Mark Symonds, President and CEO, Plex Systems Inc.

Mark SymondsSemifinalist, Business Services

As president and CEO of Plex Systems Inc., Mark Symonds has high standards for his company and his employees, but he also works hard to create a culture of fun and creativity. Symonds knows a major leadership challenge is putting the right people in place at a company to allow for growth while also keeping the culture protected. At Plex Systems, a developer of the Plex Online cloud and SaaS ERP solution for the manufacturing enterprise, he has put in place a culture that helps employees feel like they are part of important decisions at the company.

In addition to hiring the best people with solid work ethics, Symonds makes it a point to cultivate trust with employees. It’s why he decided not to cut any employees during the recession.

The fact that one of Plex Systems’ core values is meritocracy, eliminating seniority, also opens the culture up for idea sharing. Symonds doesn’t just expect managers to come up with new ideas for innovation and growth; he wants ideas from every employee. Building break and game rooms throughout company facilities is one way he fosters an environment of collaboration and openness among employees in all areas of the organization.

By building employee trust and collaboration, Symonds has led the company to increase its revenues while competitors’ decreased. He makes it a priority to keep rolling out new ideas and improvements for software that provide value to the company’s customers in real time. The company’s Plex Online system for manufacturers has been recognized with numerous awards for its innovation and technology, which is a testament to the company’s culture that allows employees to feel valued and makes them always want to produce at a higher level.

HOW TO REACH: Plex Systems Inc.,