Top 10 Industry Experts and Thought Leaders to Learn From and Get Inspired By

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1 – Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly, CEO of Red Rock Secured, has revolutionized the precious metals investment industry with its simple three-step process and no-hassle policies. Drawing inspiration from his grandparents, who lost a substantial portion of their savings during the Great Recession of 2008, Kelly founded Red Rock Secured to provide gold and silver investments  The company’s success is illustrated by its remarkable 99% customer satisfaction rating, a testament to Kelly and his team’s efforts.

Under Kelly’s leadership, Red Rock Secured has established a reputable name and become a leader in the precious metals investment industry in the United States. The company was ranked #211 on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company list and received the 2023 Bullion Dealer of the Year Award. Red Rock Secured has also received A+ ratings from BBB, 5-star ratings from Business Consumer Alliance, Trustpilot, and Google Reviews, and accreditation from Consumer Affairs. The company is a sought-after source on gold and silver investing for top-tier business and financial news including Fox Business News, Market Watch and Benzinga.

Kelly is committed to expanding his customer base and is building out his team. He has grown Red Rock 460% percent in 3 years. In addition to his commitment to his wife and three children, Kelly prioritizes the needs of his clients, empowering them to achieve their financial goals, and fostering a culture of innovation and growth within his organization.

Kelly is dedicated to giving back to his community and has a passion to help those in need. He’s a donor to K9s for Warriors, which rescues and trains shelter dogs to be paired as service dogs for warriors with service-connected post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma. In addition, Kelly and his family are supporters and volunteer for LA-based One Incredible Family, an organization that provides services for disadvantaged sectors of the community, where he and his family volunteer before holidays recently making Easter baskets for underprivileged children. The couple also has donated to the creation of the Branson RecPlex inclusive playground and sponsors Shay & Pals, a non-profit that strives to make all locations sensory inclusive and helps first responders to become Sensory Inclusive™ Certified. The sponsorship also has contributed to the purchase of a Kulture City “Sensory Activation Vehicle,” designed to bring a mobile sensory experience to any event that lacks a physical space for a dedicated sensory room. Kelly is an active volunteer in his kids’ school and community fundraisers.

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2 – Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a true trailblazer in the household staffing industry. Having secured a small business loan in 2006, at the age of 24, she founded VIP Nannies Inc. & Household Staffing providing families with qualified nannies, personal assistants, newborn care specialists, chefs, and housekeepers. Since 2006, Stewart’s company has become the preferred agency for celebrities, affluent individuals, and families seeking premiere quality household staff. Stewart has always been focused on her ever-evolving career, dense in opportunities, and committed to learning through every relationship created with her high-profile clients; this has created VIP Nannies Inc. & Household Staffing’s trajectory set for masterstroke. Christine, Isabella, Danielle, and the entire team at VIP Nannies have played a vital role in the agency’s success, with founder Stewart valuing their contributions as equal partners in creating a culture of excellence that has made VIP the top choice for celebrities seeking the best household staff.

Stewart’s recognizable contributions have had her and her company decorated as award recipients, rightfully so. These decorations have accompanied her reputation in selection processes creating partnerships between VIP Nannies with the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers football teams as their preferred childcare provider. VIP Nannies’ distinguishable traits have also landed features on popular media outlets including E! News and Dr. Phil. A well-deserved accolade that highlights the organization’s commitment to excellence was also credited to VIP Nannies, awarded The Best Nanny Agency award by CBS. In 2016, the Los Angeles Lakers & Comerica Bank chose to present The Women In Business Award to Rebecca Stewart, aimed to honor and celebrate Stewart’s entrepreneurial skills and effective leadership strengths.

The dedication to her profession and passion provided through her reliable, perennial, and harmonious mutual selection processes for both staff and clients is evident in Stewart’s work. Through Stewart’s personable small-town roots, she brought refreshing qualities of authenticity, integrity, and a profound understanding of the humanistic experience to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, stretching her virtual abilities to every corner of the United States and all over the globe.

