The Top 25 Business Leaders of San Diego for 2023

Great Entrepreneurs is pleased to announce The Top 25 Business Leaders of San Diego for 2023. Housing a dynamic ecosystem of innovative companies, San Diego serves as a thriving hub for business leaders from different industries. With its strategic location on the West Coast and proximity to Mexico, San Diego offers unique advantages for entrepreneurs and executives. The city boasts an impressive roster of successful CEOs who have achieved remarkable feats in their respective fields.

San Diego has a multitude of influential business leaders, including notable figures in sectors such as biotechnology, telecommunications, and retail. These exceptional individuals possess a diverse range of background expertise and educational qualifications including degrees in business administration, global business marketing and management, and economics, contributing significantly to the region's economic growth and development.

Moreover, many CEOs in San Diego hold prestigious positions on national boards or actively participate in philanthropic initiatives, aiming at providing healthcare assistance to seniors, demonstrating their commitment both to their respective organizations and the broader community. With its rich pool of talented business leaders, San Diego continues to foster an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurial accomplishments especially in the staffing industry, including business formation, operation, full-cycle recruitment, and management.

Among those acknowledged this year is Jim Hollingshead, President and CEO of Insulet—a groundbreaking medical device company that strives to simplify everyday challenges faced by individuals with diabetes and related conditions via their exceptional Omnipod product platform. Included in the lineup is Julie Thomas, who serves as the President and CEO of ValueSelling Associates, collaborating with revenue leaders spanning multiple industries, enabling them to attain inconceivable results.

Lastly, Innesa Burrola is an exemplary individual who holds the esteemed positions of Chief Executive Officer and President at Boutique Recruiting. With 13 years of invaluable experience in business leadership, she has proven to be a successful innovator and entrepreneur, adept at connecting businesses with top-notch talent.

Let us extend a warm welcome to the Top 25 Business Leaders of San Diego for 2023, who have demonstrated their exceptional expertise in driving economic growth. These accomplished individuals have consistently showcased their leadership prowess in the business world.


1. Ashish Masih
Chief Executive Officer, President, and Board Member, Encore Capital Group

Ashish Masih is Encore Capital Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. He joined the
company in 2009 and was appointed President and CEO in June 2017. Previously, he served as President of Midland Credit Management (MCM), Encore’s largest business unit. He also oversaw Encore’s Asset Reconstruction Company based in India, which is a joint venture with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a private equity firm. Ashish also served in additional roles at Encore in operations and corporate development. Prior to joining Encore, Masih was Vice President at Capital One Financial Corp., where he held senior roles in the U.S. credit card business. Prior to joining Capital One, he worked at McKinsey & Company and KPMG Consulting.

Encore Capital Group (Encore) is a global specialty finance company with more than 6,900
global colleagues committed to delivering on our mission to create pathways to economic
freedom by partnering with individuals as they repay their debt obligations. We provide debt recovery solutions and other related services for consumers across a broad range of financial assets. Through our subsidiaries around the globe, Encore purchases portfolios of consumer receivables from major banks, credit unions, and utility providers. We are a market leader in portfolio purchasing and recovery in the United States (U.S.) through Midland Credit Management (MCM). We are also one of the largest credit management service providers in Europe and in the United Kingdom (U.K.) through Cabot Credit Management (Cabot) and its subsidiaries and European affiliates. Our colleagues around the world take great pride in supporting consumers as they work to restore their financial health and create pathways to economic freedom. In turn, our work also helps support a stronger consumer credit ecosystem for all. As the first company of its kind to operate with a Consumer Bill of Rights, we strive to uphold the highest standards in customer service and regulatory compliance. Headquartered in San Diego, Encore is a publicly traded NASDAQ Global Select company (ticker symbol: ECPG) and a component stock of the Russell 2000, the Small Cap 600, and the Wilshire 4500.

