMERICA A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS 38 CEO of the Year We caught up with the President of Greco Arizona, Tony Yannone, to uncover his role as a CEO in driving continued expansion across the company.

26 Churchill Leadership

Group Inc.

Why Does Becoming a Great Coach Drive Results?

42 Websites Depot

Open-Door Operations Business Elite 2016

44 Ghost Systems, Inc. Proprietary, Patented and Trusted Technology

49 2016 Dispute

Resolution Awards


EDITOR'S NOTE Welcome to the November issue of Corp America Magazine. With a long and divisive election season now over, America faces a prospect that is unlike any other that it has faced in recent decades. In order to encourage the markets and spur on continued investment in American enterprises and markets, the country faces a crucial period of critical evaluation, ahead of the inauguration of the next President in January 2017. With this in mind, Corp America Magazine endeavours to provide a window into a nation whose markets have, in the past, proven resilient to upsets and disturbances. The American middle market economies, after all, were among those least affected by the financial crisis of 2008. Today, companies up and down the country continue to demonstrate this same sense of unrelenting ambition. In particular, Greco and Sons’ crucial role as a food distributor across a swathe of America, including pretty much all of the Southwest, demonstrates a deep-seated drive for continued expansion and capitalisation; this will very much form a fulcrum to this rethinking of American corporate strategy in an ever-changing economy. Much of the challenges facing American businesses are related to the quickening pace and adoption of new technologies that are designed to control and sustain the growth of these companies. Through cohesive strategies and close collaboration between employees, as well as an affinity for effective customer relations and staff management, Quality Business Solutions aim to make the most of this evolving entrepreneurial landscape to offer their clientele a robust range of integrated services designed to make more businesses familiar with increasingly prevalent advanced business terms and practices. Also, in relation to effective staff management, Jayne Jenkins of the Churchill Leadership Group, Inc., returns to Corp America to offer her insight into role of effective coaching as a means of inspiring further growth within a company. As America approaches a juncture in its leadership, so too do many companies facing the challenge of successfully internalising their coaching culture to make their employees more independent. Recent events may have taken America down a new and unexpected route, but the performances of the country’s corporations are expected to only continue offering up archetypal displays of ingenuity, and the efficacy of such institutions is paramount to the continued prosperity of not only America, but of a fair slice of the wider world along with it. It is therefore our obligation and pleasure at Corp America Magazine to provide our own impassioned insight into the goings-on of America’s dynamic economy, from digital startups like Websites Depot, Inc. in Los Angeles, to the distinguishable identity of Genesis Marketing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When we return in December, we hope to bring you yet more in-depth commentary as America settles into a new rhythm. Contact the Editor: George Millar +44 (0) 203 725 6842






SHOULDERING THE BURDEN Quality Business Solutions, Inc.





AN INVESTOR AT HEART Studdard Financial, LLC


DIVERSE DALLAS Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau




A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS Greco & Sons of Arizona


















NORTH AMERICAN GARTNER REPORT – SAPIENS ALIS WINS BIG IN THREE CATEGORIES Sapiens International Corporation, a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, with a growing presence in the financial services sector, announced today that Sapiens ALIS for life and annuity providers received the highest product scores in the “New Application/ Manual Underwriting,” “Policy Change” and “Service through Portals/Mobile” North American use case categories. he “Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America” report by Gartner, which was published on September 13, 2016, quantified 15 North American life solutions in an effort to help guide insurance CIOs who are considering policy administration systems.


Out of the six total use case categories, Sapiens received the highest scores in three separate categories and scored in the top five in each of the other three categories in the report: “New Product Development/ Launch,” “New Application/Automated Underwriting” and “Reporting and Data Management.” Sapiens International Corporation is a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, with a growing presence in the financial services sector. Sapiens offers core, end-to-end

solutions to the global general insurance, property and casualty, life, pension and annuities, reinsurance and retirement markets, as well as business decision management software. The company has a track record of over 30 years in delivering superior software solutions to more than 200 financial services organizations. The Sapiens team of over 1,800 professionals operates through our fully-owned subsidiaries in North America, the United Kingdom, EMEA and Asia Pacific. “Many vendors are expanding the scope of their offering to include noncore capabilities such as document management, business process management, business intelligence, and customer and agent portals to better meet the emerging needs of buyers, to differentiate themselves and to support new initiatives such as digitalization,” wrote Gartner analysts

Richard Thomas Natale and Kimberly Harris-Ferrante in the report. “Vendors are also investing in service-oriented architectures (SOA) to improve integration capability and to better address customer needs.” “It is an honor to score the highest in three different categories from a wide North American vendor field,” said Alex Zukerman, Vice President of product marketing and strategy for Sapiens’ Life, Pension and Retirement division. We believe Sapiens ALIS’ advanced technology and impressive functionality have placed us in a leadership position in North America and that Sapiens ALIS’ leading digital capabilities are gaining recognition. We thank Gartner for its extensive research, which will help North American insurance CIOs who are considering system support for digitalization, data analytics and integration.” Sapiens ALIS is a flagship solution designed to enable insurance carriers to quickly and efficiently address the challenges of a highly regulated marketplace. The endto-end, core solution suite supports the complete policy lifecycle across a wide variety of products in the life, pension, annuity and medical segments. ALIS life insurance software is complemented by Sapiens’ comprehensive delivery capabilities.

Sapiens International Yaffa Cohen-Ifrah Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Corporate Communications +1-201-250-9414 +972-3-790-2026 Email:





company culture

SHOULDERING THE BURDEN A 100-percent woman-owned business founded in 2000, Quality Business Solutions, Inc. (QBS) offers a wide and comprehensive range of integrated PEO/ASO services, including payroll administration, unemployment management, insurance, benefit administration, human resources, workers’ compensation and tax reporting, which can be tailored to meet each company’s individual needs. The company employs a team of experts familiar with the most innovative and advanced business processes and strategies in these areas, providing a costeffective outsourced solution for non-core business functions.

2016 Large Cap Top 10

Contact: David Evette Address: 280 Hindman Road, Travelers Rest, SC 29690 Email: Website: Telephone: 001 864-834-3985


company culture s the Chief Operations Officer at Quality Business Solutions (QBS), David Evette is responsible for leading the day-to-day work of the firm, and spearheads business development efforts, client onboarding and maintaining the high levels of customer service that have become its hallmark.


“At QBS,” he describes, “we are focused on taking the burden of this type of work away from our clients. We want to enable business leaders and owners to devote the proper focus on what’s most important to their businesses – growing and leading their teams to success. We do this by creating long-term, cost-conscious, turnkey solutions that improve productivity, minimize risk and drive value. “We currently work with organizations ranging in size from 5 to 50,000 employees in 48 states across the United States. Due to the nature of our business, we are also able to serve a very broad range of industries. The paperwork that needs to be filed for taxes, workers’ compensation, and benefits is very similar whether our clients are in hospitality, manufacturing or healthcare.” In addition to bringing more than 25 years of deep payroll, tax, benefits and insurance expertise to his current role, David also has an affinity for identifying and implementing advanced technological solutions to drive efficiencies and improve business outcomes for both QBS and its clients. “We work closely with a trusted group of vendors and partners who are constantly sharing new and different product and service offerings for our clients. We carefully vet these different products and services to ensure that everything we offer is of the highest quality, while also remaining competitive. “Furthermore, we encourage our team members to share ideas for improvement, and to help out other team members whenever possible. We strive to develop true partnerships with our clients in order to protect their interests and help them grow by staying current, anticipating the needs of their business, being forward-thinking, passionate about growth, and being entrepreneurial ourselves. Our guiding principles foster an atmosphere of collaboration, cohesion and shared-interest, all in the name of partnership.”

This leads David to discuss the importance of effective staff management in pursuit of the company’s wider goals. “Before you can manage a staff, you have to build a workforce that can work well together in order to achieve success year over year. As we’ve grown over the years, we’ve made it a point to surround ourselves with outstanding employees who not only have the skills required for the positions they fill, but whose values also align with our own. Our team has made customer service their number one priority they take great pride in everything they do.” QBS was only a very young company in 2001, and controlling growth to sustain the business was a tremendous undertaking. The events of September 11th impacted every business from top to bottom, and David reflects that this was a watershed moment for such a young firm. “We not only had to worry about our business, but also our clients’ businesses. The things we learned during this tumultuous time taught us the value in making continuous improvements to remain as efficient and effective as possible.” The PEO industry is constantly changing and shifting along with the changing political and regulatory landscape, according to David. As a result, the world of employee payroll, benefits and HR will continue to present major challenges and obstacles for growing businesses. It is the core objective of David and his team at QBS to stay on top of all of these changes so that they can be good


stewards for the clients they represent. Within that, technology is seen as a great benefit in that it makes the sharing and disseminating of information much easier. “We continue to invest in and upgrade our technology in order to provide the best customer experience possible. We have added employee onboarding to our technological capabilities which allows our systems to not only accept information from time and attendance devices, but also to send information to the time clocks to update data electronically. In terms of security, we have undergone a SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II audit on our systems each of the past six years. “In terms of our industry, I think we need to continue to educate the market on the value that PEOs bring to the table. In our experience, there are many people in the business world who have never heard the term PEO and have no idea what we do. It’s our job to overcome this obstacle and continue to gain more visibility and find our voice in the business community as a whole.” QBS currently operates in 48 states, with its PEO and ASO clients combined. Maintaining a focus on remaining close to home over the next few years, David hopes to expand the company’s reach locally and regionally, in order to better serve the myriad businesses located within the South-eastern United States.

company culture

WORKING FOR A BANK: A TECHIE’S DREAM Imagine leaving college and immediately landing a job that offers a $120,000 annual salary. Once in your job, recruiters pester you on a daily basis – offering 20 to 25 per cent pay rises on your already bloated salary. This is a reality for many US software developer graduates. With everyone from Google to Facebook, Uber and the most innovative emerging enterprises chasing you down to offer you a job, why would you work for a bank? And why would banks want to hire you? Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of BIAN, explains.

