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2023 New Year's resolutions from CEOs Ravi Norman, B Kyle, Joe Ryan, Christine Fruechte and more

2023 New Year's resolutions from CEOs Ravi Norman, B Kyle, Joe Ryan, Christine Fruechte and more

As 2022 draws to a close and everyone looks forward to 2023, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal wanted to check in with our Most Admired CEO honorees from past and present to find out what resolutions they had made for the New Year.

Here are some of their responses:

Ravi Norman, chair and CEO of Sagiliti, Most Admired CEO (2016)

My 2023 resolution: To inspire people to follow their passion, aspire to greatness, produce excellence, innovate continuously, and be resilient when gaps exist between the outcomes and your expectations!

Kathy McCuskey, CEO of Yamamoto, Most Admired CEO (2018)

My New Year’s resolution: Make choices. Take chances. And change one thing. It’s too easy to be the same and stay the same. I’m committing to create more focus. Pick it. Point toward it. Make it happen.

Dan Stoltz, CEO of Spire Credit Union, Most Admired CEO (2020)

New Year's resolutions:

  • Send a handwritten note of gratitude each week.
  • Spend as much quality time with my family, including the 11 grandchildren, as possible.
  • Be a continuous learner and read at least four leadership books in 2023.
  • Be an optimistic Minnesota sports fan. 2023 is THE year for Vikings to finally win a Super Bowl. Go Purple!

B Kyle, CEO of St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Most Admired CEO (2020)

My 2023 New Year’s resolution: I am committing to the “personal invitation.” I want to have a series of small dinners at my house, bringing new friends together to build relationships.

Warren McLean, president of Northside Economic Opportunity Network, Most Admired CEO (2021)

My New Year’s resolutions for 2023 are: The transformation of North Minneapolis has begun, I want to see it come to fruition in 2023. The built environment is changing and projects are coming on stream at unprecedented levels. We are definitely at a tipping point, and I believe that North Minneapolis will indeed become a destination and not just a drive through.

Jeanne Crain, president and CEO of Bremer Financial Corp., Most Admired CEO (2019)

As our culture and our marketplaces enter into a new and incomparable phase, my professional New Year’s resolution is to inspire Bremer’s leadership to find new ways to embody a bold mindset, leveraging our strong culture and finding our path through the power of "why." My personal New Year’s resolution is to use my time and energy to prioritize doing what is most important for my role as CEO, empowering other leaders as I make those choices.

Mike Fiterman, chairman of Liberty Diversified International, Most Admired CEO (2016)

I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the world. Because of the many marvelous blessings, I have experienced in this world, every day, I give thanks. Showing gratitude to my family and extended family is a regular practice. As we enter the new year, I plan to continue to appreciate others and offer support to Liberty Diversified International as the company continues to grow through caring, innovation, trust and excellence.

Nancy Lyons, CEO and co-founder, Clockwork, Most Admired CEO (2016)

My resolution: Do the most good. Every day, we’re confronted with so many reasons to throw in the towel, feel discouraged, or regress to selfish me, me, me thinking. It’s tempting to disconnect and drift into hopelessness. But that’s never helpful — to ourselves or the people around us. So, in 2023, I am doubling down on the opposite of all that. I will participate in the very complicated and challenging world we’re living in, not because I will always want to (or know how to) but because fighting the tide of discontentment feels courageous right now. Whatever the situation, I am going to do my best. Whomever I’m with, I’m going to foster connection. Next year, I will do the most good that I can, while I can.

Joseph Nayquonabe, CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, Most Admired CEO (2018)

My New Year’s resolution is a carryover from last year: to read 40 books throughout the year. Business books, graphic novels, self-help, history, biographies, fiction, nonfiction. Everything is fair game. I have about eight to go for this year to get done in December. Not sure I will make it but I had so much fun replacing social media time and other time wasters with feeding my brain that I’m going to do it again!

