Kim Heathcott, Clarion Security: 2018 CEO of the Year

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“When you’re in a business where your employees are in potential life-threatening situations, you pray for their safety, you give them the training and the tools they need, because they are that barrier person between the clients’ assets and those who would harm them,” she says.

For the first three years of the company, Heathcott provided a meal for every guard who worked an eight-hour shift. “Think about it: guards, once they get on a job, can never leave. If they forget to bring a meal or a drink, they’re out of luck. There may not be a microwave or even a vending machine on site,” she says. And here’s where the CEO thinking comes in: When a manager delivers a sandwich to a guard, Clarion’s supervisor gets a sense of how the job is going for the client who wants more quality control over the officers’ presence.

After three years, Heathcott surveyed the employees, and then she listened. They said they’d rather have a bonus or a higher base wage than a sandwich-per-shift, so Heathcott phased in both over the course of a few years.

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