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System of Growth 2021


April 10, 2021

Global Virtual

Joe Caruso

Founder & President
Caruso Leadership

Joe Caruso is a renowned expert on the individual and collective mind. He focuses on how meaning drives behavior and creates outcomes for individuals and entire organizations. Based on a lifetime of study and work with hundreds of organizations worldwide, he is called upon by leaders to help facilitate dynamic change by uncovering the meaning > behavior > outcome process innate to every individual mind and every collective organization.

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Aziz Abdur-Ra'oof

4-3 Forty Coaching

Aziz Abdur-Ra'oof is a natural connector recognized for building strong relationships predicated on communication, trust, and respect. He would describe himself as an inspirational performance coach who leverages his multi-layered life experiences from entrepreneurship to being a professional athlete. He works to cultivate an environment of continued learning and development, while coaching and mentoring students in understanding their “value proposition” in a competitive world.


Robin Edgar

Financial Advisor
Owner of the Wealth Progression Group

Robin Edgar is a Financial Advisor and owner of the Wealth Progression Group, an independent brokerage office. An independent financial advisor for nearly 30 years, she specializes in helping individuals and companies with all of their financial goals and needs. 

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Robert Prosen

CEO, Business Execution, and Growth Specialist 

Robert Prosen helps businesses rapidly increase performance and bottom line profits with consitency and predictability using proprietary tools, systems and customized processes developed while working with companies like Hitachi, NCR, Sabre, and AT&T.

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Barbara A. Boldt

Coach, Facilitator, Speaker
Boldt Global

Barbara A. Boldt learned to teach presentation skills in Italy. She helped Italian managers present clearly and concisely in English so they could get recognized for their contributions. She went on to teach Presentation Skills in English to more than 450 Master’s level students at the prestigious EPFL in Switzerland.

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Ian Burnstein

Founder and Principal

Ian Burnstein is the co-founder and COO of Storage Pros Management LLC (“SPM”). In this capacity, he coordinates all operational aspects of the company, including property management, marketing and technology, for a portfolio that until a recent capital event was comprised of more than 60 properties encompassing more than 3,250,000 rentable square feet of self-storage. 


Alex Burkulas

Cygnus Systems, Inc.

Alex Burkulas strives to inspire other entrepreneurs with what he has learned in over 32 years of real life business experience, relevant technology consulting, CIO services, software development, telephony liaison, internet resource as well as experienced leadership development.


Mike J. McFall


Born and raised in Michigan, Mike began his journey with BIGGBY COFFEE as a minimum-wage barista at the original store in East Lansing in 1996. Over the span of 23 years, with business partner Bob Fish, he has helped create one of the great specialty coffee brands in America. Today Mike is co-CEO with Bob, and BIGGBY has over 250 stores open throughout the Midwest. The company is in high growth mode, selling tens of thousands of cups of coffee each day. Mike is proud to say that BIGGBY is a healthy, awesome, thriving organization.

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Darius Mirshahzadeh

Founder of The Real Darius

Darius Mirshahzadeh is a dad, husband, twin, brother and son who was born and raised in California and now lives in Austin Texas. He is a serial entrepreneur, author, conscious capitalist, speaker, and entertainer. Darius’s passion is to make the world a better place using his talents and engagement. He is all about the P’s: Passion, Pizza, Puzzles, and Pink Unicorns. If you’re more into traditional braggy vanity metrics around success, he was ranked #40 in Inc 500 CEO’s in 2007 with 2500% plus revenue growth in three years of his business at Twin Capital Mortgage. He was ranked #9 in Glassdoor’s Top Ranked CEOs in America for small to medium businesses. Darius has participated in many prestigious programs including Birthing of Giants at MIT and graduated from the world-renowned Stagen Integral Leadership Program. He was a TEDx curator for the TEDx Golden Gate Park in 2011 and 2012 at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. The theme was The Pursuit of Passion.

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Shawn Thomas 


Alaskan army brat turned boyband member traveling with Ringling Bros circus turned entrepreneur. Founder of Accelerators Organization, a company dedicated to making bootstrapping business ownership easier and more fun.

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James Reid


Whether it's representing clients or playing a game of chess with family, I go all in strategizing a preparing for possible challenges facing my clients today and months, even years, in the future. I counsel business owners, serial entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, in-house counsel, and human resources directors to make strategic business decisions from hiring to firing, while complying with the ever changing and overlapping laws, including ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, NLRA, and Title VII.

