The Stevie Awards Blog

Giving Back After Finding Personal and Professional Success

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jun 09, 2020 @ 12:20 PM

Robin Toft, the Founder and CEO of Toft Group, a leading executive search firm  based in San Francisco, accomplished something rare: in the American Business Awards for 2020, Toft won Gold in the three major individual categories of Lifetime Achievement, Maverick of the Year and Woman of the Year.

Toft is a legend in her field and in many cases, outside of it as well. That field is executive search fully devoted to the life sciences, healthcare and biotech. As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, Toft is at the forefront of placing key talent researching a cure; as she has said, “my phone is ringing off the hook.

Portrait Robin Toft square 2020Toft founded her company ten years ago, in 2010, before which she worked full-time biotech, where she became a “superstar.” At Roche Diagnostics, Toft launched the first global initiative for access to HIV viral load testing; at ViroLogic, Inc., she launched and commercialized first HIV/AIDS genotype and phenotype tests to guide doctors in selecting correct drug combinations; as a result, HIV became a chronic disease and no longer a fatal one.

To know this disruptive leader is to know something else crucial: Toft is positive always. Call; email; meet one-on-one: the optimism is ironclad. And you may want to know this, too: Robin Toft is a colon cancer survivor; and a survivor of the California wildfires, where she lost everything, her home included.

Through it all, Toft’s focus has been steadfast on diversity since she knows it translates into return on investment. Companies with diverse leadership teams have been proven to be more innovative and profitable; and are more attractive to senior-level talent. Toft has focused on placing women in positions of power that have been held by men because, up until now, men frequently do not have female executives in the networks they rely on to fill top jobs.

In 2019, Toft Group had a remarkable 98% women on boards placement rate, five times the national average; and when it came to placing women in senior positions, the C-suite included, the company had a 48% rate at a time where the highest average offered is 29% (the lowest is 13%).

Over the years, as Toft interviewed and placed hundreds of women into executive roles, she knew something important that had been left unspoken: most women are miserable in their jobs and lack a clear direction for the future. “As a successful woman myself, it’s hard to see such high levels of career dissatisfaction.” As a result, Toft has personally coached thousands of women free-of-charge - to help them set goals; have the perseverance and tenacity to meet them; and to understand the importance of balancing and enjoying their lives.

robin toft horizontal picture

In 2019, Robin Toft put it all down in a groundbreaking book titled WE CAN, The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement, an intentional and powerful platform for change. Like Toft herself, the book goes where others fear to tread: female indecisiveness and doubt; the great need for discipline, for a plan, for a map of one’s progression and for confidence; the power to create opportunities; to practice self-care and self-talk. And that men play a role, too. And, yes, women are not - nor should they be - “mini-men.” 

WE CAN was honored with Silver for Best Business Book in the American Business Awards for 2020 and was also named to the Top 100 CEO books of all time by Book Authority. Toft also won silver for Entrepreneur of the Year – Business and Professional Services.

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Since the publication of WE CAN, Toft has become a “name” on the keynote speaking circuit including corporations Qualcomm and Illumina; conferences including the top three for women in science; next generation female leaders and board members; the most prestigious in medicine including the Precision Medicine World Conference; MIT Alumni Network, among universities; and Athena International, the global non-profit leading the way in building a pipeline of women leaders in underrepresented areas, notably technology and medicine.

It’s no wonder then that thousands of executives outside of Toft’s search candidates now seek one-on-one mentoring with Toft (there is a waiting list) and that WE CAN, as of 2020, is a start-up company aimed at helping women – and men – grow from the “outside IN.”

As Toft says, “Placing top talent during the COVID-19 crisis has been extremely rewarding. My big dream in building Toft Group was to change the future of medicine, one relationship at a time and we have delivered upon that mission.  After 20 years as an executive in biotech and ten years building my own search company, I’ve learned to set goals, to reach them and to be happy. Teaching women - and men - to dream big and achieve their dreams is my mission for the next 20.”

For more on Robin Toft visit thetoftgroup.com; for information on Toft’s keynote speaking including topics, visit robintoft.com or wecan.works; to purchase the book WE CAN, go to https://www.amazon.com/WE-CAN-Executive-Womans-Advancement/dp/1949635031

 

Topics: American business awards, it awards, tech awards, best business book

Author of Stevie-winning Book: How to Develop Yourself as a Conscious Leader

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Fri, Sep 20, 2019 @ 09:18 AM

In August of 2019, the CEOs of America’s largest companies gathered for the “Business Roundtable”, an association whose elite membership is comprised of the CEOs of the largest corporations in the U.S. This year, the all-powerful and influential group issued a pronouncement that the New York Times, on its front page, described as a major “philosophical shift.” Our largest companies would no longer focus exclusively on pleasing their shareholders; instead they would move to include caring about their people: employees, customers and “society” itself. 

