Top 10: A list of entrepreneurs who are transforming business in 2021

Good entrepreneurs have the determination, dedication and drive to make their businesses successful. Great entrepreneurs have a little bit more. They see the opportunity to not only win but to change the game to make the world a better place for everyone. They inspire.

This list includes ten great entrepreneurs. Representing a wide range of industries, each exhibits a commitment to lead, serve or share in a way that is transforming culture and calling upon colleagues to consider how to extend the impact of their work.

1. Ramon Martinez

Ramon Martinez used to work for people, but now he teaches people how to work for themselves. Widely known in the social media world as Ramon Wholesale Sharks, he is the founder of Wholesale Sharks, a multimillion-dollar wholesale real estate company based in Phoenix, Ariz., breathing new life into the real estate industry.

Born and raised in Hermosillo in the Mexican state of Sonora, Martinez attended Phoenix College before working for

Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. After being let go from corporate America, he went from breeding English bulldogs to make ends meet to launching Wholesale Sharks and growing it into a million-dollar company in its first year. Now he’s giving back by helping others achieve the same success he has experienced through online training and live events like Wholesale Sharks Present.

2. Dr. Brian J. Fertig, MD, FACE

Dr. Brian J. Fertig is changing the future of medicine and medical training with his innovative interdisciplinary approach to diagnosing and caring for patients. His passion for patient care and finding the root problems of disease led to his writing a two-volume book series – “Metabolism and Medicine” – informing the future of medical student education, biomedical research and medical practice.

Dr. Fertig believes patients benefit when medical professionals have access to a greater network of interdisciplinary scientific and clinical expertise. His approach combines the personalized-scale medicine made possible by the ever-increasing use of bioinformatics with the skillful adaptation of methods developed in physics, which allow the quantification of therapeutic solutions with unprecedented precision.

Dr. Fertig is the founder and president of the Diabetes & Osteoporosis Center in Piscataway, NJ, established in 1994. He also serves as an Associate Professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is chair of the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Hackensack Meridian Health, JFK University Medical Center. His experience in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism spans 34 years.

3. Lauren Winans

Lauren Winans is a human resources expert helping companies across the US boost efficiency, obtain expertise and expedite their most daunting projects. With a unique gift for improving culture and developing strategies that succeed, Winans excels at bringing a holistic perspective to clients ready to create a “best place to work.”

Winans is the chief executive officer and principal HR consultant for Next Level Benefits, an HR consulting practice staffed with former corporate HR professionals in all HR disciplines. She founded Next Level Benefits in 2019, offering clients access to deep HR expertise for both short-term projects and long-term engagements. Winans is a member of the Forbes Business Council, Business Journals Leadership Trust, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She is also a nonprofit board member and an active volunteer for patient advocacy.

4. Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy is a strategic CEO whose proven ability to revamp culture, and boost performance has sparked turnaround success stories for more than 150 national and international brands at more than 10,000 locations.

Murphy is CEO of APX Operating Company, which manages family entertainment centers and water parks in Florida, New Jersey, and California. Additionally, Murphy serves on the board of directors for The Carlyle Group – Peru Fund, a private equity firm with more than 150 family entertainment centers and theme parks in Latin America.

With more than 35 years of experience in executive leadership, Murphy has a strong record of success with improving performance for businesses in the entertainment, restaurants, food & beverages, retail, hospitality, and other industries. Murphy also has extensive experience buying and selling businesses, handling negotiations with buyers and sellers, and creating strategic partnerships to build strong brands.

5. Nicholas Mathews

Knowing first-hand that conquering addiction requires competent and compassionate treatment, entrepreneur Nicholas Mathews is helping people learn how to exist in the world without drugs and alcohol through a state-of-the-art treatment program that offers a tailor-made experience in sustainable recovery.

Seeking sobriety at the age of 20, Mathews relocated to California from Oregon. After experiencing success with his own recovery, he began working in the field of substance abuse treatment. He launched Stillwater Behavioral Health to provide clients with a recovery experience that offers individualized care through hand-crafted treatment programs. Stillwater now has locations across Southern California and Georgia.

In addition to serving as CEO of Stillwater Behavioral Health, Mathews oversees clinics that provide TMS treatment and Medispa services in Calabasas and Newport Beach, Calif. Mathews is also vice president of Compassion LA. This nonprofit organization focuses on providing treatment to those dealing with addiction, homelessness and mental health issues.