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Don Owens

Vice President
Gulf Coast ASAP Drug Solutions

Don Owens is the VP of the Gulf Coast. He heads up the Background Check Division of ASAP Drug Solutions and manages the Houston office.

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Justin Breen


Justin Breen is CEO of the PR firm BrEpic Communications and author of the No.1 International Best-Selling Book, Epic Business. Justin is hard-wired to seek out and create viral, thought-provoking stories that the media craves. And he finds the best stories when he networks with visionary entrepreneurs and executives who understand the value of investing in themselves and their businesses. Justin believes strongly in the power of introductions and creates important relationships through those introductions. He is an extremely active member of Entrepreneurs' Organization, Strategic Coach, Secret Knock and ProVisors, and he has an incredible global network of visionaries and exceptional businesses.

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Piyush Patel

Former CEO

As an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience, Piyush Patel became an innovator in corporate culture as he grew his company, Digital-Tutors, into a leader throughout the world of online training, educating over 1.5M students globally. Piyush is currently an angel investor, author and speaker focusing on how to grow your business with your greatest asset - your people.

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Jack Daly

Professional Sales Coach

Jack Daly is a leading sales speaker and trainer with over 30 years of sales and executive experience. Jack’s track record is a testament to his real-world knowledge and extensive expertise in sales and sales management.

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Robert Rudy

STAND Advisors

Rob has spent the past 30 years building and leading companies while developing leaders through inviting change, making critical choices, and achieving results. Today, Rob is following a passion, working closely with CEO's and their leadership teams by building highly accountable teams.


Daniel Marcos

Co-Founder and CEO
Growth Institute

Daniel Marcos is a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and a passionate learner. He is the co-founder and CEO of Growth Institute, the leading online executive education company for C-level executives at fast-growing firms, with a mission to help 1 million entrepreneurs scale their impact and reduce drama in their operations.

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John Livesay

The Pitch Whisperer 

John Livesay, aka The Pitch Whisperer, is a sales keynote speaker where he shows companies’ sales teams how to turn mundane case studies into compelling case stories so they win more new business. From John’s award winning career at Conde Nast, he shares the lessons he learned that turns sales teams into revenue rock stars. His TEDx talk: Be The Lifeguard of your own life has over 1,000,000 views. Clients love working with John because of his ongoing support after his talk which includes implementing the storytelling skills from his best-selling book and online course “Better Selling Through Storytelling.”

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Fran Biderman-Gross

Founder and CEO

Fran Biderman-Gross is the CEO and founder of Advantages, an award-winning New York–based end-to-end communications (Brand and Marketing) agency. She leads her clients--mid-sized to Fortune 50-- on an invaluable journey of brand discovery that reveals their 3 keys: Purpose, Values, and Story in a way that defines and drives their business and profit in unexpected, measurable and repeatable ways.

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David DiFranco

Owner and CEO
Corporate Travel Service

David DiFranco is the owner of Corporate Travel Service, a travel and event management firm started by his father in 1965. David is a CPA who graduated from the University of Notre Dame (BBS) in 1995, and the University of Michigan (MBA) in 2004. His company produces life-changing experiences for thousands of travelers in 5 distinct markets each year, including; theme charter cruise production, luxury personal vacation planning, religious pilgrimages, educational tours for students, and live performance travel events for choirs and orchestras.

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Deb Gabor

CEO, Sol Marketing
Bestselling Author and Keynote Speaker

"Leading Expert" doesn't come close to describing Deb Gabor's passion for brands. More accurate? Brand Guru. Brand Impresario. Brand Evangelist. She's written the book on branding (twice!) with bestsellers Branding is Sex and Irrational Loyalty. She's the founder and CEO of Sol Marketing, a strategy-led marketing firm obsessed with solving major business and branding problems for clients in every industry.

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Stacey Patricia Latona

Director, Sales

Rocket Mortgage Classic - Intersport

Director of Sales for the Rocket Mortgage Classic , PGA Tour event in Detroit. Chief Creative Officer / Founder LipOut Golf wear for women. Podcast host (LipOut w/ Latona).


