Vistage Announces 2012 Member Leadership Award Winners

DALLAS, Texas, February 4, 2013: Vistage, the world’s leading CEO peer advisory membership organization, announced the winners of its 2012 Member Leadership Awards on Friday, January 25 at the Think Big Vistage 2013 International Conference.  In its third year, the Vistage Member Leadership Awards honor the inspiring business and community achievements of Vistage members who best exemplify the organization’s values and its six cultural imperatives of Collaboration, Courage, Impact, Innovation, Judgment, and Passion.

Think Big Vistage 2013  International Conference
(Pictured from left to right: Greg Fricks, Nadia Lee, Chris Sugai, Ken Stober, and Stopher Bartol. Wesley Phillips not pictured.)

The following is a list of the winners and finalists by category:

Nadia Lee, award winner for Collaboration, is president, creative director, trend expert and lead coordinator at Adia Kibur. Nadia Lee realized difficult times during the recession, but she reacted quickly and optimistically — continuing to travel and personally design the jewelry Adia Kibur’s fashion-forward customers and vendors have loved since 1998. By collaborating and building relationships with key vendors, Nadia increased her top line by 10% (and a projected 40% in 2012). Her Private Label line had the highest sell-through rate selling item both in-store and online, in addition to meeting top projection target in its first quarter and zero shipping discrepancies. Today, Nadia is a sought-after trend consultant, with jewelry in 2,000 stores nationwide.
Finalists in the Collaboration category include Derrick Bulawa, CEO of BEK Communications Cooperative, and Richard Ellis of Vistage UK, Managing Director of KT Hydraulics.

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.
Finalists in the Courage category include Stephen Gray, president & CEO of Gray Construction, and Dr. Micah Parzen, CEO of the San Diego Museum of Man.

Wesley Phillips, award winner for Impact, 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. 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. On June 15, President Obama signed a proclamation officially declaring the date World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Finalists in the Impact category include Mark Schuetz, president of Replex Plastics, and Ken Trainer, president of Chesmar Homes – San Antonio.

Stopher Bartol, award winner for Innovation, is president & CEO of which launched in 1998 to permanently memorialize the lives of “ordinary” people who touch our lives in extraordinary ways. He leveraged the internet to create an “ecosystem” of newspaper affiliates, essentially outsourcing obituaries. As a result of Stopher’s innovative approach, now has 20 million monthly visitors and affiliations with more than 80% of U.S. newspapers. It’s among the 100 most trafficked U.S. domains and continues launching new products, like a 24/7 grief support community.
Finalists in the Innovation category include Michael Blaney of Vistage UK, Managing Director of Autoline Insurance Group, and Ralph Dumke, CEO of Waterline Industries.

Ken Stober, award winner for Judgment, 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 three 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.
Finalists in the Judgment category include Eric Lipar, CEO of LGI Homes, Inc., and Stewart Pope of Vistage UK, Managing Partner of Perrys Chartered Accountants.

Chris Sugai, award winner for Passion, is president of Niner Bikes and pursued what was once an unpopular vision: bringing a cutting-edge, custom-feeling 29″ mountain bike to market. Chris is adventurous but driven — he hires only A-players and fosters a progressive culture. All employees ride; their shared passion is what helps Niner thrive. Not only do they own their market, they changed the industry — 70% of bikes sold worldwide are 29ers. Chris holds three U.S. patents and Niner’s CAGR is 65%. Revenues went from $98,000 in 2005 to a projected $14 million in 2012.
Finalists in the Passion category include Heather Jones, president of City Air Mechanical, Inc., and Robert Meggy of T.E.C. Canada, president & CEO of The Great Little Box Company.

about the ThinkBIG Vistage 2013 International Conference
The Think Big Vistage 2013 International Conference brought together hundreds of CEOs from around the world to attend speaker workshops and industry-specific networking events.  Texas was selected as the site of this international gathering because of its vibrant atmosphere and culture, and its reputation as a center of entrepreneurial and business excellence.

about Vistage
Founded in 1957, Vistage International, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, is the world’s leading CEO peer advisory membership organization, serving more than 16,000 CEOs and senior level executives in 15 countries. Vistage members participate in monthly Chair-led peer advisory group meetings, receive one-to-one coaching, learn from expert speakers, and interact among an international network of business leaders from a broad range of industries.

Katie Reynolds, 858-523-6875