Mid-Market Action Committees & Advisory Boards


The mid-market is where innovation meets scale, and is uniquely suited to make a difference. As such, the leadership of the mid-market must take an active role in addressing, from the mid-market perspective, the challenges facing society and the economy today.

To facilitate the role of the mid-market, we have Mid-Market Action Committees. The purpose of these committees is to focus on the most impactful ideas and funnel CEO Connection people, information, and resources into group, individual or corporate actions.

Serving on one or more of these committees enables you to connect with other Mid-Market CEOs, create opportunities for your company, and shape the mid-market perspectives on the issues which are important to you, all while collaborating on ideas to help change the world.

Click here to join a committee or email committees@ceoconnection.com.

These issues affect you, your company, and the people you care about. When the mid-market comes together, we can make a real difference.

Below are the committees:


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European Expansion Committee

The CEO Connection European Expansion Committee works to develop initiatives and strategies to increase access to European resources and programs for mid-market companies.

The mission of the CEO Connection European Expansion Committee is to:
Identify and create opportunities for both individual mid-market companies and the mid-market at large in Europe.
Develop and implement programs that support individual mid-market companies and the mid-market at large in Europe.
Connect members in the USA to members in Europe and vice-versa.


 Adam Warby, CEO of Avanade, is the chairperson of the CEO Connection European Expansion Committee. Adam works closely with the Avanade Board of Directors and his leadership team to realize our mission of making a genuine impact on our clients and their customers through solutions based on the Microsoft platform.

Adam joined Avanade at its inception in April, 2000, and as one of the founding members, was instrumental in building the company and shaping its culture. A senior leader, Adam has significant experience managing and growing Avanade’s business operations, having served as General Manager and Senior Vice President for the company’s North American and European operations during his tenure. As Executive Vice President, he has also led Avanade’s worldwide sales and marketing teams, and set the vision and direction for Avanade solutions.


Education Committee

The CEO Connection Education Committee works with academic institutions and the post-secondary training industry to make changes that will better prepare students to meet the needs of mid-market employers, thereby benefitting employers, employees, and the greater economy.

The mission of the CEO Connection Education Committee is to:

  1. Impact the education system to properly prepare today’s students to meet the needs of tomorrow’s mid-market jobs.
  2. Identify and create opportunities for individual mid-market companies and the mid-market at large to assist academic institutions in implementing stronger future employee preparation.
  3. Connect members to opportunities to collaborate with academic institutions and to share best coordination practices with those institutions.



Jon Whitmore, Former CEO of ACT, Inc. is the chairperson of the CEO Connection Education Committee. A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Whitmore has dedicated his life to helping others achieve educational success. He continues to drive this mission as CEO at ACT. Throughout his career, six universities have benefited from his leadership and vision: West Virginia University, State University of New York at Buffalo, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Iowa, Texas Tech University, and San Jose State University.

Most people know ACT as the nonprofit organization responsible for the ACT test – the college admissions and placement test taken by more than 1.6 million high school graduates every year. ACT has played an increasingly important role in the nation’s educational enterprise, contributing to and supporting the nation’s educational vision. Today, more than 50 years after the first test was administered, ACT has grown to be a successful nonprofit organization that offers millions of education and career assessments across the country and around the world.

Government Partnerships Committee

The CEO Connection Government Partnerships Committee works to develop initiatives and strategies to increase access to government resources and programs for CEO Connection members.

The mission of the Government Partnerships Committee is to:

  1. Identify and connect members to government programs and resources to provide new opportunities for mid-market companies.
  2. Create partnerships with government agencies to develop programs to benefit CEO Connection members and the mid-market at large.
  3. Have an impact on government policies and regulations related to mid-market companies by establishing channels through which to provide input.


Paul Decker Headshot - CEO of MathematicaPaul Decker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mathematica Policy Research, is the chairperson of the CEO Connection Government Partnerships Committee. 