Encore Capital Group Milestone

In early 2023, Encore launched its second Economic Freedom Study. The study asked 3,000 people in Encore’s largest markets, the United States and United Kingdom, to share their feelings about personal finances and the economy, as well as the impact of inflation on spending and debt. In keeping with Encore’s mission, it also asked people how they prioritize economic freedom, and what they believe are the most valuable tools to achieve it. The research was commissioned by Encore and conducted by Morning Consult.


2. David Wallace
Chief Executive Officer, Senior Helpers

David Wallace is the Chief Executive Officer of Senior Helpers. At Senior Helpers® their goal is to help seniors remain in their homes despite age-related illnesses and mobility challenges. They are a premier provider of in-home senior assistance and operate through more than 320 franchised and company-owned locations across 43 states, Canada and Australia. Since 2002, they have cared for tens of thousands of seniors. Wallace is a 30-year resident of San Diego and has been the owner of Senior Helpers since 2008. Wallace started Senior Helpers after seeing how a professional caregiver brought joy and peace of mind to his late grandmother – and to Wallace’s entire family. As a committed advocate for San Diego’s seniors – including veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, Wallace is very active in their community.

Wallace is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, a non-profit provider of day programs in a family-like setting for adults affected by Alzheimer’s disease and forms of memory impairment, as well as support for people who care for those with memory impairment. He used to facilitate a support group that serves spouses and other family caregivers, which was held on the campus of the Paradise Village retirement community in National City. In addition, Wallace also has had the distinct honor of serving in his role as a board member of the Senior Affairs Advisory Board, and as a public policy advisor to San Diego's Mayor and City Council, on issues related to aging in "America's Finest City." Wallace graduated cum laude with a B. A. degree in Economics from Brandeis University.


3. Greg Grand
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, G Squared Advisors

Greg Grand is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of G Squared Advisors, dedicated to helping small to midsize companies rapidly grow revenue and profits. They specialize in developing and implementing sales strategies for faster growth, higher profitability, and improved sales results. Grand has 23 years of experience. He began his career in 2000. Grand leverages sales, leadership, business acumen, and strategic planning experience to help small and midsize businesses drive aggressive, sustainable revenue growth. Functioning as a Fractional VP of Sales or on a project basis, Grand works with organizations on strategic and tactical improvements to their overall approach to sales.

Before joining G Squared Advisors, Grand was a VP of Sales at Agrify Corp. and before that a VP of sales at Canna Care Rx (CCRx) Online. Earlier in his career he worked with Addem Sales as a sales engineering director. Grand graduated from Buffalo State University with an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering.


4. Jim Hollingshead
President and Chief Executive Officer, Insulet

Jim Hollingshead is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Insulet, headquartered in Massachusetts, is an innovative medical device company dedicated to simplifying life for people with diabetes and other conditions through its Omnipod product platform. The Omnipod Insulin Management System provides a unique alternative to traditional insulin delivery methods. With its simple, wearable design, the tubeless disposable Pod provides up to three days of non-stop insulin delivery, without the need to see or handle a needle.

From July 2020 to May 2022, he served as President of the Sleep and Respiratory Care “SRC” business at ResMed Inc., a publicly held global medical technology company focused on the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders. As President of ResMed’s SRC business, Hollingshead led ResMed’s transformation from a traditional medical hardware technology business to a SaaS-based digital solutions and services business. From 2011 to 2017, he held numerous positions at ResMed, including President, Americas, Chief Strategy Officer, and President, Ventures & Initiatives. Previously, Hollingshead spent nearly two decades in strategy consulting across a range of industries including biotech, high-tech, and telecommunications. Prior, he was a senior partner in the Strategy and Life Sciences practices at Deloitte Consulting and also served as Managing Partner at Monitor Group, a U.S. strategy consulting firm, including serving in various global roles, including Founder and Managing Partner and European Marketing Strategy Practice in the U.K. and Office Managing Partner in Istanbul. Hollingshead holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations with Highest Distinction from Stanford University, and a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was awarded a graduate student fellowship by the National Science Foundation.


