Corp America 2016 CEO of the Year

Welcome to the 2016 CEO of the Year.

The past twelve months have been both exciting and tough, as the corporate landscape faced many economic, social and political challenges. Despite this many firms have come out on top, and as such we are keen to highlight the CEOs who have led their companies to success and prosperity.

Among these industry greats we have Bob Engel, CEO of CoBank, a B2B lender which has flourished under his leadership, growing from around $20 billion to over $120 billion in assets under his expert stewardship. Bob identified the unique positive attributes and potential of the company and worked hard to capitalzse on these in order to drive the firm to the success it enjoys today.

In addition, we profile Doug Luckett, CEO CaroMont Health, an independent health system that provides innovative medical and wellness services across North Carolina. Drawing on over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare industry Doug has helped drive excellence and create a dedicated team of healthcare professionals who provide the very highest standard of care to their patients.

Another innovative leader helping to shape a vital market is Rod Chappell, CEO of HBCU Direct, an organization dedicated to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Drawing on the expertise of Rod and his dedicated team the firm aggregates the U. S’s 100-plus HBCUs in an effort to increase revenues, decrease expenses and provide career opportunities for students through connections with corporate and government partners.

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the team here at Corp America.

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Corp America December 2016

Welcome to the December issue of Corp America Magazine.

Following an exciting year, we showcase the very best of the best from throughout 2016; from our CEO of the Year section, which profiles some of the best Chief Executive Officers from across the corporate landscape, through to our Small Cap awards which highlight the most dynamic firms which fall into this company category.

In order to make the New Year even better than the last we invited Richard Tyler, the leading business author, to provide us with the definitive guide to building a profitable, sustainable business in today’s marketplace.

For those who had a stressful holiday season, Corp America has the answer: Shahla Day Spa & Threading in Connecticut, a spa which is on a mission to popularise the concept of threading.
As 2016 draws to a close we would like to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous new year.

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The 2016 Small Cap Awards Press Release

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 Corporate America Unveils the 2016 Small Cap Awards Winners

United States, December 2016 – Corporate America announces the winners of the 2016 Small Cap Awards.

Small cap companies work hard to stay at the forefront of the corporate landscape, as they compete against larger companies and increasing economic and political challenges.

As such we have created the 2016 Small Cap Awards which highlights the excellent work of the firms, and the people behind them, that shape the small cap space.

Laura Hunter, Awards Co-ordinator, is extremely proud of her award winners and the incredible success they have achieved: “Small cap companies, although often overlooked, play a vital role in the business market and help to shape the society we live in. It is a genuine honor to be able to showcase their vital work and I would like to wish each of my winners continued good fortune going forward.”

All winners for the awards were the result of months of research and analysis from Corporate America’s dedicated awards team. As a result, each and every winner was chosen on merit only, and can take great pride from the fact that they were selected for their success.

To find out more about the best of the best in the small capital market, please visit the Corporate America website (www.corporateamerica-news.com) for full a full winners’ list and a link to our winners’ supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Corporate America Magazine

Corporate America is the definitive magazine for CEOs, top tier management and key decision makers across the US. Created to inform, entertain, influence, and shape the corporate conversation across the nation through high quality editorial, in-depth research and an experienced and dedicated network of advisers, Corporate America provides our readership with the most authoritative and current analysis of the major changes effecting the corporate landscape, and the latest deals and topical issues dominating the corporate universe.

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Simplifying Customer Loyalty

CEO of the Year – USA

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Interactcrm is the developer of the Interactcrm Customer Experience Platform, or ICX, a
fully omni channel customer interaction management platform. Not only does Interactcrm
have customers across the globe, from the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and
Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions to the USA, but the company also maintains a diverse reach across
multiple industries that stand to benefit from the ICX platform, including banking, financial,
utilities, insurance, e-commerce and manufacturing sectors. We spoke to Snehal Patel, ‘CEO of
the Year, the USA’ to find out more about the company.