Paul Decker is a nationally recognized expert in policy research, data analytics, education, and labor policy. For three decades, he has been working to improve public well-being through the use of evidence to improve programs and policy. As president and CEO of Mathematica, Decker sets the company’s vision and strategy, oversees its operation and management, and shapes its values and standards. During his tenure as CEO, Decker has expanded and diversified the company’s operations and maintained its commitment to rigor and objectivity in new and evolving areas of research and analysis. Under his leadership, the company has:

  • Grown to include nine locations nationwide, with more than 1,100 employees, nearly $300 million in annual revenue, and $800 million in work backlog.
  • Integrated data analytics throughout the organization to better support effective policy and program development decisions through sophisticated data management and analytics, data mining, and predictive models.
  • Launched an International Business Unit to provide high quality and objective research to funders and policymakers tackling today’s most pressing development challenges in countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America.
  • Created five dedicated research centers—the Center for Improving Research Evidence, the Center for Studying Disability Policy, the Center on Health Care Effectiveness, the Center for International Policy Research and Evaluation, and the Educator Impact Lab.
  • Expanded its expertise and scope of work to include behavioral insights to improve program design and new methodological strategies, such as the application of Bayesian statistical methods to social program evaluations.

Decker is a past president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and has co-chaired the organization’s strategic planning committee and served on the policy council. He writes and speaks regularly on trends in the policy research field, including the emergence of Big Data and its impact on public program evaluation and management. Decker chairs the government relations committee of CEO Connection, and has testified before Congress, served as an expert adviser to both the U.S. and Canadian governments, and published widely in peer-reviewed journals.


Decker holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University and serves as chair of development on the board of advisers of the Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program at the College of William and Mary, his undergraduate alma mater.

Healthcare Committee

The CEO Connection Healthcare Committee develops mid-market initiatives and strategies to improve the state of healthcare and the economics of healthcare for businesses and citizens.

The mission of the CEO Connection Healthcare Committee is to: Build and offer programs for mid-market companies that improve employee health and productivity and lower corporate healthcare expenses.


Doug Robinson, Chairperson of the CEO Connection Healthcare Committee.
Mr. Robinson is a results oriented executive driven by strong financial and operational experience. He has a proven track record in both large and small organizations, public and private with progressive responsibility in building organizations. He has successfully built senior management teams and reshaped Board of Directors groups that drive shareholder value.
Mr. Robinson has held executive-level positions with such organizations as LifeVantage Corporation, WorkWell Systems, Inc., United Health Group, Deloitte Consulting, LLP, SynHRgy HR Solutions, Inc., and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC. He has served in various advisory capacities with many large organizations as well as director positions with various Boards.
Mr. Robinson received a B.A. in Marketing, Public Relations and Speech Communications from Gonzaga University where he continues to guest lecture on health care economics to its graduate and undergraduate schools. Mr. Robinson has been married to his wife, Mary, for 15 years and they are the parents of a blended family of six children, and now have four grandchildren.
M&A Advisory Board

The CEO Connection M&A Advisory Board focuses on helping our members as buyers and/or sellers through the acquisition process.

The mission of the M&A Advisory Board is to ensure that the CEOC M&A Connection Network serves as a vehicle to:

  1. Develop and create opportunities for our members who want to buy or sell companies.
  2. Provide our members with special resources to assess, structure and fund deals; then, integrate the companies after the deal is done.
  3. Share best practices for the M&A process.



Sharon Rossi Headshot - CEO of FoodScience CorpSharon Rossi, CEO of FoodScience Corp. Sharon Rossi is the Committee Chair for the M&A Advisory Board. Sharon Rossi was named CEO at FoodScience Corp in September 2017. Sharon joined FoodScience with experience in industries including the Consumer Packaged Goods, Food, Health & Beauty, and Consumer Electronics. Sharon is a strategically-focused CEO with Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) expertise, especially knowledgeable about integrating acquired organizations when culture transformation matters.

Most recently prior to joining FoodScience, Sharon was the Chief Customer Officer at Coty Consumer Beauty US based in NYC.  She was leading the customer organization with responsibility for over $1.5 billion in sales across Coty Consumer Beauty brands in the Cosmetics, Fragrances, Hair Color and Personal Care categories with retailers across all channels of trade at the intersection of digital and physical.  Prior to Coty, Sharon led the Philips Corporation Consumer Lifestyle Division for North America.  As the General Manager of North America, she had full P&L responsibility for over $1 billion in annual sales.  Prior to joining Philips, Sharon was an executive with Unilever where she had held various roles. 