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3 – Simeon Nestorov

Simeon Nestorov is a name synonymous with success and excellence in the private equity growth sector. With an MBA from the prestigious Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the right to bear the CFA designation, Simeon has proven himself as a shrewd investor with an eye for identifying high-growth companies in consumer technology. As a partner in Connected Capital, Simeon has been instrumental in locating and investing in startups worth billions without being listed on the stock market. His team’s early investment in Freshly, a prepared meal delivery startup, resulted in its acquisition by Nestle for $1.5B. Similarly, their investment in Vydia, an online music publishing platform, led to its acquisition by Gamma, a sizable new music label backed by Apple with $1B.

Simeon and his team at Connected Capital stand out in their field due to their exceptional investment management approach. Unlike some of their peers, the Connected Capital team not only identifies and invests in promising concepts with strong traction – but also gets actively involved in the growth of the companies they invest in. Simeon’s career highlights include managing billions of dollars in both credit and equity assets and investing in transactions exceeding $30 billion, which earned him well-deserved recognition in the industry.

The advice Simeon offers aspiring investors is to be patient and willing to invest in the future in private market investing. Before investing in private or growth equity, he recommends that investors be comfortable with an investment and return horizon of five to eight years. In the future, Simeon and his team at Connected Capital intend to acquire young but established brands and grow them through their extensive experience in growth company investing management and later-stage working capital.

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4 – Kari Morin & Lisa Callahan

Kari Morin and Lisa Callahan are two exceptional entrepreneurs, podcasters, and business life coaches who are making an impact in their industry and whose message is resonating with women of all ages. Following years of exhaustion and deriving their self-worth from their various roles, Kari and Lisa gained invaluable insights from their personal and professional experiences. They completed extensive training as master-level coaches in life and business coaching and also achieved master-level certification in the Transformational Coaching Method, which is rooted in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. With The Things We Know Podcast, they share their wisdom, experiences, and stories with their audience, inspiring and entertaining them every week.

Through career changes, loss, marriage and motherhood, Kari and Lisa have found that there is nothing better than having other women who see and hear you, laugh with you, cry with you, and raise a glass to you. Their mission is to inspire women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond to embrace and celebrate this new chapter as a pivoting point for reflection, growth, and fun. The duo’s expertise has led them to become public speakers and hold leadership positions in various professional networking groups. Kari is the CEO and founder of Kari Morin Transformational Coaching LLC, where she supports women in leadership who struggle to find time to enjoy their success and have a life by reconnecting them with their own unique gifts and tools. Lisa is the CEO and founder of Transformation for Real, where she works with dynamic women who have great ideas and are ready to make a significant impact by first becoming their own biggest fan.

Looking ahead, the two are excited to grow their audience and expand their impact by bringing women together, because Kari and Lisa know firsthand that women transform powerfully in groups. Their plans include semi-annual retreats and group coaching opportunities. Additionally, they plan to continue their weekly podcast episodes to share insights and tools, all with a heavy dose of humor. Their lively conversations are filled with compelling discourse on issues confronting women in their “third chapter” as well as genuine admiration and appreciation for the women who have influenced them.

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5 – Jared Stern

Jared Stern is widely recognized as a symbol of unparalleled success in the financial industry, and for a good reason. At 25, he embarked on a mission to empower underprivileged clients with access to financing during personal injury cases by creating Uplift Legal Funding. In just five years, his business soared to become one of the preeminent names in the legal funding industry, thanks in no small part to his unrelenting dedication to putting his client’s interests first.

Jared has made it his mission to offer affordable and expeditious lawsuit loans to plaintiffs nationwide, with many loans processed in under 24 hours. What sets them apart from the crowd of other pre-settlement funding companies is their steadfast commitment to transparency and simple, non-compounding rates. Uplift Legal Funding is one of the few companies in its industry that provides upfront information about rates and fees. With Uplift Legal Funding, clients can rest easy, assured that they will receive the assistance they require and the top-notch service they deserve.

Among Jared Stern’s most distinguishing characteristics is his commitment to his employees. In his view, employees are the linchpins of any organization, and he has taken every measure to ensure they are prepared to face adversity head-on. His commitment to employee well-being has helped retain his employees and prevent burnout. Jared’s story is one of hope and inspiration, and he has positively impacted the lives of many through his contributions to the financial industry.

