What’s Next in Business Growth: Marissa Levin, CEO of Successful Culture International

 August 2020: A Note from Hope & Cynthia — We welcome Marissa Levin, CEO of Successful Culture International, which since 2012 has helped leaders master three critical aspects of business growth: leadership development, strategy formulation & execution, and organizational culture assessment and improvement.

“We apply a proprietary Culture Development Lifecycle to move organizations to their desired state, and help leaders reach their greatest personal and organizational potential,” explains Marissa, a former Chapter Chair for the Women’s Presidents Organization. “I have personally overcome every business challenge my clients have faced, so I’m able to help guide leaders through change.”

In 2017, her firm partnered with PeopleTactics, a national leader in strategic HR consulting, and now also helps emerging companies define their corporate cultures to attract, hire, and retain top talent. Also that year, Marissa co-founded Women’s CEO Roundtable, a year-long program for women business owners committed to scaling beyond $1 million in revenue.

“I have been an entrepreneur for 27 years, and my companies follow my success of growing Information Experts to $14 million before exiting in 2012,” she explains.

Awards that Marissa has received for her work are numerous. She was named one of the Top 100 Technology Titans by Washingtonian magazine, featured in the Washington Business Journal‘s “Women Who Mean Business” issue, and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

For several yeas, she was also the co-host and regional small business expert on ABC’s “Washington Business Report” with the show’s anchor Rebecca Cooper, as shown in the picture below.

Marissa’s books include:

She also writes a leadership column for Inc. magazine, and co-hosts The Culture Podcast, which teaches CEOs, leaders and employees to create exceptional work environments, and adapt to external shifts that impact organizational cultures.

Stay tuned for our interview! From Marissa’s firsthand experience, we’ll learn how her multimillion-dollar business pivoted seven times in response to market shifts — and how more leaders will need to do so in the coming months and years.

Scroll down to read her answers to our four big questions abut What’s Next in Business Growth during and after the pandemic. And stay tuned for our video and podcast interviews with this Inkandescent woman. 

What’s Next: 4 Questions for Marissa Levin

1. Hope & Cynthia: Tell us about your business / industry and where it was before the pandemic hit in March 2020. 

Marissa: My two businesses have been playing out in unique ways.

At Successful Culture International, we were doing a lot of in-person consulting. Now, our services have moved to 100% online. In fact, we are teaching courses that are relevant to where we are today as a society, so I feel good about that.

At Women’s CEO Roundtable, we were also delivering in-person programs throughout Loudoun County, VA. Because we were working so locally, we had a very limited reach. Now that we are working online, our plan for 2021 is to expand nationally.

2. Hope & Cynthia: Where were you personally in your life when COVID-19 arrived in the US? What were your short and long-term goals at that time? 

Marissa: I was always moving, grinding, hustling. From sun up to sun down. Relentless. I have completely slowed down, have gone much deeper with my spiritual practices, and have achieved a much higher level of consciousness. Best of all, I now spend a lot of time in nature.

3. Hope & Cynthia: What are your thoughts now about your industry, your business, your personal life, your heart?

Marissa: I am in such a great place and feel so good about the work we are doing, the impact we are making in our companies. On a personal level, my dharma (my soul purpose) is a healer. I have been able to bring so much light and healing to so many who are suffering through my company work but also through my individual work.

4. Hope & Cynthia: Now the big question — What do you see coming next? 


  • For your industry and company: SCI: Culture is more important now than ever before. It is more important now than ever before that leaders consistently articulate their company’s values and purpose so employees feel connected and that they are on the right path. It is important now than ever that leaders know how to communicate with emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion, and to be able to be adaptable, and be in touch with their own grit and resilience. They must know how to constructively communicate and build safe environments. This is all the work we do. Women’s CEO Roundtable:  Now more than ever, leaders need their tribe – their communities. Connecting with others from around the country or world has never been easier. This is the first time in history that the entire world is going through a shift of this magnitude together. In many ways we have never been so connected, and the world has never been so small. So to bring people together in  a safe, supportive community that teaches women how to step into their power and fulfill their dreams/visions is such an honor.
  • For yourself: More stepping into my light – my voice – to guide others along their paths, and to create what I call Sacred Spaces for those that I am helping/healing both professionally and personally.
  • For the country: I feel we will rise again stronger than ever. I have tremendous faith in our country and in the generations coming up – perhaps because I have two sons (20 and 23) that are committed to re-building a world based on love, compassion, and tolerance.
  • For the world: I hope we will have an even greater appreciation for other cultures, countries, and traditions. We’ve never been restricted from other parts of the world before. I can’t wait to be able to travel again. I for one will never take that for granted again.
  • For women: Oh baby. We are just getting started!