Chairman and CEO, Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises; star of the CNBC television show The Profit
On CNBC’s television show The Profit, Marcus Lemonis lends his expertise to struggling small businesses around the country. As a result of successful partnerships forged on the show, Lemonis has acquired a number of companies, including 1-800-Car-Cash, and developed AutoMatch USA. Lemonis has also added a variety of product lines and services to his holding company, Marcus Lemonis LLC. His biggest success is as chairman and CEO of Camping World, the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam Enterprises, the world’s largest RV owners’ organization. After combining Camping World with Good Sam Enterprises in 2010, Lemonis now leads nearly 6,000 employees in over 100 U.S. cities, and recorded close to $3 billion in sales in 2013.
Founder, The Honest Company
Jessica Alba is a Golden Globe–nominated actress who is actively involved with such charities as Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, ONE, Habitat for Humanity, and Project HOME. But there is one role the California native enjoys playing above all others: mom to young daughters Honor and Haven. Alba created the Honest Company to “help moms and to give all children a better, safer start.”
founder and CEO, FUBU; star of ABC television show, Shark Tank
Damon John started a clothing company in his mother’s basement, in Queens, NY, and in 10 year’s time transformed it into a global fashion empire. John is a star of ABC’s hit reality business show “Shark Tank” and the Founder and CEO of FUBU, a company he steered to annual sales in excess of 350 million dollars at its peak. He’s the author of two books: ‘Display of Power’, which was voted “One of the Best Business Books of 2007”, by the Library Journal and ‘The Brand Within’ which has been called “An Essential Blueprint for Brand-Building”.
John is a consultant and public speaker, and shares his expertise with everyone from students and aspiring entrepreneurs to small business owners and CEOs of major corporations. He has been featured on Bloomberg News, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox Business, as well as in Forbes.com, the Wall Street Journal.com, CNNMoney, Success Magazine and many other prominent media outlets.
CPO and co-founder, Airbnb
Joe Gebbia is the co-founder and CPO of Airbnb. He leads the product team in creating meaningful experiences through intuitive design, and oversees Airbnb’s brand and product development. Gebbia draws on his previous experience as a designer at Chronicle Books and developer of a green design site and several consumer products. He earned dual degrees in graphic design and industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he met Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky.
David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku, which includes restaurants in New York City, Sydney, and Toronto, as well as a best-selling cookbook and a print journal called Lucky Peach. Momofuku originated in New York City, now home to Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Milk Bar, Momofuku Má Pêche, and Booker and Dax at Ssäm. Chang opened Momofuku Seiōbo, his first restaurant outside of New York City, at the Star in Sydney in October 2011. In 2012, Chang opened Momofuku Toronto, located in a three-story glass cube in the heart of downtown Toronto. The building is home to five concepts: Noodle Bar Toronto, Nikai, Milk Bar Toronto, Daishō, and Shōtō. Since opening Noodle Bar in 2004, Chang has been awarded 25 James Beard Awards, counted among the Time 100 and Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” profiled in The New Yorker and Vogue, and featured on the cover of ForbesLife Magazine. He has been called one of “the most influential people of the 21st century” by Esquire and, in 2014, was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business 1000.”
Founder and CEO, Johnny Cupcakes
Out of the trunk of his beat-up ’89 Camry, Johnny Earle turned a simple idea into a multimillion-dollar business using nontraditional methods. Starting in 2001, at the age of 19, Earle developed his company without a business plan, start-up loans, investors, wholesaling, or even conventional advertising. Johnny Cupcakes does not sell cupcakes, however; instead, it is one of the most recognized independent T-shirt brands in the U.S. and Europe, with retail locations in Boston, Los Angeles, and London. Designed as vintage bakeries, Johnny Cupcakes’ frosting-scented stores display limited-edition T-shirts inside refrigerators and confection cases.
Co-founder and CEO, MakerBot
Bre Pettis has led MakerBot, a global leader in 3-D-printing technology, as CEO since its beginning in 2009, but he has a long history of making things and inspiring others to make things. Prior to co-founding MakerBot, Pettis co-founded the Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor, where MakerBot technology was first created, tested, and proven. He was instrumental in building the first prototypes of MakerBot’s 3-D printers, and has become known worldwide as a leading evangelist for personal manufacturing. Pettis was honored with the Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival, for “creating an entire ecosystem for desktop 3-D printing.”
Bre Pettis photograph © 2010 Joi Ito.
Founder and managing director, Ideal Properties Group
Aleksandra Scepanovic is co-founder and managing director of Ideal Properties Group, a leading real-estate firm in Brooklyn, New York. She founded the company in 2007 with Erik Serras and has grown it to four offices with 150 brokers. Scepanovic is responsible for business development, company operations, and creating a supportive corporate culture. Previously, she worked as a journalist and media analyst in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. She came to NYC to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology before transitioning to real estate.
Vice president, The Great Game of Business Inc.