5. Seth Stein
Chief Executive Officer, Eastridge Workforce Solutions

Stein is the CEO of Eastridge Workforce Solutions and has served in this capacity since December 2019. Under Stein’s leadership, the company has achieved an annual stock price growth rate of 35.5% the last three years and was ranked in the top 1% of firms by Staffing Industry Analysts. Stein has led multiple initiatives to achieve these successes including bringing together Eastridge’s many acquisitions into five discrete service lines to better serve client needs, which has helped the company gain market share.

Eastridge’s journey began in 1972, when Founder, Bob Svet helped clients find the right employees throughout San Diego. Steady growth saw Eastridge expand regionally and move into temporary placements, adding several new focus areas including Manufacturing, Legal, and Life Sciences. In 2007, the company introduced workforce management solutions, audit and compliance, and payrolling. In 2015, Eastridge unified its business units under one umbrella to make managing clients’ contingent workforce easier. In 2019, Eastridge initiated its transformation to a 100% employee-owned company, with stock ownership extended to all employees. Today, Eastridge helps over 20,000 associates find jobs annually across the globe. The company’s culture of award-winning service, high standards in quality, and industry expertise are key to Eastridge’s decades of success.

Stein joined Eastridge as a sales associate in 1998 and has held virtually every position in its Recruitment Division. He oversaw the acquisitions of Abbott Staffing Group in 2009 and Operon Resource Management in 2017. In 2020, Stein was named CEO after serving as President since 2013. Stein holds a BA in Communication from George Washington University and an MS in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego.


6. Christian Henry
Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Biosciences

Christian Henry is the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences, a premier life science technology company that is designing, developing, and manufacturing advanced sequencing solutions to help scientists and clinical researchers resolve genetically complex problems. Their products and technologies stem from two highly differentiated core technologies focused on accuracy, quality, and completeness, which include our HiFi long-read sequencing and our SBB® short-read sequencing technologies.

Henry has more than two decades of experience with growing companies in the life sciences industry. From 2005 through January 2017, Henry was an executive at Illumina, Inc., where he served in a number of different roles including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and General Manager of the Life Sciences Business. Prior to Illumina, Henry was Chief Financial Officer for, a publicly traded online ticket provider, which was acquired by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, LP. Henry also served as Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller for Affymetrix, Inc., and held a similar position at Nektar Therapeutics (formerly Inhale Therapeutic Systems, Inc.). Henry earned a BA in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

Pacific Biosciences Milestones

PacBio Begins Commercialization of the Onso Short-Read Sequencing System

PacBio To Begin Commercial Shipment of Revio Systems

PacBio Enters into Agreement to Acquire Apton Biosystems to Accelerate the Development of a Next Generation, High Throughput, Short-read Sequencer

As you may know, for many years, we had one product – Starting with the RS, then the Sequel – all long-read sequencers. Now we have the HT long-read Revio, the Onso and with Apton’s acquisition, a HT short-read sequencer in the near future.


7. Kevin Thornal
CEO, President and Board Member, Nevro

Kevin Thornal was named Chief Executive Officer and President of Nevro in April 2023. He will also be appointed to the Nevro Board of Directors. Nevro is a global medical device company that delivers comprehensive, life-changing solutions for the treatment of chronic pain.

Thornal has over 20 years of senior management experience, including nearly nine years at Hologic, Inc., where he most recently served as Group President, Global Diagnostic Solutions, since April 2022. Under Thornal’s leadership, this group of businesses delivered above-market revenue growth rates, achieving about $2.9 billion in worldwide diagnostics sales including the impact of COVID testing revenue. Thornal joined Hologic in 2014 as Vice President, Customer Experience, Field Service and Clinical Applications for the Breast and Skeletal Health division. He transitioned to Vice President, Breast and Skeletal Health for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region in early 2016, and was promoted to President, Medical Aesthetics in July 2017. In July 2019, he was promoted to President, Diagnostic Solutions, where he led the division during the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly launching three highly accurate molecular diagnostic COVID-19 tests in the fight against the global pandemic and leading multiple acquisitions.