Contact: Sophie Dermaux Company: Hotwire PR Email: Website: Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7608 2500


company culture

one are the days when banks were built entirely on incredibly smart number crunchers. Today, alongside this core team, banks are in search of world-class tech talent. The bank’s main financial services offering is not enough to keep customers happy. On a basic level, customers expect a user-friendly, yet secure mobile banking experience. In the background, banks are trying to make sense of the next generation of innovations that are going to disrupt or boost their organisations. How do they ensure the mobile banking experience works across all platforms, such as smart watches? How can they make sense of the huge volume of data that online bankers and shoppers produce, to develop smart analytics that tailor solutions to their customers? When the Internet of Things goes mainstream, creating more data than ever, will this provide an opportunity or a challenge?


These are all questions that banks need super smart coders to answer through research and development, but such talent is in short supply. This is being felt across all industries, not just banks. Tech has developed at such an unprecedented rate, that there are few people in the world with the skills required to keep-up and even better it. The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey discovered that nearly six out of ten CIOs believe skills shortages will prevent their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change in the future. The smartest software developers bring value to the company, not just because they can develop complex code, but because they bring fresh ideas to the table and push the company to keep moving ahead of the latest trends. With the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook, offering fast-paced innovative projects, alongside benefits such as unlimited holiday and some of the highest salaries in the world, it’s no wonder these tech giants alone hire around 30 per cent per cent of all American computer-science undergraduates. Even the world’s leading tech corporations are scrapping with each other to maintain and find the best talent. When Neal Mohan, a senior Google executive, was considering leaving for Twitter he is rumoured to have been offered a bonus of $100m in stock to stay at Google.

Where do banks fit? Against this backdrop, it is little wonder that banks are struggling more than most to find talent, thanks to the perception many techies have of working for a bank. Coders and developers are generally associated with fast pace and short attention spans. Banks, meanwhile, have earned a reputation for being slow movers in the tech space – bogged down by compliance and legacy technology systems and unable to innovate at pace. How true is this perception? Claim 1: Banks don’t have enough technology projects on offer The truth is that banks have as many exciting technology challenges for developers to get their teeth stuck into as the most innovative tech enterprises. Big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and gamification are not just buzz phrases reserved for the tech industry. Banks are first and foremost tech companies and their employees need to help them navigate the future of each of these trends. The financial industry was one of the firsts to adopt automation on a massive scale. the first large commercial computers were used by banks and insurance companies. That is why they now have a legacy issue. The flipside is that they have been the leaders in tech for many decades. It’s in their DNA, so they are more than capable of moving to the next generation of tech adoption. As I always like to say: “there is a lot of IT without banking, but there is no banking without IT”. Claim 2: I’d rather work for a tech company, where I don’t have to worry about compliance Developers are not wrong in thinking that banks have a constant compliance battle on their hands. In the wake of the financial


crisis, regulators came down hard on the banks – introducing the likes of Dodd Frank, which comes with a number of restrictive requirements for banks. But this alone shouldn’t be enough to put off a developer. No company is immune to compliance – and the newest tech enterprises are under the watchful eye of the regulator. The reality is that where innovation strikes, regulation inevitably follows and while a number of tech corporations have seemingly fewer compliance woes at present, the regulators are playing catch-up. Discussions around data sharing, gig-economy workers, safety of driverless cars and the ethics of AI are all underway and will become more developed in the months and years to come. Claim 3: Legacy technology gets in the way of innovation There’s no doubt that complicated, outdated technology is a major burden for traditional banks. The smartest banks are working together to navigate the future of core banking IT systems – developing a standardised global framework that fits across all banks, so that consumer-facing next generation API technology can fit easily on top of this. Part of the challenge is making sure that wouldbe candidates are aware of all the work that these banks are putting into defining a better future for financial technology. Shouting about their work within wider industry bodies and attending industry events is key to this. Banks are far from sitting back and letting the tech revolution pass them by. They have a history of adapting to their surroundings – which is why they are part of one of the oldest and most successful industries in existence – an industry that is a core part of all of our lives. Banks need to show the tech world that working for them means getting stuck into a challenge and embracing the opportunity to be part of something that could truly change what the world looks like in the future.




yron has been licensed as a financial advisor since 1993, but he bought his first stock when he was 12, after a fateful purchase of a stereo system from a little place called Wal-Mart Discount City. WalMart had only been a publicly traded company for around 10 years with less than 500 stores, but Byron, first as a satisfied customer, and later as a part-time employee of the company, made calculated investments buying up their shares. By the time he graduated from high school, WalMart had over 1,000 stores and were opening more each day. “After my experience with Wal-Mart, it’s safe to say that I was hooked on investing.”


Studdard Financial, LLC is a “Fee Only” registered investment advisor (RIA) and financial planning firm based in Sarasota, FL that is dedicated to helping its customers to build wealth, protect it, and pass it down from one generation to the next. By developing a comprehensive financial and estate plan for clients, Founder and President Byron L. Studdard, CFP, is able to craft an investment strategy that is unique for each client.

Not long after Byron graduated from college, his mother lost her battle with cancer. His company was able to arrange a transfer back to his hometown so that Byron could help his family. It was during this time, as he was helping his family settle his mother’s estate, that he realized just how much his family could have benefited by having a comprehensive financial and estate plan. In 2003, Byron realized his dream by founding Studdard Financial with offices in Germantown, TN and Sarasota, FL. He has been listed in the “Guide to America’s Best Financial Planners”, published by Consumers’ Research Council of America and has also received accolades as “The Best of the Best” and “The Top One Per Cent in Their Field” by America’s Top Advisors. “I have spent the better part of my life studying investments,” Byron says. “I have studied all different types of strategies and styles. I’ve reviewed the investment philosophies of successful people that have done well, and those that haven’t done so well. Most of all, I learned first-hand from my family’s situation, it’s not just about fundamental and technical analysis, but also having an overall plan to preserve your wealth and pass it down to the next generation.”

Finest in Finance

Byron simply hopes to do a good enough job that his clients refer him to others like them. According to him, “it’s the old fashion way of hard work, and it has kept me in business for over 20 years. I would like to keep growing, but slowly, one client at a time.”

Company: Studdard Financial, LLC Name: Byron L. Studdard, CFP Email: Web Address: Address: STUDDARD FINANCIAL, LLC, 1990 Main Street - Suite 750, Sarasota, Florida 34236 Telephone: 001 941.228.1016







DIVERSE DALLAS Conventions are the lifeblood of any major city, bringing in millions of dollars each year, and Dallas is considered one of the nation’s premier destinations for both big conventions and casual tourists. With more than 44 million people visiting the area each year, contributing $7.4 billion, Dallas continues to thrive as a tourism destination. It further brings an estimated 87,000 jobs which from an economical point of view can only be a good thing. In this vein, Corp America introduces the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB), a private non-profit organization with accountability to the City of Dallas, a 46-member board of directors and a sizable local and regional hospitality industry representing venues, hotels and meeting professionals. This institution, prompted by CFO Matthew Jones, has had a major impact on promoting Dallas as the ideal business and pleasure destination to the regional, national and international marketplaces. Through conventions and tourism, it further aims to favourably impact upon the Dallas economy.

Business Elite Awards

Company: Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Name: Matthew Jones Phone: 001 214-571-1000 Email: Address: 325 North St. Paul Street, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75201 Web Address:



atthew Jones’ charge as CFO of the DCVB is to bring travellers to Dallas and the surrounding area. To excel as CFO, responsibilities require not only financial expertise but diplomacy, strategic planning, marketing, personal relationships and management skills to perform successfully. Matt Jones excels in each of these areas.


“No two years have ever been the same,” he says. “In my twelve years with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, the role has changed almost as much as the downtown landscape itself. “In the beginning, it was all about fixing the finances; putting the right processes and controls in place to ensure the organization had adequate financial and staff resources to fulfil its mission. While in times of transition I’ve assumed the leadership role of every major division in the organization, the focus now is on strategy. Leisure and convention visitors have hundreds of choices in selecting a destination to spend their time and money. “The question has always been where to spend our limited resources to bring the most visitors and produce the highest economic impact. We have recently added a meaningful research budget to look in detail at the effectiveness of all our activities. This research is critical in determining which activities produce the greatest return on investment, and helps provide strategic direction in determining our future efforts.” Recalling his past, and his initial entry into the industry, Matthew describes the formative role of his father. “[He] had been an attorney, so I decided to go to Louisiana State University for a joint graduate and law degree,” Matthew recollects. “While my Masters in public administration work was not initially by choice (it just happened to be the other half of the joint program), it led to an internship at the state capitol.” That internship resulted in the realization that the field of law was not really for Matthew. However, it also showed him that a career in finance was more than simple math; “it was connecting the dots between creating policy and aligning resources to implement.” Completing his MPA and embarking on a twelve-year financial career in state government, Matthew would ultimately find himself being led inexorably towards a further twelve years in his current position, as CFO of the DCVB.

