Monday, January 29, 2024

Meet Your 2024 Board of Directors

Here is your 2024 Board and what the future of VACEOs looks like to them.

Ron Carey, Tilt Creative + Production

Position on Board: Chairman

Something you’ve learned as a member: I’ve been reminded that the membership is rich with experience and there is a member that’s already encountered some challenge previously that feels new to me and they are willing to help.

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: That VACEOs continues to be the premiere CEO peer group for every stage of the CEO journey.

Something more personal: I am incredibly proud of my Forum group, I believe this group truly cares for one another in the good and the bad.

Henry Clifford, Livewire

Position on Board: Vice Chair

Something you’ve learned as a member: I’m not alone and there’s no shortage of opportunities to improve the lives of our employees thanks to the amazing camaraderie & collective wisdom found in our roundtables.

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: Roundtable health is vital to the success of our group. I’d love to help move the needle north on making the Roundtable experience more meaningful for our members.

Something more personal: I love live music, endurance racing and flying airplanes. I’ve been happily married to my wife for 22 years and we have 3 amazing kids with an incontinent French Bulldog serving as team mascot.

Arlene Lee, Lee Construction Group, Inc.

Position on Board: Past Chair

Something you’ve learned as a member: One thing I learned as a member of VACEOs is the power of shifting from giving advice to sharing experiences.  As I brought this concept into my business, it was powerful to see the results with my teams feeling more confident not just in making decisions but in making better decisions.

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: My hope for the future of VACEOs is that we grow in footprint and meaning and support for CEOs. And, whether intentional or unintentional, we change the conversation in the greater world in a healthy, collaborative way.

Something more personal: I am an avid knitter and have 6 books published on knitting designs.

Jennifer Boyden, Heart Havens

Position on Board: Treasurer

Something you’ve learned as a member: One of the key takeaways for me has been the paramount importance of exposing ourselves to a diverse array of ideas. As leaders, it’s easy to get caught up in our own spheres of influence and experience, but the richness of innovation lies in the multitude of perspectives that surround us. By actively seeking out and embracing new ideas, we open ourselves up to fresh insights and alternative pathways of thinking. This diversity of thought not only enhances our problem-solving abilities but also cultivates an environment where creativity and ingenuity can flourish. In the ever-evolving landscape of business, being adaptable and open-minded is crucial.

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: Looking ahead, I envision the future of VACEOs as a community that not only thrives on the strength of individual members but also on the depth of our relationships with one another. Our network is a treasure trove of knowledge, experience, and potential collaborations waiting to be unearthed. My dream for VACEOs is to see us expand not just in numbers but in the richness of our connections, fostering an environment where each member is a resource, mentor, and friend to one another.

Something more personal: On a more personal note, I want to share a significant aspect of my life that has profoundly shaped my worldview. Over the years, my family and I have had the privilege of hosting several exchange students from different countries. Our latest addition to the family hails from Vietnam, and her presence has been nothing short of transformative.

She has chosen to stay in the United States, with her family’s blessing, and I am currently pursuing legal guardianship. It is heartening to see her integrate seamlessly into our lives, bringing her unique perspective and cultural richness. As she embarks on her journey to complete her last two years of high school at Steward School, with aspirations of becoming a doctor in the USA, I am reminded of the power of fostering connections that transcend borders.

In essence, my personal experience underscores the importance of embracing diversity and providing support to those pursuing their dreams. As we chart the course for VACEOs, let us not only focus on business growth but also on the growth of relationships that transcend the professional realm, enriching our lives in ways we may not have anticipated.

B. Scott Crawford, Virginia 811

Position on Board: Director 

Something you’ve learned as a member: How the Round Tables are very powerful experiences that have facilitated my ability to learn more about me and gain more insight into who I am. 

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: A VACEO presence and participation rate in the Roanoke Valley to rival the Richmond area!    

Something more personal: I have a strong passion for technology and innovation. I love working with others to explore how technology can be leveraged in new ways in my industry in order to help protect Virginia’s underground infrastructure! 

Corey Divine, Candidate Source

Position on Board: Director

Something you’ve learned as a member: People undervalue experience sharing and the impact it can have on your development as a leader. New members join to improve their businesses, but they forget you first must become the best version of yourself.   

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: To continue to evolve and provide members with value.

Something more personal: A fun fact about me is that my first job was at McDonalds during my Freshman year of high school at the age of 14.

Melissa Ball, Ball Office Products and C.P. Dean Company

Position on Board: Director

Something you’ve learned as a member: Our problems are nearly all the same.

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: To build stronger relationship and create resources for each other.

Something more personal: I am a mom, dog lover, sailor and reluctant entrepreneur. 

Kelly O’Keefe, Brand Federation

Position on Board: Director

Something you’ve learned as a member: One of my most important lessons as a member is that perseverance leads to achievement. Life doesn’t give us calm waters to navigate in, there are always challenges both personally and professionally. I’ve been a CEO for many years, and this has always been true, but I’ve learned to just keep a steady hand on the wheel and don’t panic. When you get together with other CEOs you learn that everyone has challenges to circumvent, we’re always there for each other and we help each other to get through those times.

Dreams for the future of VACEOs: I’d love to see us share our collective wisdom with newly named CEOs. We could help younger CEOs to avoid the pitfalls that sometimes come with the job. If we can help train stronger CEOs, we can help businesses thrive, which helps our community to thrive. 

Something more personal: I’ve always considered myself an artist first. I try to bring creativity into everything I do: Running a business, parenting four children, teaching graduate students, everything. Sometimes business can be draining, but living a creative life recharges my batteries.

Posted by Aida Pehlic at 2:52 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *