Profession: President of Testa Companies, along with leadership roles in all of his family’s businesses. Founder and chairman of the Formerly Homeless Foundation.
Nomination: Nominated by Karen Mitchell, who knows someone who was homeless and received housing at the Commons at Madaline Park I, an apartment building in Akron that caters to the homeless, veterans and the disabled. “He wants to destigmatize unwarranted shame and judgment against the homeless … I see a real person that has empathy! Even with rejection, he pressed on to get this done,” Mitchell wrote.
Definition of leadership: “Leadership is when somebody has a vision or plan that others are willing to follow.”
How he fits into this definition: “I’ve always been a visionary.” Sees himself as a good leader, but not a good manager. “A great leader creates a solid foundation, hires talented people, gets out of the way and lets them be great.”
How his leadership views have changed: When he was younger, leaders were whoever was in charge — parents, coaches, teachers. Now, he sees a leader as “people who are trying to solve problems for the greater good.”
Mentors: His parents, both of whom work in the family’s businesses. “They’re both great leaders.”