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6 – Rachel King

Rachel King is a highly respected figure in the legal industry, renowned for her exceptional skills as an attorney at law, her extensive veteran background, and her influential leadership of an all-female litigation team at King Law Firm Attorneys at Law, Inc. The team adeptly handles various legal disputes, including Family Law, Elder Abuse, Inheritance, Trust, Probate, and Conservatorship. Rachel’s unwavering commitment to her clients is reflected in her approach to legal representation, which prioritizes tactical litigation aimed at minimizing the risk of ruinous financial losses for her clients. A key component of her approach is her resolute dedication to finding solutions to problems, which she achieves through her natural problem-solving skills and legal expertise, providing clients in need with powerhouse representation.

As an accomplished attorney who has received several prestigious awards, including recognition as a 40 Under 40, Small Business of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year, Rachel also devotes a significant amount of time to volunteering in her local community. She has established the Attorney Mentor Program within the Southwest Valley Youth Court and was a founding member of the Douglas County Bar Association in Nevada, reflecting her extensive and meaningful involvement in the community. In recognition of her commitment to public service, she received the Murrieta Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016. Beyond her legal expertise and philanthropic endeavors, Rachel is also a trusted CBS News San Diego correspondent.

Rachel’s exceptional qualities, including her work-life balance and dedication, are widely recognized. For this purpose, she devotes most of her time to her small family farm, running, and practicing yoga, recognizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle to her effectiveness in the courtroom and strategic thinking. Another notable characteristic of hers is her steadfast commitment to integrity, which has been a crucial factor in her successful legal career, enabling her to achieve excellence. Rachel’s ultimate goal is to establish herself as a leading litigator in elder financial abuse and conservatorship cases, advocating for families and promoting change in government.

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7 – Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas, CEO of Performance360 Franchise Group, is quietly disrupting the group fitness industry by adopting a distinctive approach to group fitness. Starting with just one gym in a used boathouse, Dave has scaled his business to three locations in San Diego and franchised it to another 14 locations in its first year. One of the fundamental principles behind his business strategy is the shift from an owner-operated to an employee-operated business model. This approach necessitates the development of a strong brand that distinguishes itself within the industry. To accomplish this, he developed the concept of an “anti-group fitness gym” that focuses on building muscle and strength, not obsessing over calories burned. Performance360 also features what it calls its “no front desk” model to create the most frictionless experience possible for its members. Nevertheless, he recognizes that human interaction is vital to success rather than product or service quality. To ensure that his business offers quality service, he requires that every coach be certified in legitimate strength and conditioning certifications, undergoes a four-week onboarding process, and attend the annual Performance360 Coach Academy to stay abreast of industry trends and knowledge.

With its unique approach to group fitness, Performance360 has become known for the consistent improvement its members have seen weekly. Training programs offered by the gym are structured with a focus on specific techniques, including three unique forms of conditioning that blend physique, strength, and conditioning in every workout. In keeping with the business’s core values, Dave places greater importance on developing skills than burning calories. The gym’s philosophy emphasizes self-improvement and personal growth rather than weight loss. Ultimately, his long-term vision for Performance360 is to expand the gym’s reach to 100 locations across the United States and significantly impact the group fitness industry. His approach to strength training stands out in a market where many other group fitness programs need to emphasize cardio. Through developing a strong community and product, Dave is making great strides toward achieving his goals and leaving a lasting impact on the fitness industry.

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8 – Roman Reiterer & Christopher Faulhammer

Roman Reiterer and Christopher Faulhammer are the co-owners of bspk design inc, an award-winning residential design studio based in Venice, California. Their combined experience of over 50 years and over 400 successful projects enables them to prioritize timelessness over trends in their design approach, focusing on creating personalized homes to meet their clients’ needs. Roman’s early interest in environments’ emotional impact was inspired by his parents’ therapy careers. After studying interior design and furniture making in Austria, he moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, earning his master’s degree in interior architecture. On the other hand, Christopher was born and raised in Ohio, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in architecture from Kent State University. His next step was to study urban form in Florence, Italy, where he gained valuable experience working on multimillion-dollar homes and famous concert venues for Frank Gehry Partners, Lorcan O’Herlihy, and Xten Architecture. In 2006, Christopher relocated to Los Angeles with a fervent desire to pursue his passion for modern design. It was there that he connected with Roman, with whom he collaborated on various projects at RRID. Their shared love for design continued to grow, leading Christopher to found his own residential design practice, Think Design Office in 2014, before joining forces once again to establish Bspk Design in 2018.