Prior to Hologic, he held various roles of increasing responsibility at Stryker from 2004 to 2014 in sales, marketing, and business development. Thornal received a B.A. in History, with minors in English and Secondary Education, from Southern Methodist University.


8. Nader Tirandazi
Chief Executive Officer, invenioLSI

Nader Tirandazi is the Chief Executive Officer of invenioLSI. He first joined the company in year as a VP in the Western Region. invenioLSI is a global SAP solutions provider serving the Public Sector as well as offering specialist skills in the media and entertainment sectors. With deep expertise and advanced technologies, they enable organizations to modernize so they can run at the speed of today's business. They know how to navigate the extraordinary complexities of public sector organizations, working with stakeholders to drive change and create the agile organizations of tomorrow using the technologies of today. Their cloud solution allows your business to scale quickly, reduce overhead, and offer the flexibility your employees and customers need.

Previously, Tirandazi was a national public budget formulation executive at SAP and before that a financial management director and CIO at City of San Diego. Earlier in his career, he worked with San Diego Data Processing as a financial management director. Tirandazi earned a JD in law from the University of San Diego, an MS in Economics, Accounting, and Finance and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from San Diego State University.


9. Scott Hart
Chief Executive Officer, StepStone Group

Scott Hart is the Chief Executive Officer of StepStone Group, a global private markets investment firm focused on providing customized investment solutions and advisory, data, and administrative services to its clients. As of June 30, 2023, StepStone was responsible for approximately $640 billion of total capital, including $143 billion of assets under management. StepStone’s clients include some of the world’s largest public and private defined benefit and defined contribution pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurance companies, as well as prominent endowments, foundations, family offices, and private wealth clients, which include high-net-worth and mass affluent individuals. He also leads StepStone’s global private equity activities, focusing on co-investments. Hart is also involved in the Firm’s diversity and inclusion initiative and is a member of the board of directors.

Prior to joining StepStone in 2007, Hart worked at TPG Capital, a leading global private equity firm, where he focused on the energy, consumer, and retail sectors. Before that, he worked at Morgan Stanley in the consumer and retail group within the investment banking division. Hart graduated summa cum laude with a BBA from the University of Notre Dame.


10. Mike Nuzzo
Chief Executive Officer, Eyemart Express

Mike Nuzzo is the Chief Executive Officer of Eyemart Express. In 1990, Dr. Doug Barnes founded Eyemart Express with a clear objective – to provide people with access to affordable quality eyewear with same-day speed. Since then, the Eyemart Express brand has evolved from a dream to a 240+ store major competitor in the optical industry, operating nationwide in 42 states under a family of brands that includes Eyewear Express, Vision4Less, and Visionmart Express. With years of experience leading business development and expansion initiatives within the retail space, his growth-focused strategy brings Eyemart Express's unmatched optical expertise and customer convenience to new frontiers.

Nuzzo graduated from Kenyon College with a bachelor's degree in economics before getting his master's degree in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago. Since then, he's held multiple leadership roles with well-known retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, General Nutrition Centers (GNC), and most recently, Petco, initially as Chief Financial Officer and more recently as Chief Operating Officer and President, overseeing supply chain, real estate and construction, and the pet services and veterinary care business areas. In his time at Petco, Nuzzo led a turnaround of the grooming business, the launch and scaling of the in-store vet hospital business, and the creation of a new Petco farm and feed store format targeting expansion in small towns and rural communities. He also expanded the Petco brand into Canada with a store-in-store arrangement with Canadian Tire Corporation and was chairman of the company's Petco Mexico joint venture.


11. Nick Schrock
Chief Executive Officer, Valoroo

Nick Schrock is the Chief Executive Officer of Valoroo. Valoroo is headquartered in beautiful, sunny San Diego. They support logistics companies by building and maintaining offshore teams. They are responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training the best reps suited to your company's needs. As a direct result, your local teams can finally say goodbye to the most redundant and tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on the bigger picture. Their offshore teams take great pride in the quality of work they provide day in and day out. At Valoroo, they want to become a trusted and valued support system for your business. Services include track and trace, carrier sales, dispatch/load planning, night and weekend support, accounting, claims, email management, customer service, and more. Schrock has 9 years of experience. He began his career in 2014.

