In order to build the world’s most successful companies, CEOs and founders can’t be solely focused on their bottom line. These professionals must also possess the foresight, business acumen, and emotional intelligence necessary to operate companies that are able to remain resilient in the face of adversity while also continuing to deliver valuable products and services to their customers.
Today, we’re going to look at 25 CEOs and Founders who have created companies that exemplify these values. Keep reading on to see which professionals were picked.
1. Dr. Krishna Bhatta
Dr. Krishna Bhatta, MD, FRCS is the Founder and Chairman of the mobile application Relaxx, a meditation and wellness app that helps people learn how to manage their internal energy to achieve peace and well-being with the practice of intermittent silence™, mindfulness, and various meditation techniques or practices. Aside from serving as the Founder of Relaxx, Dr. Bhatta is also a credited inventor, published author, and an accomplished surgeon. He currently serves as Chief of Urology at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.
2. Scott Bonvissuto
Since Scott Bonvissuto founded Console Vault®, The Original In-Vehicle SafeⓇ in 2002, his leadership has allowed his company to grow into one of the most successful businesses in everyday automobile protection and theft prevention. For nearly 20 years, Console Vault’s® innovative product line of In-Vehicle Safes has allowed owners of cars, motorcycles, and trucks from some of the most reputable manufacturers in the industry to add an extra layer of protection to their vehicles.
3. Zee Cohen-Sanchez
Zee Cohen-Sanchez has dedicated her career to helping others create meaningful and impactful political change through kickstarting progressive candidates’ campaigns. As the Founder and Executive Director of Sole Strategies, she helps often overlooked, working-class people, generate the funding and support they need in order to empower their movements, have a strong voice against the competition, and embolden democracy, and generate people-powered political campaigns that can win races.
4. Rotem Eylor
As the Founder and CEO of Republic Flooring, Rotem Eylon is leading the charge for flooring products that are not only professionally manufactured to be resilient and waterproof, but also exciting in their design. Being committed to environmental sustainability, Republic Flooring under Eylor’s leadership has set new industry standards for quality, as well as the health and safety offerings of innovative and eco-friendly flooring solutions.
5. Patrick Frank
Patrick Frank is one of the two minds behind PatientPartner, a digital platform that connects patients to certified medical experts and others who have undergone similar medical procedures or experiences, alongside his co-founder, George Kramb. As co-founder of PatientPartner, Frank and his platform have helped form thousands of meaningful connections, offering patients access to qualified advice and a uniquely human element to help them navigate the multitude of uncertainties they face in the US healthcare system.
Frank also owns The Couples Company, a brand dedicated to providing tools to help couples discover and connect with each other in a healthy way. The brand’s most prominent tool is a non-legally binding contract for all types of relationships and partnerships to use to gain clarity, set expectations, and get on the same page. The contract can be fun, serious, or anything in between. Most importantly, it helps start the conversations that are meaningful to a person and their partner.
6. Craig Goodliffe
After noticing a distinct market gap between his fellow real estate agents and the support they needed to best serve their clients, Craige Goodliffe founded Cyberbacker — a company that vets and hires qualified virtual assistants — in 2018. With a focus on hiring employees in developing and underserved regions, Goodliffe and Cyberbacker have since gone on to provide thousands of people with valuable employment opportunities, generating hundreds of thousands in revenue for both his own company as well as those utilizing its global services.
7. John Horn
Since joining StubGroup nearly ten years ago as the company’s Digital Performance director, Horn’s foresight and efficacy for business has since landed him a role as the company’s CEO. Under Horn’s leadership, StubGroups has been able to grow into an online advertising agency boasting more than 10,000 successful client campaigns, generating millions of valuable leads and over $350 million in revenue for those clients.
8. Ali Hynek
Upon founding Nena & Co. in 2013, Ali Hynek envisioned sharing parts of her Guatemalan culture through cultivating elegant, creative, and impactful designs for rugs, pillows, handbags, and other accessories. With the help of her mother and business partner, Cony, Hynek regularly traveled to Guatemala to find the best sources and weavers of Huipils—the unique fabrics used in her company’s one-of-a-kind products. Through her dedication to excellence and equality, Hynek has helped honor her culture and better the lives of traditional craftspeople in Guatemala with fair wages and sustainable products.
