Vistage Member Showcase
Chris Sugai is the 2012 Vistage Member Leadership Award winner for passion. As the President of Niner Bikes, Chris designs, manufactures, and distributes high-end 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes. Chris has passionately pursued what was once an unpopular vision: bringing a cutting-edge, custom-feeling, 29-inch mountain bike to the market. He is credited with inspiring and leading an industry-wide change to 29-inch wheels for mountain bikes.
Chris is adventurous but driven. He hires only A-players and fosters a progressive culture amongst his 27 employees. Every person at Niner Bikes is a passionate cyclist, and their shared passion is what helps Niner Bikes grow and thrive. Chris believes that the best way of showing leadership is by being authentic and showing his passion for bikes and cycling, employees will see that and feed off of it to create a positive, impactful company culture.
As a result of Chris’s hard work to bring 29-inch mountain bikes into the mainstream mountain bike market, Niner Bikes not only owns its market — it completely changed the industry. 75% of the US market and 70% of bikes sold worldwide are now 29-inch wheeled bikes. Revenues for Niner Bikes have increased from $98,000 in their first year (2005) to $14 million in 2012.
Watch to learn more about Chris’ vision for his company and why he won the Member Leadership Award for his participation in his Vistage private advisory group.
In this Vistage Member Showcase, Vistage member Ken Stober is president of Mueller Die Cut Solutions, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of die-cut products. He recently faced a challenge in which 6 of 8 managers in his China facility threatened to quit if he did not fire the GM. Ken got on a plane to personally listen to each team member and craft a 3 month transition plan, which included replacing 75% of the management team and eventually the General manager. He weighed every option, even calling on his Vistage group for support — a hallmark of his leadership style. After 25 unplanned days abroad, he still made his Vistage meeting and daughter’s wedding. At the end of the transition period, the company not only survived but emerged as a much stronger and more cohesive company.
In this Vistage Member Showcase, Vistage Member Leadership Award winner Wesley Phillips is CEO of Orange Label Art & Advertising, a full-service advertising agency that recently partnered with UC Irvine to develop a full campaign launch strategy for a social justice movement to eliminate elder abuse called Ageless Alliance. As a result of OLAA’s impactful work, UCI’s Ageless Alliance was invited to launch officially at the White House, and the campaign has garnered local and national recognition, several hundred online signups, and pledges from community members (including law enforcement) to stop elder abuse. President Obama signed a proclamation officially declaring June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
A Vistage Member Showcase
Vistage member Greg Fricks, award winner for Courage, is the owner of The Fricks Company (specializing in high-performance, seamless concrete floors). Greg and his brother, Brad, helped their father build up the business with the intent of buying him out with a 10-year succession program. At the end of the program, Greg and his brother learned that their father wasn’t ready to let go of the business. After describing the situation to his Vistage group, Greg committed to taking immediate action. One week later, a conversation encouraged his father to step down and make amends, restoring peace at work — and at home. Greg has grown The Fricks Company from $12 million in 2010 to a projected $31 million in 2012.
This is a real Vistage member showcase onMember Leadership Award winner Nadia Lee, CEO of Adia Kibur realized difficult times during the recession, but she reacted quickly and optimistically — continuing to travel to factories in Asia and personally design the fashion forward jewelry brand Adia Kibur. By collaborating and building relationships with key vendors, Nadia increased her top line by 10% (and a projected 40% in 2012).
This is a real vistage member showcase on how Elizabeth Waltman, Executive Director of United Blood Services of New Mexico, overcame a $3 million shortfall with the help of her team and Vistage group.
Vistage helps CEOs become better leaders, make better decisions and achieve better results. In this video, Vistage member and CEO of Litron Laboratories, Carol Tometsko, achieves success in testing kits for cancer research through her Vistage member group. Keith Whittemore, Vistage member and President of Kvichak Marine Industries, shares success story of the BP Oil Spill clean up. Ken Sigman, Vistage member and CEO of Health and Benefit Systems, shares success with partnerships and becoming a great leader.
Keith Whittemore, President, Kvichak Marine Industries. “BP Oil Spill Clean up” http://www.kvichak.com/
Ken Sigman, CEO, Health and Benefit Systems, “Success with Partnerships” “Becoming a great leader” http://gohbs-llc.com/index.html
Carol Tometsko, CEO, Litron Laboratories, “Testing Kits” “Cancer Research” http://www.litronlabs.com/
A Vistage Member Showcase Story
Jay Steinfeld opened a “Mom & Pop” drapery business 25 years ago and transformed it into the world’s No. 1 online window coverings store, Blinds.com. From Vistage and his peer group, Jay learned how to hire, coach, and set the right expectations for his employees. He credits Vistage for making him a more effective employer. Today Blinds.com has 131 employees with only a 3 percent turnover.
Jay did not know what being a CEO was when he first started out. Thanks to his Vistage peer group he realized that as a CEO, “You’re not working in the business; you’re working on the business.”