C-Suite Spotlight is pleased to announce The Top 25 Executives of Virginia for 2023. Despite some challenges in the recent past, including the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing competition from neighboring states, Virginia's economy is expected to remain stable and even grow in certain sectors. One area of particular focus for C-suite executives is the technology industry, which has been booming in Northern Virginia and is expected to continue to drive economic growth in the state. In addition, the state's investment in infrastructure is expected to attract more businesses to Virginia, which will likely positively impact the state's overall economy. While there are certainly challenges ahead, C-suite executives in Virginia are cautiously optimistic about the state's economic future.
Among our awardees is Hakon Mattson, Chief Sustainability Officer of Elevance Health who is accountable for spearheading a sustainability strategy that promotes holistic health and ensures equal access to healthcare. Awardee Michele Cardiff, Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer at Dominion Energy, is an essential cog in Dominion's financial machinery, steering it towards success and unparalleled efficiency, ensuring the utmost accuracy and compliance across all operating companies. Also awarded is the Chief Executive Officer of Tractor Supply Company, Albert Berg, who drives exceptional growth for the company and sets a new standard for customer experience.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 Executives of Virginia for 2023.
1. Joe Mathews
Chief Executive Officer, ArcelorMittal Liberia
Joe Mathews is the Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal Liberia. ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in more than 60 countries and an industrial footprint in 18 countries. Guided by a philosophy to produce safe, sustainable steel, it is the leading supplier of quality steel in the major global steel markets including automotive, construction, household appliances, and packaging, with world-class research and development and outstanding distribution networks. Through its core values of sustainability, quality, and leadership, it operates responsibly with respect to the health, safety, and well-being of its employees, contractors, and the communities in which it operates. Mathews has 45 years of experience. He began his career in 1978.
Before joining ArcelorMittal Liberia, Mathews was a VP of finance and administration at Robertson Asset Management and before that a senior manager of operations planning at National Steel Corporation. Mathews graduated from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business with an MBA in finance and operations management and from the Indian Institute of Technology at Bombay with an undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering.
2. Mark Grasser
President, BrightStar Care of Richmond
Mark Grasser began his professional career 31 years ago. Today, he is the President of BrightStar Care of Richmond, a full-service healthcare staffing agency and franchising organization. The organization provides medical and non-medical home care to private clients within their homes, ranging from infants to seniors, as well as supplemental healthcare staff to corporate clients. Its well-qualified, attentive caregivers provide peace of mind to clients and their families. It works to understand the needs of clients and provide a customized care plan to match with a qualified, pre-screened caregiver who is compatible with their needs. BrightStar is one of the few home healthcare providers that offer both medical and non-medical homecare, available to all clients 24/7.
Grasser got his start in 1992 as an accountant at Freed Maxick CPAs, PC. From there, he went on to Torrey Homes, before eventually rising to CFO at C.T. Purcell, Inc. his most recent position before joining BrightStar Care of Richmond. Grasser graduated from Cornell University with an MPS in real estate development and finance and from Canisius College with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
3. Hakon Mattson
Chief Sustainability Officer, Elevance Health
Hakon Mattson serves as Chief Sustainability Officer at Elevance Health, where he is responsible for driving a sustainability strategy that advances whole health and health equity. He co-leads Elevance Health’s environmental, social, and governance practice with the chief governance officer to include strategic alignment, reporting, and stakeholder engagement. Under Mattson’s leadership, Elevance Health became one of the first major healthcare companies that is carbon neutral for operations.
Before joining Elevance Health, Mattson co-founded Blue Ridge Eco and before that, served as the director of business development for ABM Industries. He graduated from the University of Richmond with an undergraduate degree in business administration and earned a certificate in business sustainability from Virginia Commonwealth University.
4. John Evers
Chief Executive Officer of North America, Atos Societas Europaea
John Evers is the Chief Executive Officer of North America at Atos Societas Europaea. Atos SE is a global digital services leader. Serving a global client base, the group provides consulting and systems integration services, managed services and BPO, cloud operations, big data, and cyber-security solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, the group works with clients across different business sectors including defense, financial services, health, manufacturing, media, utilities, public sector, retail, telecommunications, and transportation. Evers has 21 years of experience. He began his career in 2002.