Before joining Valoroo, Schrock was a senior manager of customer acquisition and lead generation at Earlier in his career, he worked with O' Brien & Associates Brokerage Company as a key account executive. Schrock graduated from McKendree University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.

Valoroo Milestone

“Our team has been killing it and is on pace to be one of the fastest-growing companies in the country this year. We are of course proud to call San Diego home.”


12. Jeff Janicik
Chief Executive Officer and President, Innoflight

Jeffrey Janicik is the distinguished Founder, President and Chief Executive Office (CEO) of Innoflight. Innoflight is a fast growing innovative company specialized in secure, high performance and low size, weight and power space avionics. With a distinguished career spanning approximately three decades, Janicik has consistently exhibited an unwavering dedication to advancing critical space electronics for national security. As a visionary entrepreneur, design architect and highly skilled systems engineer, his contribution extends to pioneering advancements in cyber, communications including RF systems, and space networking and processing; all making significant strides in transforming the space industry. ​

Janicik’s journey as a space industry trailblazer began 19 years ago when he founded Innoflight. Under his astute leadership, Innoflight has flourished into a renowned aerospace technology company known for its cutting-edge products. In recognition of Innoflight’s exceptional contribution to the space field, the company was recently honored as the “2023 Top Avionics Company” by Aerospace & Defense Review. ​Janicik also served 33 years combined active and reserves in the US Air Force. Janicik retired from his rank as Colonel in June 2023 after being a pioneer in unmanned X-vehicle technology and leading many different facets of our Air and Space Force programs. His ability to excel in both the Government and private sectors underscore his unwavering dedication and commitment to advancing space technologies for national security.​

Janicik’s academic background is equally impressive. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from University of Notre Dame and a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. With a distinguished career marked by innovation, leadership , and commitment to excellence, Janicik stands as a predominant figure in the space industry. His dedication to advancing space technology, coupled with his extensive military service and educational achievements, underscore his extraordinary contributions to the space and defense sectors. Today, Janicik continues to lead the charge in shaping the future of space technology.​


13. Roger Abbott
Chief Executive Officer, Slashdot Media

Roger Abbott is the Chief Executive Officer of Slashdot Media. He first joined the company in 2000. Slashdot Media is a global leader in the professional B2B and technology communities. Their properties –,,,, among others – provide comparison tools, reviews, software, and forums where business and IT professionals evaluate and make intelligent decisions on IT solutions & connect with technology sellers. Over 20 Years Educating & Connecting Millions of Business Technology Buyers and Sellers. As a data-driven B2B demand generation marketing and technology company, Slashdot Media connects businesses globally with targeted in-market, well-informed technology buyers at the right time in their buying journey.

Previously, Abbott was a founder and CEO at BIZX, LLC. Earlier in his career, he worked with World-x-Change as a CEO and founder.


14. Joshua Britton
Chief Executive Officer, Debut Biotech

Joshua Britton is the Chief Executive Officer of Debut Biotech, an unconventional innovation company, integrating breakthrough biotechnology and brand creation to build businesses that represent the next generation of sustainable wellness. With proprietary screening, testing, and cell-free biomanufacturing technology, they unlock novel actives to power global personal care and health brands. Their mission is to set a new standard for big business through their dynamic intrapreneurial model and to create purposeful brands that push humanity forward.
Britton graduated from UC Irvine with a Ph.D., from Flinders University with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, from the University of Nottingham with a Master’s in Organic Chemistry and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an undergraduate degree in chemistry.