Any company that has a team of dedicated people managing customer service is a good fit for ICX, and Interactcrm’s CEO, Snehal Patel, expresses a strong desire to drive loyalty to the company through exceptional customer experience, hence the company tagline, “Simplifying Customer Loyalty”.

As a first-generation immigrant from India, who came to the USA to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering at USC, Snehal spent almost a decade working for small and large companies in USA, before striking out to lead a lifestyle in which he could achieve greater control over his time and destiny. “I founded Interactcrm in 2002 and have been CEO since the beginning,” he says. “I am responsible for Vision, Strategy and Overall Execution. As a bootstrapped operation with no external investment till date, I have to also manage cashflow and ensure that the business continually remains financially sustainable and is able to grow. While I have to keep an eye on financial management, I spend most of my time with the product team to help define product direction, and with the sales team to drive revenues.

“After spending almost eight years as a services company, Interactcrm used its domain expertise to build the Omnichannel Customer Experience platform known as ICX. Turning Interactcrm into a product company was challenging since the immediate cashflow started diminishing. But it had to be done as a strategic move to create sustainability and drive IP and valuation. We did manage to get through it with a lot of pain and finally the product was shipped and we are now a license revenue driven operation and not a services company anymore. This remains one of the most challenging things I have accomplished at Interactcrm.”

This push to overcome challenging market situations, and to bring real, meaningful assistance to companies in need of sophisticated software, takes a solid form in ICX, which allows companies to manage real time interaction with their customers via voice, email, web chat, SMS and social channels. The system allows a customer service representative to see full omnichannel interaction history for every single customer. Every interaction is personalized and routed based on customer profile, past interaction history and other intelligence such that the customer experience is personal and delightful. At the heart of the system is customer context management, which allows for the context of any conversation to be preserved and presented to the right person at the right time.

Discussing the innovation that gave birth to the ICX platform, Snehal demonstrates the need for a strong knowledge of the market, as a backbone to conducting business in sometimes-challenging circumstances. “Firstly, you need to know the market very well,” he expands. “The domain knowledge is crucial; this is why you should stick to your core competence when you build a company.

“Secondly, you need to be honest about what you cannot do and who you cannot compete with. We tend to get emotional about what we build but you have to be practical since at the end of the day what you build is useless if nobody is willing to buy it.”

“Finally, you have to drive innovation within your team and challenge them to do new things. Not easy to do with a limited risk appetite that a bootstrapped company tends to have but a balance has to be struck as much as possible.”

By keeping constant track of new and emerging trends, and by spending time in Silicon Valley, Snehal witnesses a lot of innovation, and that helps him and his team to develop fleshed-out long term strategies, with enough flexibility to account for any major upsets in market conditions. When it comes to products, flexibility is paramount – open system architecture, Snehal says, is the only safety against a changing world.

“For example,” he adds, “Software as a Service (SaaS) was not a factor a decade ago but today it is becoming a way of life for many companies. You have to deal with constant change in the tech industry and ensure your platform has some ability to adapt. You cannot always predict the future but you have to find a way to hedge your bets the best you can.”

From a business strategy standpoint, Snehal realises that is often tough to compete with larger players. “We sell enterprise software to big corporations and often face stiff competition from larger players. The way we dealt with this is to build a niche for ourselves and be nimble. The flexibility and speed of execution has served us well and that is critical in such a scenario. Trying to be all things to everyone is a recipe for failure, especially for a start-up. It is a tough call to make, since every bit of revenue looks attractive to the needy, but some tough decisions have to be made in the interest of long-term success; that is my responsibility to shoulder.”

Interactcrm has evolved into a mature product company with marquee customers, and Snehal recognises that it now needs to reach the next level of growth; given the market landscape, he looks forward to M&A scenarios in which he and his company can work with larger organizations and give them significant added value. Five years from now, Snehal sees himself spending more time advising start-ups as a mentor, and assisting them in growing from the same humble origins as Interactcrm once did.