Steve Baker is the vice president of the Great Game of Business Inc., a division of employee-owned SRC Holdings Corporation. He also co-wrote the 20th anniversary edition of the best-selling book The Great Game of Business. Baker spent two decades struggling to help small-business owners reach their goals without access to key business metrics. Learning to play the Great Game of Business at SRC changed his life. He also serves on the board of the National Center for Employee Ownership and on the steering committee of SRC’s Ownership Culture Initiative. Baker is a career marketing and branding professional and an award-winning designer. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, with his family.
Senior editor, Inc.
In her role as an Inc. senior editor, Lindsay Blakely oversees the website’s and the magazine’s tech coverage from Los Angeles. Previously she was a senior editor at CBS Interactive and before that she was a reporter for Business 2.0 magazine.
Honorary chairman, Inc. Business Owners Council; founder, CitiStorage; partner, Black Gold Suites; columnist, Inc.; co-author, Street Smarts
Inc. columnist and senior contributing editor Norm Brodsky is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded and grown six businesses. In 2007 he sold CitiStorage, a document-archive business based in Brooklyn, New York, for $110 million. His most recent venture is Black Gold Suites, an extended-stay hotel in Tioga, North Dakota. Brodsky chronicles his entrepreneurial journey in his Inc. “Street Smarts” column and in the book The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up, both co-authored with Inc. editor-at-large Bo Burlingham.
editor-at-large, Inc.; author, Small Giants; co-author, The Knack
Besides serving as editor-at-large for Inc. and authoring Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, Bo Burlingham has written two books with acclaimed businessman Jack Stack. With Norm Brodsky, Burlingham also co-authors the popular monthly column in Inc. called “Street Smarts” and co-wrote the book The Knack, also known as Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs.
Founder and CEO, TAE International; author, ROAR! and Video Marketing for Dummies; columnist, Inc.com
As the author of five books, including the Amazon No. 1 best sellers ROAR! Get Heard in the Sales and Marketing Jungle and Video Marketing for Dummies, Kevin Daum helps companies communicate in strategic, compelling, and often humorous ways. Daum is an Inc. 500 entrepreneur and Inc.com columnist whose track record includes more than $1 billion in sales and marketing.
Deputy editor of business development, Inc.com
Allison Fass is deputy editor, strategy and business development, for Inc.com. She has been with the media company since 2011. A longtime business journalist at Forbes and The New York Times, Fass has also worked in venture capital and innovation at Hearst Interactive Media and digital strategy at a start-up consultancy. A graduate of Duke, Fass earned an MBA from Columbia, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot fellow.
Author, Upstarts! and Alpha Dogs
Donna Fenn is the author of two books, Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success and Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack. Fenn is also a contributing editor at Inc., a blogger on BNET/CBSi and Inc.com, and an experienced international keynote speaker. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Working Woman, Parents, Reader’s Digest, and The Washington Monthly, among other publications.
Co-founder, Strategic Hospitality
Benjamin Goldberg is the founder and co-owner of Strategic Hospitality, parent company to Nashville-based Paradise Park, Aerial, Merchants, the Patterson House, the Catbird Seat, and Pinewood Social. In 2006, Goldberg created Strategic Hospitality as a modest company of just him and his brother Max, which has since grown to become a thriving hospitality group employing more than 300 people. A believer in and supporter of the city of Nashville, Goldberg sits on the boards of both the Rochelle Center and the University School of Nashville. He is also a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Leadership Nashville for the class of 2014-2015.
Co-founder, Strategic Hospitality
With his brother Benjamin, Max Goldberg is a co-owner of Strategic Hospitality, parent company to Nashville-based Paradise Park, Aerial, Merchants, the Patterson House, the Catbird Seat, and Pinewood Social. Strategic Hospitality was created in 2006 as a modest company that included just the two brothers; it has since grown to employ more than 300 people. Goldberg is active in the Nashville community, sitting on the board of the Grace Eaton Center and serving as sponsor and coach of the Kipp Academy basketball team. He is also a member of Rotary Nashville and an active University of Denver alumnus.
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
executive educator, coach, and author
Recently recognized as one the Top 10 business thinkers in the world, a most influential leadership thinker, and the most respected executive coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is an authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting change in behavior. His 34 books, including What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, have sold more than two million copies worldwide. Goldsmith is one of a select few executive advisers who have worked with more than 150 CEOs throughout his career.
executive editor, Inc.
Bobbie Gossage, <em>Inc</em>.’s executive editor, has been with the magazine for more than 12 years. In that time, she has interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs and CEOs and edited award-winning articles about the highs and lows of running a company, including “The Price of Entrepreneurship,” about founders and depression. Before joining Inc., Gossage was a staff writer at Worth magazine and Equity, a magazine about women and money.
Editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence
Before joining Inc., James Ledbetter was the opinion editor of Reuters. He was the founding editor of Slate’s financial site The Big Money and deputy managing editor of CNN Money. Ledbetter has published five books, including Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex.