In particular, before moving to Dallas, Matthew had the privilege of serving in an appointed position as the Undersecretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism for the State of Louisiana. The state’s Office of Tourism was in the department, which led to his involvement with countless destinations and an appreciation of the impact visitors can have on businesses, cities, and even the state’s economy. “When I was approached to join the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, the decision was easy. I could continue to work in the hospitality industry, and live in an area that was just right for my family.” When Matthew arrived in Dallas, Texas, he found it to be a melting pot of cultures, religions and lifestyles, a richly diverse American city with a range of attractions to entertain its visitors. The uniqueness of Dallas is reflected through the sights and sounds of the city. Authentic arts, music, food and its historic landmarks are just a few of the things which continue to attract tourists on a regular basis. From the intoxicating live music experience and Southern-inspired cuisine at the House of Blues, to the upscale amenities and well-appointed executive suites at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel is, and to the retail outlets of Park Lane, as well as renowned department store Macy’s for a one-stop solution for the shopoholics, the city represented – and continues to represent – a backbone in not just the economic performance of the State, but arguably a significant contributor to the entire country. With so much cashflow coming through the city, conventions represent not only an obvious opportunity, but also an obvious service in need of provision. In an increasingly competitive environment, Bureaus have only a small opportunity to make a compelling case for their city. Perhaps one the most important issues facing CVBs is that of simply and adequately defining success. It may seem basic, but Bureaus represent a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the local economy ranging from the city itself to hotels, restaurants, cultural attractions, shopping outlets, sports venues, and entertainment districts (just to name a few!). As Matthew points out, “if you’re simply reacting to today’s visitor, you’re already too late. You have work to now on a plan to attract the visitor three to five years from now.”


“if you’re simply reacting to today’s visitor, you’re already too late. You have work to now on a plan to attract the visitor three to five years from now.” Finding a universally-accepted reporting metric has proved somewhat elusive thus far; the various stakeholders have different, and sometime competing, interests. Without better standards in place it could remain difficult to define certain efforts as successful when stakeholders disagree. Regardless, since arriving in Dallas and becoming CFO of the DCVB, Matthew has wasted no time in making a noticeable impact on the continued appeal of conventions in the city, allowing the Bureau to retain its place as a major provider for economic thoroughfares. In addition to achieving a $4 million swing in budget reserves in his first 3 years, Matthew’s other career highlights at the Bureau have included negotiating favorable terms for terminating sublease with tenants occupying executive office space, whilst also securing new lease for existing office space, saving over $200,000 from existing leases, and over $1.5 million from the market average, using capital repair and replacement funds to fully renovate the space whilst causing no negative impact to the operating budget. In addition, Matthew created a formula to calculate the room night production based on the attendance at a local sporting event, having contracted with a third-party developer to create an overall economic impact calculator based on attendance. This became the foundation of a standardized EIC implemented by their industry association, DMAI, and led to Matthew serving on the task forces for both EIC and Sports Calculator for DMAI. This, along with developing meaning marketing measurements, has been responsible for achieving progress towards a more comprehensive approach to accounting for the DCVB’s impact on tourism; this has also led to using attendance as the foundation for calculating room nights and other performance measures. Thirdly, out of an ongoing list of significant milestones as a part of the DCVB, Matthew helped to develop the research and messaging to explain the need for a Convention Center


Hotel. Working continuously to gain the support of local stakeholders, particularly the hotel community, he partook in weekly meetings with the mayor, as well as city council members, the developer, and the PR firm to develop strategy and gain approval; he also participated in local debates and rallies until the election. Finally, as a result of Mr. Jones leadership in creating the Tourism Public Improvement District (TPID), funding for marketing efforts became available for the first time in the Dallas CVB’s recent history. That funding allowed for the creation and execution of the ‘Big Things Happen Here’ campaign, which has resonated in key markets and to local residents that have since become brand ambassadors for Dallas.

“With these funds, we have marketed Dallas like never before with outdoor, radio, and online advertising. Locals have even seen a glimpse of our “Big Things Happen Here” campaign with B’s and G’s scattered around the city so that individuals become the “I” in “BIG”. Additional sales activities have resulted in record-breaking bookings for conventions, meetings, and sporting events.” All things being considered, Dallas is experiencing all-time highs in hotel demand, occupancy, and revenue. Matthew finds it a humbling and exciting experience to be a part of an organization and an industry that brought over 25 million visitors to Dallas city limits last year, spending over $4 billion and supporting over 60,000 jobs in the local economy.

Through Matthew’s efforts, the DCVB continues to support the business needs of its clients, and aims to guarantee that the city will fulfil its promises and receive repeat bookings as a reward. These efforts have significantly increased awareness of Dallas locally, nationally and internationally resulting in Dallas being recognized as one of the top convention destinations in the nation and part of a metroplex that is the number one visitor destination in the state of Texas.

Matthew’s goal for the next year is to work with the rest of the management team to implement a recent comprehensive update of the organization’s strategic plan. This might seem like a never-ending process sometimes, and while it is not unique to the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, it is critical to any organization’s success. “The nature of travel is constantly changing,” Matthew points out, “and the DCVB must quickly adapt to meet the traveller’s needs.

“My biggest success at the DCVB has to be the integration of new revenue streams that have almost doubled the Bureau’s budget,” Matthew explains. “However, the real success is in the use of these funds, and, as such, I send my congratulations out to the entire team.”

“In Dallas, the city itself continues to develop and evolve as a destination adding another layer to our changing messaging. A welldesigned strategic plan that is fully integrated into the organization’s annual goals and objectives is the only path to future success. Fortunately, we are in the envious position of having the information, management team, and CEO leadership to make sure this happens.”





A HUNDRED YEARS OF MEDICINE IN THE US NATIONAL PARKS This year the US National Park Service celebrates the hundredth anniversary of its establishment by President Woodrow Wilson, and in that century the list of iconic North American landscapes under its management has grown dramatically. he US National Parks contain some of the continent’s most extreme and remote terrain, and with over 300 million tourists visiting last year, maintaining the safety of visitors is an immense challenge for rescue workers.

“Getting outside and enjoying nature is really important, especially for younger generations. I think that experiencing the National Parks gives people a better understanding of the planet, an understanding of personal responsibility and making sure that they are well-prepared.

Will Smith MD, Paramedic is the Medical Director for Grand Teton National Park, which is in Wyoming, just south of the famous Yellowstone National Park. With a number of high peaks including the 4,200m Grant Teton, an area of 480 square miles, and an average of 3.5 million visitors per year, the park presents a range of complications for medical professionals.

“Today, it’s common for technology to be too deeply ingrained into people’s lives – it’s important that they have an alternative that exposes them to parts of nature they wouldn’t otherwise see.”


The rugged interior of the United States has a proud history of wilderness survival, and Will Smith embodies the spirit that has been exhibited by Native Americans and European settlers in the country across the centuries. As a serving US Army reservist who grew up on a cattle ranch in southeast Wyoming, an understanding of the wilderness and how to deal with emergency situations comes naturally to him. As Medical Director, Will Smith’s role takes him into the heart of the National Park on some of the most high-profile rescues in the region. For example, in 2010, he coordinated the medical operations of a rescue of 17 climbers who had been struck by lightning near the summit of Grand Teton – the largest single rescue effort in the park’s history. However, the high-profile cases are the tip of the iceberg, as Will explains: “The average hiker requires rescuing much more frequently than the high-profile climbing injuries and avalanches. One thing that the National Park Service is trying to do is educate people in order to prevent search and rescues – to take water and clothing with them, to be aware of altitude sickness, not to go too close to the large wild animals that are common around here.

