Cover Story

Michael Vann

Age 33. President and CEO, The Vann Group, LLC

Michael Vann has a few diverse interests.

He is politically minded, and has a background as an intern for both U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and U.S. Sen. John Kerry. He’s also a history buff, with particular interests in the leaders of the American Revolution and the Civil War. “Every generation has some dominant personalities,” he said. “If you’re looking at Colonial times up to the Civil War, they are the political leaders, and afterward it shifted to business people. I think that’s still the case, but who are business leaders emulating? I think it’s the politicians of years past.”

There was a time when he mulled a career in politics inspired by those leaders he’d read about and admired. But early in his adult life, Vann recognized that his passion was building companies. At 33, he is the president and CEO of The Vann Group, a strategic advisory firm that assists owners and their management teams in establishing, operating, growing, and divesting a business. He joined the company, founded by his father, Kevin Vann, in 1999, after working with a Fortune 500 company doing similar work in Washington, D.C.

“I was tired of the D.C. costs and traffic,” he said, “and I came home for the quality of life.”

Since then, Vann has built a name for himself as a strategic consultant with an international presence. He balances that success with a deep commitment to family (“my dad is one of my closest friends”) and community, which includes coaching a Little League baseball team and serving on the board of the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club.

“I firmly believe that business leaders must be involved individuals, within and beyond their own companies,” he said.

Of his work, Vann said it’s unique because it allows him to work with several different kinds of companies, from those that are growing rapidly to those in crisis to those that have peaked and need a fresh perspective. It’s also a good fit for his tactical mind.

“Even in college, I was always thinking strategically and for the long-term, and I love doing that for clients. In the future, I hope to acquire companies in order to help them build — not on the operational side, but as an advisor, through strategic planning,” he said. “It’s what I’m good at.”