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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Susan Smederovac-Wilcox


The Herb Box Restaurants and Events

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Founded: 1995

Industry: Hospitality

Susan Smederovac-Wilcox starts each day with an hour of learning and research. The topics usually consist of food trends, fashion, technology, sports nutrition and business. It’s how she stays relevant in her role as CEO of the Herb Box Restaurants and Events.

“Remaining relevant is like going up a down escalator,” she said. “There is no standing still. The learning never ends. There are no breaks. It suits my endlessly curious personality to move, learn and grow so while some find it daunting, I find it exhilarating.

“It’s like planting little seeds of thoughts and ideas and the ones that grow in my mind are the ones that usually get implemented or slated for future research.”   

Smederovac-Wilcox started her catering business with the goal of providing elevated culinary services to people across the Phoenix area. Since 1995, The Herb Box has continued to grow and has become a three-tiered business encompassing two restaurant concepts, a bistro market and a full-service catering company. Smederovac-Wilcox is also the founder and CEO of Pivot Culinary, a nutrition contract management company that specializes in managing culinary contracts for professional sports teams.  

At the age of 21, Smederovac-Wilcox started her first business, selling art for struggling artists in Los Angeles, where she had a side hustle as a hostess at a restaurant called Pier View Cafe in Malibu. She quickly became interested in helping to plan events at the private space above the bustling restaurant where she learned the art of entertaining and discretion.  

She left Los Angeles for Scottsdale, and while working for a local restaurant and attending Arizona State University, she launched what would become The Herb Box Catering and Events. 

The Herb Box Restaurants have plans to expand to two more locations in Arizona within the next five years. The company with the largest growth will be Pivot Culinary, which is poised to exceed all other company revenue by 2025. “Professional athletes and teams have been eating with The Herb Box for years, so much so that we created a separate company just to help feed them on- or off-season, at home or on the road and anywhere in the United States,” the company said.  

Smederovac-Wilcox has attended and funded hundreds of charity events in her 27 years in business. Whether it’s attending a philanthropic event, mentoring colleagues or going on the road with a sports team, Smederovac-Wilcox aims to remain focused on the job in front of her. 

“While I am at one of my restaurants, at an event for a client or on the road with one of our sports teams, I try to stay present in that moment so I can give 100% of myself to the task at hand,” Smederovac-Wilcox said. “Whether it is guidance, coaching or leadership my staff will get my full attention. The CEO job requires quiet time and time to think. I also take this time very seriously and it is done at my home office. I have found that if I give each area my full attention, then I am more focused and more gets accomplished.” 


Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

Did you know?

Ran with the bulls in SpainRan and completed 6 Los Angeles MarathonsCompeted in a fitness bikini competition at 47


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