Contact Details

Company: Interactcrm
Contact:
Snehal Patel
Address:
35111 Newark Blvd #122,
Newark CA 94560, USA
Email: [email protected]
 
Telephone:
1 510 795 7645
Website: www.interactcrm.com

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The 2016 Dealmaker Awards Press Statement

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Corporate America Unveils the 2016 Dealmaker Awards Winners

United States, 2016 – Corporate America announces the winners of the 2016 Dealmaker Awards.

The Corporate America Dealmaker Awards have been launched to identify and commemorate the successes, spectacular results and class-leading client service of some of the M&A world’s key players. Recognizing and rewarding the very best dealmakers and decision makers from across the M&A market, this programme rewards only the very best.

Steve Simpson, Awards Co-ordinator, expressed her pride in his deserving award winners: “The corporate deals and M&A markets have historically been among the corporate arena’s strongest performers, and as such these awards celebrate the tireless efforts and stunning achievements of all those involved in making it so through seeing to completion the key deals that have a part to play in shaping businesses, local economies and even entire countries. I am honored to have been able to showcase the hard work of every one of my winners and I would like to wish them well going forward.”

All winners for the awards were the result of months of research and analysis from Corporate America’s dedicated awards team. As a result, each and every winner was chosen on merit only, and can take great pride from the fact that they were selected for their success.

To find out more about the best of the best in the legal, please visit the Corporate America website (www.corporateamerica-news.com) for full a full winners’ list and a link to our winners’ supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Corporate America Magazine

Corporate America is the definitive magazine for CEOs, top tier management and key decision makers across the US. Created to inform, entertain, influence, and shape the corporate conversation across the nation through high quality editorial, in-depth research and an experienced and dedicated network of advisers, Corporate America provides our readership with the most authoritative and current analysis of the major changes effecting the corporate landscape, and the latest deals and topical issues dominating the corporate universe.


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Recycling Technologies Appoints New Non-Executive Director

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Recycling Technologies today announced that Paul Hodges, a trusted adviser to major global chemical companies and the investment community, has joined the Recycling Technologies Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Paul has worked in the chemical industry for 30 years having initially spent 17 years as a senior executive with one of the world’s leading companies, ICI, both in England and the USA. Here he held senior executive positions in petrochemicals and chloralkali, and was Executive Director of a billion-dollar ICI business.

Paul is Chairman of IeC and is currently working as the Global Expert with the World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the Energy Institute and a freeman of the City of London.

Paul writes the ICIS Chemicals & the Economy blog, is co-author of the influential new study Demand – the New Direction for Profit, and regularly writes for the Financial Times. He is also a well-known face on the international speaker circuit.

Paul’s invaluable experience of the petrochemical market, along with his knowledge of global markets, will prove extremely beneficial to Recycling Technologies as it further develops the business and the RT7000, a machine incorporating a recycling chemical process which will be assembled on production lines then installed at Material Recovery Facilities [MRFs] around the world.

Adrian Griffiths, CEO, Recycling Technologies comments: “We are thrilled with this latest addition to the board. Paul has an enviable track record in the petrochemical industry and we are looking forward to the insight and contribution that he will undoubtedly make to the business as we forge ahead with our plans for 2017.”

Paul Hodges, Non-Executive Director, Recycling Technologies comments: “Recycling Technologies aims to contribute to the creation of a circular economy for plastics, which ultimately could dramatically reduce the negative impacts of plastic waste. I am very excited to be part of this innovative organisation that is fast gaining recognition around the world.”

The potential for Recycling Technologies’ innovation to contribute towards tackling the problem of plastic waste is being recognised across the industry. Recycling Technologies has been shortlisted for a number of awards and recently was specially selected to exhibit at leading trade show, Innovate 2016. Recycling Technologies has also been included in an initiative called Unreasonable Impact – the first international network of accelerators focused on scaling up entrepreneurial solutions to pressing societal and environmental problems.

