Founded in 2005 by C-level Wharton executives, CEO Connection is the only membership organization in the world focused exclusively on mid-market CEOs and uniquely designed to champion the mid-market perspective in the global marketplace.  The mission of CEO Connection is to help mid-market CEOs and their companies succeed by connecting them to each other; to people, information and resources to which they would otherwise not have access; and promoting the interests, welfare, and points of view of the mid-market.  The mid-market is comprised of nearly 20,000 publicly and privately held companies and represents an integral piece of the U.S. economy, employing more than 30 million people and generating approximately $10 trillion of the $30 trillion of annual gross receipts.

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The inaugural list of the 2015 Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market was announced by CEO Connection® and is the only membership organization exclusively for mid-market CEOs.  This list recognizes the top 25 women in the U.S. based on their ability to influence change, innovation, and standards for excellence in companies with annual sales between $100 million and $3 billion.

For more information and to register for the convention, visit

CEO Connection Releases 2015 Most Influential Women Inaugural List

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2015 Most Influential Women Inaugural List

List of Top 25 Most Influential Women in the Mid-Market (in alphabetic order):

  • Andrea Ayers, Convergys Corporation
  • Tory Burch, Tory Burch
  • Sandy Cochran, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.
  • Kat Cole, FOCUS Brands
  • Gayle J. Delly, Benchmark Electronics, Inc.
  • Tanya Domier, Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC
  • Jane T. Elfers, The Children’s Place, Inc.
  • Diane Marie Ellis, Limited Stores, LLC
  • Julie Howard, Navigant Consulting Inc.
  • Katherine Lawther Krill, Ann Inc.
  • Beatrice Lafon, Claire’s Store, Inc.
  • Kathy E. Lehne, Sun Coast Resources, Inc.
  • Selina Lo, Ruckus Wireless
  • Tamara Lundgren, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
  • Linda K. Massman, Clearwater Paper Corp.
  • Virginia McReynolds, Isle of Capri Casinos
  • Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest Corporation
  • Michelle Peluso, GILT
  • Ranjini Poddar, Artech Information Systems
  • Sydney Price, Kate Spade
  • Karyn Schoenbart, The NPD Group
  • Sally J. Smith, Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Jule Smolyansky, Lifeway Foods
  • Stephanie Streeter, Libbey Inc.
  • Diane Sullivan, Caleres

More than business trailblazers, the 2015 honoree list includes dedicated philanthropists such as Tory Burch who launched the Tory Burch Foundation to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs. To view the bios of all the winners, visit

“We are honored to be able to recognize such a prestigious group of women who have truly made an impact on their company and have given back to their community,” says Kenneth Beck, CEO of CEO Connection.  “We have been recognizing CEOs through our Mid-Market 500 and Mid-Market 1000 lists and saw a need to recognize an underrepresented group within the mid-market, so we started the Most Influential Women’s list.”

Honorees will be recognized at the 2015 Mid-Market Convention onOctober 18-21 at The Wharton School in Philadelphia, PA.  Referred to as the Davos for the Mid-Market,” this exclusive global gathering features hundreds of CEOs, political leaders, business experts, and presidential candidates.

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The 2015 agenda includes:

  • Women’s Leadership in the Mid-Market, an interactive panel discussion about how to develop initiatives and strategies to increase the number of women in the mid-market c-suites;
  • Connecting Veterans to Success program which challenges Mid-Market Companies to hire 100,000 veterans by the year 2020;
  • New Innovation Committee and Angel Investment Network Business Plan Showcase to connect mid-market CEOs seeking to invest in disruptive innovation with cutting-edge entrepreneurs seeking capital, board members
  • 2015 Mid-Market Awards: Top 25 Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market, Mid-Market 500, Mid-Market 1000, Mid-Market Company of the Year, Mid-Market CEO of the Year, Mid-Market Rising Star, and Mid-Market Social Impact Award
  • State of the Mid-Market forum, highlighting 2015 Mid-Market 500 honorees
  • Mid-Market College Internship program
  • Wharton Executive Education class, “Innovation: Creating, Selecting, and Developing Exceptional Opportunities.”

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