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Top 20 Pioneering CEOs of 2023

Leadership isn’t just about steering the ship; it’s also about knowing when to change course or even hand over the wheel. Whether that means recognizing a moment for potential merger, identifying the ideal successor for CEO, or understanding when it’s time to sell the business, wise leaders discern the right time for pivotal decisions that affect long-term success.

“The transition of leadership is as much an evolution as it is a revolution. As I step into this new role at TopRank Marketing, my philosophy for 2024 and beyond is clear: leaders in the B2B space must embrace adaptability and foresight. The market is too dynamic for us to stay stagnant,” says Donna Robinson, Incoming CEO at TopRank Marketing.

This aspect of leadership involves a keen awareness of the market, a realistic evaluation of one’s own capabilities, and a forward-looking vision for the organization. The questions to ask aren’t just about immediate gain but about long-term sustainability and growth. Leaders who excel in this area keep ego in check and prioritize what’s best for the organization over individual career milestones. Here are some of the leaders who are all set to make changes and transform the way they lead.

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Commonwealth Charter Academy | Building A Great Future Generation | Thomas D. Longenecker

Innovation is a crucial aspect of leadership. Innovative leaders can think creatively, identify opportunities, and develop new ideas to help their organizations grow and stay relevant in a constantly changing world. They can inspire their teams to think outside the box and create new solutions to problems. Thomas D. Longenecker is an innovative leader with the unique ability to strategize at the micro and macro levels.

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Igniting Success® | Enhancing Human Potential | Angela Cusack

Angela Cusack, Founder & CEO of Igniting Success®, is understated and patient. She moves quickly as she partners with executive leaders in shaping cultures that produce deeper connections, higher engagement, and overall well-being and prosperity for all involved. Angela is an impact player. Someone whom many refer to as their “organization’s secret weapon.” Her presence is felt throughout an organization, even if she can only be found coaching and consulting within the C-suite. The new insights, actions, and results from working with Angela undeniably impact more than just one’s professional life.

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Tridon Communications | The Transformative Solution Provider | Ben Thompson

Tridon Communications, founded in 1981 and currently led by Ben Thompson, CEO, Chad Tomachefski, CGO, and Greg Tolson, COO, is western Canada’s leading Telecommunications System Integrator (TSI). Tridon aims to address all aspects of telecommunication system requirements, including PTT land mobile radio, fiber optics, structured cable, access control, PTP wireless and microwave, tower construction and maintenance, cyber security, and more.

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Urban League Of Greater Chattanooga | A Driver Of Change | Candy C. Johnson​

Before taking on the helm of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga as its first female President and CEO, Candy Johnson served in a variety of leadership roles. Ranging from being the youngest-ever elected City Council member in her hometown at the age of 25 years old, to running a successful non-profit education foundation, serving as policy director at a Chamber of Commerce, to senior advisor to the Mayor of Chattanooga, and as an independent consultant for non-profits and business organizations.

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The Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce | Supporting Businesses with Powerful Advocacy | David Duplisea

David Duplisea took the reins at the Saint John Board of Trade just about ten years ago. Previous boards of Directors had discussed the possibility of partnering with the region’s Chambers and business associations to create a single organization. David’s first task as the CEO was to rebrand the legacy institution as a regional Chamber and merge four organizations into one from financial, by-laws, membership, and brand perspectives.

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Campagna Academy | Changing Young Lives, Daily | Elena Dwyre

Society calls them “at-risk,” “delinquent,” or “troubled.” At Campagna Academy, they have always been called by name. Founded over 70 years ago as Hoosier Boys’ Town, Campagna Academy today restores the hopes and dreams of over 500 youths and families per year. Campagna is a 501c3, non-profit, social services agency licensed by the Indiana Department of Child Services and accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc (COA) and CARF International accredits their residential programs. Campagna Academy’s life-changing programs strengthen and reunite families, allowing young men and women to make positive life changes that lead to social responsibility and personal success.

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CADJPro Payroll Solutions | A Fearless Leader | Garcia Hanson-Francis

Garcia Hanson-Francis is the owner of CADJPro Payroll Solutions. A business payroll, virtual outsourcing, and bookkeeping business. Garcia recently joined BACD’s Expert Network, and as such, we want to share their expertise with you. Her qualities include problem-solving, proficiency with industry software, communication with clients and employees.

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Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank | San Diego County’s Leading Hunger-Relief Organization | James A. Floros

“The efficiency and effectiveness that is required in the for-profit sector is even more important in the nonprofit sector because you are doing more with less, with less staff and less resources,” he explains. “Three to four weeks into the pandemic, I realized how well our organization was doing and I realized it was because of the work we had done in building an organization based on excellence.”

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OnView Integrated Solutions | The Guardian Angel | Joel Anaya

Joel Anaya, CEO of OnView Integrated Solutions, has been instrumental in building the company from the ground up. His innovation and vision transformed the way the company has scaled its business. OnView is a security provider bringing proactive solutions specifically designed to deter suspicious behavior in real-time before the crime occurs. He is a passionate crime fighter and integrator with a law enforcement background and a security technology background.

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Arete Wealth | Offering Excellence & Virtue | Joshua D. Rogers

A forward thinker, Joshua D. Rogers is always focused on the future. His vision was to introduce a smart, sophisticated approach to investing and wealth building. Since founding Arete Wealth in 2007, he’s done just that. Joshua’s brought an endowment-style of asset allocation to a broader audience of investors. From hedge funds to bespoke investments, his dream was to bring a new perspective to investing. Arete Wealth is the embodiment of that vision: a dynamic, energetic, comprehensive wealth management firm focused on the future.

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