Becoming a CEO Peer in The B.E.S.T. Group
If you would like to be considered for a future opening in one of the B.E.S.T. Groups visit Our Selection Process page. There you will find the minimum critiera to be considered for a postion in one of The B.E.S.T. Groups as well as our Selection Process and Selection Factors. If, after familiarizing yourself with our process and criteria, you would like to learn more and/or be considered for a future opening give us a call. You can reach us at:

Phone: 858.385.9360

Fax: 858.385.9366

Mailing Address:

17636 Cumana Terrace
San Diego, CA 92128


We look forward to talking with you.

About The B.E.S.T. Groups

The BEST Group is a highly selective, confidential, CEO peer advisory group made up of San Diego County CEOs, company Presidents, and business owners.

Unlike many other peer advisory groups, the Best Group is truly selective and follows a strict selection process developed over 50 years of learning regarding what the very highest performing groups do worldwide.

Hello. I’m Joe Phillips, Founder & Chairman of the Best Group. I’m often asked why I started the Best Group at this point in my life. Here’s the bottom line:

After 23 years in the trenches, running businesses all over the world doing from a few million in sales to a billion; and mostly turnaround situations, I realized that many business leaders like me were making decisions in isolation and often getting it wrong. If we were able to share our experiences and knowledge, be a sounding board and challenge each other’s thinking, we could shorten our learning curve and improve our success ratio tremendously.

I realized that now is the time to give back. Now is the time to share my wealth of knowledge and experiences to help others avoid some of the mistakes I made. So I decided the next phase of my career would be doing what I enjoyed most while running these businesses; helping others to develop their leadership skills and be more successful. It was clear that CEO/business owners were the perfect group of people for me to mentor.

But I knew I couldn’t work with just any CEO/business owner, they would need to be serious about improving themselves and their businesses and wanting to make a difference in the community. As a result, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about and developing the selection process for my groups. I needed to treat it like a critical hire for one of the businesses I ran. For we all know how disruptive and costly it is to fill an open position with the wrong person. The same thing is true here. So first off I developed a position description with absolute and preferred requirements. This has been modified over the years as I see what personalities, styles and experiences works best. You can see the details on the selection page.

I decided that bringing together a high performing CEO/business owner group would be a very fulfilling and effective way to give back. But I knew from my experience and the time I spent in other groups that to do this successfully would not be easy. There were many CEO groups out there, but only a few groups were high performing and highly successful.

My background as a CEO and 23 years running significant businesses was essential for becoming a chairman for a group. Because I found most high performing groups had chairmen who had first hand experiences of running businesses like the CEOs and business owners they mentored. They had “walked in their moccasins for a while” and knew what it was like.

A few other key learnings were to be highly selective, focus on issue processing, and keep meetings to half days. Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great”, talks about getting the right people on the bus. The same is true for CEO groups. Every person that is invited into the group should be interviewed with the same scrutiny that one would give a key hire for their organization. Each new CEO needs to bring unique experiences and skills to complement that which exist already as opposed to filling an opening.

The power of the group is issue processing. The majority of the time the group is together should be spent discussing real issues and challenges that the CEOs face or will face shortly. It’s best to have a sounding board of local peers that are invested in your business and you; a group of people who know your weaknesses and strengths and are willing to give you brutally honest feedback.

Warmest Regards ,

P.S. As a result, those CEOs selected for The B.E.S.T. Groups get results. Here is a small sampling of what some of our CEOs have shared about their results:

  • I was about to go bankrupt , but thankfully through multiple meetings with the group and their wise counsel and support my business has been saved. Ron Cervi
  • Increased my profits by $1.1 million in sixteen months as a direct result of working with Joe and The B.E.S.T. Groups. Rod Chambers
  • Gave me the courage and tactics to buy the business I was running. Ellen Myers
  • Helped develop cash flow management practices that increased interest earnings on cash flow by more than $20,000. Tim Going
  • Identified ways for me to reduce cost by 20% without layoffs. Rod Chambers
  • Helped me to save my business and improve cash flow through strategically selling some of my assets while retaining others.  I would have made different decisions with disastrous results.  Instead I have my business intact. Ron Cervi
  • Increased my cash flow significantly by following the suggestions of the group; to manage my international operations differently. Mike Schleyhahn

  • Helped me to keep my business afloat during and after my top 6 revenue generating key people left my company and took a lot of my propriety records.  Jay Diskin
  • Helped me keep a talented key employee by pointing out how I could restructure my businesses key roles. Simon Warner
  • When I sold my business , the group helped me get through an extremely difficult negotiation while reducing the scope and length of the non-compete part of the agreement.  James Kernan

  • Helped me to take charge of my business from a global perspective, offered options that I didn’t realize existed, help me see that my priorities were misaligned, and mentored me through a personnel issue that could have killed our business and turned it into a real positive for our growth and customer development. David Giorgi
  • Helped me clarify my growth strategy and target areas allowing me to be more focused and effective with market penetration. Braden Wasserman
  • Opened my eyes and helped me to add a sales person which we never had in our ten years of existance. I was opposed to paying the kind of money necessary since we had grown the business very successfully by word of mouth, through referrals, and by giving great performance. After three months, I’m already seeing the benefit and considering adding another sales person on the East Coast. Gilbert Lam
  • Gave me guidance on the development of an executive compensation and retention plan that included allowing four of my key staff to acquire a piece of the business. Ted Baker
  • Helped me with an organizational change that made better use of one of my key staff and got him highly motivated. Tom Carter
  • Helped me realize it was time to pull the trigger on a difficult personnel move that was costing me a lot with little in return. Ellen Myers
  • I leave every meeting with a list of ideas and suggestions to help my business and improve my bottom line. Rick Woolsey
  • Helped me to develop a successful strategy to combat an attack on 40% of our revenue from the largest manufacturer in our industry. Mike Teresso
  • Supported my decision to open a new division in Reno during the worst of times to take advantage of market turmoil. That division moved into the black in three month and now is my most profitable one. Rod Chambers
  • Got me to develop a cash flow analysis report on a bi-weekly basis. It was invaluable in letting me see our process deficiencies and lead to improvements that yielded close to $1 million in extra cash. Greg Hammond
  • Pointed out a significant trend in my business that I hadn’t recognized allowing me time to implement changes to grow our market share. Mike Nicholson
  • Recommended a number of marketing and sales initiatives for our Super Camp program that grew our bookings by 50 %. Mark Reardon


The BEST Group is about excellence in everything we do. Where excellence is caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possibly.

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
Vince Lombardi

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

We found that the most exciting environments, that treated people very well, are also tough as nails. There is no bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo... excellent companies provide two things simultaneously: tough environments and very supportive environments.
Tom Peters


To learn more about The B.E.S.T. Groups click here.

If you would like to be considered for a future opening in The B.E.S.T. Group click here to learn about our Selection Process and the next steps for those who qualify.

Click here to return to the top of the page.