Will Smith continues, “technology does, of course, play a role in modern remote and wilderness medicine. I think that there is a lot of technology out there that can help extreme medics, but the over-reliance on technology is also dangerous. When it fails, when your batteries go dead, or when you don’t have phone signal, you need to be able to rely on yourself and on your training. “In Grand Teton National Park, we have areas that are very commonly without phone reception, so we have to train our pre-hospital providers to know what to do in pretty much all circumstances, to make decisions quickly and correctly. “Whether they have been there before or not, they can draw on previous experiences or training. A key skill for wilderness medical professionals is the ability to think outside the box, to relish the challenges associated with taking care of people in the wilderness. “Sometimes the presentation of the injury or illness won’t be straightforward, sometimes we won’t have all of the tools available, but we figure out what needs to be done. Evacuation can be a priority over the medical procedures.” Will Smith will be speaking at World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS on 19, 20 and 21 November 2016. The Extreme Medicine Exposition brings together leading experts


from around the globe to share learnings on prehospital care, expedition and wilderness medicine, sport, endurance, humanitarian and disaster medicine. Mark Hannaford, founder of conference organisers World Extreme Medicine, said, “One of the key missions of the World Extreme Medicine Conference is to see practitioners of extreme medicine from around the globe learning from one another, and Will Smith has a huge wealth of experience to share. “At the conference, Will is covering the dramatic rescue of 17 climbers from the summit of Grand Teton, the use of combat medicine skills in emergency medical services and practicing medicine in areas that ambulances can’t reach – all areas that can benefit other medical professionals from a range of backgrounds. “World Extreme Medicine was founded around a campfire in Namibia, and we coined the phrase ‘World Extreme Medicine’ as an umbrella term for all practices of medicine outside of a clinical environment, whether it is prehospital, disaster and humanitarian, endurance, sport, expedition or wilderness medicine. The World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo will take place at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS from 18 – 21 November 2016. Bringing together many of the world’s brightest medical minds, it will focus on humanitarian and disaster medicine, expedition medicine, endurance and sports medicine and prehospital medicine. The exposition’s mission is to break down barriers, build bridges and make connections within the extreme medicine community. “Our message is that there is a great diversity of careers in medicine, and that traditional hospital environments are not the only option for a fulfilling career. To put it into a layperson’s terms, there’s never been a more exciting time to work in medicine.”



WHY DOES BECOMING A GREAT COACH DRIVE RESULTS? Based on deep research about the effective of coaching, Jayne Jenkins, Executive Coach at Churchill Leadership Group, Inc. sees that more and more corporations are taking steps to build an internal coaching culture. Jayne sees an increasing range of newer industries, such as technology firms, doing the same, and that indicates to her that it is more important than ever for companies to assess their goals, their markets and their staff, in order to reap the benefits of an ever-changing corporate world through providing effective coaching.

Company: Churchill Leadership Group Inc. Name: Jayne Jenkins Email: Web Address: Address: 9817 Bay Island, Suite 100, Tampa, Florida 33615, USA Telephone: 001 813-956-3445



ayne begins, “it is critical for a company with a number of teams to be able to develop their employees’ talents, particular those of the team leaders, because that way the company can only be expected to continue improving, year after year.” Jayne points towards the growing evidence as presented by data pointing towards the fact that if businesses are going to have effective management strategies, they really ought to be integrating coaching into that plan. This might involve bringing in external coaches – such as the Churchill Leadership Group, whose credentials as an executive coaching body were discussed last month – or by helping leaders within the company itself to obtain the skills necessary to learn how to coach themselves, and to promote a thriving internal coaching culture.


At the moment, Jayne and her team at Churchill are working very closely with eBay on a global level, helping them to build a coaching program based upon our materials, whilst making it appropriate for the company’s own needs. This will be responsible for training 3,500 leaders for the company around the world. This fits a wider trend that many other companies are exploring – many older, more established industries, such as the pharmaceutical world, in which Jayne worked for several years before founding the Churchill Leadership Group, have already been doing this for years. Newer companies, though, are realising that, as they are getting bigger, they need new ways to develop their people. Instead of just a manager calling out when something is not going to plan, or just not having good-quality conversations with people, if they can coach them, then business leaders can really empower their people to get better. Why exactly are companies looking to create coaching cultures of their own? In answer to this, Jayne points towards research by Deloitte University Press, whose work in talent management and organisational development has discovered that of all such strategies that a company can employ, coaching gives the best return. Whether in the form of an external executive coach or an internal coaching culture, the demonstration of an investment in employee potential is more than enough motivation for companies to recognise that such strategies need to adopted on a much broader scale. As Jayne explains, “for business results to keep on increasing in a company, people have to keep getting better. Primarily, we all get better by working and gaining

experience, but if there is a coach present, then that growth can be accelerated. Coaching, fundamentally, is about the manager believing in the potential of their team member – by recognising that they are capable of far more than they are today, they can find a way to help them to move forward and to grow into their role in a way that is best for them. The manager that tries to get people to do things their way is not a sustainable process, because, we are all unique individuals.” This harkens back to what Jayne discussed previously – Jayne believes that everyone with the vision to do well in the workplace has leadership potential within them. This accounts for the development and utilisation of the StrengthsFinder assessment tool by the Churchill Group; talent can be harnessed to lead, and more than fifteen million people, across numerous corporate markets, have affirmed this through the proven effectiveness of Strengthsfinder, by highlighting the benefits of leading through individual strengths. Through the application of the Strengthsfinder program’s ‘theme’-based approach, Jayne and Churchill’s other Executive Coaches explore ways of leveraging leadership skills that make use of these personal skills, which also encouraging others. As Jayne explains, there are no specific themes that pertain to the ability to generate and drive revenue – “they all have the ability to be harnessed to drive greater results. The strengths that our clients use in any particular opportunity to drive revenue is situational.

“The most important driver of revenue whilst using your strengths is to know what they are, know their value, and to be able to apply them effectively to the situational opportunity at hand.” People that use their own individual strengths in this manner, on a consistent basis, are six times more likely to be engaged on the job, Jayne states. This creates greater efficiency and enhances the shared vision of the company and its team. This consistent commitment to leadership and improvement is an important consideration when it comes to fostering leaders, and this underpins the importance of coaching as a component of leadership. Effective leadership coaching, such as those


services championed by Jayne Jenkins and the other executive coaches of the Churchill Leadership Group, is the key to providing teams with the ongoing, on-thejob development, to ensure that this greater performance and growth can be sustainable. Jayne continues, “if a manager in a company wants to be a good coach, then they need to be having regular conversations where they can observe how well an individual is performing on the job, sharing these observations, asking powerful questions, and helping the team member to have ‘ah-ha!’ moments, and to develop a real insight into how they can best improve, as well realise the things that they are currently doing well. It’s important that this is not an instructive conversation, but that it is one in which the manager is being non-judgemental, very objective, and sharing observations aligned to what the team member’s own goals are – not only on the job, but also in terms of their wider career.” One of the main responsibilities of a leader, then, is to lead such change, and provide direction and clarity to teams and employees, so that they know what they need to do, why they need to do it, and by when. In addition to this, a leader also needs to create focus and shared vision, as well as maintain this continuous, regular communication in a clear and consistent way. If this transparent communication is not there, Jayne says, then it will likely result in a lack of productivity and wasted resources, and a risk of lower employee engagement, which in turn will lead only to lower results. We will cover the subject of employee engagement more thoroughly in our final instalment next month. How, then, do business leaders ensure that they are prepared for this change, and can provide the kind of on-the-job feedback and development in which employees are increasingly interested in participating? Jayne explains that leaders need to be creative problem solvers, and that it is not imperative for them to have all of the answers – rather, it is preferable to ask the right questions of their teams and customer, and to listen actively before making the best decisions in each situation. “What we observe is that a great number of business leaders are taking the initiative to come up with solutions themselves, and this encourages the view among managers that it is their responsibility to solve all the challenges that a team member is facing.


This might begin to feel like a revolving door if the team member keeps coming back to the manager for assistance, and that can cause the manager to become pulled into the weeds, not allowing them to do the parts of the job that only they can do, and ultimately it means that the team member is relying upon the manager and is not developing their own set of abilities to make their job easier. “It is the job of a manager to create a trusting, safe environment, where an employee can be vulnerable and can open up to objective feedback and know their best interests are being taken to heart; the individual needs to also feel challenged into figuring out the solutions for themselves. That way, they can be independent on the job, and no longer remain dependant in the manager to offer the solutions for them. “Trust,” Jayne summaries, “is the essential ingredient in leadership as is developing talent so that your team and organization can increase its scalable impact.”

As Jayne concludes, coaching is a one-onone interaction between two people, and an expertly-trained executive coach should not so much lead the client as they should go in the direction that the clients wants to go, and encourage them to discover the traits that they can develop as a leader. This is the cornerstone of Churchill’s role as executive coaches – by assisting business leaders to internalise their own coaching procedure, and foster a genuine spirit of continual improvement and a diffusing of leadership skills, Jayne Jenkins and her colleagues want to shape the way in which employees gain the critical insight to shape their job performance and their career.

Executive Coach of the Year - Florida

Jayne’s remarks shed light on the idea of leadership is a choice, rather than as a universal innate talent. “We can all choose to take the lead and make a difference, so I believe that that comes first,” she observes. “Just because you may get the title of leader doesn’t mean that it just starts happening. “Also, leadership development should start early on in one’s career, and should be a consistent commitment throughout – there is so much to learn about leadership, and practicing such behaviours is the best way to build great habits and the capability to be a successful leader.” To summarise this notion of continuous development, Jayne cites a memorable phrase that she impresses into those that she works alongside, and assists in coaching through the Churchill Group: ‘when a leader is done [stops growing], they are done!’

“However, a great coach would have the knowledge and tools to help a leader grow. Our coaches at Churchill all have years of real world corporate leadership experience and success, so they are very effective leaders in their own right, but that is not their role in a coaching conversation.”