Before joining Atos, Evers was a CEO with Siemens and before that, a VP of global Outsourcing sales at Hewlett-Packard. Earlier in his career, he worked with IBM as a VP for the Media and Entertainment Industry. Evers graduated from Virginia Tech with an undergraduate degree in marketing.
5. Tim Zimmer
Chief Marketing Officer, Smithfield Foods
Tim Zimmer is the Chief Marketing Officer of Smithfield Foods, a U.S. food company that employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, it is dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” to feed a growing world population. It has pioneered sustainability standards for over two decades, including its industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in its U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions by 30% across its entire U.S. value chain by 2030. Zimmer has 33 years of experience. He began his career in 1990.
Before joining Smithfield Foods, Zimmer was a VP of marketing at Sara Lee and before that a director and senior brand manager at Pinnacle Foods Corporation. Earlier in his career, he worked with Nestle as a territory sales manager. Zimmer graduated from Wake Forest University School of Business with an MBA in strategy and finance and from the University of Texas at Arlington with an undergraduate degree in marketing and finance.
6. James Burket
Chief Security Officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises
James Burket is the Chief Security Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises. He first joined the company in 2002 as a marine administrator. Royal Caribbean Group is a cruise vacation company comprised of three award-winning global brands including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. Royal Caribbean Group is also a 50% owner of a joint venture that includes TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Together, their brands operate a global fleet of 64 ships traveling to more than 800 destinations worldwide.
Burket is an ASIS International Certified Protection Professional security manager, with over 18 years of maritime experience, who has a balanced and decisive direction for efficient operation. He has extensive safety, security, logistic, maritime, and cruise industry knowledge for the well-being of all persons and property, to ensure a successful business product. Burket earned an undergraduate degree in history from Virginia Military Institute.
7. Kosal Sarou
Chief Ethics Officer, Skanska
Kosal Sarou began his professional career 16 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Ethics Officer of Skanska. Skanska Group uses knowledge and foresight to shape the way people live, work, and connect. Over 135 years in the making, it is one of the world’s largest development and construction companies. It operates in select markets throughout the Nordics, Europe, and the United States. Together with its customers and the collective expertise of its 32,000+ teammates, it creates innovative and sustainable solutions that support healthy living beyond its lifetime. Founded in Sweden in 1887 as a maker of concrete, it was driven by a dual purpose to innovate and build what’s good for people and society. Today it develops, designs, and builds everything from healthy and green office buildings to smart homes and infrastructure. It partners to innovate, and it continues to hold its founding values at the heart of everything it does.
Sarou first got his start in 2007 as a paralegal at Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP. From there, he went on to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, before eventually rising to become a government compliance officer at Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, his most recent position before joining Skanska. Sarou graduated from New England Law Boston with a JD in law and from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with an undergraduate degree in legal studies.
8. Michele Cardiff
VP, Controller & Chief Accounting Officer, Dominion Energy
Michele Cardiff is Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer at Dominion Energy. She oversees the accounting function and services for all of Dominion’s operating companies. Cardiff joined Dominion in 1996 as a senior accountant and became manager of corporate accounting in 2000. In 2005, she was named director of corporate accounting. She became assistant controller for the services company in 2008 and controller of Dominion Generation in 2009. Cardiff was named vice president and general auditor in 2012 and vice president of accounting in January 2014. She assumed her current post in April 2014.
Before joining Dominion, Cardiff worked for the public accounting firm Deloitte & Touche and held an internal auditing position at Reynolds Metals. She also worked as a consultant for IBM. Cardiff serves on the state board of directors of the March of Dimes. She earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Virginia Tech. She is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
9. Trevor Gordon
Chief Data Scientist, Wabtec
Trevor Gordon is the Chief Data Scientist of Wabtec. Wabtec helps customers overcome their toughest challenges by delivering rail and industrial solutions that improve safety, efficiency, and productivity. Gordon has 21 years of experience. He began his career in 2002.