Brian S. Lee
CEO and co-founder, The Honest Company; co-founder, LegalZoom; co-founder, ShoeDazzle
Brian Lee has unparalleled expertise in launching successful e-commerce brands that leverage technology and social media to provide consumers with a highly customized, entertaining, and informational internet experience. Formerly an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, and a manager at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Lee co-founded LegalZoom in 2001; it has since become the nationwide leader in online legal services. On the heels of LegalZoom’s success, Lee launched ShoeDazzle in 2008, an innovative subscription business model with more than three million highly engaged members and two million Facebook fans. Forbes magazine ranked ShoeDazzle number 21 on its Most Promising Companies 2011 list. Currently, Lee is the CEO of the Honest Company, which he co-founded with Jessica Alba in 2012. Responding to parents who demand eco-friendly, nontoxic products for their families, the Honest Company presently boasts over 200 employees and is touted as one of the most promising e-commerce companies in California. Lee was recognized as one of the 25 Most Notable Korean-American Entrepreneurs by Forbes in 2009.
Co-founder and CEO, Evernote
Evernote is a Redwood City, California–based, independent, privately held software company that builds apps and products that are defining the way individuals and teams work today. Founded in 2007, Evernote products reach more than 100 million users worldwide. The organization boasts nearly 400 employees and is growing. In 2011, Evernote was Inc.’s Company of the Year.
COO and senior consultant, Predictable Success
Dave McKeown is the chief operating officer and senior consultant at Predictable Success, an organizational growth consultancy that helps senior leaders overcome the obstacles to growth in their organization. McKeown oversees the day-to-day operations of the business and is responsible for the training and development of all new consultants. Over the past decade, he has worked with Pella Windows and Doors, T-Mobile, and numerous family- and founder-owned companies.
Co-founder, IdeaPaint; co-founder, MixedMade
Morgan Newman is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of IdeaPaint and, most recently, MixedMade. After launching IdeaPaint in the U.S., in less than four years Morgen built the company’s international business, which now accounts for 30 percent of its total sales from more than 40 countries. MixedMade, launched in just 30 days, inspires and provides guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs.
M&A adviser, CEO, Strategic Exits Corp.; author, Early Exits
Basil Peters is the author of Early Exits, which Inc. named one of the 10 best business books of 2009.
Srikumar S. Rao
Former Columbia Business School professor; creator of MBA Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM) course; author,Happiness at Work
Srikumar Rao is the author of Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What and Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life. He is also creator of the popular course Creativity and Personal Mastery. He helps entrepreneurs cope with internal struggles to lead them to external success. A former professor at Columbia Business School, Rao has been a consultant to RCA, Reuters, and Citigroup.
John “Jay” Rogers, Jr.
Co-founder and CEO, Local Motors
Local Motors is a next-generation, U.S.-based company that is changing the way cars are designed, built, and owned. Local Motors is home to more than 60,000 car-design concepts, 45,000 community members, over 90 full-time employees across four locations in the U.S. and Europe, four production vehicle models, and hundreds of smaller vehicle innovations sold in its shop. Most recently, Local Motors unveiled the Strati, the world’s first 3-D-printed vehicle. John “Jay” Rogers was elected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014. His career has taken him from a startup in China to Ewing & Partners to McKinsey & Co. and the U.S. Marine Corps, in which he served for six years as an infantry company commander.
Co-founder and CEO, International Cosmetics & Perfumes
Still a privately held company, International Cosmetics & Perfumes (ICP) continues to make an indelible mark on a marketplace typically fueled by multibillion-dollar beauty companies. Emmanuel Saujet heads business development in the Americas for the company’s four prestigious brands and the exploration of dynamic brand partnerships that fuel the vitality and energy of the firm.
president and editor-in-chief, Inc.
In three years at Inc., Eric Schurenberg has presided over the magazine’s 24 percent increase in ad pages, numerous journalism awards, and a National Magazine Award nomination for General Excellence. His résumé also includes leadership roles at Money, Fortune, Business 2.0, the CBS Interactive websites Bnet.com and MoneyWatch.com, and the Goldman Sachs Group’s personal-wealth management website, Goldman.com. In addition to hosting Inc. live events, he is an occasional contributor to CNBC, MSNBC, and the Today show.
Gary Solomon, Jr.
Co-founder and president, Solomon Group
Gary Solomon Jr. is the co-founder and president of Solomon Group. In just five years, the New Orleans–based firm has become one of the nation’s top entertainment production resources, creating award-winning projects for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, CBS’s Emmy-nominated coverage of Super Bowl XLVII, the ESSENCE Festival, and the National WWII Museum. Solomon has been featured in Forbes, The Atlantic, and Success Magazine and was one of Inc.’s “30 Under 30” in 2013.
co-founder, Tessemae’s All Natural
co-founder, Tessemae’s All Natural
co-founder, Tessemae’s All Natural
Kimberly Weisul is an award-winning writer, editor, content developer, and all-around media pro. In her role at Inc., she coaches and edits columnists, handles some special projects, mentors reporters, and writes the occasional opinion piece. She is also a co-founder of One Thing New, a digital media startup that is rebooting so-called women’s content. Weisul is a regular guest on MSNBC’s Your Business. She has also appeared on ABC World News This Morning, CNNfn, Dow Jones News Radio, and AP News Radio.