CHURCHILL LEADERSHIP GROUP is a global provider of leadership development solutions to accelerate the performance and engagement of individuals and teams. CHURCHILL’s experts all have senior corporate leadership success and specialize in HURCHILL LEADERSHIP GROUP is aforglobal provider Strength-based leadership solutions sustainable results.of adership development solutions to accelerate the performance That means they understand your world, which translates into a nd engagement of individuals and teams. experts trusted partnership and faster resultsCHURCHILL’s for you. 813.956.3445


l have senior corporate leadership success and specialize in rength-based leadership solutions for sustainable results. hat means they understand your world, which translates into a usted partnership and faster results for you.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO 17%WHAT of people use their Strengths WHY Since WEonlyDO WE DO each day at work,

OUR CURRENT CLIENTS CHURCHILL works across industries, which allows our experts to bring you a broader perspective to leadership challenges. At Churchill we use:

CHURCHILL’s mission is to maximize this untapped talent to

nce onlyaccelerate 17% of people use their Strengths each day at work, professional growth. When employees are using HURCHILL’s mission is to maximize this untapped talent to their Strengths every day, companies see better engagement. ccelerateBusiness professional growth. When employees are using units where employees strongly agree they have an eir Strengths every day, companies see better engagement. opportunity to do what they do best every day at work are: usiness • units where employees strongly agreeturnover* they have an 50% more likely to have low employee pportunity to do what they do best every day at work • 38% more likely to have higher productivity* are: •

44% more likely to have higher customer satisfaction scores*

50% more likely to have low employee turnover* *Gallup & TMBC

38% more likely to have higher productivity* 44% more likely to have higher customer satisfaction scores*


WHERE CHURCHILL HELPS WHERE CHURCHILL HELPS YOUYOU Our services help companies develop leaders and teams who will

ur services helpgreater companies develop leaders and teams who will at achieve results and increase employee engagement chieve greater results and increase engagement at your organization. When clients employee see inconsistent performance, our organization. Whenorclients low engagement simply see needinconsistent to grow their performance, leaders for w engagement or simply to grow their leaders greater results, they callneed on CHURCHILL. We help you to for eater results, they call on CHURCHILL. We help you to crease leadership effectiveness, team effectiveness and mployee engagement in many areas of your organization.


New Leaders

Strength-Based Culture

Women Leaders

Top Talent & Talent Management

ayne [Founder and CEO of Churchill Leadership Group] shows uncommon insight and is gifted in seeing the Strengths

n individuals. Jayne has a thorough knowledge of business and its processes as well as business leaders and their abilities. “Jayne [Founder and CEO of Churchill Leadership Group] shows uncommon insight and is gifted in seeing the Strengths in individuals.

he will facilitate individual’s a formidable presence.” Jayne has a the thorough knowledgematuration of business andinto its processes as well as business leaders and their abilities. She will facilitate the individual’s maturation into a formidable presence.” Fred Chamness, Quality Director, GTE (Engineering)

Fred Chamness, Quality Director, GTE (Engineering)


WORLDWIDE CUSTOM LEADERSHIP CONSULTANCY Impact International comprises 265 consultants delivering solutions in 50 countries and speaking 30 languages, serving global clients for 36 years as a fully custom and tailored leadership development firm with global capability across the Americas, UK, EMEA and Asia.

Company name: Impact International Contact: Ted Gemmell, SVP-Global Client Services Address: 18 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830 Email: Telephone: +1 (203) 869-1041 Website:



mpact’s mission is to Build Organizations Worth Working For. As a custom Learning & Development solutions company, Impact adopts a partnering and consultative approach to working with clients. This ensures a co-created solution design that delivers desired outcomes in a measurable way focused on improvements in both behavior and organizational performance.


Recognized as a leader in custom-designed experiential and real-time action learning, the Connecticut-based firm has established an industry-wide reputation for achieving results through interactive, challenging and innovative programs; Impact designs and delivers blended solutions for clients on a local, regional and global basis. As a firm with global reach, they have extensive capability in balancing locally specific needs with regional and global consistency. Impact’s solutions focus on developing leaders and key talent, which it achieves by using a ‘pull behavioral’ – as opposed to push content – and business-oriented experiential learning approach. In contrast to cognitive, model-based approaches that teach about leadership, Impact partners with its clients to create powerful and engaging development where participants have to utilize their current leadership mindset, skills and behaviors to deal with real issues based and businessrelevant experiential challenges. This is not a ‘sit and listen’ type of training; instead, participants must ‘step up and bring it.’ This provides multiple opportunities for Impact’s facilitators to provide in-themoment feedback and coaching, resulting in increased self-awareness and a ‘demandpull’ for further development. As head of Global Client Services, Ted Gemmell is responsible for setting market strategy and leading business development, client acquisition, marketing, proposal development, sales and contracting for the Americas business. He joined Impact in this role in 2008, following 18 years in consulting sales working with key/strategic and global accounts. “My leadership philosophy is that if you hire the right talent they will manage themselves,” he says. “They will share your passion for the profession, be self-motivated and have a strong intrinsic drive for achievement and business results. My job requires that I balance my client-facing accountabilities with time devoted to supporting my team to guide, coach and inspire them for personal growth and business success.”

Impact provides a broad range of capability – from organizational consulting on largescale change and talent management initiatives; to custom design and global delivery of end-to-end, multi-modular, multi-year leadership development solutions; to smaller scale deliverables such as experiential learning modules to enrich an existing leadership curriculum. “We utilize innovative custom methodologies, such as live Immersive Leadership Challenges that operate in real-time where participants must collaborate effectively to reconcile competing stakeholder demands, overcome ambiguity, manage ethical dilemmas and solve real business challenges under intense deadline pressure and executive scrutiny,” Ted comments. “Our program architectures frequently include custom-designed Business Action Learning Projects, which are completed virtually over several months alongside participants’ full-time jobs. In partnership with our clients, we design these projects in a way that achieves a ‘double win’ for the organization: the L&D win, by developing targeted leadership competencies; and the business impact win, as participants work with their peers to deliver viable projects addressing key strategic priorities and producing tangible business benefits – with measurable ROI.” Impact has created an innovative and costeffective methodology for skills development called Participant Led Development Centers, which are sometimes designed and incorporated into the company’s custom leadership programs. This methodology provides an experiential vehicle to increase cognitive grasp, self-awareness and effective leadership behaviors, as participants rotate between the roles of assessor, learner and observer/coach in realistic scenarios that they develop on the program. To help their clients gain an ‘outsidein’ perspective on current and emerging organizational challenges, Impact’s team of consultants designs and facilitates InMarket Journey Experiences, designed to enable participants on a leadership program to compare current practices with strategies that are being implemented by other organizations in non-competing spaces. This has proven to be especially useful for stimulating innovation, global mindset and improved customer excellence.


In his experience, Ted has come to understand that by leveraging the business strategy as the framework for people development – in terms of program objectives, solution design and content – organizations will be able to deliver powerful and practical development of their leaders and key talent that is directly aligned with key business goals and imperatives. A strategically-anchored program that is delivered through engaging experiential methodologies, and involves real business issues, enables participants to readily connect the dots between ‘training’ and their real lives at work. As training budgets face increasing pressures, L&D professionals are constantly challenged to demonstrate the value, ROI and business impact of training initiatives. In order to increase the value and return of training it should be clearly aligned with corporate strategy – increasing the relevance of training to the business need should be a top priority for the industry. As the L&D market continues to mature, Ted also perceives that his clients have grown weary of ‘one size fits all’ training solutions, and that they much prefer to partner with firms that work closely with them in order to create custom-designed development solutions, specific to their organizational issues and leadership expectations. Impact International fits this bill snugly. “Our future is bright as this mindset shift will allow for our continued growth and expansion on a global basis,” he finishes.

Ted Gemmell, SVP-Global Client Services



VIRGINIA’S FINEST ORTHOPEDIC AND SPORTS CENTER Arthritis & Sports represents the very model of a specialized orthopaedics and sports care practice. With a comprehensive range of orthopaedic services, specialties, diagnostic procedures, rehabilitation, and wellness services on offer, the on-board team are an accomplished body of board-certified physicians, recognized as innovators in their fields of expertise, who are dedicated to exceptional patient care, mainly in their home turf of Northern Virginia, but also drawing patients from Virginia, DC, Maryland, Pennslyvannia , New York, New Jersey, West Virginia and different parts of the World.

USA Business Elite & COO of the Year

Company: Arthritis & Sports Name: Somu Awatramani Email: Web Address: Address: 21475 Ridgetop Castle, Sterling, Virginia 20166 Telephone: +1 703.444.5000



To Somu Awitramani, Chief Operating Officer, who manages day-to-day operations from start to finish and is responsible for recent business development and expansion, the quality of care that a patient receives has direct enhancing effect in their overall quality of life; this offers more than enough incentive for Somu to work hard in order to provide nothing but the best possible care for his clients.