Before joining Wabtec, Gordon was a software project engineer at E. Escher Inc. and before that, a field engineer at Baker Hughes. Earlier in his career, he worked with Bouygues Construction as an assistant and supplemental instructor. Gordon graduated from the University of Virginia with an MS in computer software engineering and from Richmond Community College with undergraduate degrees in computer software engineering and mechanical engineering.
10. Craig Hoskins
President & COO, Performance Food Group
Craig Hoskins has served as Performance Food Group’s President and Chief Operating Officer since January 2022. He had served as EVP, president, and CEO of PFG’s Foodservice segment since January 2019. He became president and CEO of PFG Customized Distribution and an SVP of PFG in 2012 after serving as president and COO of Customized Distribution. He assumed additional responsibility for Performance Foodservice’s sales and marketing in 2018. Craig is a past chair of the International Foodservice Distribution Association and currently serves as a board member.
Craig joined PFG in 2008 following its merger with Vistar Corporation where he progressed through successive roles of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing, merchandising/purchasing, and operations. Before PFG/Vistar, Craig worked for Lange Sales and NW Transport. He earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Colorado Denver.
11. Buddy Omohundro
Chief Services Officer & General Counsel, Apex
Since 2015, Buddy Omohundro has served as the Chief Services Officer for Apex Systems, with leadership responsibility over the company’s corporate functions. Omohundro has also served as Apex’s General Counsel and a member of its Senior Management Council for the past fourteen years. In his role, he manages and advises the company on a broad range of business and legal issues across numerous areas. He also chairs Apex’s Principal Committee, Shared Services Council, and Leadership Advisory Board.
Omohundro received a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, and his MBA from the University of Richmond, where he also served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Richmond Law Review.
12. Frank Roach
CEO, Ferguson Enterprises
Frank Roach is the CEO of Ferguson Enterprises. Ferguson is a leading value-added distributor in North America providing expertise, solutions, and products from infrastructure, plumbing, and appliances to HVAC, fire, fabrication, and more. It exists to make customers’ complex projects simple, successful, and sustainable. Ferguson is headquartered in the U.K., with its operations and associates solely focused on North America and managed from Newport News, Virginia. Roach has 47 years of experience. He began his career in 1976.
Roach graduated from the College of William & Mary with an MBA and from Hampden-Sydney College with an undergraduate degree in history.
13. Albert Berg
Chief Executive Officer, Tractor Supply Company
Albert Berg began his professional career 17 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Tractor Supply Company. For 85 years, Tractor Supply Company has been passionate about serving the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers, homeowners, gardeners, and pet enthusiasts. Tractor Supply is the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the U.S., ranking 294 on the 2022 Fortune 500. The company’s more than 50,000 team members are known for delivering legendary service and helping customers pursue their passions, whether that means being closer to the land, taking care of animals, or living a hands-on, DIY lifestyle.
Berg graduated from the School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences with a master's degree in biomedical technology.
14. Jock Wheeler
President, Old Dominion Mechanical
Jock Wheeler is the President of Old Dominion Mechanical. He first joined the company in 2013. Old Dominion Mechanica is a commercial and industrial company that provides HVAC, plumbing, electrical, welding, and design/build services. It is its everyday mission to create an environment that provides an exceptional experience, built on trust, for each customer, every day.
Previously, Wheeler was an area sales manager of Richmond and Chesapeake offices at Tate Engineering Systems, Inc, and before that, a mechanical services specialist at Atlantic Constructors Earlier in his career he worked with ColonialWebb as an account executive. Wheeler earned an undergraduate degree in business and English from St. Andrews University.
