Top 10 Industry Disruptors to Follow in 2023

#1 – Steve Schofield

Steve Schofield is a highly accomplished individual, boasting a multi-faceted career that has spanned numerous decades in various industries. Among the entities that Steve’s been involved in, he acts as the head and visionary behind three diverse ventures — Zoic Studios, Modop Digital & Films, and Schofield’s Flowers, and holds the prestigious titles of President, Chief Creative Officer, and Founder, respectively. Of the three companies, Schofield’s Flowers holds a particularly intriguing history, as it represents a revival of a family brand that was established initially as a flower shop in 1896. The flower shop was renowned for its exceptional services, catering to an elite clientele of its era’s top celebrities, mobsters, and athletes, and was even the site of Dean O’Banion’s killing by Al Capone. Today, Schofield’s Flowers continues to operate with the same level of distinction, its mission to assist brands in thriving and achieving success.

With a seven-year tenure as a police officer under his belt, Steve made a seamless transition into the world of advertising, leveraging his unique experiences to establish his own successful production company. Throughout his career, he’s earned numerous accolades and recognition, including prestigious awards such as Cannes Lions and Clio Awards. Steve‘s portfolio of work encompasses a diverse range of notable campaigns, including the BMW Films campaign, the Mini Cooper Robot hoax, the globally-renowned Belvedere campaign, Lenovo’s global initiative, and the creation of 70 activations for Halo Top Creamery in 15 cities. Along with opening a one-of-a-kind NFT gallery last year for NFT NYC in Soho NY. A firm believer in data-driven decision-making, Steve attends industry conferences and networks with peers to stay ahead of the curve. He also emphasizes professional presentation, including consistent visual appeal through his website and social media. In a few years, he hopes to open a storefront flower shop that includes a speakeasy, bodega, and restaurant named Schofield’s Flowers, aligning with his brand.

#2 – Jun Liu

Jun Liu is a highly accomplished entrepreneur and business leader who currently serves as the Chairman of the Board and CEO of ATIF Holdings Limited, a NASDAQ-listed business consulting firm known for its IPO consulting services. With a proven track record, ATIF has been honored several awards, including the prestigious “Golden Bauhinia Award” for being one of the “Top 10 Best Listed Companies.” Jun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from the Harbin Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in International Finance from Camden University U.S.A.

Jun’s company, ATIF Holdings Limited, provides professional IPO consulting services to guide clients through the entire process of going public, M&A advisory services to help clients navigate the complex process of merging or acquiring another company, and post-IPO compliance services to help clients maintain compliance with regulations and policies after going public. ATIF’s mission is to simplify the process of going public for entrepreneurs and provide them with one-stop solutions for all their consulting needs.

Jun brings a profusion of expertise and practical experience to the business consulting firm. A broad understanding of the intricacies of international capital operations and corporate management, as well as his familiarity with the policies and regulations of the American and Chinese capital markets, make him a valuable asset to the organization. Furthermore, Jun’s profuse expertise in corporate listing, asset restructuring, and equity and securities financing provides a crucial component to ATIF’s offerings, significantly augmenting its capabilities and offerings. Jun’s mission is to help entrepreneurs fulfill their dream of going public by providing comprehensive consulting services. With steadfast determination, he aims to establish ATIF as a leading IPO consulting company in the United States.

#3 – Anh Nguyen Stenzel

Anh Nguyen Stenzel is a highly regarded family law attorney and divorce mediator based in Torrance, California. She is the founder of Regal Law & Mediation APC, where she dedicates her career to helping clients with divorce, separation, custody, support, premarital and postnuptial agreement. Born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States at age 10, Anh’s determination and hard work helped her overcome poverty and earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California and a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School, which she achieved through academic scholarships.

Anh’s approach to family law is collaborative, aimed at empowering clients with the information and support they need to make informed decisions. As a mediator, she helps families find mutually beneficial solutions and reduces the turmoil of protracted and expensive court battles. When litigation is necessary, she fiercely advocates for her clients, drawing on her extensive experience in family law to achieve the best outcome. Her commitment to families has earned her recognition from Super Lawyers in 2022 and 2023, a highly selective and rigorous process that combines peer nominations, evaluations, and independent research to identify outstanding attorneys. Less than five percent of attorneys in California receive this distinguished recognition.

In addition to her legal work, Anh is a recognized volunteer with the Los Angeles Superior Court Mediation Panel and a long-time dedicated volunteer for low-income clients at the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law. Anh’s steadfast dedication to clients, whether as a mediator or an advocate, is a testament to her drive to make a meaningful and positive impact in their lives, inspiring all those she works with.

#4 – Mona Golden-Brown

Mona Golden-Brown, a dynamic business leader, and motivator has left her mark in the HR technology sector. As the visionary founder and CEO of Carrera Lee Enterprises, Mona has successfully introduced and developed Harmony Roze. This comprehensive, full-service human resources software-as-a-service product offers Time & Talent management and a complete Payroll solution. With exceptional contributions within the HR tech space, Mona’s been widely acknowledged and recognized through various awards and accolades.