“I always wanted to become a senior executive,” Somu regales, “and my current role gives me the excitement and challenges that I enjoy. Recently, we have expanded significantly accomplishing our growth strategies, as per our founder’s original vision. Indeed, since being founded in 1998 by a great visionary and top class surgeon Dr Randall Peyton, Arthritis & Sports has grown to be rightly proud of their accomplishments, especially because of a strongly upheld belief in a ‘continuum of care’ model, which is focussed around serving patients from the time of the initial injury, right the way through to their full rehabilitation. Today, Arthritis & Sports covers a range of treatment options that serve patients of all ages; particular specialisations include arthritis, sports-related injuries, problems and injuries of the knee, hip, shoulder, foot, wrist, elbow, neck and back pain. With a committed team of certified Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapists, Nutritionists, Massage Therapists, Fitness Instructors, and Personal Trainers, Arthritis & Sports provides each of their patients with prompt and effective treatment, and the company’s dedicated business model remains focused on restoring patients’ independence so that they can live more of the life that they want.

Robotic assistance in surgery allows for a minimally invasive procedure based around precisely-controlled laparoscopic surgery that will carry a much-reduced risk of infection and will result in minimal scarring through a small incision, allowing a shorter hospitalization period, reduced pain and discomfort, and faster time for recovery and return to normal activities. Platelet-rich plasma injections, meanwhile, offer similarly shortened healing times, through the cutting-edge use of growth factors found in plasma-rich proteins (PRPs) in human blood, which can be used to encourage healing and rejuvenation of damaged cells and tissues. The knowledge imparted by plasma injections is particularly pertinent to Arthritis & Sports’ overall philosophy, in that it becomes clear how just as all areas of a patient’s body are connected, so too is their whole life. By extension of this same philosophy, providing care for the patient’s spiritual and mental wellbeing, in turn, affects your overall health. As such, at the company’s Wellness Studio, this medically-based facility is designed to bridge the gap between health care and wellness to meet the needs of all patients – the Wellness Studio is a major tool in Somu’s repertoire as he continues to explore new options for patient care. As he describes his acumen for innovation and leadership, Somu says, “conviction and persistence are the two key words I go by. Nothing is impossible so proper planning is

Of course, there is a deep respect and understanding of science and the way that the body works at the heart of Arthritis & Sports’ ongoing mission of care. Being so concerned with the wellbeing of their patients means providing honest, well-informed diagnoses and effective solutions, and the company certainly benefit in this regard from their access to a wide array of specialty treatments, some more conventional than others, such as the design of custom orthotic inserts for shoes, whilst also including a couple of newer, more radical treatment options that have demonstrated incredible potential. These new innovations and enhancements to an already-rich scientific community include robotic-assisted surgery and platelet-rich plasma injections.


good, but taking action is extremely important to deliver results. I am an action oriented leader; I lead by example. I strongly believe in team work and using a leadership approach. We all work together to achieve one goal one mission success of our center. “In my 20-plus-year career I have faced many challenges, but I have followed my dad’s teaching: ‘never give up, and work with full passion’. My school of thought is that I always compete with myself. Never give up, and believe in your dreams. Somu believes vehemently that together, with compassionate, well-trained staff and cutting-edge disciplines designed to influence and guide the recuperation of all patients, Arthritis & Sports can help anybody to adopt a healthier lifestyle, for a better and healthier tomorrow. As he plans to open more and more locations in the next two to five years, Somu is evidently not concerned with competition. “We draw patients in because we build relationships, and our biggest referral source is our patients. We hire top-notch, board-certified providers so they can give the best quality of treatment to our patients. “We are the best because we take care of our patients from start to finish. We do this because we hire the best of the best team of surgeons/staff and we do not give up on quality come what may. Every service and product is branded with our quality signature.”


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A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS Greco and Son’s is a full-service distributor operating out of Phoenix, Arizona, with an acute specialization in Italian and Mediterranean concepts, but also with a presence in many quick-serve and sports bar restaurant concepts as well. Founded by Eddie Greco and his father Pasquale in 1990, the company holds sway over a growing enterprise; with its corporate office, manufacturing facility and main distribution centre based in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett, Illinois, the company also has a distribution facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Phoenix, Arizona. From here, the company services Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California and the Las Vegas markets from these strategic points. We caught up with the President of Greco Arizona, Tony Yannone, to uncover his role as a CEO in driving continued expansion across the company.

CEO of the Year

Company: Greco & Sons of Arizona Name: Tony Yannone Email: Web Address: Address: 402 S 63rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85043 Telephone: (602) 437-8600


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reco & Sons has experienced change on a regular basis since it was founded, so as to include numerous different concepts. In its infancy, Greco manufactured fresh Italian sausage, and just distributed to pizza and Italian fine-dining restaurants.

always inspired me to push beyond what I thought were my limits. It was very tough at times. I have always found my greatest lessons are learned when things are at their worst. That is when the true character of a man is exposed. Do you give up? Or do you dig in and face the challenge.”

(Pizza Supply Company) and managing my mother’s extreme circumstances. That is when I knew it was time to help out at the family business.” Tony states unequivocally that he has no regrets about not finishing college, or getting a chance to follow his military dream.

Tony Yannone is the President of Greco Arizona, as well as a partner in the business. As such, he is responsible for all facets of this facility from formulating the annual budget to implementing and executing the company’s annual plan for growth and profitability. Alongside, he manages the directors of all departments and oversee daily operations.

Tony has carried these principals through to the way he runs his company. He is immensely proud to have created a culture of hard-working employees throughout all levels in this company. “When we interview potential new employees, we spend 90 per cent of the interview evaluating if that employee will meet our culture of striving for excellence and doing whatever it takes. We do not focus on asking about their skill set – we can teach that. What you cannot teach is the “Can Do” attitude that we aspire to. We can stoke a ‘fire in the belly’ and make it into an inferno, but it can be very difficult to light that fire to begin with.”

“I enjoy what I do,” he says proudly. “Heralding from a traditional Italian family, we were all very close. My father was definitely my greatest teacher. He was an incredible salesman and could read people like no other. Our family lifestyle seemed to always revolve sitting around a table full of food either to strategize for our family business or discuss current events in our personal lives.”


Tony begins by describing Greco’s expansion into Arizona – reflecting on the swift establishment and astronomical growth, he refers to it like being strapped to a rocket. “We began March 3rd 2008 in a 35,000-square-foot facility with only a couple of trucks. We grew very rapidly then moved into our current 70,000-square-foot facility just four years later in 2012. We are now constructing a 130,000-square foot facility which we will move into the 1st quarter of 2017. Five years from now? I will let you know – right now, this rocket just keeps accelerating.” To Tony, this underlines the important role that Greco & Sons plays in the industry, by providing a range of product lines and brands that are recognized as the best in the industry. “Greco and Sons has an excess of 12,000 items that have been sourced worldwide, specializing in pizza products, Italian specialties, as well as all other foodservice applications. Greco also operates as a USDA inspected facility, where we handle and process fresh beef, fresh pork, fresh poultry, and our very own ‘world-class’ line of Italian Sausage. “We always pride ourselves on carrying the best quality products in our industry. Our competitors all like to push private label products; there is no loyalty to those brands.” To Tony, his involvement in Greco & Sons is a very personal experience, and one that he is forthcoming about, especially in regards to his approach to leadership and management of staff in this rapidly growing business. “My partner and friend Eddie Greco, the founder and principle owner of Greco and Son’s, has been a mentor for me. I always knew how to work hard but he

Tony’s background as a leader comes from his childhood dream of being a career military man. “I have always had a great respect and admiration for the men and women who serve our country – I think it is the highest honor in our land, and I was on that path from an early age. I began to beg my parents to go to a military academy when I was 12. After convincing them to visit a few Military Academies they began to see the advantages of a high discipline environment and leadership training that the good ones promote. “And so, I attended Missouri Military Academy in Mexico Missouri - their motto was “If You Don’t Want Them, Neither Do We”. The washout rate was quite high, with very few cadets graduating from the entire 4-year program. I was very proud of that particular accomplishment. I learned some of my greatest leadership skills from my time at the Academy – it was hammered into us every day all day. While I was there, it was rated as not only the top military academy in America by the US Army, but also as the top private school. Unfortunately for Tony, his ambitions underwent a sudden and drastic change in course when, in his Sophomore year at Florida State University, his mother was involved in a very serious car accident and remained in a coma for 16 years before passing away. “Shortly after my mother’s automobile accident, my father was having a difficult time coping with running our family business Arena Distributing Company


Drawing his strong leadership traits from this devoted, close-knit family circle, as well as his military upbringing, Tony channels these energies into a new direction, working along with Eddie Greco to build the company based on extreme customer service. “Many people preach that, but don’t really live it,” he states. “We do not put a price on servicing our customers. I have a standing order for every manager in this company: if you find yourself in the situation where you don’t know what to do and cannot find your supervisor, then make your decision to always service our customer, no matter what the cost. That way, you can never be in trouble from me – even if I don’t agree with your decision – because you chose to service our customer.” As if to reinforce this message of putting the customer above all else, Tony shares an anecdotal reference to what he describes as the ‘light-switch’. “I tell this story because it is about training your mind set. The difference between most people and highly successful people is just that little extra effort. Have you ever walked out of a room and you are two steps out the door and realize you left the light on? That is the critical moment of choice: do you take the couple extra steps back and shut the light off, or do you say ‘hey, it’s not that big of a deal – I will be coming back in a while anyway’? Training yourself to always take that little extra step makes all the difference between mediocre and greatness. “Last Friday, I had just left the office and a customer called me. He said that he might be lacking terminology for his fryer this weekend. I said I just left the office but I can

