Up & Comers - 2014
CEO, St. Vincent Health
First job after college: Worked for Junior Achievement of Kentucky.
Favorite leadership gurus: John Maxwell ("A leader just doesn't manage down, he manages up, down, left and right.") and Max De Pree ("Virtuous servant leadership").
At age 12, Jonathan Nalli started a lawn-mowing and landscaping business with his 10-year-old brother. Quality control was enforced by mom and dad.
"My parents used to go on walks through the neighborhood and critiqued our work," Nalli recalled. "It was instilled in us by our parents that we had to provide people with value."
The boys expanded the business--to nearly $350,000 in revenue by the time Nalli turned 20--selling it when he applied to the healthcare administration program as an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky.
In an eighth-grade English class, on a survey of career interests, Nalli checked a box for hospital administrator, and his career path changed. "I felt I could have an impact in being a hospital administrator," he said. "It just stuck and I never let go."
Again, his parents had indirect influence. "Their mentoring and their guidance was that you have to contribute and have an impact that is selfless." Nalli also said his older cousin Hugh Lavery, a senior vice president at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia, has been a career-long mentor.
Nalli was appointed in February to be CEO of Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health, a system with 22 hospitals and scores of clinics in 47 of Indiana's 92 counties, part of Ascension Health. He previously spent seven years as CEO of the two-hospital Porter Health System, a Valparaiso, Ind., affiliate of for-profit Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn.
During his tenure at Porter, Nalli oversaw the construction of a $210 million, 238-bed regional hospital that opened in 2012, replacing an aging and formerly county-owned hospital building in Valparaiso.
He also "syndicated the system with its physicians, developed a multispecialty physician group of primary-care and surgical providers, and led the hospital to its recognition as a Best Place to Work from 2011 to 2013 by Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly, said Dr. Mike Schatzlein, market leader for the Indiana and Tennessee ministries at Ascension, who nominated Nalli.
"Given his credentials," Schatzlein said, "we know St. Vincent Health has chosen the right person to lead it forward." --Joseph Conn