Top 20 Successful American CEOs 2023

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The morals and core values of George Mavrookas are displayed throughout his company, Agape Behavioral Healthcare. It’s extremely refreshing to see those qualities shine through the organization as a whole, and it truly starts from the top. George displays some of the qualities that have helped transform this company such as his leadership and ability to share time with his team, teach and pour into others. George is all about culture and connection, and this shows that the company has the opportunity to serve both the team and the community. His commitment and dedication to building the team and adding to the business.

Today, Akuyoe Graham, Founder & CEO of Spirit Awakening, received a very kind note from a colleague in which she said she would try to bring some of what she’d “absorbed” from Akuyoe’s model of womanhood, activism, and leadership that puts “we before me.” “I was humbled and moved by her statement as I had not been expecting a review of my character. Qualities that I try to emulate include compassion, generosity, forgiveness, authenticity, joy, beauty, integrity, dignity, strength and LOVE,” says Akuyoe.

America West Medical Transportation, Inc. transformed from a small 2 vehicle operation, running 7 trips per day, to a 99-vehicle fleet with over 340 personnel over 10 years. This company averages 15,000 trips per month now. The scope of America West has expanded from being a linear patient transportation company to an ambulance company, which holds one of the most significant medical transportation contracts in Northern California for a multi-billion-dollar healthcare organization.

Before taking on the helm of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga as its first female President and CEO, Candy Johnson served in a variety of leadership roles. Ranging from being the youngest-ever elected City Council member in her hometown at the age of 25 years old, to running a successful non-profit education foundation, serving as policy director at a Chamber of Commerce, to senior advisor to the Mayor of Chattanooga, and as an independent consultant for non-profits and business organizations.

Dr. Chris Senanayake demonstrates the ability to define and optimize scientific and pharmaceutical research, development, and commercialization strategies and tactics. He can “connect the dots” between the purely scientific and commercial perspectives and set up creative and effective strategies for new and proprietary products in ways that build value for the organization and create a competitive advantage to transform the company to become the Contract Innovator Organization in the CDMO space for “Accelerating Molecules to MedicinesTM.”

The deep emotional injuries we receive on our journey through life often go unwitnessed and unacknowledged. The deep-rooted issues caused by these painful memories lead to a sense of disconnection from our bodies, impairing us from processing our true feelings. Judy Crane set to find a path in which she could heal herself and those she came across. Her recovery and journey began when she was 42 years old; she took back her life from those traumatic memories and started healing herself.

Laurel Werner, Founder, President, and CEO of Kilimanjaro Technology Foundation (aka KiliTech), a non-profit 501(c)3 that provides water for schools and vocation training for women in Tanzania, is an inspiration to other women with her leadership, passion for children’s education, and adventurous spirit. KiliTech operates in Tanzania and Laurel’s innate boldness and bravery helps her run a non-government organization (NGO) in Africa.

Prabhu [PK] Karunakaran is a pragmatic leader who believes in servant-leadership and strives to lead by example. PK is extremely empathetic towards his coworkers, which allows him to look through the lens of others’ situations to define their strengths and understand their perspective. He is quick to recognize excellence and awards team members for their contribution towards client satisfaction and organizational growth. With teams in multiple time zones, PK works round the clock to collaborate with his colleagues and is available regardless of his busy schedule.

When Abraham Lincoln came to power, the nation was in peril, and he had the intelligence, and the self-confidence, to know that he needed the best people by his side, people who were leaders in their own right and who were very aware of their strengths. On the flip side, Jack Welch believed that leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions. “You are a leader to lead, not to win a popularity contest. To retain trust, you must listen and explain your decisions clearly – but you must keep moving forward.” -Jack Welch

PACON Mfg, Inc. CEO Steven McClure describes the company's road to establishing itself as a recognized leader in manufacturing mission-critical mechanical components as “circuitous, but intentional.” PACON is a machine shop dedicated to precision-machining mission-critical, complex-geometry, close-tolerance components with a relentless focus on its customers’ needs. It is recently named Modern Machine Shop Magazine’s “Top Shop” and Aerospace & Defense Review’s CNC Machining edition cover story.

Thomasina M. Ivy, President & CEO, TMI Consulting, is a visionary leader who leads by example. She has built TMI Consulting on core values that guide how the company does business. TMI’s core values encompass innovation, quality, integrity, and impact. The key to innovation begins with hiring a diverse workforce with various experiences, backgrounds, and work approaches that ultimately create a better solution for the clients.

Toni L. Richins, Founder & CEO of ConsortHR, has a passion for helping others. She believes helping others is not limited to providing food, shelter, and so forth but includes relieving the primary causes of suffering and offering the basic reasons for happiness. This is at the root of everything she does. You can see it in her vision for ConsortHR, which is founded on helping less-equipped companies have access to strategic services that can allow their businesses to flourish and maintain success.

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