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turn back and bring it to him – it was right by my home, anyway. The customer said, ‘no, I can probably make it through the weekend anyway.’ He let me off the hook, so what do you think I did? I called home and said I would be a little late for dinner.” Reflecting on his own past experiences with being micro-managed – an experience he has no fond memories of – Tony pledges to not do that to his own managers. “I give them the responsibility for their position,” he explains, “but I also give them the authority that goes along with that. I have found that it is the best way to create good leaders – I hold them accountable for their results in each department, and this sometimes includes letting them fail and learn from that experience.” On top of his credentials as a leader of employees, Tony confesses to being a big fan of technology – however, he also expresses concerns that businesses need

to be careful when it comes to the danger of information overload. As he explains, “sometimes we spend so much more time managing information – especially through email – that it takes our focus away from what is important: the customers. We talk quite a bit about Return on Investment (ROI) of our time; in other words, what is going to be our largest return for the time invested? I have seen many employees get frustrated because they are not doing a good job while working long, hard hours. That tells you they are not making good choices about how they prioritize their time spent on tasks. “If an employee is doing a poor job, the first person I look at is their manager, and then myself. Why did we not create an environment for that employee to succeed? Was it insufficient training, equipment needs, resources etc. I make a big distinction between management skills and leadership skills. A leader gets his


employees to want to do a good job. A manager can sometimes create the same result, but not have the respect of the team. That is why we push leadership qualities and skills. People can be your best asset in business, or they can be your worst. In the matter of Greco Arizona, Tony is unabashed in his claims to have “the best employees in the business.” He is, he says, very fortunate to be surrounded by people that have real talent, and while he gets a lot of the credit for the superb work that they do, he works hard to create an environment that lets their individual talents shine. “While we do have a chain of command, we do not allow our employees to put titles on their business cards. We want to create a humble atmosphere which fosters a better team attitude. No room for egos here – nothing good ever comes from it. “I really do owe it all to them.”

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Websites Depot is a full-service web agency that specializes in website design, maintenance, white-hat SEO and social media marketing. The agency’s customers range from small business owners to larger corporations, all of whom are seeking professional-grade websites that are consistent with their brand identity. The tech firm is highly adept at assisting companies in increasing organic search results and overall brand awareness.

Company: Websites Depot Name: Danny Star Email: Web Address: Address: 4343 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90029 Telephone: 001 323-912-1105


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ebsites Depot’s co-founder has a very hands-on approach to the company’s day-to-day operations. Daniel Star manages developers, designers, sales and social media teams as they interact with clients en-route to a pristine level of online reputation and outstanding growth.


“I am very transparent with my team members and we are fully committed to our vision.” Daniel Star said, “The vision for the company has been laid out and introduced to every individual that joins the team. What makes us a leader as enviable consultants is our ability to make expectations attainable and reachable within a given period of time. “We exude an open-door policy with all of our clients, and I like to emphasize excellent communication between our specialists – making sure we deliver measurable results. However, I brush up in democratic weekly meetings with each department to brainstorm ways to make our company better. I allow my staff to work towards their strengths and specialties, and it has worked wonderfully. Our staff exudes character and a set of skills that is simply unmatched.”

“I am constantly keeping up with the influencers in my industry by keeping up with Google alerts, and by attending summits and conferences all over the nation,” he said. “I just recently attended Ontrapalooza in Santa Barbara, and it was an amazing learning atmosphere. I’ve shared much of that experience on my personal and company social media pages. My team and I work hard to stay tuned-in to the latest trends in web development, social media, apps and best practices.” Star places effort and emphasis in continuing to build a strong team that is motivated, educated, and results-driven. “We want to keep the pace of our steady annual growth on the path to becoming one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Southern California.” Star says his near-term goal is to double the company’s growth every year and match up with strategic partners.

“My family keeps me motivated, and my team members are a part of my family. Making them happy motivates me because that ultimately makes me happy. When business owners we work with thrive – their expressions of gratitude are the fuel that keeps us motivated and working hard. We wake up each morning with an eagerness for helping businesses achieve their goals and grow.” With such positive feedback from clients across the board, Websites Depot is now gearing itself towards much larger projects and campaigns for larger clients and corporations. “We would like to work with large companies with their websites and campaigns in order to build upon our already strong portfolio. We are confident we have the know-how and fulfilment capabilities to handle a project of any size.”

Being part of the Google Partners certainly helps Danny to improve the company through forward-thinking solutions. It means that the organization has an important set of fundamentals to run successful marketing campaigns and retain them. Danny continues, “our specialty is in tailoring to our small business clients, so we feel we should practice the service we provide for ourselves at competitive pricing. We ensure safety and growth in making the necessary resources available to small businesses we serve.” Before becoming CEO, Danny Star began his career as a thriving private consultant. He encourages his staff to make the most of every opportunity to help a client. Private consulting inquiries have grown ten-fold since the initial years, and the web agency has since evolved into an in-demand juggernaut.

Business Elite 2016

“The web industry is constantly changing and growing exponentially. It is ideal to sample or purchase trials of new software, platforms, design tools and cloud solutions to see if it is something that is viable and can be used to help our client base going forward.” With growing competition in the wake of an ever-expanding industry, Star takes steps to ensure that Websites Depot remains one step ahead of the technological curve.


Support services & tech

PROPRIETARY, PATENTED AND TRUSTED TECHNOLOGY “It’s time to rethink risk mitigation and privacy from inside out. We know. We have.” These words can be found not only on the landing page of their website, but also at the heart of everything goes on within Ghost Systems Inc. With proprietary, patented and trusted technologies at the network core, plus enhanced privacy technologies at the network edge, this privately-held company, based out of Reno, Nevada, is funded by the founders, private investors, as well as leading Silicon Valley companies, provides a wide array of specialized advisory and strategic services for their clients.

CEO 100 – Nevada

Company: Ghost Systems, Inc. Name: Donald Ritzman Email: Web Address: Address: 200 S. Virginia St., Suite 500, Reno, Nevada 89501


Support services & tech

acking up their assertion, Ghost Systems, Inc. strives to maintain a complete future-proof cyber security infrastructure, built to the very highest modern standards by a team of highly experienced specialists, using the best-in-class patented technologies. This is something that, to turn a phrase, they refer to as the Internet of Trust™. This infrastructure is made available to government, businesses and consumers on a supply contract basis, tailored to the requirements of that organization or individual, and Ghost Systems prides itself on being the only company offering fully integrated end-toend holistic cyber security as a service.


This mission, combined with an exceptional forward-thinking mentality and sharp competitive edge, has ld Ghost Systems, to works in partnership with technology companies, security industry groups, valueadded resellers (VARs), service providers, systems integrators, data center operators and consultants across the world, so as to ensure that their products and services are continuously evolving to meet the needs of our customers. A mere few of the companies around the world that have felt the impact of Ghost Systems’ robust strategic services include high-profile names in financial services, healthcare & pharma, government and enterprise markets; Ghost Systems achieves this presence via satellite offices across the US and the UK. These days, protecting an organization’s data requires more than a strong perimeter defense. Cyber-criminals are having little trouble knocking down perimeter walls. And the walls behind them. Perimeter and multilayered defenses can help with malware and other concerns, but with insider invasions commonplace and more applications directly accessible to remote users and systems, the concept of the network perimeter as the core data defense strategy is becoming increasingly challenging. It’s just far too easy to bypass perimeter controls. Once an intruder penetrates the perimeter defenses, there’s nothing else to protect company assets. It is something of a worry how easy for hackers to get files out, according to this excerpt about the RSA breach: “The attacker then used FTP to transfer many password-protected RAR files from the RSA file server to an outside staging server at an external, compromised machine at a hosting provider. The files were subsequently pulled by the attacker and removed from the external compromised host to remove any

traces of the attack.” Ghost Systems’ SafePlace Ecosystem™, based on proprietary, patented and trusted technology, is a hardware agnostic computing environment with a zero-footprint. It’s the only solution that protects data on the network from the inside out, making the data self-defending and undetectable. The data becomes invisible. Picture a thief looking through all of the windows of a house. The house appears empty, yet the all the household furnishings are there. Ghost Systems also understand that the prevalence of fraud, as well as credit card and identity theft, is undermining customer confidence in online banking services and jeopardizing opportunities for more profitable revenue generation. The institutions that are successful in persuading customers to enroll in online banking, and take advantage of features such as online bill pay, can halve the average cost of servicing those customers. In addition, since financial institutions compete in global markets requiring 24×7 processes, they are dependent on dynamic information access. To overcome these new realities, Ghost Systems offer the industrial and technical expertise to provide the most secure ways to protect data, when its ever-increasing volume and constant motion is what makes it so vulnerable to begin with. Today, there are more technologically savvy, highly mobile Internet users than once imaginable. With the proliferation of tablets and other mobile devices, those numbers will skyrocket yet further. As a result, the ability to instantly communicate anytime, anyplace, with anyone, over a worldwide, heterogeneous technological environment, is no longer novel. Bandwidth and network advances have enabled more data to be transmitted in shorter periods of time. During any 48-hour period in 2010, more data was created than had been


created by all of humanity in the past 30,000 years. By the year 2020, that same amount of data will be created in a single hour and then as more and more smart devices become inter-connected through the Internet of Things, that same amount of data will be created every minute and then every second. Volume of data aside, the Internet remains an extremely under-protected network and storage environment. But regardless of the fact that very little of the information that traverses the Internet is either safe or secure, individuals, enterprises and government agencies all routinely transmit their highly sensitive information, providing easy pickings for cyber-thieves. That’s why Ghost Systems has committed over three decades to working on solutions to privacy and security. Our dedicated team has combined powerful, proprietary technologies, from many different disciplines, to design highly secure and reliable solutions that are unsurpassed in the market today. We have created a totally private, trusted and unified ecosystem including secure storage, data-inflight and data-at-rest protection, as well as secure edge access and control. SafePlace™ was designed and developed from inside out to meet the highest levels of privacy, security and trust. Every solution contains a fully integrated and highly secure operating environment that dramatically enhances the ability to protect users against cyber-thieves. It incorporates proprietary and standard application software that provides one of the most secure ecosystems ever constructed – the ultimate in private and trusted communications along with information privacy and security. By overlaying this trusted ecosystem onto the Internet, Ghost provides an affordable, highly reliable and scalable operating environment.

