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CEO of the Year 2013

Welcome to the 2nd annual MBQ
CEO of the Year Awards. We started this endeavor last spring as a way to celebrate the achievements of Memphis’ top decision-makers and the companies they lead.

Last year, to prime the pump on the new program, we named three CEO of the Year winners in each of three company-size categories, plus our Platinum CEO of the Year in the biggest employment category. We solicited nominations from the public, and a jury of impartial judges selected the winners. The process netted us a great group of CEOs: Bob Bean of Transnetyx/Harmonyx; Stinson Liles and Martin Wilford of Red Deluxe; Gayle S. Rose of EVS Corporation; Charles L. Ewing Sr. of Ewing Moving Service Inc.; Mike Pohlman of Pickering; Duncan Williams of Duncan-Williams Inc.; Alan Mullen of Crew Training International; Karl Schledwitz of Monogram Food Solutions; Leigh Shockey of Drexel Chemical Company; and John Faraci of International Paper.

For this year’s awards, we received nominations the same way, and an impartial group of judges narrowed the list down. From there, we settled into our long-term strategy: to announce three Finalists per category and then name one winner at a ceremony right before the issue comes out.

In full transparency, there was a lot of internal debate about naming one winner per category with two more Finalists versus naming three winners per category. Long before we had specific Finalists to consider, we decided to have winners, not as a way to diminish the achievements of the Finalists — who are all immensely successful and worthy of all manner of plaudits — but as a way to take CEO of the Year into even more rarefied air. If it’s good enough a process for the Academy Awards, it’s good enough for us.

So that’s the long way of saying this: These CEOs collectively offer a catch-your-breath snapshot of the quality of leadership in the Memphis business community. It is an honor to be able to recognize the extraordinary achievements of these remarkable executives in Memphis. Our city has a time-tested reputation for producing great business leaders, thinkers, and innovators, and the 2013 MBQ CEO of the Year Finalists honors those who continue that great tradition. We applaud each of them, congratulate them on being Finalists, and thank them for their contributions to the Memphis business community.

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