Edited.JeffBackgroundWall-1

While this may have been news to many of us, it was another day at the office for Jeffrey Deckman, founder of Capability Accelerators, a New England-based leadership consultancy, who has been at the forefront of the movement to redefine how leaders lead for 15 years. Jeffrey Deckman pulled from more than 40 years of leadership experience and put it all down in a groundbreaking book,Developing the Conscious Leadership Mindset for the 21st Century,” published in March of 2019. The book was honored with Gold in the 2019 American Business Awards® and Silver in the 2019 International Business Awards® for Best Business E-Book and Best Business Book, respectively. 

A successful serial entrepreneur who launched two multi-million-dollar companies, Deckman exited that line of work in 2005 with a mission to change the way companies treat their employees and those with whom they do business. “I went from the front lines to the front office,” says Deckman. “I have done everything from customer service calls to eventually running board meetings. As a result, I saw the powerful relationship between leaders, employee engagement and ROI at every level of organizations. Engagement plunges when ‘power and control’ is in play in the C-suite; replace it with ‘authenticity, integrity and respect,’ and engagement skyrockets with profits following suit.”

This revolutionary book changes the paradigm for modern leadership as Deckman leads those who occupy C-suites and other senior positions on a subtle and highly effective journey of personal and professional transformation; it also gives leaders the tools they need to lead their teams in a similar transformation.

Deckman’s book breaks with the norm of business books in other ways as well. The book is intentionally an easy-to-read and follow – and even fun - workbook, all the better to engage an audience known to resist training. As Deckman explains: “Many leaders don’t want to admit, publicly at least, that they need training even though the truth is that most business leaders have not been trained in how to manage the complex tribal dynamics, psychological drivers and cultural influences that are the engines that drive profits in the Knowledge Economy. We – unfairly – expect them to learn all of this on their own, which few, in my experience, can.”

Deckman’s book transforms leaders as they absorb – contemplate, really – each of its powerful 52 “sections”. “Talking and telling” is replaced by “connecting and listening” (the average leader listens for seven seconds before interrupting; listening significantly improves employee engagement);“managing org charts” is replaced by “engaging and empowering tribes”; “command and control” is replaced by “communication, collaboration and facilitation"; and “getting others to do more” is replaced by “creating a supportive environment in which employees learn how to do more.”

leadership_mindset_ebook_badge-1The physical design of the book also stands out. It is a beautiful book to both look at and to hold, all the better for this discriminating audience. It also gives leaders the option of a shorter 26-week program as many leaders are busy as well as to turn either length program into a training program for their teams in order to maximize the book’s impact. As one Stevie judge aptly commented: “What a clever book. The 26-week or 52-week plan encourages the reader to incorporate and apply the ‘work’ set out in the readings.”

Since publication, top leadership consultants have posted five-star Amazon reviews pushing the book to #1 in Occupational/Organizational Psychology. Fast Company and CEO Blog Nation featured Deckman as have many leadership podcasts. Deckman’s fourth Conscious Leadership Conference is nearly sold out. Since publication, the author has also become a popular lecturer on leadership at the University of Rhode Island.

A stage 4 cancer survivor given a clean bill of health in 2019, Deckman knows that “the need for change is urgent and the time for change is now.”

As the Stevie judges recognized, this book is an agent for that change.


For more information, please visit www.jeffreydeckman.com. To receive a chapter of this book as special gift to Stevie blog readers, please email Jeffrey@JeffreyDeckman.com.

Interested in winning a Stevie Award in 2020?

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Topics: The American Business Awards, American business awards, best business book

American Business Awards 2016: Annual Reports and Publications Judging Committee

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 04:31 PM

We invite you to meet The 2016 American Business Awards Annual Reports & Publications Judging Chair and Committee.

Now through the end of April, the professionals listed below will determine the Stevie Award winners in five categories for annual reports, e-books, sales kits, and more. See the full list of categories they will be reviewing at the end of the post.

It's not too late to submit your 2016 American Business Awards nominations - the entry deadline was extended to April 19. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2016 awards honor achievements since the beginning of 2015.