Sharon holds a MA from the Univ. of Illinois and a BA from the Univ. of Massachusetts.

Sharon is on the board of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  She is also a past advisory board member of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the A.C. Nielsen Co.  Sharon also served on the board of the American Heart Association Fairfield County Chapter and the board of the New Orleans based nonprofit Healthy Lifestyle Choices (HLC).  For HLC, she was the Chairwoman of the Programming Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. 

Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market List Advisory Board
The CEO Connection Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market List Advisory Board works to develop initiatives and strategies to increase the number of women in mid-market C-suites and on mid-market boards.

The mission of the Women’s Advisory Board is to ensure that the Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market list serves as a vehicle to:

  • Create awareness about the Mid-Market in general
  • Help CEO Connection members diversify their talent pool in general and in their C-Suite and on their boards specifically
  • Provide role models for the next generation of leaders

Kathryn Ritchie - CEO Ignition InstituteDr. Kathryn Ritchie, Founder & CEO, Ignition Institute and serves as the chairperson of the CEO Connection Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market List Advisory Board.

Kathryn is the perfect person to chair this committee. As CEO of international strategy execution, Kathryn has ensured that KRS is synonymous with trust and results since its inception in 1995. She is a world‐renowned advisor on strategy clarification and execution alignment, known for developing the proprietary and effective Ignition method. She has worked across industries and the globe, including Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, helping companies unleash their performance potential, channel it into a clear business strategy, and ensure successful execution of that strategy.

M2M Advisory Board

The CEO Connection M2M Advisory Board focuses on helping our members provide their services to other members in a way that everyone wins.

The mission of the M2M Advisory Board is to ensure that the M2M program provides opportunities for our members to:

  1. Receive special services only available through CEOC.
  2. Connect with members who need their services.
  3. Share best practices about group purchasing.


Social Impact Committee
The CEO Connection Social Impact Committee develops mid-market social impact initiatives and strategies that provide access to opportunities for economic growth and vitality.

The mission of the Social Impact Committee is to:

  1. Identify and create opportunities that enable CEO Connection members to maximize its social impact.
  2. Support the efforts of CEO Connection members making and/or attempting to make a meaningful impact on their communities and beyond.
  3. Connect CEO Connection members to opportunities for social impact and to share best practices in the social impact space.


Scott Jackson - CEO of Global ImpactScott Jackson, President and CEO of Global Impact, and chairperson of the Social Impact Committee.

Scott Jackson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Impact. Global Impact’s mission is to grow global philanthropy and build partnerships and resources for the world’s most vulnerable people. It has raised almost $2 billion since inception. A global development, fundraising and marketing veteran, Jackson has held leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including the global health and development nonprofits PATH and World Vision. He has worked in more than 60 countries. Jackson has worked at all levels of the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Jackson was a founding nonprofit member of The ONE Campaign to “make poverty history” and has worked on initiatives with Bono and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of several national boards and advisory councils, including Global Justice Center, International Center for Research on Women, National Development Committee of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the CORE Group and Global Washington. He currently works closely with the leadership of more than 100 nonprofits around the world, such as Save the Children, CARE and Heifer International.

He is the author of “Take Me with You,” released in March 2017, a moving personal story written to inspire people to take action and find the “charity within” — Jackson’s personal philosophy of making a choice to live in a way that improves life for others. He was recognized by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement as a 2016 winner of the Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman EXCEL Award by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, which recognizes CEO leadership achievement in the areas of innovation, motivation, community building, ethical integrity and strategic leadership.

Before taking leadership roles in the global development humanitarian sector, Jackson founded TRADEC (Trade and Development Consortium), one of the first marketing and communications firms in North America to specialize in international trade and development, which later became part of APCO, a worldwide communications firm. During his early career, Jackson served in leadership positions to a U.S. congressman, and has held a number of roles in national politics. He has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Jackson received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Edinburgh School of International Business. He also holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Puget Sound, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in history. His roots are in Seattle and he currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Social Justice Task Force

The mission of the CEOC Social Justice Taskforce is:

To identify and implement actions we can take as individual companies and the Mid-Market as a whole that make equal opportunity in our companies and communities a way of life not just a slogan.