6. Marco Kozlowski

When the US real estate market crashed in 2009, Marco Kozlowski lost everything. He found himself homeless for a short time, but he refused to let that be the end of his story. He refined his strategies and recovered, beginning a comeback that has made him one of the world’s leading experts in real estate investing, platform speaking, and systems process engineering.

From holistic medical centers to themed experience bars to a robust property portfolio to advanced one-on-one mentoring, Kozlowski’s methodologies have proven results. His passion is to help others achieve financial independence through proven processes.

Through training events that he has led, Kozlowski has empowered his followers to achieve hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

7. GeNienne Samuels

As a girl playing pickup football with the boys, GeNienne Samuels didn’t dare to dream that one day she would end up on an NFL field or NBA court as a professional cheerleader turned In-Game Host. But that’s exactly what happened. While excelling in her full-time consulting career after college, Samuels became a cheerleader for the NFL and NBA for a combined eleven seasons, holding the titles of captain, Pro Bowl Cheerleader and Most Valuable Dancer, among others. Then she hung up her poms to be the In-Game Host for teams in the WNBA, NBA, AFL and NFL.

Realizing she wanted more, she left her 9-to-5 to start her own performance excellence and process improvement consulting company, GS Consulting and Communications, Inc., and her side hustle, Sideline Prep. Tapping into an underserved niche, Sideline Prep took off by helping young women (and men) find the inner strength and confidence to go after their dreams on and off the field or court.

Samuels and her team of coaches work with aspiring professional cheerleaders on their mindset, confidence, interview skills, appearance, fitness level and dance ability to get them prepared, polished and confident for pro-level auditions. Their 70% success rate shows Samuels has discovered a winning strategy to help her clients level up from the inside out.

8. Tara Gupta

Tara Gupta is a climate activist, research-based artist, social entrepreneur and the founder of a carbon tracking and supply chain transparency company, Map-Collective, and a regenerative real estate development firm, Anamakos. As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a candidate at Georgetown University McDonough School of business, her background ranges from scientific research to system design and green urbanism. Her expertise includes systems design, data visualization, real estate, technology and entrepreneurship.

Gupta founded in 2018 to visually map carbon footprints of multiple sectors on one unified platform, putting resource management in the hands of all. Their approach to carbon accounting fills a unique niche, contextualizing individual and organizational footprints within the earth’s limits. This allows planning for 2030, 2050 and beyond on a global scale. In 2021, the company won a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a blockchain-backed system for carbon accounting and has worked with clients ranging from the County of Maui and City of North Miami to public cannabis company Curaleaf.

In parallel, Gupta has been building Anamakos LLC, a regenerative real estate development startup that strategically utilizes adaptive reuse projects in urban environments to catalyze a biophilic, sustainable transition within each city. Currently, the company is under contract on an $18.5 million residential project in Washington DC and will be raising a fund of $250 million to create a self-sustaining model for these sustainable urban transitions.

9. Mark Frissora

Mark Frissora has harnessed his understanding of the power of teams to become a celebrated and sought-after corporate leader with a proven record of delivering robust results. He believes that good CEOs excel at creating and picking the right team to build the right culture.

Frissora is a Fortune 500 business executive, board chair and non-executive member with more than 40 years of experience in senior corporate leadership for public and private companies with a global footprint. For more than 20 years, Frissora has led transformative organic and market and acquisition growth that drives global expansion, integrates advanced digital capabilities, fuels top-and bottom-line growth and creates value for shareholders.

Frissora is also a champion of diversity and gender initiatives within the companies he ran, and on the boards he governed. In addition, his companies were the recipients of multiple awards for sustainability and carbon footprint reductions.

10. Dr. Jay Feldman

Dr. Jay Feldman is an osteopathic medical doctor and founder of Otter Public Relations, a PR agency with more than 35 employees internationally. Feldman has more than 300K followers on social media and hosts the top business podcast, Mentors Collective. He is a contributor at and has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, and other top networks.

Since founding Otter in early 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Feldman has led the company to become a multi-million dollar media agency that empowers the world’s top thought leaders, brands, and entrepreneurs. Feldman and the Otter team provide clients with innovative strategies and support to break into mainstream media and grow their brand.

Otter PR was compensated by the entrepreneur listed in this article.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

Source :