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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Mike Vaughan The Regis Company

Mike Vaughan

Chief Executive Officer

The Regis Company

Location: Golden

Founded: 2003

Industry: Education

Mike Vaughan was not a great student, but more specifically, he was not a great test taker. As a result, he was labeled remedial and put into special classes, further exasperating his hate for school. These limitations of the educational system fueled Vaughan’s desire to learn about and change education.

Vaughan pursued several degrees to understand the brain, which led to an area of research called mental models. “Mental models are the lenses through which people see the world and everything in it,” he said. “They bring meaning to an event, fill in gaps when information is missing and influence how individuals feel and react to others.”

It soon became Vaughan’s lifetime journey to help people surface limiting beliefs and learn new and more productive ways of thinking. He launched the first learning management company in 1995 and a learning content management company in 1998, learning about simulations. The research on the efficacy of simulations is extensive, which led Vaughan to launch The Regis Company.

With over 20 years of business in the industry, The Regis Company understands that in the world of Learning & Development, real experience now reigns supreme over just more content. The firm’s human-centered, AI-supported practice-based learning is crafted to redefine experiential learning for the enterprise sector, merging technological sophistication with a deep understanding of human learning needs.

When COVID-19 struck the U.S. market, Regis suffered a massive loss, with over 60% of its revenue disappearing in just three weeks. Vaughan played a pivotal role in steering the company through the crisis and led its transformation into a Software as a Service (SaaS) business. This transformation included establishing new teams for development, customer success, support and sales/marketing. In addition, Regis launched SimGate.

“These achievements make Mike a standout leader in the training industry,” said his staff. “With 28 years in the learning industry, Mike is recognized as a thought leader, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, AI and simulations.”

To serve and help shape the learning industry, Vaughan launched The Thinking Effect, a free resource aimed at helping learning professionals utilize AI tools to advance their careers. He is the author of “The End of Training” and “The Thinking Effect” and delivered a TED Talk titled “The Power of Questions.”

As a leader, Vaughan said his ability to listen and synthesize disparate pieces of information quickly has been an asset, but he also attributes his success to his mentors. “Seek guidance from a variety of mentors instead of attempting to solve everything on your own,” advises Vaughan.

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Listening and synthesizing disparate pieces of information quickly


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