Read our statement to the community.

Sign up to serve on the task force.

Task force members:

Don Anderson, President & CEO, Independent Pharmacy Cooperative

Manny Atwal, President, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries

Sindy Benevides, CEO, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Ray Carbonell, CEO, Qnary

Scott Coffin, CEO, Alameda Alliance for Health

Don Cravins, Vice President, Policy & External Affairs, Charter Communications

Van Freeman, Director of Future Workforce Development & Strategy, Aerospace Industries Association

Brian Garish, President, Banfield Pet Hospital

Fred Hencke, Senior Vice President, Segal

David Hinson, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency

Scott Jackson, CEO, Global Impact

Rhonda Longmore-Grund, CEO, Alliance Healthcare Services

Dave Lundquist, CEO, Rome Memorial Hospital

Ginny Marino, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ

Dan McCurdy, CEO, RPX Corporation

John Pickering, CEO, Evidn

Rick Salerno, President, AES Controls, Inc.

Jason Schmitt, CEO, Old Time Pottery, Inc.

John Stupak, Chairman, Sequel Youth Services

Michelle Tenzyk, CEO, East Tenth Group

Anne Ward, CEO, CURiO Brands

















Talent Management Committee
The CEO Connection Talent Management Committee focuses on helping mid-market companies compete in the war for talent … and win.
The mission of the Talent Management Committee is to:
  1. Identify and create opportunities for CEO Connection members and the mid-market at large around recruiting, onboarding, training and retaining talent.
  2. Develop and encourage programs that can be support individual mid-market companies and the mid-market at large compete for talent.
  3. Connect CEO Connection members to resources that can help with Talent Management.


Joe Hart - CEO of Dale Carnegie TrainingJoe Hart, President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, and Chair of the Talent Management Committee. 

Joe Hart is the President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, an organization whose founder pioneered the human performance movement over 100 years ago and has continued to succeed and grow worldwide, through constant research and innovation building on its founding principles. 

Dale Carnegie Training has more than 3,000 trainers and consultants, operating in 300 offices in over 90 countries impacting organizations, teams and individuals.  Dale Carnegie Training’s client list includes more than 400 of the Fortune Global 500, tens of thousands of small to mid-sized organizations and over 8 million individuals across the globe.   

In addition to being a Dale Carnegie graduate, Hart worked closely with the company as a strategic partner for nearly 10 years before taking the reins as President and CEO in 2015.  He attributes much of his success in business to the Dale Carnegie training he had early in his career. 

A visionary, risk-taking leader, Hart helped build two technology-based companies, including an e-learning business called info Ally.  In 2005, Joe sold that company and became the President of a new company called Asset Health. Asset Health is a privately-held and fast-growing technology / health promotion and training company that serves numerous Fortune 1,000 companies, internationally recognized health systems, and other major businesses.

Hart holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Technology Committee

The CEO Connection Technology Committee works to close the digital divide in the Mid-Market.

The mission of the Technology Committee is to:

  1. Develop and create opportunities that enable mid-market companies to enhance their digital capabilities.
  2. Support the efforts of mid-market companies that are expanding their technology and artificial intelligence and/or going through digital transformation.
  3. Connect CEO Connection members to resources and share best practices that can enhance their use of technology.


Pradeep Saha - CEO Signature SystemsPradeep Saha, President and CEO of Signature Systems Group LLC,  and the chairperson the CEO Connection Technology Committee. 

Mr. Saha has held leadership positions over the last 25 years at mid-market Private Equity and Fortune 100 companies, in P&L, Sales, Engineering, and Operations roles. Most recently he was CEO of Horsburgh & Scott, a leading manufacturer of gears for steel and mining. Prior to that, he led global engineering and sales for electric motors at Ametek. Prior to Ametek, at GE, he led the development of the nuclear Homeland Security business, and prior to that he worked at other companies in flat panel displays and networking equipment.​

Mr. Saha has a BS in Electrical Engineering and MBA from University of Toledo, and executive education from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, GE Crotonville, and the Center for Creative Leadership. He was ranked Top Talent when at GE.​