Vistage Member Excellence Awards

One of Vistage’s greatest strengths is the caliber of our members. Throughout their journey of leadership development, they routinely make impactful decisions and go above and beyond to support their groups, employees, families and communities.

Each Vistage market has the opportunity to recognize up to three outstanding members at their next Vistage Executive Summit with a local member award: the Vistage Leadership Award, Impact Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vistage Leadership Award

This award honors a member for their recent or ongoing achievement in leadership that benefit their companies, families and communities.

Impact Award

This award recognizes the remarkable development, achievement, and impact in members with 1-3 years tenure.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award honors the achievements and ongoing commitment to learning and development of a longstanding Vistage member.

Pittsburgh

Debbie Winn-Horvitz
President & CEO, Jewish Association on Aging
Member since 2016
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

Debbie Winn-Horvitz, President and CEO of the Jewish Association on Aging, has received a Vistage Leadership Award for furthering JAA’s 110-year history of serving Pittsburgh’s elderly of all faiths. Winn-Horvitz has diversified and updated JAA’s services, overseeing the creation of Pittsburgh’s first new memory care facility in 20 years and expanding in-home care to meet the shifting demands of a new generation of seniors.

Kevin Bolding
President & CEO, YMCA of Pittsburgh
Member since 2017
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Nonprofits have to balance their mission with financial realities. Kevin Bolding, who became president and CEO of the YMCA of Pittsburgh in 2016, has received a Vistage Impact Award for making the difficult decision of a restructure. His leadership through this challenging process has empowered Pittsburgh’s YMCAs to fulfill their mission of providing a safe environment for youth and promoting wellness for years to come.

Louis Merryman
President, Consolidated Glass Corporation
Member since 2007
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Louis Merryman has received a Vistage Lifetime Achievement Award for revitalizing the Pittsburgh-based Consolidated Glass Corporation. Through timely entry into domestic and international markets, as well as concerted investments in the development of talented younger employees, Merryman has grown Consolidated Glass by 15x since he inherited the struggling business in 1994.

Houston

Stephen King
President & CEO, Growthforce LLC
Member since 2014
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

Vistage has recognized Houston-based GrowthForce President and CEO Stephen King with a Leadership Award for his conscientious leadership. King has put his deep financial and fundraising knowledge for his Houston-based startup, growing the business sustainably and profitably. This stability has helped GrowthForce support its nonprofit clients, who now comprise 35% of the company’s business.

Greg Armstrong
President & CEO, Wedge Group
Member since 2017
Vistage Impact Award Winner

How do you turn the declining sales of your real estate firm into double-digit growth? The first step is perhaps the hardest: being open and direct with employees about the need for change. For his commitment to radical transparency and the profound impact this has made on his business, Vistage has recognized Houston-based WEDGE President & CEO Gregory J. Armstrong with an Impact Award.

Cory Jackson
CEO, CT Gasket & Polymer Company, Inc.
Member since 2018
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Vistage has recognized CTG CEO Cory Jackson with a Lifetime Achievement Award for charting his own course. Jackson grew up working in his family’s Houston-based gasket manufacturing firm when the business ran on heavy machinery and hard labor. When he was ready to take on a leadership position, he automated processes and reengineered the company culture to focus on employee development and community service — changes that have made CTG an industry leader.

Seattle

Robert Berntson
CEO, Bernston Porter & Company PLLC
Member since 2005
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

CEO of Seattle-based Bernston Porter & Company Robert Bernston is the recipient of a Vistage Leadership Award for executing on a simple idea: treat his employees and clients well. In practice, this meant working with his Vistage peers to innovate around workplace culture, customer relations and services, all of which have earned the CPA firm local and national recognition as a top place to work and top grossing firm.

Gary Wichansky
President, Hotopp Associates
Member since 2016
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Hotopp Associates CEO Gary Wichansky is the recipient of a Vistage Impact Award for transforming an award-winning experiential design firm into a *profitable* award-winning design firm, growing revenue 10x in two years. With the help of his Vistage group, this set designer-turned creative director established business strategies and a workplace culture that support the artistry of Seattle-based Hotopp’s talented creative professionals.

Mark Peabody
President, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp.
Member since 2006
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Achieving significant growth in the hyper-competitive aerospace industry is not easy, which is why Vistage has recognized Seattle-based Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems CEO Mark Peabody with a Lifetime Achievement award for realizing 10x growth over the past decade. His secret? Be good at everything but focus on your area of greatness, which for AES was industry-leading customer relations.

San Diego

Mary Searcy Bixby
Founder, President & CEO, Altus – The Charter School of San Diego
Member since 2012
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

For her commitment to progressive leadership in education and educational technology, Mary Searcy Bixby is the recipient of a Vistage Leadership Award. As President and CEO of Altus schools, she’s improved education for 44,000 students and helped The Charter School of San Diego to become the first K-12 school in America to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge Award from the Office of the President.

