The most effective CEO’s have a vision and a practical sense of how to get there

Inside Memphis Business is perennially proud of its CEO of the Year awards. It’s a chance to highlight some of the best aspects of leaders, of businesses, of this city. This year’s winners are plenty different in what their companies offer, how they got started, and how they approach the job. Just as important is what they have in common. Looking at the profiles, you’ll see what our CEOs pay particular attention to, maybe the most significant being how they treat their people.

Look at Karl Schledwitz of Monogram Foods Solutions describing his firm’s corporate culture: “Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is a big part of it. They have a positive energy, embrace diversity, enjoy giving back, and enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Kim Heathcott at Clarion Security operates on the premise that employees are every bit as important as the clients and she respects them accordingly.

For Daniel Weickenand of Orion FCU, turning around a financial institution meant, among other things, revitalizing employees by offering new opportunities and community involvement.

And Travelennium’s Jennifer Kruch-ten learned from her father to take care of people, especially employees, and the tight-knit team at the travel agency is testament to that.

   Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll find some Memphis enterprises that are making their mark. One is Gould’s, the family owned business that’s been bringing beauty and relaxation to Memphians for 86 years. Much newer is TriCore Builders, barely two years old but already breaking records. Then there are the annual UPTAs, which you may never have heard of, but for 23 years have been bringing together actors and production companies from around the country for an intensive audition process at Playhouse on the Square.

When it comes to leadership, you’ll meet Dr. Tracy Hall, president of Southwest Tennessee Community College, who has a vision of bringing students, faculty, and community together to provide a strong effort to meet the region’s critical employment needs.

Elsewhere, we take a look at human resources departments, which more and more are facing challenges with changing employment laws and social mandates.

For workers who want to step up their game, we have a professional development listing of places that offer a variety of courses and degrees that will enhance a resume.

Meanwhile, get an inside look at issues of innovation with Michael Graber and of local transportation with Dennis Lynch.

There’s more in this issue of Inside Memphis Business and we’re glad you’re here to read about our town’s movers and shakers.