Mona was honored to receive the Outstanding Leadership award and the Visionary award from Internet 2.0, recognizing her innovative vision and exceptional leadership skills. Her contributions have earned her recognition, including being featured on the cover of multiple industry trade magazines, such as the November 2022 Talent Management edition of HRTechOutlook. She believes in recognizing your strengths, forming partnerships with those who complement your skills, fostering a supportive team environment, and continually seeking ways to provide value to clients, partners, and team members.

Owning an unrelenting drive to bring new, value-adding solutions to her clients has driven her success and established Carrera Lee Enterprises as a leader in the HR tech arena. Looking ahead, Mona envisions a future in which her company expands its reach into the entertainment industry and provides cutting-edge solutions to meet the evolving needs of the global entertainment sector. Determined to stay ahead of the curve, Mona is dedicated to continuously refining her offerings, cementing her position as a true leader and visionary in the HR tech space.

#5 – William Choi

William Choi is a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor who has built his reputation on a unique combination of artistic, communication, and business skills. His passion for creativity and innovation began at an early age, inspired by his father, a successful Hong Kong businessman. After moving to California, William supported himself as a chef while earning a design degree at Cal Poly Pomona and an MBA at UCLA.

William’s love for real estate and community building led him to manage various properties in Southern California, as well as a one-million-square-foot commercial building in Beijing, China. Today, William is the CEO of Turnkey ADU Living, a company that specializes in pre-fabricated accessory dwelling units. With decades of experience in the real estate industry, William is focused on developing affordable housing solutions and finding the best income-generating properties for investors.

Under William’s leadership, Turnkey ADU Living has become an expert ADU partner, offering a fully managed “turn-key” solution for customers from project conception through completion and beyond. The company’s team of experienced realtors, designers, builders, architects, and engineers is committed to delivering prefabricated units of the highest quality at a fraction of the cost of custom-built units. With a vision of providing smart living spaces utilizing free & clean energy, William and his team are well on their way to accomplishing just that.

In addition to his work with Turnkey ADU Living, William is also involved with Solocore Cube, Turnkey’s sister company. SoloCore Cube is a smaller version of Turnkey, with self-generating solar power. The company’s innovative and versatile product, the SoloCore PowerCube 5000, can provide a solution to a variety of space-related needs. Its modern aesthetic design, eco-friendly materials, and durable construction make it a standout choice for anyone in need of extra living, yoga studio or home office. William’s experience and expertise make him a valuable asset to the real estate industry, and his commitment to sustainability and innovation is changing the way we think about affordable housing solutions.

#6 – Ani Bisaria

Ani Bisaria, the driving force behind Bisaria & Co., is a seasoned professional with a background in integrated marketing, demand generation, GTM strategy, and more. His digital marketing agency, Bisaria Digital, has garnered a stellar reputation in the industry for its all-encompassing range of services, which are carefully tailored to meet the specific needs of its B2B & B2C SaaS clients — Anomalo, TalPoint, Lytical Ventures, Deep North, to name a few.

Ani and his team achieved the astounding feat of crossing $50 million in actively managed ad-spend — all within one year of launching the agency. Simultaneously, and with the support of Hannah Craig (Director of Operations),he launched Bisaria Records and embarked on a country-wide tour — garnering an impressive 150k monthly active listeners for his original music.

Hannah Craig is an experienced operator with a vast background in the world of non-profit.  She founded and managed HATCH Workshop, an art-makerspace & incubator in California’s Central Valley. She’s also raised and managed the deployment of over $1.75 million for two additional non-profit organizations.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she used the network of HATCH Workshop Creatives spread across Northern California to laser-cut & 3D-print 10,000+ face shields and intubation boxes for frontline workers. Due to mandates at the time — the distribution of Coca-Cola’s donated plastic, the item handoff between Creatives for assembly, and the eventual fulfillment for hospitals in need — was all managed by Hannah remotely. In addition to her role at Bisaria & Co., she sits on three charitable boards and regularly assists with operations and property management/acquisition.

As the business grows, Ani, Hannah, and their team of fifteen plan to expand the company’s offering beyond B2B SaaS, and into the field of entertainment & music marketing. With ingrained expertise & ambition at the core of each team member, Bisaria & Co. is poised to leave an impression on the respective markets for each of its clients & artists.

#7 – Melina Boswell

Melina Boswell is a successful business coach and real estate investor who had entrepreneurial parents that helped inspire her passion for law at a young age. She had to put her dream of attending law school on hold when she married an older man at 17, which resulted in a difficult divorce and having two children. She started a small paralegal service to support herself and eventually met her future husband, Dave Boswell, with whom she opened their first business in bankruptcy and debt consolidation. They eventually entered the mortgage industry, but in 2006, decided to explore real estate investing despite going into debt after spending over $100,000 on seminars and education programs. After closing their first deal, they were inspired to create their own real estate club, New Wealth Advisors Club, which has grown to have over 10,000 students.

