CEO Organization Testimonials | Atlanta, GA

Our CEO Organization has a 20 year heritage of mutual contribution which has provided our members with experiences that have resulted in many success stories. Our members talk about their experiences:

“Coming to the Brain Trust CEO Group has helped me immensely. It’s helping me grow my company. It’s helping me understand how easy it is to solve some of the issues around differentiation strategies, legalities, organizational structure, compensation, buyouts, exit strategy… all those things which are possibly in our future.

It’s helped me understand those things, because I’m around other people who’ve been there and done that. It’s the best time investment I make, absolutely, in anything I do, and I recommend it highly to anyone who is interested in improving and optimizing their business.”

Ken Robbins, Co-founder & CEO, ResponseMine Interactive

“It was very hard for me to pull the trigger on committing the time to the Brain Trust Meetings. I’m extremely busy, as all CEO’s are. However, I am delighted that I have allocated the time and made the leap. I discovered that being covered up had a component of being so consumed with fighting the battles with bows and arrows, that I was too busy to learn how to use laser guided missiles. The Brain Trust is a laser guided missile development think tank … and I actually have more free time now than before because of learning how to minimize firefighting and operate the business more efficiently.”

Bob Lewis, CEO, Mobile Media Enterprises, LLC

“I read Bill’s book three times, and after 6 months of implementing his concepts I was able to reduce my head count from 200 to 150 people, reduce my inventory by 50%, increase my annualized inventory turn from 4 to 9 times, and increase my gross margins by 6 points.”

Kevin Melendy, President, Spectral Response, Inc.

I’m thrilled I finally made the leap to join The Brain Trust … should have done it sooner. Your organization is like nothing I’ve ever participated in. The people are great. The information is great. The tools are transformative and the collaborative problem solving, and troubleshooting is really valuable and a lot of fun. I really appreciate you.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Jeff Bonk</strong>, Founder and CEO, Media DOJO, Inc.</span>
My experience at Brain Trust, being surrounded by smart, motivated and aggressive colleagues, has helped me move to another level professionally. The Brain Trust helps challenge and assure continued personal growth for all colleagues who participate!<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Greg Mills</strong>, Founder and CEO of G.L. Mills & Associates and former CEO of Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts, a billion dollar division of ADM.</span>
As I reflect on my first year of membership in The Brain Trust (TBT), the ROI has been remarkable. Most recently, one of the speakers at a meeting presented a workshop the content of which is enabling my company to save over $400,000 in payroll/benefits this year … and that’s over $4 million dollars in incremental bottom line over the next 10 years. We’re doing that by:

  1. Replacing 10 of our 40 people on our payroll with 10 freelancers located in 4 different countries for ten cents on the dollar … and the quality of the work is better and faster because we’re able to engage people who are specialists and experts in their field. Anyone can take this idea and run with it, but the key to what we are doing are the turnkey systems and coaching we are getting to implement it. Without that, we’d be saving a MUCH smaller amount because we would be forced to figure everything out by ourselves, and that’s not our expertise … and
  2. Developing and implementing marketing material and systems (again … at ten cents on the dollar) that is adding revenue to our top line. We launched a new business with $3,100 in Marketing dollars (using this concept) vs. $28,500 being quoted by others. Plus … these new revenue initiatives could have another 6 digit annual impact to our bottom line.

So this concept saves money to reduce expenses and adds revenue to the top line … Quite frankly, I’m getting more ideas from the Brain Trust meetings than I can implement, so I concentrate on executing at-least one idea per meeting, and the results have been wonderful. When I joined TBT, Tom told me that the meetings were idea factories … and he definitely delivered on that.

Membership in TBT also enables me to be able to spend quality time with CEO leaders in the local area across several different industries. We share ideas, discuss how specific issues are solved and have brainstorming sessions for the benefit of each other that often results in amazing and inventive ideas.

Thank you, Tom for being a great leader. I can see that you spend countless hours organizing the meetings, bringing in thoughtful speakers and finding great new members to add to the team. I also appreciate how you challenge us at each meeting to help us improve our individual operations.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Sam Fuchs</strong>, Co-founder and CEO, iCare Financial</span>

Tom, Bill and Team Brain Trust,
Well as they say…all good things must come to an end. We are selling our Atlanta and Orlando Linen operations April 1, and soon afterward I will be moving to the Great Lakes State to continue the journey to execute our exit strategy. One of the things I will miss most in Atlanta is the Brain Trust – and most specifically, the people who take the time each month to meet. Thank You all for sharing your experiences, stories, challenges, trials, victories and lessons learned. I will always cherish your insights and friendship!