9. Dr. Mona Jhaveri
Dr. Mona Jhaveri is the Founder of Music Beats Cancer, the first nonprofit of its kind that utilizes charitable crowdfunding to address crucial funding gaps in the ongoing war against cancer. The organization strategically partners with independent artists and music industry stakeholders to help raise awareness and funds. In doing so, innovators working on cancer-fighting solutions can raise invaluable non-dilutive funds from charitable donors who find their campaigns compelling and worthy of support. Through Dr. Jhaveri’s leadership, Music Beats Cancer enables the public to participate in the biomedical innovative process, which has normally (although unfairly) been the role of pharma and institutional and private investors.
10. Bryon Kroger
Rarely would one place the bureaucracy of the US military and the technological innovations of Silicon Valley in the same realm, but this is precisely what Rise8 founder Bryon Kroger envisions for the future. As a veteran of the US Air Force, and co-founder of the DoD’s first software factory Kessel Run, Kroger is bridging the gap between the archaic practices of govtech and the speed that Silicon Valley startups are known for.
11. Victoria Liu
Victoria Liu is the founder and CEO of BYPPO and is a leader in changing the way people procure food in this tech-heavy world. She is the first female minority CEO to work directly with the University of Florida in Gainesville to provide an all-student-led delivery program that puts community and networking at its core. In just 2 years, she has worked with 40+ businesses and currently serves over 15,000 customers to bring food convenience to the next level. During the pandemic, Victoria offered her business’ services completely free to the Gainesville, FL community.
12. Nicholas Mathews
Nicholas Mathews founded Stillwater Behavioral Health to offer recovering addicts a healthy and safe place to heal. As a former addict himself, Mathews has first-hand experience getting clean. He founded his dual-diagnosis treatment facility to offer personalized care, as exemplified by his center’s 3:1 staff-to-patient ratio, employment of certified medical experts, and luxurious amenities. In this way, Stillwater offers recovering addicts the best environment possible to not only beat their disease, but also reemerge into life with the support they need to succeed.
13. Lisa Miller
Most Americans are no stranger to the high costs that are often associated with the country’s healthcare system, but few are privy to the costs of care their healthcare providers can face. In 1999, Lisa Miller founded VIE Healthcare Consulting to help mitigate those front-end costs by analyzing their financial data through a forensic lens, identifying where opportunities to increase margins exist, and implementing solutions to rapidly expand those margins, leading to over $700 million saved across more than 1,000 different organizations since her company’s inception.
14. Tim Murphy
Tim Murphy, the CEO of APX dba Boomers Parks, spent his life growing up in the theme park industry, beginning with his family’s own park, The Spirit of ‘76, in his native state of New Jersey. Since acquiring Boomers Parks in 2020, Murphy’s financial and hospitality management expertise has helped save the company from bankruptcy and grow it into a thriving enterprise boasting multiple locations nationwide and tens of millions in annual revenue.
15. Kevin O’Brien
Kevin O’Brien, a co-founder of Ford O’Brien, LLP, is a Harvard Law School-educated lawyer who previously served as an Assistant US Attorney for the Department of Justice and as Chief Counsel to the New York State Commission on Government Integrity. Prior to co-founding his own law firm in 2012, O’Brien worked as a litigation partner for nearly a decade before being recognized as a New York Super Lawyer. He has written numerous articles on various legal topics, such as the Elizabeth Holmes trial, the Varsity Blues cases, and the SEC’s enforcement actions. He has tried over 25 cases to verdict, including numerous jury trials.
16. Josh Pather
Few entrepreneurs embody the philosophy of the “American Dream” as well as Josh Pather. Upon arriving in the US from South Africa in 2001 with only two bags of belongings to his name, Pather capitalized on the internet boom of the 2000s, becoming an SEO and marketing expert before transitioning into the realm of portable photo booths for events. By 2014, the business he co-founded was servicing over 800 events each year, leading Pather to turn his successful venture into franchise opportunities for other like-minded entrepreneurs. As of 2020, Photo Booth International has empowered over 3,000 entrepreneurs to find financial freedom with their own businesses.