Bryan Hill
CEO, Rehab United Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy
Member since 2017
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Physical therapist by training, Bryan Hill is the recipient of a Vistage Impact Award for establishing highly effective leadership practices as CEO of Rehab United in San Diego. Hill has built on the advice of his Vistage group and Vistage speakers to propel Rehab United to record revenues and earn the distinction by Entrepreneur Magazine as a top company culture in America.

Ron Fornaca
General Manager, Frank Motors, Inc.
Member since 2012
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

In the course of running San Diego’s oldest family business, Frank Motors Group, Ron Fornaca has made some tough decisions, including to close a family-owned bakery that had opened in 1912. He is the recipient of a Vistage Lifetime Achievement Award for bringing ongoing success to his family’s business, as well as for generously serving his local community. Notably, he has lent his strong leadership to local development projects in his hometown of National City and to the less experienced CEOs in his Vistage group.

San Antonio

Michael Girdley
CEO, Codeup
Member since 2014
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

As co-founder and Managing Director of Geekdom Fund, Michael Girdley is currently helping four San Antonio tech startups flourish. He has drawn from various insightful process and systems specialists to create a playbook that helps the organizations he funds overcome common obstacles around HR, sales and finance. For his unique approach to business ownership, Michael is the recipient of a Vistage Leadership Award.

Richard Aste
Director, McNay Art Museum
Member since 2016
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Richard Aste has been honored with a Vistage Impact Award for creating a bright future for the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. As Director, he has created sustainability and fiscal health through innovative programs such as summer camps and behind-the-scenes tours. He’s also pushed staff and his board of directors to get out of their comfort zones to create dynamic exhibitions that have connected McNay with the community in new and engaging ways.

Ken Trainer
President, Chesmar Homes
Member since 2010
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Vistage has awarded Ken Trainer a Vistage Lifetime Achievement Award. As COO of San Antonio-based Chesmar Homes, Ken helped grow revenues eight-fold in just nine years. His impressive career in real estate has been fueled by his enthusiasm for learning from his colleagues and Vistage peers, and his ability to stay one step ahead in his fast-paced industry.

Rochester

Ray Isaac
President, Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
Member since 2005
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

Ray Isaac, president of Rochester-based Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, is the recipient of a Vistage Leadership Award for rediscovering his passion for leadership and rededicating himself to his business and his community. In the past, Isaac’s lack of passion for HVAC nearly drove him to leave his third generation family business. Instead, he turned his focus to his values, lending his leadership to nonprofits like the United Way, and to his employees, fostering a culture that motivates their success.

Scott Reardon
President/ CTO, D3 Engineering LLC
Member since 2014
Vistage Impact Award Winner

When Scott Rearden founded Rochester-based product engineering firm D3, he was an exceptional engineer… with zero experience managing people. Vistage honors Reardon with an Impact Award for going outside his comfort zone by working with his Vistage Chair and group to develop as an effective leader. His personal growth and employee success has helped him turn D3 into one of Rochester’s fastest growing businesses, realizing impressive triple-digit growth over multiple years.

Jim D’Amico
President, Coolfront Technologies
Member since 2008
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Jim D’Amico, former president of Rochester’s Coolfront Technology is the recipient of a Vistage Lifetime Achievement Award for seeing his company into the digital era. D’Amico disrupted Coolfront’s steady contractor print pricing guide service by launching a pricing app … to completely nonexistent sales. He stayed the course through dwindling revenues and employee anxiety, leading Coolfront into a future of strong, software-driven revenues.

Milwaukee

Lisa Reardon
President, OwnersEdge, Inc.
Member since 2010
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

There’s employee-first workplace cultures, and then there’s OwnersEdge, Inc., an employee-owned holding company whose mission is to help Wisconsin’s workers thrive as business owners. Their CEO and chairman Lisa Reardon has also made employee development programs a top priority, which has included enrolling her entire executive team in Vistage. For her employee-first mission, Vistage has awarded Reardon our Wisconsin Leadership Award.

Joe Gehrke
President, Kessler Diamonds
Member since 2017
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Kesslers Diamonds President Joe Gehrke is the recipient of a Vistage Impact Award for his compassionate leadership. Taking over for Richard Kessler — who’d not just run the Milwuakee-based employee-owned company for 30+ years, but was its spokesperson — was a big ask. Gehrke deftly made the leap from banking to the emotionally-charged jewelry industry, and earned the loyalty of Kesslers’ employee-owners through his sensitive handling of the transition and by adopting an “understand first, be understood second” mindset.

Jeff Rafn
President, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC)
Member since 2007
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College President Dr. Jeff Rafn is the recipient of a Vistage Lifetime Achievement award for propelling the students at his community college to degrees of success usually associated with elite private universities. NWTC is top 100 IN THE COUNTRY in total graduates and engineering graduates and is one of a handful of universities recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation as a “leader in transformation change for student success.”

