Scott J Wiley
Chief Executive Officer
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Industry: Agricultural Biotechnology
Scott Wiley’s entrepreneurial journey began in the public sector, when he co-founded a consortium of 14 cities and two county agencies to control pollutant runoff into San Francisco Bay. Unfunded and without legal authority to implement the program, Wiley won over elected officials and raised $30 million from public and private sector organizations to launch the program. Soon, the program became a model for meeting Clean Water Acts throughout the country.
Wiley then brought his entrepreneurial drive to the private sector, engaging in joint ventures with companies such as GE Capital and the First American Financial Corporation. He went on to lead merger and acquisition initiatives in the food and agricultural sectors before joining Growcentia as CEO in early 2020.
“He quickly applied his leadership abilities to this 5-year-old venture capital-backed company, driving it to achieve 65% revenue growth while maintaining industry-leading margins,” said his staff.
The agricultural biotechnology firm delivered 40% of revenue to the bottom line in 2020, under Wiley’s leadership. “Scott stands out for his 30-year entrepreneurial and leadership career and portfolio achievements in agriculture and food,” said his staff. “He has led two companies as CEO, one as president, another as COO, and was a senior executive with a Fortune 500 company and a Big Four advisory firm.”
First and foremost, Wiley is known for leading young entrepreneurial and privately-owned companies through challenging stages of their lifecycles. According to his staff, Wiley is most proud of bringing scientifically advanced, biological growing solutions to home gardeners, enabling people to participate in practices that will revolutionize agriculture.
According to Wiley, change is so dangerous, abrupt and disruptive that it calls for a command-and-control leadership style. “I must be quick to make decisions in the face of incomplete and ambiguous information,” said Wiley. “People in the organization want to know ‘what do we do now?’ and I need to have answers.”
When faced with change, such as strategic direction, Wiley said he adopts a more collaborative leadership style. “Including and involving diverse points of view is necessary to build a vision and mission that constituents can trust and own,” he said.
He leads with a humble approach, said his team. “Seek to learn and do it constantly, while approaching learning as a search for underlying truth, believing it exists,” said Wiley. “If you must say you are a leader, surely you are not. It is far more pleasant to instill humility in yourself than have someone do it for you.”
For his humble leadership and ability to lead by example, Wiley has been named a Titan of industry
Early in his career, Scott took a sabbatical from his employer and was the resident geographer for the American Express Geography Competition. To promote participation in the competition, Scott appeared on more than 30 television programs and was a weekly Friday Drive guest on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C.