17. Denise Reddy
Denise Reddy is the CEO and founder of Harebell Sustainable Shop, a business rooted in the philosophies of inclusivity, fair trade, and kindness which it exemplifies through its collection of ethically-sourced products inspired by the beauty of Latin America. A native of Buenos Aires, Reddy translated her time growing up around nature to her love for sustainability, which shines through all the products found in Harebell Shop.
18. Stephanie Ryan
Dr. Stephanie Ryan, the founder of Ryan Education Consulting, LLC, is an established professional academic researcher, published author, and Learning Sciences expert on a mission to make STEM education more broadly accessible. She is a fierce proponent of equity in experiences and inclusive representation in science. Her first book, Let’s Learn About Chemistry, aims to help young children foster an appreciation for the sciences from a young age, making learning as entertaining as it is educational.
19. Chas Sampson
Former U.S. Army Iraqi War Veteran and Decision Officer/VA Rater at the United States Department of Veteran AffairsChas Sampson founded Seven Principles to help his fellow Veterans empower themselves and improve their lives. Monikered after the seven Army values, the company’s mission is to identify, analyze, and execute solutions to put more money in Veterans’ pockets each month and for the rest of their lives. As a former claims decision officer, Sampson had no choice but to reject applications due to minor mistakes and technicalities. Now, he and his team advocate for his fellow veterans and prepare them to reenter society with maximized VA benefits and a career plan.
20. Ginni Saraswati
Contrary to what some may believe, podcasting is still a relatively new medium in media; one that Ginni Saraswati, founder of Ginni Media, has taken full advantage of. Founded in 2017 with a mission to motivate others to share their voices through podcasting, Ginni Media became a full-service podcasting company. Helping to create storylines, write pitches, perfect audio, and more, she produces sound design for top organizations in the tech, entertainment, and coaching industries, helping them humanize their voices with relatable and informative audio production services.
21. Maxim Simonovsky
When Maxim Simonovsky co-founded and launched SOAPY in 2018 while studying to obtain his MBA, the thought of a global pandemic was far from anyone’s mind. Although all of us now know the importance of washing our hands, SOAPY is the first company to develop a hand-washing system integrated with IoT technology and data to ensure each user washes their hands effectively. In 2020, SOAPY was named one of Red Herring’s Top 100 disruptive technologies.
22. Lubo Smid STRV
When Lubo Smid co-founded STRV in Prague back in 2004 with three of his peers, the world of software development for mobile apps and products was still a fledgling industry. Making the risky decision to relocate the Silicon Valley at the height of the mobile software boom, however, has paid off for Smid. Since that time, STRV’s commitment to excellence and quality has propelled it into the top 1% of global B2B companies, boasting successful projects for nearly 200 individual clients and brands.
23. Thomas Umbach
In 2008, Dr. Tom Umbach and his wife Holly moved from Oregon to Las Vegas, opening Blossom Bariatrics with the goal of becoming a leader in bariatric surgical procedures by offering an experience like none other in the medical field. Catering to traveling clients who are seeking a solution to weight loss and those frustrated with the high costs and long waits of traditional healthcare, Dr. Umbach’s office offers consult-to-surgery in a matter of days, including all fees, testing, and clearances plus hotel expenses and VIP transportation to and from all appointments, complete with post-op care and attention.
24. Jonathan Wicks
Although the short-term rental industry may be thriving in the US, it’s doing so on the backs of frustrated labor and inefficient systems—two issues that founder Jonathan Wicks seeks to eliminate through his company, Well & Good Property Services. Created on the premise that service solutions can present a “win/win” opportunity for everyone, including the nameless and faceless workers society cannot live without. By providing first-class maintenance, repairs, cleaning and monitoring services, Wicks’s company is able to provide outstanding service to its clients and incredible humanity to its workers.
25. Lauren Winans
Long before working remotely or from home became the norm, Lauren Winans knew there was a better way to leverage the skills and experience of qualified professionals to help more organizations with their people issues and projects. Since founding Next Level Benefits in 2019, Winans has created a company consisting of fully-remote former HR professionals, acting as an on-demand provider of crucial services to HR teams when they need it most. Through Next Level Benefits, HR teams can accomplish more work in less time, with less headcount and cost.