Tom & Bill, I have been blessed and fortunate to have each of you as Teacher and Coach. You left an indelible print by challenging, reflecting and modeling. You each have achieved monetary success over your careers but it pales in comparison to your Significance. By Significance, I mean the impact you had on others, your service to many, and your courage to be a center of influence to most. I hope you someday realize the number of people you have touched, how many smiles you have caused, how many tears you have eased, and how many careers you have impacted. Thanks for all the above.

When I look back to my first meeting in November 2012 it was clear that Tom and Bill had a mission to Inspire & Excite. Well done guys! But as important, they set the stage for – Good Fun with Good People…. who could ask for more?
I wish you all Success beyond your loftiest Dreams!
May God continue to Bless you all.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Jim Krupansky</strong>, CEO, Southeast Linen Associates, Inc.</span>

The BrainTrust Monthly Speaker Events have provided me invaluable business advice, wisdom and council. The sheer business knowledge and pedigree of the speakers combined with the lessons and knowledge they impart makes me examine my decisions and strategies with a renewed and fresh perspective. Each month I look forward to bringing something away from these events that I can implement with my team.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Virginia Lewis</strong>, VP, Head of Response Mine Digital</span>
The experience of the BrainTrust over the last five years has been wonderful. I have learned immensely and the friendships are invaluable! I fully intend to seek to come back after a few years off. This is the time for Joe to be exposed to the MBA type of material and speakers, and the relationships that he can build with other members will be great. Keep up the good work!
<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Mike Hoffman</strong>, Managing Partner, Hoffman & Associates (Law Firm)</span>
A quick thank you for inviting me to The Brain Trust. I have never been in such a powerful group with great leaders and a great amount of discipline of staying focused during the meeting.
<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Dirk DeVuyst</strong>, CEO, International Marble Industries, Inc.</span>
The benefits that I have received as a participant in The Brain Trust are:

  • Great Speakers.
  • Valuable insights that you can leverage in your own business.
  • Good sounding board for ideas from other members.
  • Great feedback and candor on challenges within your business.
  • Outstanding cross section of businesses offer true out of the box thinking.
  • Last but not least, Bill and Tom’s guidance and expertise.
<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Russ Wheeler,</strong> President-North America Hansgrohe, Inc.</span>

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Each of the monthly meetings over this past year has been outstanding. The external speakers that you have made available, their real world experience and advice have been excellent.

What has made it especially worthwhile is the member interaction. The experience of the group and their approach to problem solving was especially valuable. Another benefit that I found was the openness of the group and their willingness to share their issues with the group and make non-judgmental suggestions.

Additionally, the one-on-one time that you spend with each member is also quite beneficial; a number of other members have commented accordingly.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Tom Berger,</strong> Former CEO, 8 Venture Capital Backed Start-ups<br /> Former Operating Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners</span>

Testimonials

Coming to a group like the Brain Trust has helped me immensely. It’s helping me grow my company. It’s helping me understand how easy it is to solve some of the issues around legalities, organizational structure, compensation, buyouts, exit strategy, all those things, which are possibly in our future.

It’s helped me understand those things, because I’m around other people who’ve been there. It’s the best time investment I make, absolutely, in anything I do, is coming to a peer group like this.

So, I strongly advise that anybody who is trying to grow their company, take the time to find a peer group, and this is a great one, because the owner and the guy who founded it with the vision, runs it day to day.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Ken Robbins,</strong> CEO, ResponseMine, Inc.</span>

The Benefits that I have received as a participant are faster dissection and responses to the unexpected, confidence in approaching difficult problems, dealing with tense/emotional issues, a safe environment to raise tough, proprietary topics, raised awareness of self/options in business and terrific intellectual stimulation.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Ned Montag,</strong> CEO, A. Montag & Associates</span>
Through his work as Chairman of The Brain Trust, Tom Cramer has delivered valuable insight and direction to business owners on business planning of all kinds. His experience and know-how have been of great value to me in my entrepreneurial endeavors.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Gary Giles,</strong> CEO, ClarityMatters (Inc. 500 Member)</span>
Our lunch confirmed what I already thought…that The Brain Trust – and you as an individual component of that – is going to add great value to Core Potential’s long term success as well as to my personal goals.

