In my early days as a leader, I learned that success and people building could only happen if I followed the essential principles of trust and integrity.

—Scott Steinford

Not all leaders are built or wired the same. Scott Steinford is evidence that an aspirational culture that is complimented by strong, people-centric, and authentic leadership can achieve the most ambitious goals. Founder ofTrust Transparency Consulting(TTC), Steinford is an accomplished Certified M&A expert boasting an extensive and award-winning track record in executive positions, including CEO, Advisor, and Founder across pharmaceutical and nutrition-specific industries. Steinford is a hands-on leader, having held CEO or President roles for organizations including ZMC-USA and Doctor’s Best, 2B Associates, and Trust Transparency Consulting. Steinford brings a culture of mentorship, a strategic leadership style, and a core value of trust-building to each organizational challenge, which has created $1.04B of enterprise value during his extensive career. Undoubtedly, $1.04B of incremental enterprise value is impressive wealth building within a single career, especially considering most of his accomplishments include taking small, founder-based firms to new levels of growth and competitiveness.

People are the Answer to Every Question

Steinford headshot
Scott Steinford, Founder of TTC

Influenced tremendously by loving grandparents, Steinford learned from his earliest role models the lessons of leadership fundamentals, the importance of character, and ethics to encourage others in every endeavor. From the beginning of his career, Steinford would employ these core values and see firsthand the impact of positivity.

“In my early days as a leader, I learned that success and people building could only happen if I followed the essential principles of trust and integrity,” says Steinford. Indeed, Steinford would bring those principles to each organization, resulting in his success in bringing several emerging startups beyond the $100 million mark in organic growth.

“I learned early that building people up would have a direct, positive impact on enterprise value growth,” Steinford reflects. “By putting people first, organizational value and scale became predictable.” Predictable results of double- digit percent growth in enterprise value would become synonymous with Steinford’s approach and methodology.

Making Trust Transparent

Steinford acquired a Pre-Law degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master’s of Science Degree in Law from Champlain College. Known in the industry for his role as a critical influencer of ingredient coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Steinford built the CoQ10 story of trust fueled by transparency, ultimately contributing to the 20-year 20% CAGR of CoQ10 (39Mt global market in 2000 to over 1000Mt in 2021).

“My journey has traversed pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and supplements with a common theme: ingredients are important,” says Steinford. “Moreso, what people think of the specific ingredients in your product makes a difference in their expectations and loyalty.”

Steinford remains a staple in the industry as an authority on the CoQ10 ingredient market. He boasts leadership positions in ingredient supply, retail brand, and trade association levels. Making trust transparent in the nutrition and pharmaceutical industries is his standard, not an option.

Leading with a Visionary Approach

Steinford is a master mentor who believes that staying strategic and focused on vision, developing and building people, and transparency will deliver exceptional results. “I have had the incredible honor of leading several companies past the $100 million mark,” recalls Steinford. “Some were startups, while others were halfway there when I came to the leadership table.”

Asked about a recent challenge he overcame by employing his people-centric strategies, Steinford shared how the company he led, Health Wright Products (HWP), was like many others, struggling to recruit and retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We knew we had to differentiate our company from the others, and we had to create a cohesive atmosphere with a common goal,” says Steinford. “We developed Project 150, supported by the Million Dollar Promise. The owners pledged a $1 million bonus promise to the workforce, with the stretch goal being the achievement of $150 million in TTM Revenue. We placed large signage displaying the Program and the Million Dollar Promise throughout the facility.”logo Trust Transparency Center

In true Steinford style, the carrot was not just an innovative incentive program; it was designed to be over and above the existing bonuses in place, with the long-term expectation that the company should strive to reach the TTM goal sometime in 2024. “We set benchmarks, with the first being a 2021 Revenue of $100 million or 109% of budget,” Steinford shares. “That goal was met, and staffing had remained over 90% at a time when other local companies struggled to overcome the ‘Great Resignation.’”

Spoiler alert: In addition to ensuring financial targets were met, employee morale improved, and momentum remained strong, as evidenced through employee engagement surveys. “No achievement is ever obtained alone, and challenging times call for extraordinary thinking and creativity,” says Steinford. “This example of creative problem-solving made a difference in my career and the companies I had the honor to lead.”

A Consummate Inspiration and Mentor

Steinford will readily admit that his life is hard to predict. “Every day is different, primarily because I make it that way," he says. “My wife and family are not extremely pleased with the amount of chaos in my life, but they have learned that it’s part of the package.

When asked to describe himself, Steinford shared his self-view as “aspirational and visionary.” He believes that he is unwilling to slow down and always open to a way to improve and grow, adding, “I am never satisfied with who I am or who I want to be tomorrow.”

Writ large, Steinford has endeavored to take his mentorship in business to a larger scale and employ these learning opportunities across a larger platform. Mentorship has always been an essential element of Steinford’s life.

“I love to learn, and I love to teach,” he says. “Guest lecturing at Colleges and Universities on the Trust Transparency paradigm is my greatest joy!”

Dating back to 2018, Steinford delivered guest lectures and entrepreneur-in-residence contributions to Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. In 2021, Steinford would upgrade his contributions to provide initial investment and leadership to launch a highly specialized innovation and entrepreneurship lab for MBA-level entrepreneurs within Mays Business School. His vision to serve MBA-level entrepreneurs with targeted lessons and knowledge was born out of his desire to increase the number of capable entrepreneurs launching scalable business models. His vision and early contributions leading to the generous investment began in 2020, as he rolled out his vision that MBA credentialed entrepreneurs could launch high-value businesses built on a foundation of people-centric leadership and a strong mentorship culture and scale quickly in close partnership with private equity. Steinford began to collaborate with faculty and college leadership to bring the higher level of targeted lessons and competencies to MBA entrepreneurs to reality. He shares, “My active commitment to education, mentorship, and evergreen learning remains a core component of my personal and professional goals.”

Personal/Professional Juxtaposition

“Many people can lead a company and manage people, but few have the privilege to be a builder of people and companies. I am thankful to be a builder,” Steinford says. “I work to be 100% present in my endeavors, so it is sometimes hard to tell where the line is between my personal and professional perspectives. It is a great value to know who you are and what you believe and stay authentic despite the headwinds.”

An authentic life fits Steinford’s trademarked trust transparency methodology. He reports that he thinks of his COO as his family and wife as his right hand. “My COO is my family and has been my right hand in so many ways for the past 15 years,” he states. “We have run many successful organizations together, and I know without my family, we would not have been able to achieve a fraction of what we have.” Indeed, Steinford’s personal and professional accomplishments and contributions have left an indelible mark on markets and communities.

The good news: Steinford reports that he isn’t anywhere close to retirement, already working on an exciting disruptive startup sure to shake up the marketplace.