Melina is also a board member of Path of Live Ministries, a non-profit organization that operates a homeless shelter, where she’s a strong advocate for homeless people. Through her dedication to the organization’s mission of rescuing, restoring, and rebuilding, she has served on the board for many years. Melina and her New Wealth Advisors Club team continue to follow Dave’s mission statement of empowering and inspiring people to find their core purpose in life and lead active inspired lives. The club has grown significantly since its inception, with offices in Hawaii and Tampa, and in 2021, Melina and her team founded Omnia Capital, a $500 million fund for their deals in the three offices.

Melina’s perseverance and dedication to her mission is inspiring to all those who seek to overcome challenges and build a meaningful life for themselves and others. Although she lost her partner, her commitment to building up more leaders is her true passion, and she continues to work towards their goal of opening 500 offices across the country.

#8 – AJ Puthanpurayil

Ajith ‘AJ’ Puthanpurayil and Gino Cozzolino are the two driving forces behind Dreamwork Development LLC, a full-service real estate development, construction, and investment company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. While AJ oversees the acquisitions team, manages ongoing and upcoming projects, and works with the Project Managers, Gino handles day-to-day operations, financing, construction activities, investor relations, and also oversees the in-house property management division.

Before launching Dreamwork Development LLC, Gino started his career in finance, working with one of the largest banks in the U.S. He then transitioned to become a Financial Advisor where he assisted clients with retirement planning, asset management, insurance, and wealth management strategies. Gino’s understanding of real estate investments came naturally from working in finance, and he began in real estate investing in 2011, which to date has helped him successfully complete over $100MM in residential, commercial, and multi-family transactions.

On the other hand, prior to discovering his true passion in real estate, AJ had already proven his entrepreneurial skills by owning and operating multiple successful businesses in diverse industries such as entertainment and hospitality. After obtaining his California Real Estate License, he went on to excel as a Realtor, selling well over $10MM in properties within his first two years alone. He then ventured into investing in real estate for his own personal portfolio and flipping houses through various entities that he owned, utilizing his own capital.

AJ and Gino have collectively flipped more than 100 properties and currently own a portfolio of 60+ units in Los Angeles, along with other outside of California. They specialize in value-add multifamily properties and are now expanding into ground-up multifamily development. By adhering to a disciplined investment strategy and effective portfolio management, they have achieved consistent year-over-year growth while enhancing the communities they serve. Their success in the industry is a testament to their unwavering commitment to quality, design, risk management, and relationship building, which has earned them a reputation as a dependable and trustworthy force in real estate.

#9 – Jeff Sherwood

Jeff Sherwood is an entrepreneur with a remarkable background and a wealth of experience in the tech industry. A former Chief Brand Officer at Rakuten and former Head of Design at Luxury Card, Jeff has co-founded four startups, with two of them facilitating successful exits. As an expert in branding and marketing, Jeff has worked with several of the biggest names in the industry, including Nationwide, Cisco Systems, Procter & Gamble, Red Bull, Toyota, Barclays, VISA, and more. In addition to his expertise in the tech industry, Jeff has carved a niche for himself in the blockchain and Web3 arena by creating MetaFlyers, a decentralized rewards marketplace. As a versatile individual with a wide range of interests, he’s also a licensed pilot and serves as a board member of the Boys & Girls Club in Capistrano Valley.

As an entrepreneur, Jeff recognizes that the journey is often complicated and filled with loneliness, stress, and limited appreciation. According to him, the key to success is having unwavering self-belief and a strong passion for one’s idea. In his opinion, resilience, an aptitude for learning, exceptional problem-solving abilities, and prioritizing self-care are all crucial components for thriving in entrepreneurship. In the next three years, Jeff envisions himself continuing to lead MetaFlyers, a company poised to disrupt the rewards industry by offering a comprehensive platform for brands and consumers. Besides achieving success in his professional life, Jeff also strives to maintain a healthy balance between his roles as a son, friend, and partner.

#10 – Benjamin Lee

Benjamin Lee is a pioneering venture capital investor and a refreshing change from the usual mold of VCs, who are usually stereotyped as being heartless and opportunistic. Through his impact investment firm, Ixora, he has dedicated his efforts to the noble cause of promoting greater social mobility and fostering economic inclusivity. Unlike many of his peers in the industry, Benjamin is driven by a passion for creating opportunities for the less fortunate and enabling ordinary people to reach their full potential.

Benjamin’s career trajectory was set in motion back in 2007 when he took on a lucrative position at the Royal Bank of Scotland, at the time the largest bank in the world. Yet, barely a year later, the 2008 Financial Crisis happened – and the bank posted the largest corporate loss in British history. The subsequent taxpayer-funded bailout – much of which made its way directly into the pockets of greedy executives – left a profound and lasting impact on Benjamin. Perplexed by how such brazen injustice was normalized by the culture in the finance industry at the time,  Benjamin began to take a deep interest in the intricate workings of the economy, financial system, and capital markets.

After leaving the banking industry, Benjamin founded 10 companies himself, and invested in 20 other ventures prior to starting his first fund. Beyond just making investments, he has demonstrated a commitment to the growth and success of others through mentorship and advising.  8 of his mentees became millionaires before the age of 30, and 3 have been honored on the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list. In the future, Benjamin intends to further his goal of promoting social mobility and economic inclusion by creating more opportunities for young people and supporting underprivileged communities through social enterprises.

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