15. Erik Greupner
Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Padres

Erik Greupner is the Chief Executive Officer of San Diego Padres, a Major League Baseball club, established in 1969. The Padres compete in the National League Western Division, playing home games at Petco Park, which opened in downtown San Diego in 2004. In its history, the club has won four division titles and two National League pennants, advancing to the World Series in 1984 and 1998. Greupner oversees the Padres’ business operations and leads the growth and development of the club’s business and culture. 2023 marks his 13th season in San Diego after joining the club in December 2010. During his tenure as CEO, the Padres have consistently ranked in the top five among all Major League Baseball clubs in attendance, set Petco Park’s season ticket record, franchise records in all local revenue categories, and were the first MLB club to secure a jersey patch partner.

Prior to assuming the role of CEO, Greupner served as president of business operations from December 2018 through December 2020 and chief operating officer from November 2016 to November 2018. Prior to joining the Padres, Greupner worked as a corporate and transactional attorney with the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. While at Gibson Dunn, he advised senior management of public and private companies in general corporate matters, acquirers and targets in mergers and acquisitions transactions, and institutional investors and fund sponsors in the formation and operation of private investment funds. Prior to his time with Gibson Dunn, Greupner worked in sales management roles with Goldman Sachs & Company and Scudder Weisel Capital, LLC. Greupner earned his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. He served as a judicial intern for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.


16. Julie Thomas
President and Chief Executive Officer, ValueSelling Associates

Julie Thomas works with revenue leaders across many industries to help them realize results they never thought possible. She is passionate about guiding revenue organizations through uncertainty and helping them build resilient, engaged teams that drive predictable, sustainable results and create customers for life.

As President and CEO of ValueSelling Associates, Inc., Julie is responsible for the company’s global expansion and its position as a market leader in on-demand, instructor-led, virtual instructor-led, and hybrid (blended) learning solutions delivered throughout the world in more than 17 languages. In a career spanning more than 24 years, she credits her mastery of the ValueSelling Framework® for her own meteoric rise through the ranks of sales, sales management, and corporate leadership positions.

Julie began her sales career at Gartner Group (now Gartner, Inc.) In 1999, she became Vice President of Gartner’s Sales Training for the Americas. Her role included successfully onboarding new sales hires and driving adoption of the ValueSelling Framework. She has extensive experience applying, coaching, and reinforcing the ValueSelling Framework, ValueSelling Essentials® and their application to all customer-facing roles across the revenue engine.

In 2003, Julie joined ValueSelling Associates as Chief Executive Officer and President. She led the company to become an industry leader in competency- and process-based training for escalating sales performance in business-to-business sales organizations worldwide. She takes pride in the fact that ValueSelling Associates is consistently honored as an award-winning Sales Training Service Provider.

In addition to her role at ValueSelling Associates, Julie is a noted speaker, consultant, and author of “ValueSelling: Driving Sales Up One Conversation at a Time” and “The Power of Value Selling: The Gold Standard to Drive Revenue and Create Customers for Life,” as well as a contributor to, the Forbes Business Development Council, and the LinkedIn Sales Blog. Julie also serves on the advisory board of the eWomenNetwork Foundation Advisory Council and is heavily involved in local charities in the San Diego region.


17. Aurelio Maruggi
Chief Executive Officer, Apogee

Aurelio Maruggi is the Chief Executive Officer of Apogee, and has more than three decades of print industry experience. He is a seasoned leader driven by results, achieved through teamwork and empowerment. Apogee is Europe’s largest multi-brand provider of managed workplace services, combining years of expertise and innovation to transform the way organizations operate. This unique approach provides clients with the perfect combination of print, document, and IT services to create the perfect secure and flexible workplace. As an independent subsidiary of HP Inc. they have the advantage of being part of one of the world’s leading technology companies; however, they are a free-thinking subsidiary and a multi-brand provider of Managed, Outsourced and IT Services.

Maruggi has been a senior HP Inc. executive for 18 years, most recently as the Global Head of Owned Channels and the General Manager of HP’s A3 Solutions Business. Earlier in his career at HP, Maruggi created from the inception the HP Graphics Page Wide Press business, taking it from the initial idea to become a significant and profitable business for HP. Prior to HP, Maruggi led the Inkjet Printing Business for Olivetti before co-founding Yminds S.A. in Switzerland, an engineering firm specializing in advanced micromechanics and color science. Maruggi graduated from the Università degli Studi di Padova with a master’s in engineering.


