Leaders & Innovators: Camille NicitaCamille Nicita is president and CEO of Gongos Inc. in Auburn Hills. Gongos, which includes Gongos Research and O2 Integrated, provides research on initiatives spanning the entire product and marketing life cycle, and combines enterprise and research knowledge through consultative relationships. Gongos works with corporations such as Coca–Cola, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler. First named to the Inc. 5,000 list of the Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2007, the company was a 2010 finalist in Inc. magazine’s Winning Workplaces and is among the Honomichl Top 50 U.S. marketing research organizations. Gongos is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Under Nicita’s leadership, the company increased revenue growth 12 percent in 2013, and the number of full–time employees increased by 15 percent. During the past five years Gongos experienced 70 percent revenue growth and 70 percent full–time employee expansion. Nicita is vice chair of the advisory board of Michigan State University’s master’s in market research program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and her MBA from Wayne State University. Read the complete profile at www.ltu.edu/leaders.
Leaders & Innovators: John BornotyJohn Bornoty is founder of The Big Salad LLC in Grosse Pointe. The Big Salad is a restaurant chain specializing in custom salads, soups, and sandwiches. Bornoty opened the first Big Salad in in 2008 and now has seven locations with plans to continue rapid expansion. The company has been named a 2014 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” by Michigan Celebrates Small Business, and was recently recognized in Crain’s Detroit Business’ Salute to Entrepreneurs as the winner in the up to $5 million category. Bornoty’s entrepreneurial background began at 15 when he launched T.N.T. Entertainment, a concert promotion company. He was then recruited to join A&M Companies as the special events director, moving quickly to vice president of sales and marketing, where he was responsible for opening more than a dozen offices nationwide, with sales exceeding $20 million. In 1995, he founded Netgroup, Inc., an Internet solutions provider, and the following year also launched Interactive Media Broadcasting Company, which became the first company to broadcast live via the Internet. The Detroit Free Press named Bornoty one of the top five “Star Techies” in Michigan. He also appeared on the cover of Tokyo’s PlayGraph magazine as an American technology innovator. After he retired from Netgroup, he founded Bornoty Holdings to invest in and manage various companies that need help identifying their goals and strategies. Since 2005, he has assisted companies in the technology, insurance, payroll, and food and beverage industries. Bornoty has served as president and board member of the Detroit Executives Association and as a director of Notre Dame High School. Other boards and committees on which he has served include the Young Entrepreneurs Association and the technology committee of the Detroit Athletic Club. He received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and public relations from Wayne State University. Read the full profile at www.ltu.edu/leaders.
Leaders & Innovators: Jami MooreJAMI MOORE is owner and president of JEM Tech Group in Clinton Township. JEM provides data center products, including cabling and cable management equipment; data center management software; technical furniture; cooling and airflow management equipment; enclosures; energy management equipment; environmental monitoring and security equipment; flooring; power distribution and backup power supply products; and more. Moore’s father started the company in 1979 as JEM Computers Inc., which specialized in ink ribbons and tape backup for servers. Since moving the company into data storage and renaming it, Moore has more than tripled annual sales. JEM has been recognized with Corp! magazine’s 2014 DiSciTech (Digital, Science and Technology) Award, and Crain’s Detroit Business’ Salute to Entrepreneurs named the firm a winner in the $5.1 million to $20 million category. JEM was also listed as one of the Michigan 101 Best & Brightest Sustainable Companies and was presented the 2012 U.S. Small Business Administration’s Michigan Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year Award. Moore has been recognized with the NAWBO Greater Detroit Top 10 Business Women Owner Rainmaker Award and as one of Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40. JEM also has been listed among the Top 100 Women Owned and Diversity Owned Businesses in Michigan for six consecutive years by Diversity Business magazine. Moore is active with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Susan G. Komen. She is a member of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology, AFCOM, the Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Great Lakes, and a founding board member and vice president for membership for 7x24 Exchange, Southeast Michigan Chapter. Previously, Moore worked for Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics Corp., and Philip Morris. She received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and German from Michigan State University. Read the full profile at www.ltu.edu/leaders.
Leaders & Innovators: Phillip CooleyPHILLIP COOLEY is co–owner of Slows Bar BQ and Slows To Go and general contractor of O’Connor Development Group LLC in Detroit. Cooley’s latest endeavor is Pony Ride, which provides cheap work space in a 30,000-square-foot Detroit warehouse for socially conscious artists and entrepreneurs. Pony Ride accommodates more than 25 organizations in the space and plans to add more. Cooley and his brother bought their first building several years ago and began renovating it. That led to the formation of O’Connor Development, a real estate and development company, which owns several commercial and residential properties in Detroit. Slows Bar BQ opened in 2005 and has been recognized nationally not only for its menu but for revitalizing a Detroit neighborhood. Cooley has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the magazine's "20 in their 20s" young business leaders. He is on the board of the Architectural Salvage Warehouse Detroit, Greening of Detroit, Roosevelt Park Conservancy, Center for Community Based Enterprise, New Detroit, and the Heidelberg Project. Cooley is also on the advisory board of the ACLU of Southeastern Michigan, the advisory committee of the Knight Foundation (Detroit), and currently co-chairs the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force for the Detroit Works project. He also supports Playground Detroit. Cooley received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Columbia College in Chicago. Read the complete profile at www.ltu.edu/leaders.