Dave Kerpen | The One Employee Your CEO Loves Most
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The One Employee Your CEO Loves Most

The One Employee Your CEO Loves Most

“I love you!”

That’s what millions of people will be saying to their wives, girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends this Saturday for Valentine’s Day. February and greeting cards companies (and flowers, candy, and gifts companies) remind us to give some extra attention to the people in our lives that we love and care about. Personally, I have so many people to be grateful for: my incredible family, supportive friends, and the amazing team at Likeable. With so much to reflect upon, I decided to to ask members of theYoung Entrepreneur Council (YEC), the world’s most promising young leaders, to share who they love and appreciate most at their companies. Here are their choices, along with mine at the end, for the employees they love:

1. I Love My Co-Founder

I have so much gratitude for my co-founder. Great companies are built by working with dynamic individuals who push you to be your best and to persevere when facing adversity. Poshly’s co-founder and CTO Bradley Falk has made Poshly’s vision possible in every way, and our partnership means the world to me!

Doreen Bloch, CEO & Founder, Poshly Inc.


2. I Love My CTO

The most indispensable role in my company is our CTO. Considering all of our businesses are online, this is the most crucial position for us. Having his expertise and leadership in the team allows us to grow faster.


Syed Balkhi, Co-Founder, OptinMonster


3. I Love My HR Director

That’s her official title, but unofficially she’s more like Rep Cap’s HR Director/Bean Counter/Vampire Slayer. That last bit is a nod to our collective love of Buffy, but it also reflects that Dominique Rodgers slays all the vampires that would otherwise drain my time. She keeps the operations side running smoothly, freeing me to focus on taking care of our clients and finding new ones.

Mary Ellen Slayter, Founder/Managing Director, Reputation Capital

4. I Love My Assistant

She knows me like a book, keeps hundreds of balls in the air and holds down the fort when I am on the road. She’s my right hand and I truly don’t know what I would do without her.

Ashley Mady, President, Brandberry


5. I Love My Community Manager

My community manager Danielle McRae Baker is indispensable. She keeps her finger on the pulse of our online community and keeps everything running smoothly.

Vanessa Van Edwards, Behavioral Investigator, Science of People



6. I Love My Financial Advisor

My financial advisor, Glenn Fischer at Clear Financial Group, is an inspiration and indispensable because he works behind the scenes to produce the capital I need to run my business on my terms. Thanks to Glenn, I remain in a comfortable financial state even if my business has a rough month or two. The peace of mind his competence brings me and my family is invaluable.

Alexandra Levit, President and Founder, Inspiration at Work

7. I Love Our Comptroller

We are a small advertising agency and we tried to do everything ourselves for years. It is wonderful having someone I can count on to oversee our financial information, offer counsel and care about our success almost as much as the owners do. It took us a long time to hire someone outside of the management team to be in our inner circle. Now I don’t know how we operated without him.

Angela Harless, Managing Director/ Co-Founder, AcrobatAnt

8. I Love Our Chief Operating Officer

When I hired our COO three years ago I told him that as a sole founder of this business, he’d need to “pry my white knuckle death-grip off of this company.” He made that process easier than I ever expected by building the trust in me that our operations were in much better hands with him as it grew in scale and complexity. Thank you Toby! – Kevin Eichelberger, Founder & CEO, Blue Acorn


9. I Love Our Vice President of Technology

Our company is constantly evaluating new opportunities to build software that plugs into our platform. The process can be jarring and schizophrenic for developers accustomed to working on one product at a time. Abe Music, our VP of Technology, gracefully balances myriad projects without losing sight of crucial details and without losing sight of the big picture. Abe is a unicorn.

Avery Fisher, President, Remedify

10. I Love Our Chief of Staff

Our most indispensable employee is our Chief of Staff because he is at the heart of our operations. He has the ability to translate our vision to operators who are spread across a variety of roles and located in various countries. His talent, sensibility and devotion make him undeniably irreplaceable!

Mina Chang, CEO/ President, Linking the World


11. I Love My CTO/Musician Sean Jones

Sean has been with me since I started my first company. He has a rare blend of creativity and superior web and coding skills. Thank you Sean for being an indispensable employee. More than that, thank you for being a confidant and friend. Your technical knowledge combined with a unique ability to see the user’s perspective has allowed our company to grow much faster than it otherwise would have.

Joshua Lee, Prosperity Activator | Online Authority Builder | Seeker of Jollification, StandOut Authority

12. I Love Our Public Relations Coordinator

If a small company is lucky enough to hire a Public Relations Coordinator, that is half the battle! Public Relations is a crucial piece of the puzzle for constantly building new avenues for your company.

Kumar Arora, President, Aroridex, Ltd.


13. I Love Our Business Analyst/Everything Man

While every employee and department chisels away at assignments, projects and releases, our business analyst lends a helping hand to just about every activity that our company takes part in — with no complaints and extremely successful results. He is the rare type of individual that will stay hours later than most in the office just to make sure that we are constantly moving towards growth.

Miles Jennings, Founder and CEO, Recruiter.com

14. I Love Our Senior Director of Fellowships and Expansion

Karin Fujii has been invaluable since she joined in 2013. She designed our Fellowship Program and supports the leadership development of 30 social entrepreneurs in the U.S., Latin America, Africa and Asia. Karin trained over 50 Search and Selection team members to help identify talent globally. Her ownership of the Fellowship Program resulted in an 800 percent increase in applicants in 2014. – Carrie Rich, Co-Founder & CEO, The Global Good Fund

As for me? I love all of our employees, I swear! And obviously I love my wife and cofounder Carrie the most! I love our developers and product team because they build awesome products. I love our content and design team because they make those products beautiful. I love our marketing team because they tell the world about our products and I love our sales team because they sell them. I love our customer success team because they keep our customers happy and successful. I love our finance and operations team because they make sure we make actually make money doing all of the above. But there’s a special place in my heart for my chief of staff, Meg Riedinger. Meg started off as my executive assistant 2 years ago, and I wrote in Inc about how she saved my life. In the last year, she’s grown to be our chief of staff, and she handles many indispensable projects for our companies. I am grateful to Meg, appreciate her immensely, and yes, I love her.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and here’s to loving your employees, your boss, your coworkers, your team and your job!

What do you think? What do you love about your career? How have you expressed appreciation or felt appreciated at work? What coworkers, colleagues, employees, managers or leaders do you love? Please tell me in the comments section below, and please share this post with your network to help remind them to spread the love.

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