About Stephanie Olexa, PhD, MBA

Stephanie Olexa, Lead to the Future President

I founded Lead to the Future in 2011 because I’ve experienced, first hand, the importance and the challenges of creating a sustainable, privately-held business.

Early in my career, I founded Benchmark Analytics, an environmental and Good Laboratory Practices testing laboratory. During the course of the 20 years I spent with this company, we grew the business from a start-up to a multi-million-dollar global business. When Benchmark Analytics was acquired by a successor company, Benchmark Water Monitoring Inc., I became the president and CEO of the new company, and we acquired two additional companies and merged them into a unified network. Throughout that time, I worked to develop leaders and establish business structures that could continue our success, no matter how the business climate or company circumstances changed.

Today, I help privately-held and family-owned businesses develop, evolve, and grow. I work with them to create business professionalization, shareholder commitment, succession planning, and fully engaged governance. I’ve coached leaders and teams through transitions and dramatic business growth. And I’ve written three books on leadership, governance, and executive coaching.


  • National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow & Leadership Fellow
  • OCEG Certified in Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) and Audit (CRCA)
  • Equity Compensation Associate (Santa Clara University)
  • Certificate in Family Business Advising from Family Firm Institute
  • Certificate in Six Sigma (Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA)
  • Certificate in Leadership Coaching (Georgetown University, Washington, DC)
  • MS and PhD in Biochemistry (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA)
  • MBA in Finance (Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA)
  • BS in Biological Sciences (Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA)


  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • Private Directors Association
  • Society of Corporate governance
  • The ESOP Association
  • Delaware Crossing Angel Investors
  • Lehigh Valley Investors, Co-Founder
  • International Coach Federation
  • National Association of Corporate Directors


  • Board of Directors, Elk Lake Capital
  • Advisory Board, Allentown Economic Development Center
  • Board of Directors, Bamco, Inc.


  • Adjunct Professor at the Lehigh University Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation


  • Board of Directors, Benchmark Water Monitoring, Inc.
  • Board of Advisors, Arcetrip, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Technical Vision, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Dynalene, Inc.
  • Lehigh University Visiting Committee for the Biology and Environmental Studies Dept.
  • Board of Directors, HDW Electronics, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Northhampton County Development Corporation
  • Advisory Board, Ben Franklin Technology Center
  • Board of Directors, American Industrial Hygiene Association, Finance Committee
  • Board of Directors, Small Business Development Center
  • Board of Directors, PermeGear, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Manufacturers’ Resource Center, Executive and Personnel Committees, Chair Governor’s Appointment, Laboratory Accreditation Advisory Committee, Chair
  • Alumnae Board of Advisors, Chestnut Hill College
  • Board of Advisors, Allentown Art Museum
  • Board of Directors, Workforce Investment Board
  • Board of Directors, Center for Vision Loss, Executive, Personnel and Finance Committees