Minnesota Business Magazine CEO Survey

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


CEO Honor Roll... Just for fun

(Note: All comments in this section are anonymous)

Smartest CEO

Nancy Lyons, Clockwork. “She’s an author, a speaker, an activist and a business owner. She balances soft and hard skills and keeps community good at the forefront.“

Joe Payne, new CEO at Code 42. “He’s brought focus to that team. He would rather they focus on being the best in the world at what they do instead of trying to branch out and let mediocrity creep in.”

Clay Collins, from Leadpages. “Otherwise I’d just say the CEO that navigates his/her company into a new market, establishing themselves as market-leader in an innovative/disruptive industry.”

Lili Hall, of KNOCK Inc. “What a brilliant business strategy Lili has developed that incorporates all corners of success from business to community!”
Archie Black, SPS Commerce. “56 consecutive quarters of growth, and voted best place to work in Minnesota must suggest he’s got something under that dust cover on top of his head :-)”

Vicki Raport, Quantum Retail. “Incredibly bright and creative, she tries to think outside of the box.”

Win Wallin, former CEO Medtronic. “Set the course by which others such as Bill George could capitalize on the solid foundation that he created. He had an incredible ability to blend wisdom with humor and intelligence. He was an inspirational leader that set the leadership tone many of us have spent our lives trying to emulate.”

Funniest CEO

Top pick: Nancy Lyons, Clockwork. “She brings a dry sense of humor to the workplace and business of all kinds. Helping people to be their best always interjecting laughter. She has an honest and real approach to life.”

Becky Roloff, CEO of YWCA. “She just makes you smile and laugh while being one of the strongest CEOs I know, as well.”

Amy Langer, SALO. “She has a great sense of humor and can easily make others laugh with her wit. Amy is welcoming and generous to others and is particularly supportive of women.”

Most Athletic CEO

Karen Herman, Karen Herman Tutoring. “She plays hockey and many other sports, embraces good sportsmanship and through her tutoring business working with special needs children, she makes them all feel a sense of accomplishment through sports.“

Rico Mace, CEO of Orman Guidance. “Rico is a Navy veteran.”

Mark Price, CEO of Lift Point Consulting. “The guy is over 50 and he’s an insane Cross Fitter. Play him in a game of tennis and he’ll likely beat you.”

Becky Roloff, YWCA Minneapolis. “Year after year Becky participates in the annual YWCA Triathlon!”

Fred Haberman, CEO of Haberman. “Pond Hockey!”

Best Dressed CEO

Top pick: Camille Thomas, CEO of JMC Retail Group. “She is beautifully dressed every moment in time.”

Becky Roloff, CEO of YWCA and Camille Thomas, CEO of JMC RETAIL GROUP Inc. “Few items they put together and yet such an impact! Classy and unique!”

Jen Biswas, of Paisley and Sparrow. “She wears ethically produced items, including Fair Anita swag! :)”

Paul Grangaard, from Allen Edmonds. “They deal in top of the line shoes and accessories, so he certainly has access to some of the greatest stuff available.”

Bert Colianni, Pohlad Companies. “He buys his clothes from Hubert White.”

Brenton Hayden, CEO of Renter’s Warehouse. “Always looks sharp.”

Best Networker

Richard Davis, CEO of US Bank. “For his recent work in getting the 2018 Superbowl for MSP.”

Suzy Hoaby, president of JL Buchanan. “She spends time connecting like-minded people and hosts their meetings at her office, providing refreshments and facilitating the meeting.

Amee McDonald, co-founder & CEO, jabber logic. “She is a natural, and she can recollect stories and events from the past that can be used to bring people together.”

Nancy Lyons, CEO and founder, Clockwork. “This women makes impact everywhere she goes. Just an amazing gift to all!”

Jennifer Smith, Innovative Office Solutions. “She has amazing connections and resources and is incredibly generous in sharing those connections and opportunities to others.”

Tom O’Neill, The Nerdery. “A go-getter and into everything.”

Hardest-Working CEO

Lisa Lavin, CEO Anser Innovation. “Brings new, never heard of products to market and keeps all the balls in the air. She never gives up and has achieved success.”