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A Recipe for Success

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Greco and Son’s is a full-service distributor operating out of Phoenix, Arizona, with an acute specialization in Italian and Mediterranean concepts, but also with a presence in many quick-serve and sports bar restaurant concepts as well.

Founded by Eddie Greco and his father Pasquale in 1990, the company holds sway over a growing enterprise; with its corporate office, manufacturing facility and main distribution centre based in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett, Illinois, the company also has a distribution facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Phoenix, Arizona. From here, the company services Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California and the Las Vegas markets from these strategic points. We caught up with the President of Greco Arizona, Tony Yannone, to uncover his role as a CEO in driving continued expansion across the company.

Greco & Sons has experienced change on a regular basis since it was founded, so as to include numerous different concepts. In its infancy, Greco manufactured fresh Italian sausage, and just distributed to pizza and Italian fine-dining restaurants.
Tony Yannone is the President of Greco Arizona, as well as a partner in the business. As such, he is responsible for all facets of this facility from formulating the annual budget to implementing and executing the company’s annual plan for growth and profitability. Alongside, he manages the directors of all departments and oversee daily operations.

Tony begins by describing Greco’s expansion into Arizona – reflecting on the swift establishment and astronomical growth, he refers to it like being strapped to a rocket. “We began March 3rd 2008 in a 35,000-square-foot facility with only a couple of trucks. We grew very rapidly then moved into our current 70,000-square-foot facility just four years later in 2012. We are now constructing a 130,000-square foot facility which we will move into the 1st quarter of 2017. Five years from now? I will let you know – right now, this rocket just keeps accelerating.”

To Tony, this underlines the important role that Greco & Sons plays in the industry, by providing a range of product lines and brands that are recognized as the best in the industry. “Greco and Sons has an excess of 12,000 items that have been sourced worldwide, specializing in pizza products, Italian specialties, as well as all other foodservice applications. Greco also operates as a USDA inspected facility, where we handle and process fresh beef, fresh pork, fresh poultry, and our very own ‘world-class’ line of Italian Sausage.

“We always pride ourselves on carrying the best quality products in our industry. Our competitors all like to push private label products; there is no loyalty to those brands.”
To Tony, his involvement in Greco & Sons is a very personal experience, and one that he is forthcoming about, especially in regards to his approach to leadership and management of staff in this rapidly growing business. “My partner and friend Eddie Greco, the founder and principle owner of Greco and Son’s, has been a mentor for me. I always knew how to work hard but he
always inspired me to push beyond what I thought were my limits. It was very tough at times. I have always found my greatest lessons are learned when things are at their worst. That is when the true character of a man is exposed. Do you give up? Or do you dig in and face the challenge.”
Tony has carried these principals through to the way he runs his company. He is immensely proud to have created a culture of hard-working employees throughout all levels in this company. “When we interview potential new employees, we spend 90 per cent of the interview evaluating if that employee will meet our culture of striving for excellence and doing whatever it takes. We do not focus on asking about their skill set – we can teach that. What you cannot teach is the “Can Do” attitude that we aspire to. We can stoke a ‘fire in the belly ’ and make it into an inferno, but it can be very difficult to light that fire to begin with.”

Tony’s background as a leader comes from his childhood dream of being a career military man. “I have always had a great respect and admiration for the men and women who serve our country – I think it is the highest honor in our land, and I was on that path from an early age. I began to beg my parents to go to a military academy when I was 12. After convincing them to visit a few Military Academies they began to see the advantages of a high discipline environment and leadership training that the good ones promote.
“And so, I attended Missouri Military Academy in Mexico Missouri – their motto was “If You Don’t Want Them, Neither Do We”. The washout rate was quite high, with very few cadets graduating from the entire 4-year program. I was very proud of that particular accomplishment. I learned some of my greatest leadership skills from my time at the Academy – it was hammered into us every day all day. While I was there, it was rated as not only the top military academy in America by the US Army, but also as the top private school.