15. Rodney Bradley
Rodney Bradley is the Chief Financial Officer of Framatome. He first joined the company in 2008 as controller of U.S. fuels, DTI, and federal services. Framatome is a major international player in the nuclear industry recognized for its innovative solutions and high-value-added technologies for the design, construction, maintenance, and development of the world's nuclear fleet. The company designs and manufactures components, fuel and offers a whole range of services for reactors. Thanks to its 14,000 employees around the world, Framatome puts its expertise at the service of its customers every day to enable them to improve the safety and performance of their nuclear power plants and help achieve their economic and societal objectives.
Previously, Bradley was a global finance manager of GAS turbine repairs at General Electric. Bradley earned an MBA in management science from Virginia Tech - Pamplin College of Business.
16. Corwin Heatwole
Founding Farmer & CEO, Farmer Focus Organic Chicken
Corwin Heatwole began his professional career 18 years ago. Today, he is the Founding Farmer and CEO of Farmer Focus Organic Chicken. As a sixth-generation chicken farmer, Corwin founded the company in 2014. Farmer Focus is the only 100% organic and humane-certified chicken company with a mission to protect and promote generational family farms. By shifting farm-level decision-making and chicken ownership back to farmers and empowering them to farm the way they know is best, Farmer Focus significantly improves the financial viability of the farm and farmer profit. Available in 2500 stores throughout the East Coast and Midwest, including major retailers like Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter, and more, Farmer Focus is committed to consistently producing exceedingly delicious, 100% organic, and humanely raised chicken that is better for people, the planet, and animals.
Heatwole first got his start in 2005 as president and CEO at Valley Insulation and Energy Solutions, Inc. From there, he went on to Valley Pride Organic Chicken.
17. Bill Mitchell
CFO, Damuth Trane
Bill Mitchell began his professional career 32 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Damuth Trane. Trane, the world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient environments, improves the performance of homes and buildings around the world. Trane’s solutions optimize indoor environments with a broad portfolio of energy-efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, building and contracting services, parts support, and advanced controls for homes and commercial buildings.
Mitchell first got his start in 1991 as a divisional controller at United Advertising Publications. He graduated from Missouri State University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
18. Paul Flick
CEO, Premium Service Brands
Paul Flick built Premium Service Brands on a belief. A belief that the ordinary isn’t ordained. Mr. Flick founded 360° Painting in 2006. The brand quickly grew into one of the top painting franchises in the nation. Soon after, Flick began to acquire several home service brands, building a franchise family throughout the United States and parts of Canada. Premium Service Brands is now an industry leader with over 1,000 units and 9 brands.
Flick is also a passionate philanthropist. He founded Kids-Lift, the nonprofit affiliate of Premium Service Brands, in 2008. Kids-Lift works to provide food, clothing, school supplies, and more to underprivileged kids in local communities.
19. Ed Pesicka
President & CEO, Owens & Minor
Ed Pesicka was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Owens & Minor in 2019 and was appointed to the board of directors at the same time. He is a proven leader with over 25 years of business and operational experience focused on distribution, manufacturing, and service for the healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and scientific research industries. He spent fifteen years in escalating leadership roles with Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he ran up to an $8 billion portfolio of global distribution, manufacturing, and service businesses. He also had a significant commercial focus as the company’s chief commercial officer. While at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pesicka also served as CFO for multiple divisions.
Prior to joining Thermo Fisher, Pesicka spent almost eight years with TRW Inc., where he held escalating and diverse roles in corporate finance as well as divisional CFO for the company’s Nelson Stud Welding Division. He began his career as an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Pesicka graduated from Muskingum College with an undergraduate degree in business administration and accounting, and from Case Western University with an MBA.
20. TJ Hudson
President & General Manager, Genuine Parts Company
TJ Hudson is the President and General Manager of Genuine Parts Company. He first joined the company in 2000, previously serving in a variety of roles including warehouse manager, internal auditor, and operations manager. Founded in 1928, Genuine Parts Company is a global service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive and industrial replacement parts. The company's Automotive Parts Group distributes automotive replacement parts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australasia, France, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. The company's Industrial Parts Group distributes industrial replacement parts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australasia. In total, the company serves its global customers from an extensive network of more than 10,000 locations in 17 countries and has approximately 58,000 employees.