Camille Thomas, CEO JMC RETAIL GROUP INC. “She travels globally and keeps her business running in first place! Just amazing!”Comment: “Any start-up entrepreneur who is unrelenting and is willing to risk personal and professional reputation and financial stability to create a game-changing business that does well and does good for humanity. It’s not a road for the faint at heart.“

Most overeducated CEO

Mary Frantz, CEO of Enterprise Knowledge Partners/Alloy Group, eKp. “Her skills include over 25 years as a technology executive and expert in the fields of IT strategy, eDiscovery, compliance, enterprise risk, information security and enterprise architecture. STEM at its best!”

Myrna Marofsky, Business Women’s Circle. “She has a tremendous amount of common sense and business savvy and has guided many successful women.”

Comment: “Any CEO with a PHD or Master’s is probably over-educated. The most successful leaders I’ve ever met don’t seem to have advanced degrees; they earned their stripes in the real world. I have never worked for an MBA, but I’ve hired plenty. Think about that for a moment :)”

Most Humble CEO

Brigid O’Malley, CEO Reiling Construction. “She has a thriving construction company and is very down to earth, is calm and never acts like she has anything to do with the success.  It’s always about the other people.”

Brad Anderson, former CEO of Best Buy. “Complete class act and always went to the lowest levels of the company to get the real story (those closest to the customer). A true champion of values, ethics, and innovation. He supported the outside voices when the organization liked to quiet innovation.”

Timothy Danherder-Thomas, Cooperative Energy Futures. “The work he’s doing is absolutely vital to our world’s most daunting issue: climate change. He’s absolutely brilliant, yet works out of the spotlight.“

Paul Grangaard, CEO of Allen Edmonds. “I’ve found him to be a down to earth, no nonsense guy who doesn’t believe himself to be the smartest person in the room. I think a good leader always looks to surround him or herself with people smarter than them.“

Stacey Stratton, CEO True Talent Group. “Stacey is such a loving, talented and beautiful person. She is one of the most humble women I know and yet so driven.”

Marcia Page, co-CEO of Värde Partners. “Incredibly gifted and successful but quiet and humble about her achievements.”

Mary Brainerd, CEO of Health Partners. “Totally down to earth!”

John Goodman, chairman, Goodman Group. “Behind the limelight and has changed the world.”

Most Political CEO

Kirsten Kaufmann, CEO Effective Business Management Group. “Currently, Kirsten is a board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners as the Board Secretary and Director of the newly formed Public Policy Committee. She can get into more places and see more people in the political field and beyond!”

Lili Hall, Knock Inc. “Incredibly bright and committed. Intellectual and well educated. She is thoughtful in her decision-making and willing to consider various perspectives.”

Most Congenial CEO

Leah Moses, CEO of Improve Group. “She has a heart of gold and is so kind to everyone.”

Christine Fruechte, Colle + McVoy. “She’s personable and genuine. I’ve sat down with her a couple of times to chat. After each meeting, I leave energized, positive and feeling like I can take on whatever challenge we discussed.”

Eric Sannerud, CEO of Mighty Axe Hops. “Have you met the guy? It’s all love, beer, and hop jokes! :)”

Stacey Stratton, president True Talent Group. “She is someone you would want on your welcoming committee!”

Jay Lund, CEO Andersen Corporation. “Just one of the nicest people you could ever meet.”

Miscellaneous Superlative CEOs

Most Innovative CEO: Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda. “I think he was and will always be one of the greats in the cosmetic industry. He introduced the world to safe beauty products.”

The most inspirational CEO: Bianca Dawkins, of Faces for Hope.  “The story of the things she has overcome to build her business and create the change is absolutely incredible. A hero of mine, for sure.”

Most impactful to a community: Glen Taylor, Taylor Corp. “I went back to my alma mater (Minnesota State Mankato) and his presence is felt in that city in multiple ways. He most certainly hasn’t always been perfect, but I have much respect for someone who’s helped his city that much.”

CEO most likely to start his own coffee shop so he can have as much coffee as he wants: Ryan O’Neal, Minnesota Real Estate Show. “He’s fueled on coffee, networking and making people feel great about themselves.”

Best promoter of success of entrepreneurial women: Myrna Myrofsky, Business Women’s Circle. “She has led and grown the most entrepreneurial chapters of women in the U.S. for the Women’s Presidents Organization.”

Coolest CEO: Scott Wine, CEO Polaris. “He sells cool stuff!”