Joe Ryan, CEO of Oppidan Investment Co., Most Admired CEO (2022)

[One of] my resolution[s] is to continue trusting my gut and courageously lead our team into industries and areas that will have a lasting impact. For example, our meaningful work in senior housing development continues to touch so many lives, and our work on industrial developments will positively influence commerce and the economy for generations. [Another] resolution is to trust my exceptional team. We are a three-time winner of MSPBJ’s Best Places to Work, and with that comes the responsibility to continue fostering an amazing workplace and culture that attracts and retains the top talent in our industry.

Wendi Breuer, CEO of SeaChange Print Innovations, Most Admired CEO (2021)

My 2023 resolutions are to connect and gather. Connecting with our 160 SeaChangers is a top priority for me every day. For 2023, I’m writing and delivering a handwritten note of gratitude to one employee every day so every SeaChanger (as we call ourselves) knows how much they matter to me and to our mission. Gather is SeaChange’s internal digital agency designed to support clients moving toward using more digital communications. I’ll be championing Gather to ensure it’s a game-changer for our clients.

Dr. Marc Gorelick, CEO of Children's Minnesota, Most Admired CEO (2020)

[My] two resolutions:

  1. Keep pursuing continuous improvement as the way we do things at Children's Minnesota. How can we best serve our patients and their families? How can we provide an ideal staff experience? Every day the continuous improvement system compels us not only to ask these questions, but to find and implement solutions. 
  2. Focus on becoming an even more diverse, inclusive and equitable place for patients, families, our workforce and our community. We’ll continue to work inside and outside the walls of Children’s Minnesota in 2023 and beyond to make this happen. It’s the only path forward to ending structural racism in health care and eliminating health disparities so that all children in our community can thrive.

Mark Johnson, CEO and president of Star Exhibits & Environments Inc., Most Admired CEO (2021)

2023 is shaping up to be a year of resurgence for the tradeshow and exhibits industry. On the heels of a difficult season for everyone in the field, I resolve to give back and invest in the future. I plan to speak around the globe on how to capitalize on opportunities, stay ahead of trends and boost overall knowledge acquisition. I vow to invite everyone into the learning environment, be inclusive and commit myself to the betterment of the industry as a whole. For my team, I promise to call more and email less, provide stronger employee incentives, and hold myself accountable to preserving a healthy work environment.

Long Doan, CEO of Realty Group, Most Admired CEO (2020)

Looking ahead to the New Year is exciting for us at Realty Group. We continue to focus on gaining market shares and opening up more offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Florida. On the horizon is our expansion into Arizona. We are excited to make our footprint beyond the Midwest. Overall we are looking forward to continuing our support and education of our agents, focusing on not just surviving, but growing and thriving in the anticipated shifting market. 

Rebecca Thomley, CEO of Orion Associates Inc., Most Admired CEO ( 2022)

I am resolved to not take anything for granted, be more observing, and show gratitude always. I am also resolved about mountain climbing — one attempt was enough for me. I never need to do that again!

Christine Fruechte, CEO of Colle McVoy, Most Admired CEO (2016)

My New Year’s resolution is to infuse more joy and gratitude into to my daily interactions. After nearly three grueling years of the pandemic, social unrest and economic uncertainty, let’s be honest, we could all use more joy in what often feels like a very heavy world around us. Let’s lift each other up. Let’s celebrate all the victories, big and small. Let’s start meetings by sharing something we appreciate about the person on the other side of the table or screen. Let’s breath in that brisk Minnesota air and rather than curse it, give thanks for another day to make a positive impact on our family, friends, business, clients and community. Attitude and gratitude are everything.

Guy Mingo, president and CEO of Marsden Holding, Most Admired CEO (2021)

Marsden plans to renew a multiyear business plan that will include expanding our lines of service offerings to meet the need of our customers. We will seek to acquire companies that will enable us to grow our footprint in current and new markets areas, make additional investments in our leadership and career path development programs. On a personal note, I hope to spend more time travelling with my wife.

Our Most Admired CEOs awards, launched in 2016, recognize chief executives of organizations with revenue under $1 billion who are based in the Twin Cities metro area. Honorees have track records of professional successes. They also have made outstanding contributions to their company, industry and community. If you know a CEO who fits this description, please visit our 2023 nomination page to tell us about them.

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