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

Meet the judging chair and committee:

Chair:

Justin Bell, CEO
Lion Agency, Miami, Florida, USA

16-ABA-PUB-Chair-1.gifJustin Bell is an experienced marketing executive and brand strategist residing in Miami, Florida. Justin is CEO of Lion Agency, a multinational digital agency with offices in Buenos Aires, Miami and São Paulo. Lion Agency is an award-winning agency (earning five American Business Awards in 2015), and works with leading brands including American Express, Celebrity Cruises, Elizabeth Arden, FANIA Records, Tío Gazpacho, and the University of Miami.

Justin joined Lion Agency in 2015 when Lion Agency acquired Arc+Arrow Creative Group. Justin founded Arc+Arrow in 2013 after working his way through various senior leadership roles at Omnicom Group where he worked with brands including Best Buy, Costco, Motorola, Wal-Mart, and Samsung, as well as Carphone Warehouse, Dixons Retail, and John Lewis in Europe.

Justin is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Ashland University with degrees in marketing.

Committee:

Alex Breitman Alex Breitman, Marketing Director
National LGBTQ Task Forc, New York, New York, USA
As Marketing Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, I handle awareness efforts including advertising, branding, merchandise and event production Lead on all marketing aspects of our annual events, ranging from the annual Creating Change Conference, a skill-building conference for the LGBTQ community in January, to Winter Party Festival, a weekend of dance and social events, in March. Oversee various campaigns within the organization to raise awareness around issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

Jessica Fish Jessica Fish, Senior Strategist
Leader Networks, Amherst, New Hampshire, USA
Jessica Fish is a skilled community and social media marketing practitioner. At Leader Networks she develops focused and actionable social business strategies for clients with a keen eye to both their needs and the capacity for their products and services to make the most impact possible. Jessica often teaches, facilitates workshops, and speaks on the areas of inclusion, social justice, and mindfulness.

Kyle Johnson, Principal & Creative Director
BlkMrkt. Cr8tiv Labs, Houston, Texas, USA

Jeannine McHenry, Art Director
One17 Creative, Marina Del Ray, California, USA

Ruth Moyte Ruth Moyte, Wordmaker
Red Dandelion Creative, Temecula, California, USA
Ruth Moyte has over 23 years of experience in the global event and marketing industry, writing for and producing events for many of the world’s leading brands. She is a past member of the International MarCom Committee for the International Special Events Society and the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine.

Fabi Preslar Fabi Preslar, President
SPARK Publications, Matthews, North Carolina, USA
Fabi Preslar is president of SPARK Publications, a creative firm specializing in publication design for magazines, books, and catalogs in print, digital, and interactive media for niche and professional audiences.

Marilyn Schultz Marilyn Schultz, President & Publisher
Big Deal Media/Marketing Projects, Inc., Barrington, Illinois, USA
Founder, president and publisher of Marketing Projects, Inc. and Big Deal Media, with a 35+ year track record in educational publishing and marketing. During her career, Marilyn has worked with hundreds of companies in the education market including technology companies, textbook publishers, supplemental materials publishers, equipment manufacturers and service providers, for which she has developed award-winning materials and content-driven websites.

Tim Smith, Partner
Eagle Print Dynamics, Orange, California, USA

Marilyn Schultz Michelle Thorsell, President
SMT Architects, P.C., Lombard, Illinois, USA
Michelle is president and owner of SMT Architects in Lombard, Illinois established in 1994; client base consists of public and private with a special interest in public housing. Activities include LWV Board member; past activities include Village Trustee, County Stormwater Committee member, Environmental Commission Chairman, Children's Ministry Director, youth leader.

Annual Report and Publications categories include:

F01. Best Annual Report
            a. Online/Electronic
            b. Print

F02. Best Marketing or Sales Brochure or Kit
            a. Online/Electronic
            b. Print

F03. Best Newsletter or House Organ/Publication
            a. Online/Electronic
            b. Print

F04. Best E-Book: All e-books published by persons or organizations in the U.S.A. since January 1 2015, dealing with a subject related to business - finance, careers, professional education, training, business journalism, corporate history, personal growth, etc. - are eligible to be nominated.

F05. Best Business Book: All books published by persons or organizations in the U.S.A. since January 1 2015, dealing with a subject related to business - finance, careers, professional education, training, business journalism, corporate history, personal growth, etc. - are eligible to be nominated.

Topics: American business awards, annual report awards, best annual reports, best business book, best e-book