Michele Maureen Hecken


Michèle Hecken is a seasoned entrepreneur and global business leader with over 25 years of experience. She holds a degree in translation and interpreting and is a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Master's Program at MIT.


Jaques Panis

Mary's Brand

Following a short stint as VP of Brand Incubation at BR Brands, Jacques was promoted to CEO of Mary’s Brands. During his tenure at Mary’s Jacques orchestrated operations across seven states with ownership of process improvement, gap assessment, and strategic planning. Prior to his role at Mary's Brands Jacques was CEO of New World Diamonds, where he developed a new brand and business which aims to reshape the way our culture thinks about diamonds. Prior to starting New World Diamonds Jacques was the President of Detroit based Shinola which he joined in 2010 to lead the company’s product development and strategic brand direction. Panis stepped down from Shinola in March, 2018. Preceding Shinola, Jacques oversaw the interactive division for ReelFX, a Dallas-based animation studio owned by Shinola’s parent company. While at ReelFX, he was a founding member of Webosaurs, a children’s online gaming platform. He resides in the city of Detroit and is an active board member of The Detroit Children’s Fund.

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Steven John Hernandez


Steve is a CEO and veteran with extensive experience in both military operations and law enforcement. He has founded multiple companies, including his risk mitigation firm, The North Group and its subsidiaries, TNG Logistics & Technologies and TNG Strategy & Investments. At Steve’s core, the foundation is to make the world a better place. That is the approach TNG takes with every solution. Steve leads his teams with thought and empathy but remains results-driven as demonstrated with his strong track record of performance in the ever-evolving security industry. 


Michael Pachuta


Michael Pachuta is the Executive Director at XO Network - XO Network is an innovative, private, trusted network of entrepreneurs who have moved on from participation in traditional entrepreneurial organizations, yet are still pursuing the entrepreneurial journey in their own unique manner and appreciate the value of continuing to be engaged with like-minded peers.

Michael is also the President of EFOGI (Entrepreneurs Focused on Growth, Inc) where they take an active role within an organization as C-level directors or board members to implement tactical strategic plans, administrative policies and procedures, education programs and revenue expansion programs.  He is also the President of Credential Check Corporation - Credential Check has been a pioneer in background screening and drug testing profession for nearly 30 years.  Michael was also the State Conference Director for the Michigan Council of SHRM at one time, providing information to their members with the marketing team as well as advancing the human resources profession as he was also the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.


Leigh Weinraub

Mind in Motion

Leigh Weinraub is the founder of Mind in Motion, a movement and lifestyle brand committed to helping people win on the court, field, office and in life. She is the pioneer of Walk and Talk therapy and an internationally acclaimed speaker who views the world as a philosopher, thinks like a coach and executes like an athlete.

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Laurel Roach

Trifit Wellness

Laurel Roach is the CEO of TriFit Wellness, a passionate health and fitness advocate who set out to change everything wrong with the generic, "one size fits all" wellness programs of today. TriFit is taking the obesity crisis head-on through their robust and personalized programs, and relationship-based coaching model.


John Anderson

EO Detroit Chapter

Founder EO Detroit Chapter, author of Replace Retirement Living you Legacy in the Exponential Age.  First business coach working with Verne Harnish back in late 90's.  Purpose "To inspire & challenge leaders to achieve their greatest personal potential".  Moonshot "Replace retirement with intentional living for 1.6 million people by July 1, 2026".


Crystal Carroll

Owner, CFO, Entrepreneur

Crystal Carroll is a hard-working American living the dream and inspiring other people to succeed by making a better life thru entrepreneurship. Mrs. Carroll is the owner of several businesses and franchises including Krispy Kreme, MyFroYo Frozen Yogurt, Accusearch, Guardian (retail background screening) and Krem Properties, LLC. Mrs. Carroll is a proud wife and mother of five children, winner of Mrs. Arizona America 2021 and a current candidate for Arizona State Senator.


Casey Yosin

Founder & CEO
Total Health Companies

Casy Yosin is the vice president of Hardwood Door & Bevel, which has been providing custom wood and iron doors all across the United States for over 40 years. He recently started, and is the acting CEO of, Total Health Companies, Inc.  which provides high-end medicinal CBD products to patients in the metro Detroit area.  With a vast network, he not only wants to do good for the community by leading Total Health Companies, but also by being a board member of Men Who Care Detroit.

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