Tom Gardner, CEO, The Motley Fool, John Mackey, Casey Sheahan, and Eric Ryan discuss the role of money in a mindful business, and how to place value on values.
Tom Gardner is co-founder and CEO of The Motley Fool. He founded the company with his brother, David, in 1993. The Motley Fool’s mission is to help the world invest better by focusing on long-term investments in world-class businesses. The company serves more than 5 million monthly visitors at www.fool.com, provides online membership services to avid investors, and will launch its third mutual fund this year. Core to The Motley Fool is a belief that all financial advice should be given with complete transparency and clear accountability.
John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, has taken the natural and organic grocer from a single store in Austin, Texas in 1978, to an $11.7 billion Fortune 300 company and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 347 stores and 73,000 Team Members in three countries. In 1981, Austin's worst flood in history almost bankrupted the original store, and community efforts to save it shaped Mackey's leadership philosophy to "do right by your stakeholders and they'll do right by you."
While devoting his entire career to providing shoppers with high quality natural and organic foods, Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. He led the company through 19 acquisitions and took the company public in 1992. The company has the highest stock market valuation of any dedicated U.S. food retailer and plans to grow to 1,000 stores.
For 15 consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has included Whole Foods Market on its "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. The company was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" by Health Magazine, one of the nation's "Top 25 Green Energy Leaders" by Scientific American one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute. FORTUNE magazine also named Whole Foods Market the Most Admired Food and Drug Store Company in the World in 2012.
Mackey has been the visionary for many successful programs at the core of Whole Foods Market. He created the Whole Planet Foundation in 2005 to help end poverty in developing nations. The foundation has helped more than 200,000 poor entrepreneurs in 50 countries. Thanks to Mackey, Whole Foods Market was the first national grocer to set and implement standards for humane farm animal treatment for the meat products it sells. In 2007, he launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers and food producers expand their businesses and committed $10 million per year to help grow their businesses through low-interest loans.
Most recently, Mackey has focused on returning to the company's roots around healthy eating and lifestyle choices. A staunch advocate of healthy eating education, he laid the foundation for health and wellness programs for team members and customers.
In 2003, he was named Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Winner for the United States and Bon Appétit magazine's "Tastemaker of the Year". Vanity Fair called him "Best Provider" in its "Best of the Best in 2004," Institutional Investor magazine rated him second on its "Best CEOs in America" list in 2005, and Barron's put him on their "World's Best CEOs" list in 2006. In 2008, he received an honorary Doctorate from Bentley College. And, in 2011, MarketWatch called him CEO of the Year and FORTUNE magazine called him "Businessperson of the Year." In 2012, Esquire magazine named him one of the "Most Inspiring CEOs" and FORTUNE named him one of the "12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time."
Out of his respect for equity among Team Members, Mackey implemented a salary cap for all executives. He cut his own salary to $1 annually in 2006, and forgoes stock options and bonuses. He continues to work for Whole Foods Market out of a passion to see the business realize the potential for deeper purpose, for the joy of leading a great company, and to answer the call to service he feels in his heart.
Doug spent 31 years with Trader Joe's Company, the last 14 years as President, helping grow the business from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California, to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states. He developed their prized buying philosophy, created their unique private label food program, and wrote and executed the Business Plan for expanding Trader Joe’s nationally. In 1996 he moved to Boston to successfully bring Trader Joe’s to the east.
He received his Executive M.B.A. from the Peter Drucker School of Management, Claremont University, where he won several honorary awards including the Early Career Outstanding Entrepreneur Award from Peter Drucker. He retired from Trader Joe’s in 2008. Doug is CEO of Conscious Capitalism Inc.; a recent Senior Fellow in Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative; Trustee at Olin College; Chairs the Board of Overseers at WBUR; and serves on the board of several for-profit and non-profit companies. Much of his time is currently spent working on an innovative non-profit solution to the issue of “food waste” and hunger/obesity by bringing high quality, nutritious food at affordable prices to the underserved in our inner cities.
Eric Ryan makes soap. Really nice smelling soap that’s non-toxic and good for the planet. It’s really beautiful, too. He and his high school buddy Adam started method in 2001 and have since built it into a global industry leader— a brand that was ranked the 7th fastest growing company in America by Inc. Magazine in 2006 and received the 2011 AIGA Corporate Leadership Award. Today, method has over 100 planet-friendly cleaning products in stores across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Eric has been named an eco-leader by Vanity Fair, a Food & Wine Tastemaker, an eco-revolutionary by Time Magazine, PETA’s Person of the Year, and one of People Magazine’s Sexiest People Alive. Okay, that last one’s not really true, but the others are. Eric lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Ingrid and three children Anya, Matias and Anders, all of whom think he is a rock star on Guitar Hero.