About The CFO Network

Our Mission

The CFO Network's mission is to help our members and their teams to grow and succeed.

We believe in the power of peer networks to help smart leaders who are committed to continuous learning and improvement to accelerate growth, improve profitability and avoid mistakes by sharing benchmarks, best practices, lessons learned, advice and insights.

We also believe in the power of free markets. We believe that free-market capitalism has done more to create jobs and prosperity—and ensure democratic freedoms—than any other force in history.

We feel honored to serve the leaders and stewards of these free-market enterprises. CEOs and senior business leaders face a multitude of challenges and opportunities, and the vast majority care deeply about their employees, customers and communities. By helping CFOs and other business leaders take their companies to the next level, we help you cure, feed, entertain and improve the lives of billions of customers, and create jobs and opportunities for millions of employees.

Our History

Throughout the 1980s, after leading numerous CEO groups, organizational expert Dr. Ronald E. Wiley came to the realization that executive effectiveness was dramatically improved in those rare cases when CEOs met with industry peers. Wiley recognized that industry focus gave CEOs not only outside perspective, but also specific, actionable ideas based on directly relevant, real-world experience. Chief Executive Network (CEN) was launched by Wiley on this principal in 1990.

In 1994, then-CEN member Bob Grabill took over the reins of CEN and professionalized the organization. Bob Grabill grew the network substantially and introduced the Senior Executive Network (SEN) for the direct reports of CEN members.

Fast forward to 2012, CEN became part of the Chief Executive Group (CEG), the leading provider of information and insights to America’s CEOs, senior executives and board members. CEG was established in 1977 and publishes award winning Chief Executive and Corporate Board Member magazines in addition to producing newsletters, research, training, events and data products for CEOs, senior executives and board members of America’s enterprise, middle-market and emerging companies.

Since then, Chief and Senior Executive Networks have conducted over 500 membership meetings and conferences, resulting in billions of dollars of value creation for members.

Chief Executive Network and Senior Executive Network are today composed of over 550 members spanning a variety of industries. The Chief and Senior Executive Networks employ over 20 facilitators who average over 20 years of business expertise and are personally chosen for their professional facilitation skills. The result: a dramatically accelerated learning curve for member CEOs and their organizations.


Wayne Cooper

Wayne is the Executive Chairman of Chief Executive Group, LLC, which publishes Chief Executive magazine and produces ChiefExecutive.net, events, and research. He is also the CEO of the Chief Executive Network.

Wayne is an experienced CEO and entrepreneur. Prior to his involvement with the Chief Executive Group, he was the Chairman and CEO of Kennedy Information. He and his team have also transformed the Institute of Finance and Management, Pyramid Research and Media Publishing International. He was also the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Vizeum, a web-marketing services company.

Wayne has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Stanford University.

Rob Grabill

As President, Rob is responsible for supporting the existing CEN member base and growing the Network with high-caliber, high-achievement new members.

In addition to helping set the direction of the organization, Rob is skilled in sales management, meeting facilitation, contract negotiations, public speaking, social media and executive memory skills.

Rob has held positions of increasing responsibility with CEN. He began in 2003 as Meeting Manager, was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing (2004) and then to Director of Sales & Operations (2007). He became VP of Operations in 2009, COO in 2012, and was promoted again in 2015 to his current position.

Rob has a degree in Economics from Southern Methodist University and lives in Kansas City, MO.

Chuck Smith

Executive Director

Chuck is Executive Director of Chief and Senior Executive Networks and responsible for new member development and member satisfaction.

Prior to joining the network, Chuck was a member of CEN for 5 years, as founder and President of NewHire. While leading NewHire, Chuck helped more than 2,000 companies create more effective and efficient recruiting processes. Chuck has been a featured speaker for business and industry on a variety of talent and leadership topics.

Chuck holds a BA in American Literature and Religion from the George Washington University and an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

JoEllen Belcher

Director of Operations

JoEllen is an expert in meeting planning and membership operations. She began her career with CEN as a Project Coordinator before being promoted to Meeting and Conference Manager.

JoEllen has a BA from the University of Kansas. She holds the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation from the Events Industry Council.

Janine O'Dowd

Membership and Marketing Director

As Membership Director, Janine is responsible for identifying top-notch CEOs and leaders who would qualify for membership and provide exceptional value to their group meetings as well as the entire membership base.

Janine is a senior marketing executive with 15+ years of experience in direct email and digital marketing, event planning, social media marketing and database building. Prior to joining Chief Executive Network in 2016, Janine was the VP of Marketing at Money-Media, a Financial Times Company.

Janine has a B.S. in Marketing from Quinnipiac University.