South Central PA

Gary Butler
President/ CEO, Precision Custom Components, LLC
Member since 2013
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

Recipient of a 2019 Vistage Leadership Award, Gary Butler has a reputation for creative problem solving.  During the last economic downturn, he saved his company, Precision Custom Components — and his employees’ pensions — when lesser CEOs would have given up. An engineer by training, Gary negotiated novel financing and tax relief solutions with insurers and the IRS to take his firm from the brink of bankruptcy into a leader in military and nuclear manufacturing.

Beth Hahn
President, Berkshire Systems Group, Inc.
Member since 2015
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Vistage is proud to honor Berkshire Systems Group President Beth Hahn with an Impact Award. To revitalize her family’s business and keep Berkshire competitive in the systems integration industry, she shook up her leadership team and innovated around longstanding technologies and processes.

Al Duncan
CEO, Thomas E. Strauss Inc.
Member since 2010
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

CEO Al Duncan has been a Vistage member for 16+ years and a successful exec in the hospitality industry for many more, launching an array of new hotels and restaurants for his firm Thomas E Strauss Inc. His accomplishments are many, but his motto remains, “If you wake up in the morning and there’s nothing that you think you could do better at, go back to bed and wake up again.”

Arizona

Rebecca Clyde
Founder/ Owner, Ideas Collide, Inc.
Member since 2014
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

You might think employee development would be an afterthought to botco.ai CEO and Co-Founder Rebecca Clyde. The opposite couldn’t be truer. She received Vistage’s Leadership Award by making her team her No. 1 priority at her AI-driven marketing firm. She’s especially passionate about helping women advance in tech, starting the Phoenix Chapter of Girls in Tech and creating professional networks for aspiring female leaders.

Chris Loeffler
CEO, Caliber
Member since 2016
Vistage Impact Award Winner

At just 34, Vistage Impact Award recipient Chris Loeffler exemplifies a “can-do” attitude that took him from real estate novice to respected investor and CEO. He is helping others grow their wealth through hands-on highly transparent real estate development opportunities that empower the investor. The success of his customer-first strategy has landed his firm, Caliber, on the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies four years running.

Roberta “Sissie” Shank
Co-Owner, Chas Roberts A/C, Inc.
Member since 2000
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Co-Owner of Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing Sissie Shank received Vistage’s Lifetime Achievement Award for creating a remarkably transparent, employee-first workplace culture. Her impressive recovery from the 2008 recession, strategic thinking and numerous leadership awards have earned her a spot on the board of prominent logistics firms such as Swift and Knight Transportation and U Haul.

Buffalo

Jim Dentinger
President, McGuire Development Company, LLC
Member since 2015
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

Vistage Leadership Award recipient Jim Dentinger made it the mission of McGuire Development, a real estate developer, to offer true cost transparency in an industry plagued by hidden fees. He’s put his 35 years’ industry experience to work for his not-for-profit clients, keeping projects on-budget so their resources keep flowing to those who need it most.

Lynn Olewine
President, Pharmacy Benefits Dimensions
Member since 2016
Vistage Impact Award Winner

Vistage Impact Award recipient Lynne Olewine started at Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions as a high school intern, when PBD was just a one-person department at its parent company. Now PBD president, she’s expanded beyond their NY focus to clients nationwide, doubling staff and tripling revenue — in just three years.

Rick Serra
President/ CEO, Allpro Parking, LLC
Member since 2009
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Allpro Parking CEO Richard Serra has learned a lot about peer mentorship in his 10+ years as a Vistage member — wisdom he shares with his employees. At Allpro, he’s established an inspiring high-EQ leadership model that puts employee development first and celebrates mistakes as valuable learning opportunities.

Dallas/ Fort Worth

Steve Folsom
President, Folsom Properties, Inc.
Member since 2015
Vistage Leadership Award Winner

Vistage member Steve Folsom the Dallas-Ft. Worth Vistage Leadership Award for responsible real estate development. He made tough decisions that kept Sabre Realty strong through the 2008 recession and beyond and kept tenants in their homes and businesses.

David Hicks
CEO, Home Vestors of America, Inc.
Member since 2016
Vistage Impact Award Winner

How do you take a real estate investment firm on the brink of bankruptcy to a national powerhouse with 1000+ franchises? Vistage’s Dallas-Ft. Worth Impact Award winner David Hicks’ growth-focused business model stimulated Home Vestors when everyone else was fleeing the market.

Bob Hendrickson
Executive Vice President, Republic National Distributing Company
Member since 2006
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Bob Hendrickson earned Vistage’s Dallas-Ft. Worth Lifetime Achievement Award for his many successes as a wine & spirits marketing executive and for sharing his insights and 30+ years’ industry knowledge with his CE group. Robert Hendrickson