Support services & tech

PARAGON’S FLEXIPOD ADOPTED BY WINCANTON Paragon Software Systems, Inc., a leader in vehicle routing and scheduling optimization solutions, recently announced that Wincanton, a UK third-party logistics provider (3PL), has adopted Paragon’s fleXipod proof of delivery and fulfilment solution for its multi-client home delivery operations. fleXipod will help enhance the consumer experience and streamline workflow processes. Wincanton plans on using the system across its delivery operation that is responsible for handling more than 200,000 furniture deliveries a year. aragon Software Systems, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is a leading provider of truck routing and scheduling software solutions. Paragon’s advanced planning systems have been proven to cut transportation costs and improve efficiency across a wide range of distribution operation types and industry sectors. Paragon’s North American truck routing software clients include George’s Inc., AgReliant Genetics, Linde, McLane, National Food Corporation, and many others.


This software is used for the daily route optimization of transportation schedules; rationalizing fixed routes; managing transportation resources; strategic logistics planning; and managing home delivery orders with dynamic routing. Paragon Software Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paragon Software Systems plc, the UK’s number one provider of transportation routing and scheduling software. Paragon has over 3,300 systems installed at more than 1,000 client sites in 50 countries worldwide.

our business needs by enabling smoother processes. Being able to record live, intuitive and comprehensive data is crucial to our award-winning home delivery service. The technology has helped our team deliver the highest standards of operational excellence and customer service, recording and leveraging key data to help us boost customer care and bolster our offering. “What we find particularly useful is having the ability to update information over-theair which means that we can readily and easily deploy changes and improvements to our doorstep processes without the need to bring the devices back to base. As the largest British logistics company, this flexibility is essential to our business.” Following a successful trial, fleXipod is expected to be rolled out to 90 delivery teams that operate from a network of 6 depots. Using the system on rugged PDAs, mobile workers will now be able to access comprehensive delivery details for each job and capture a wide range of data including

William Salter, CEO and President of Paragon Software Systems said, “in the fast-paced ecommerce marketplace, the consumer experience during last-mile delivery is vital to repeat orders and a positive brand experience. For 3PLs like Wincanton, our fleXipod proof of delivery and fulfilment solution provides complete visibility of the daily delivery process and a seamless customer experience on behalf of their retail client.” Harvey Maycock, Services Manager at Wincanton said, “We’ve found fleXipod to be a reliable, easy to use tool that fulfils


POD signature, GPS positioning, timestamp, photographs and any notes. The flexibility of fleXipod means that Wincanton can customize functionality and create tailored forms to support individual client delivery requirements. The progress of delivery teams will now be monitored centrally in real-time through the fleXipod central management console. Wincanton will be able to continuously monitor estimated arrival times and automatically provide reminders to the consumer via SMS. fleXipod will also enable two-way interaction between the delivery teams and the central administrative function to facilitate streamlined and effective decision-making around returns or other consumer issues.

MediaFirst Becky Boyd 415 State Street, Roswell, GA 30075 USA (404) 421-8497

Unfortunately, not every business enjoys a smooth journey as it strives for success and as such they rely on the expertise and dedication of the professionals who dedicate their lives to ensuring that their clients minimise the disruption to their business in any industry and receive the very best outcome possible. As such we have established the 2016 Dispute Resolution Awards in order to reward and recognize those firms that take the work diligently to ensure that their clients can minimise the impact of these often costly, time consuming and distracting events.




Company: Gardere, Arena y Asociados, S.C. Name: Daniel Aranda Email: Web Address: Address: Blvd. Manuel Avila Camacho #36-1802. Col. Lomas de Chapultepec Telephone: +(52) 55-5284.8540



Gardere assists domestic and multinational clients, ranging from Fortune 500 to startups, with a wide array of business and legal needs, from general corporate matters, such as mergers and acquisitions, to real estate transactions, energy and infrastructure projects, tax advice and controversies, antitrust and competition matters, civil and commercial disputes, and hospitality and insurance, alongside banking and financial services. They were among the first, if not the first, U.S law firm to enter Mexico – in 1992 – and have provided almost 25 years of full-service, seamless, cross-border service to its clients. We spoke to Daniel Aranda, partner at the firm, about their service offering. Several of Gardere’s practices and lawyers are recognized as leaders in Mexico and throughout Latin America, and their office serves as the gateway to Central and South America. Daniel is proud that Gardere is a founding member of a network of the most reputable firms in Central and South America, allowing clients a ‘one-stop one-shop’ when they search for a firm to represent them. “Our short-term objective is to promote our dispute resolution capabilities within our client base and amongst our prospective clients, whilst we continue to manage our project growth based on the energy reform legislation, which has brought new challenges, and ultimately, a huge new arena for dispute resolutions. “The ability that we have to effectively and seamlessly draw-down from the experience and business acumen of our Texas litigation and energy practice industries, along with our multidisciplinary approach to every matter entrusted to us has afforded us an enviable reputation. We have fine-tuned our experience by serving energy related companies for more than 16 years, and this has provided us with the required edge to distinguish ourselves from other firms, including litigation boutique firms.” Ultimately, the firm is looking forward to bright and prosperous future, as Daniel outlines. “In light of the dip in oil prices, the announcement by Pemex of the extension of payment processing to its providers to over 180 calendar days, the imposition of budgetary restrictions on government expenditure and the

flood of new laws regulations and ordinances now provides fertile ground for reactive dispute resolution advice, including reorganizations and re-negotiation of credit facility agreements. “We are positioning our dispute resolutions force to tackle the new set of challenges posed by energy reform, in order to be able to provide preventative advice to our current and prospective clients, in order to ensure our participation in the market once such challenges are updated.”





Company: Anthony & Middlebrook, P.C Web Address:



Anthony & Middlebrook, P.C. is a boutique law firm specializing in the representation of nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, including public charities, churches and religious organizations, private foundations, social welfare organizations, trade associations, hospitals, private schools, colleges and universities, charitable trusts and supporting organizations. Anthony & Middlebrook, P.C. is composed of a team of committed individuals dedicated to building lasting relationships with their clients and serving them with excellence and integrity. Besides providing ongoing counsel to their clients on how to address day-to-day nonprofit corporate and tax issues, the firm excels in assisting their clients in resolving IRS controversies, involving any tax liability, and at any procedural stage. Their lawyers are experienced in representing clients in front of local IRS field agents, regional IRS Appeals offices, the IRS National Office in Washington, D.C., Offices of the United States Attorney, and in the United States Tax Court, the Court of Federal Claims, and Federal District Courts throughout the country. The team also conduct in-depth legal and tax compliance reviews or internal investigations, where appropriate, to assist their clients in proactively identifying - and self-correcting - tax and other legal issues before an IRS audit is initiated, and before the United

States Attorney, State Attorney General, or Congressional inquiry is initiated. From the boardroom to the courtroom, Anthony & Middlebrook provides both transactional services related to drafting and reviewing corporate documents and litigation services. They advise their clients on legal questions relating to general corporate and business matters, and other issues that often have unique application in the nonprofit environment. The firm’s work also involves navigating complex business transactions, including the acquisition, construction, financing, and disposition of real property in addition to the merger and dissolution of churches. Anthony & Middlebrook’s attorneys have considerable experience in litigating a diverse array of matters in federal and state courts, involving tax proceedings, probate, construction,


commercial transactions, employment disputes and general civil litigation. If their clients become involved in a lawsuit, they are well positioned to assist them with their litigation needs. The firm also assists clients in responding to law enforcement agencies, and have successfully guided clients through white collar criminal investigations related to the operation of taxexempt entities. The firm is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which allows the team to maintain a national presence, while keeping their high-end legal services affordable to their nonprofit and tax-exempt client base. Although all of their attorneys are admitted to the State Bar of Texas, they also have attorneys admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Indiana and many other states. Anthony & Middlebrook represent clients in over thirty states.




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