Unfortunately for Tony, his ambitions underwent a sudden and drastic change in course when, in his Sophomore year at Florida State University, his mother was involved in a very serious car accident and remained in a coma for 16 years before passing away. “Shortly after my mother’s automobile accident, my father was having a difficult time coping with running our family business Arena Distributing Company  (Pizza Supply Company) and managing my mother’s extreme circumstances. That is when I knew it was time to help out at the family business.” Tony states unequivocally that he has no regrets about not finishing college, or getting a chance to follow his military dream.
“I enjoy what I do,” he says proudly. “Heralding from a traditional Italian family, we were all very close. My father was definitely my greatest teacher. He was an incredible salesman and could read people like no other. Our family lifestyle seemed to always revolve sitting around a table full of food either to strategize for our family business or discuss current events in our personal lives.”
Drawing his strong leadership traits from this devoted, close-knit family circle, as well as his military upbringing, Tony channels these energies into a new direction, working along with Eddie Greco to build the company based on extreme customer service.

“Many people preach that, but don’t really live it,” he states. “We do not put a price on servicing our customers. I have a standing order for every manager in this company: if you find yourself in the situation where you don’t know what to do and cannot find your supervisor, then make your decision to always service our customer, no matter what the cost. That way, you can never be in trouble from me – even if I don’t agree with your decision – because you chose to service our customer.”

As if to reinforce this message of putting the customer above all else, Tony shares an anecdotal reference to what he describes as the ‘light-switch’. “I tell this story because it is about training your mind set. The difference between most people and highly successful people is just that little extra effort. Have you ever walked out of a room and you are two steps out the door and realize you left the light on? That is the critical moment of choice: do you take the couple extra steps back and shut the light off, or do you say ‘hey, it’s not that big of a deal – I will be coming back in a while anyway’? Training yourself to always take that little extra step makes all the difference between mediocre and greatness.

“Last Friday, I had just left the office and a customer called me. He said that he might be short on shortening for his fryer this weekend. I said I just left the office but I can turn back and bring it to him – it was right by my home, anyway. The customer said, ‘no, I can probably make it through the weekend anyway.’ He let me off the hook, so what do you think I did? I called home and said I would be a little late for dinner.”

Reflecting on his own past experiences with being micro-managed – an experience he has no fond memories of – Tony pledges to not do that to his own managers. “I give them the responsibility for their position,” he explains, “but I also give them the authority that goes along with that. I have found that it is the best way to create good leaders – I hold them accountable for their results in each department, and this sometimes includes letting them fail and learn from that experience.”

On top of his credentials as a leader of employees, Tony confesses to being a big fan of technology – however, he also expresses concerns that businesses need to be careful when it comes to the danger of information overload. As he explains, “sometimes we spend so much more time managing information – especially through email – that it takes our focus away from what is important: the customers. We talk quite a bit about Return on Investment (ROI) of our time; in other words, what is going to be our largest return for the time invested? I have seen many employees get frustrated because they are not doing a good job while working long, hard hours. That tells you they are not making good choices about how they prioritize their time spent on tasks.
“If an employee is doing a poor job, the first person I look at is their manager, and then myself. Why did we not create an environment for that employee to succeed? Was it insufficient training, equipment needs, resources etc. I make a big distinction between management skills and leadership skills.

A leader gets his employees to want to do a good job. A manager can sometimes create the same result, but not have the respect of the team. That is why we push leadership qualities and skills. People can be your best asset in business, or they can be your worst.

In the matter of Greco Arizona, Tony is unabashed in his claims to have “the best employees in the business.” He is, he says, very fortunate to be surrounded by people that have real talent, and while he gets a lot of the credit for the superb work that they do, he works hard to create an environment that lets their individual talents shine. “While we do have a chain of command, we do not allow our employees to put titles on their business cards. We want to create a humble atmosphere which fosters a better team attitude. No room for egos here – nothing good ever comes from it.
“I really do owe it all to them.”

Company: Greco & Sons of Arizona
Name: Tony Yannone
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.grecoandsons.com
Address: 402 S 63rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85043
Telephone: (602) 437-860

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