Hudson earned an undergraduate degree focused on business administration and management from Western Carolina University.
21. Mohamed Sharif
President & CEO, Right At Home
Mohamed Sharif has over 25 years of experience as a corporate executive. He was VP for business development and operations for Mobilitie, a large telecommunications infrastructure company where he oversaw the Sales & Marketing and Operations departments and led business development for the company.
Mohamed earned his MBA in management and marketing from the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School and his undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. He has certifications in RF engineering and completed several management and leadership development programs.
For the past 20 years, Mohamed has dedicated himself to providing volunteer service to seniors and adults needing assistance in his community. His goal has been to help elders live a normal life, allowing them to enjoy their families, careers, and social activities. Right at Home's mission is "To improve the quality of life for those we serve." Right at Home DC's goal is to help seniors live with dignity and self-respect while maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for as long as possible, in the comfort of their home.
22. Kurt Hooks
CEO of Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center, UHS
Kurt Hooks is the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center of UHS, one of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of hospital and healthcare services. It has built an impressive record of achievement and performance. Growing steadily since its inception into an esteemed Fortune 500 corporation, its annual revenues during 2022 were approximately $13.4 billion. Hooks has 23 years of experience. He began his career in 2000.
Before joining UHS, Hooks was a director of behavioral health services at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare and before that a director of assessment and referral. Hooks graduated from Old Dominion University with a Ph.D. in counselor education and leadership, from Eastern Virginia Medical School with an MPH in healthcare management, from Georgia State University with an MS in counseling psychology, and from Point University with an undergraduate degree in human relations.
23. Ryan Boulais
Chief Information Security Officer, The AES
Ryan Boulais is the Global Chief Information Security Officer at AES. AES is a global energy company that creates greener, smarter, and innovative energy solutions. They partner with organizations from industries of every kind, across all markets, and at every stage of development, and they’ve been doing it for decades. Prior to joining AES, Boulais was the VP of shared security services for Thomson Reuters globally. He was with GE for 5+ years, culminating in the VP of global security operations role providing leadership and direction for cyber security incidents across 9 businesses. He spent several years in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence and civil affairs officer. Boulais holds a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
24. Gail Glass
CFO, Interim HealthCare
Gail Glass is the CFO of Interim HealthCare. She first joined the company in 2010. Interim HealthCare Inc., founded in 1966, is a leading national franchisor of home care, hospice, and healthcare staffing. It is part of Caring Brands International which also includes U.K.-based Bluebird Care and Australia-based Just Better Care, both well-known franchise brands in their countries. With more than 530 franchise locations in seven countries, Caring Brands International is a global healthcare leader. Interim HealthCare in the United States is unique in combining the commitment of local ownership with the support of a national organization that develops innovative programs and quality standards that improve the delivery of service. Franchisees employ nurses, therapists, aides, companions, and other healthcare professionals who provide 25 million hours of home care service to 190,000 people each year, meeting a variety of home health, senior care, hospice, palliative care, pediatric care, and healthcare staffing needs.
Previously, Glass was a CFO at Amity Fellowserve, Inc, and before that a CFO at Kissito Healthcare. Earlier in her career she worked with Eagle Publishing Company as an assistant controller. Glass earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
25. Ken Young
COO, Apex Clean Energy
Ken Young serves as Chief Operating Officer of Apex, leading the team in its execution of core business operations with the purpose of delivering world-class renewable energy projects. He holds responsibility for the development, engineering and construction, asset management, and direct support departments.
Prior to joining Apex, Ken worked for Vestas Wind Systems as a chief program manager, overseeing technology support throughout the Americas. He also spent several years leading asset management, operations, and other functions at two start-up renewable energy companies. Ken is a former U.S. Army infantry officer; he served in Europe and as part of The Old Guard, the army’s premier ceremonial unit, in Arlington, Virginia. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science and systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.