Excited would be an understatement on my part.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Randi Drinkwater,</strong> CEO, Core Potential Marketing, LLC</span>

I am so grateful to have been found by you and Bill so early on in my career. Looking back 20 years from now, your impact in my life will be absolutely immeasurable.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Joseph Duke,</strong> CEO, Retail Visibility, Inc.</span>
I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that after joining the Braintrust about a year ago, I have clearly received a great return on the investment.

The presentations and discussions have positively affected my management style and our marketing. The retreat and the connections have been very helpful. Thank you for bringing such a well planned program together.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Ron Bushman,</strong> CEO, InfoRetail, Inc.</span>

I was watching TDM today and I just wanted to stop and tell you how much I appreciate having you in my life. You have helped me so much with our business and personal situation. Through my participation in the Braintrust, I grew as a person and a business leader.

You introduced me to the Hedgehog concept that has provided a great deal of direction for my life. You helped me see that I could not do everything well, and that I needed to let go of some things.

I have the ability to make choices about what will be. As they say in Landmark, life is empty and meaningless. It is only by our choices that we “fill it up” with what our life will contain – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful.

It is sad that so many times people have such a wonderful affect on our lives and yet we never take the time to let them know. Thank you.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Gina Carr,</strong> CEO, Around Town Community Magazines</span>

It was very helpful and comforting to know that there are fellow business people that experience the same issues I experience running a business … and the speakers have been great.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Mandy Chapman,</strong> President, Roytec Industries, Inc.</span>
As a CEO it’s so easy to get caught in not knowing what you don’t know. No one person can know it all, and I have found The Brain Trust to be a world class resource for me to discover what I don’t know and get the help and counsel that I need.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Bob Lewis,</strong> CEO, Mobile Media Enterprises, LLC</span>
I have been exposed to new trends in industry, ideas on strategic planning and marketing, and the power of accountability to someone else other than myself.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Gordon Dixon,</strong> CEO, ARI, Inc.</span>
The Brain Trust has provided me a Board of Directors level of accountability. I have also found the speakers to be unusually beneficial. Exposure to this wealth of knowledge in an intimate group of fellow CEO’s is much more valuable than presentations in other venues.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Bob Wilensky,</strong> CEO, AmTrust Mortgage Corporation (Inc. 500 Member)</span>
My participation in The Brain Trust has helped me with decision making, stimulated important thought processes about all areas of my business, given me exposure to top thinkers in the business world (the speaker program), challenged me to stretch myself and provided me with a peer group that can relate to and validate my thinking.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Robert Bairstow,</strong> CEO, Bairstow Lifting Products Company</span>
Do you ever wonder? What would it be like if exhaust wasn’t the excepted smell of the ages, but instead pineapple, or lemon; or what if we could have our own personal scent enveloping each one of us like a odoriferous soundtrack. What if you weren’t just responsible for eeking out a modest living reacting to perpetual crisis? Wonder gives us a chance to visit places that seem make believe from where we are currently viewing, but as objective as the sky appears blue – wonder is one step on the way where make believe comes true. The Braintrust is a safe place where creators come together to explore unfamiliar terrain; to encourage, challenge and support one another on our personal journeys; and learn about other perspectives. I continually ask myself, “What if I could be better every day than the one before?”. With just a little success, one comes to understand the magnitude of responsibility embedded in that message. I, for one, sense its intrigue and pleasure; and choose there to be no other way. I am proud to journey with the friends I have made at the Braintrust and am ever grateful for their repeated inspiration.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Joseph Duke,</strong> Founder and CEO, Center Stage Business Solutions, Inc.</span>
Thank you for your vision, willingness to lead the group and the great knowledge you pass on. I have had coaches for business roles I have held in the past, but none have had the interaction and application that you provide through the Brain Trust Meetings. The forum and the presentations are truly great and enlightening.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Tim Williams,</strong> General Manager, Patriot Fire Protection</span>
Thank you for everything you have helped me with! I have gained so much from joining this group, and from you personally. It was a great decision and investment in myself.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Mat Brenckle,</strong> Founder and CEO, Wholesale & Liquidation Experts</span>
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of your organization. You’ve done a great job putting the groups together and keeping it fresh every month. You are also a good sounding board with your keen insights and just plain good business sense.<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Bob Soby,</strong> CEO, Custard Insurance Adjusters</span>

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