18. Innesa Burrola
Chief Executive Officer and President, Boutique Recruiting

Innesa Burrola is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Boutique Recruiting. Boutique Recruiting places Accounting, Administrative, Executive-level, Finance, HR, Legal, Marketing, Operations, Sales, and Technical professionals nationwide. They source candidates by using proprietary, state-of-the-art technology and add a personalized touch to job placements by taking the time to meet with both candidates and hiring companies face-to-face.

Burrola is an innovator and entrepreneur with 13 years of expertise in business leadership. Experienced in all aspects of the staffing industry, including business formation, operation, full-cycle recruitment, and management. Visionary leader who is successful at bridging the gap between business and talent. An adviser, friend, and strategist to the business with experience and knowledge between the talent and the company and creating a culture that communicates the goals and produces results. A relentless optimist who believes there is no failure, only feedback. Burrola graduated from Arizona State University with an undergraduate degree in global business marketing and management.


19. Steve Davis
Chief Executive Officer, Acadia Pharmaceuticals

Steve Davis is the Chief Executive Officer of Acadia Pharmaceuticals. Acadia is advancing breakthroughs in neuroscience to elevate life. For 30 years, we have been working at the forefront of healthcare to bring vital solutions to people who need them most. We developed and commercialized the first and only approved therapies for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis and for the treatment of Rett syndrome. Davis joined Acadia in July 2014 as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer. He was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer in March 2015 and named President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2015.

Davis brings over 25 years of executive-level experience in the pharmaceutical industry and more than 25 years of experience on the boards of directors of publicly held biopharmaceutical companies. Previously, Davis served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Heron Therapeutics, Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Ardea Biosciences, Inc., and in numerous executive roles at Neurogen Corporation, including Chief Executive Officer. Davis currently serves on the board of directors of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He also recently served on the boards of directors of Heron Therapeutics Inc., Synageva BioPharma Corp., and Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Early in his career, Davis practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with a major accounting firm and as a corporate and securities attorney with a Wall Street law firm. Davis received his B.S. degree in Accounting from Southern Nazarene University and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University.


20. Afif Khoury
Chief Executive Officer, SOCi

Afif Khoury, Founder and CEO of SOCi, Inc., has been at the forefront of technology for over 20 years. From his early contribution to the Human Genome Project, a career as a high tech M&A attorney, a manager of two successful Venture Capital funds and Founder & CEO of two successful startups, Afif has made a career out of following the data.

SOCi is the leading CoMarketing Cloud Platform for multi-location enterprises. We empower businesses like Ace Hardware, Jersey Mike's, Kumon, and Ford to automate and scale their marketing efforts across all locations and digital channels in a way that is brand directed, locally perfected, and data connected. Through the use of best-in-class generative AI and machine learning, the SOCi Genius platform provides multi-location enterprises actionable insights and recommendations while automating their most important workflows at scale. With SOCi, businesses can strengthen their digital presence across local search and social pages while protecting their online reputation driving improved customer engagement and market leading results.


21. Larry Gilbert
Chief Executive Officer, Event Network

Larry Gilbert is the Chief Executive Officer of Event Network. He first joined the company in 1998. Event Network, LLC is the leading retail operator for cultural attractions across North America. Our venues include zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, botanical gardens, traveling exhibitions, luxury resorts, and other highly regarded cultural and iconic destinations. As an innovative organization with a broad industry view and tremendous focus on their craft, they bring unmatched insight to assortment planning, regional trends, consumer demographics, and spending patterns. They apply proven retail disciplines to each unique environment and with each partnership. They integrate seamlessly with their partners and operate under the banners of their brands. Gilbert graduated from UC San Diego.