To solidify its position as a leading partner in the industry, bspk design inc has amassed an impressive list of career highlights, including numerous design and service awards from Houzz. The firm has won seven Best of Design awards, as well as five Best of Service awards further cementing its position in the industry. As a company, they prioritize client relationships built on trust to deliver personalized service tailored to the client’s vision and values. By applying a holistic, hands-on design approach, the firm identifies the full potential of every project, fostering growth and authenticity in a constantly evolving environment. Looking to the future, bspk design inc, led by Roman and Christopher, aspires to service like-minded individuals worldwide, helping them fulfill their dreams of creating their ideal homes without prejudice.

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9 – Dr. Julia Taylor

Dr. Julia Taylor has earned a reputation as an esteemed management consultant by taking a contrarian approach emphasizing the need to view business as a system. Her company, Taylor Success Systems, provides tailored consulting services that begin with an assessment of the client’s operation from a holistic perspective. Through this approach, which includes internal research using interviews, surveys, and group discussions, Taylor develops targeted projects, such as identifying gaps in data flow, communication, and coordination, while helping with the formation of specific plans to implement actions to support effective Systems Processes. As part of her service, she also performs workshops and seminars to enhance strategy development, team building, employee productivity, and more.

Throughout her three-decade career, Taylor has stressed the importance of diagnosing and solving the right problem. Her commitment to the Systems Approach has earned her recognition and awards, including a position on the INCOSE International Board of Directors. Presently, she serves as President-Elect of the San Diego INCOSE Board and will serve as President next year. In addition to her extensive research on alternative communication methods, group dynamics, and individual and group productivity, Taylor has also demonstrated her credibility as a consultant through her published technical pieces. Her articles, such as “Using Systems Thinking in Cross Functional Teamwork to Create Innovation: Perspectives, Attitudes, & Intentions,” “Human Systems Integration for Organizational Longevity When Innovation is Key,” “Do Differences in Speed Affect the Process of Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering?” and “Global Changes Affecting Systems Engineering,” showcase her expertise in developing methodologies that integrate multiple variables into operational models without leaving out key elements.

Taylor’s current focus is on helping CEOs, Presidents, General Managers, and Managers with P&L Responsibility. She is passionate about optimizing the organizational systems of these clients from a business perspective, taking into account critical success factors. To help their organization function as a cohesive system, Taylor aims to address the big picture, the connections between people, technology, activities as well as help with Digital Transformation, Cybersecurity as a System, and Implementing New Innovation.

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10 – Bryan Granum

Bryan Granum is a real estate developer, investor and is the founding principal of Beam & Co.. With a deep commitment to transparency, service, and creating positive impact, Bryan has successfully cultivated a culture within his company that inspires and supports communities. Through his visionary leadership, he has positioned himself as a driving force in shaping the real estate landscape, leaving a lasting impression on those he serves.

Bryan’s career has been marked by his involvement in various real estate domains. He co-founded Invitation Homes in 2012, which has since grown into the premier single-family operator, managing almost 80,000 rental homes in 16 markets nationwide. Additionally, he has worked across various industry domains, gaining valuable experience in the Real Estate Development Group at Rose Associates, the Real Estate Acquisitions Group at Thor Equities, and the Fixed Income Division – Securitized Products Group at Morgan Stanley in New York City. With a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brigham Young University and a Master of Science in Real Estate from New York University, Bryan is well equipped to assist clients in all sectors of real estate.

For Bryan, real estate is more than just a business; it’s a platform for creating meaningful change. In his view, companies can positively impact their communities and society. Whether providing affordable housing, restoring public spaces, or making ecologically minded investments, he seeks long-term opportunities to benefit communities. Bryan’s devotion to positively impacting society is evident in his professional and personal pursuits. It is important to him that developments engage and help communities, and he is also deeply committed to philanthropic activities. An excellent example of his altruistic nature can be seen in his involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and WeHOPE, an organization committed to improving the community in the Bay Area. Bryan is confident that by working together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of others and pave the way for a brighter future.

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