In October of 2018, a group of Vistage Chairs independently put together a ChairVoice Survey to get input from the Chairs on a number of Vistage related topics.  115 Chairs responded, with respective tenures as follows:

  • 50% had been with Vistage for at least 15 years.
  • 71% had been with Vistage for at least 11 years.
  • 90% had been with Vistage for at least 6 years.

A number of topics were covered, including whether Chairs trust Vistage Leadership and CEO Sam Reese.  See the details below:


Q:  On balance, does San Diego leadership create a climate of trust?

A:  Results are as follows:

  • Yes…….11.9%
  • No……..74.3%
  • Other….13.8%


Here are Some of the More Interesting Comments:

  • As a PE (Private Equity) owned firm their goals are clear; Top Line and Profitability Growth – we are a conveyance to that end.
  • They used to. These days they seem to be out for their private equity bonuses that come upon sale.
  • Never thought it would get so bad as it has under Sam (Reese).
  • It has gotten much much worse under Sam (Reese).
  • Our objectives are at cross purposes.
  • The only good news is it can’t get much lower. Personal opinion is it’s beyond repair. And I’m being polite.
  • I’m concerned that the affects of high debt service will cascade negatively into other areas of the business.
  • Past alignment between Chairs and corporate has definitely, significantly reduced.
  • Quite the opposite. HQ is disrespectful to chairs and speakers. They treat us like we are clerical employees who work for them at their pleasure.
  • Their actions all seem focused on revenue increase and cost reduction. Feel like they operate from a “shoot the messenger” platform.
  • I have lost total trust. Will not communicate directly with them any longer.
  • On the contrary, it creates a climate distrust.
  • The relationship has deteriorated to a “we/they”… they say they see us as “partners” – but the relationship is not one of partners
  • Speaker & member advisory committees are no longer used, I believe. Speaker changes have been a loss of many of those resources.
  • Too many decisions seemingly made without any input from chairs.
  • Hard to trust when the invisible is kept invisible on so many different things. For instance… What do think they email my members?
  • As a first act of the new owner to reward chairs based on seniority and not merit was a bad start. Seniority is for unions not capitalists. Maybe rewarding chairs in standard might have made a little more sense?
  • Seems to be declining recent yrs.
  • Not as far as I can throw them.
  • On an individual level, I believe there are those who are working on this, but as an ELT, I don’t think they are doing nearly enough to address the losses of trust that have occurred in the past and that haven’t been healed.
  • Absolutely not. If anything, an absent of trust.
  • Executives have lied to chairs and members many many times in last few years.
  • My new regional executive seems more worried about having to answer to questions from Corporate than advocating for or understanding me.
  • 1) Former Vistage VP who was going to fire a 30 year Chair for an email posted on Chairnet. 2) Treatment of speakers by Eamon Gallagher. 3) Freezing payment increases for speakers seemingly done to preserve cash during the sale. 4) Commitment to help fill existing groups not done. 5) In many instances not listening to regional Chairs input regarding VES planning.
  • No. The staff members are all scared shitless.
  • Seem to lack understanding of leadership vs. management
  • Trust is built on behaviors of listening, vulnerability and share purpose. Need I say more…