22. Michael Hotaling
Chief Executive Officer, C&S Companies

Michael Hotaling is the Chief Executive Officer of C&S Companies. Founded in 1968, the C&S Companies are known nationwide for client-focused engineering, architecture, planning, environmental, and construction services. Clients across the country trust C&S to deliver successful projects time and time again. Their staff of more than 400 has the expertise to handle almost any challenge. The diversity of C&S’s services is unique in the industry, with professionals in a wide range of specialized and unique disciplines.

Hotaling’s professional career began at C&S in 1990. He has progressed through numerous roles and was named Chief Executive Officer in 2023. As CEO, he is focused on collaborating with the team to achieve the vision for the company and to fulfill our core purpose. He leads the development and execution of a corporate strategy committed to harnessing the combined capabilities of their planners, designers, constructors, and support professionals for a sustainable future for their planet. Hotaling earned an undergraduate degree in aircraft engineering technology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


23. Athena Taj
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, UpThink Strategies for Business Excellence

Athena Taj is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UpThink Strategies for Business Excellence. They are a group of multi-talented business professionals. They hold degrees and licenses in clinical psychology. They are experts in human behavior and workplace interaction. They’ve got a sense of humor and meet any challenge with gusto. They provide unique, groundbreaking services that have been demonstrated to be highly effective.

Through a parallel interest in human behavior, Taj obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, became a licensed therapist, and co-founded a counseling services company in 1996. Through her three decades of work in multiple business arenas, Taj has developed expertise in leadership development, team building, conflict resolution, and psychological safety in the workplace. As a clinician, Taj specializes in the areas of emotional mastery, communication, personal development, and anger management.

In addition to running her businesses, Taj has 25 years of experience in theater and improvisation. This creative background enables her to successfully incorporate improvisation techniques within business and therapeutic settings. Taj holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Taj has lived in different countries and traveled to hundreds of cities, gaining insight and knowledge of different cultures. Her combined experience in business, psychology, improvisation, and cultural diversity gives her a unique, multi-dimensional perspective for effecting change in the corporate arena and personal domain.


24. Dermot O'Shea
Chief Executive Officer, Taoglas

Dermot O'Shea has been working in the global electronics industry since 1997. He is a cofounder of Taoglas and has worked at Taoglas since 2003 as co-CEO of the Group company where it has grown from a concept to the organization it is today. Dermot is currently CEO of Taoglas and is based full-time in San Diego, CA.

A graduate of Science from University College Dublin Dermot has also completed Graduate courses in Business, Computing and Enterprise Development from Dublin Business School, Griffith College and Waterford Institute of IT respectively. Dermot is passionate about sales, company culture, deal-making, sports, travel and spending time with his family. He is a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization) and sits on the board of Alpha Wireless and the Board of Trustees of La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego.


25. Matthew Zubiller
Chief Executive Officer, e4health

With over 25 years leading healthcare, services, and technology organizations, Matthew Zubiller is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of e4health. e4health Empowers Better Health. Serving more than 400 hospitals and health systems nationwide for nearly two decades, e4health provides solutions to move healthcare forward. It tackles the toughest problems in healthcare with unmatched technology, mid-revenue cycle, clinical, and operational expertise. He is responsible for leading and shaping e4health’s culture, operations, strategy, and financial performance while ensuring scale and growth to deliver on its vision of empowering better health.

Matt brings deep expertise in delivering high quality, innovative revenue cycle solutions to healthcare organizations across the nation, building enduring relationships with clients and partners based on value, and developing and scaling diverse, world class teams with strong values to meet the needs of an ever-changing healthcare market. Matt’s experience includes senior executive leadership positions at McKesson Corporation/Change Healthcare, AMN Healthcare, and Smile Brands. He has been an entrepreneur, founder, author, board member, and advisor to innovative healthcare technology and services companies, and currently serves as a Board Member/Leadership Chair of the American Heart Association. Matt holds an MBA from London Business School, a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Management of Technology Certification from the Berkeley College of Engineering and Haas School of Business.