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Bethlehem exec named to top CEO list by international business website

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A Bethlehem CEO has been named among the top-ranked executives by a web-based business insights platform that venture capitalists and other business professionals use to make investment decisions.

Owler, which has more than 1 million community members, has named Bill Kirk, CEO and co-founder of Weather Trends International Inc., as the No. 17 CEO in the tech industry and No. 32 overall out of 167,000 CEOs that it ranked.

This international recognition isn’t the first honor the Bethlehem firm has received. It recently ranked fifth-most promising company in America by Forbes Magazine.

Kirk said the CEO ranking came as a total surprise.

“I had no idea they were looking at us,” he said. “It was exciting to be ranked among such great companies.”

CEOs of companies ranging from Google and Netflix to M&T Bank and Wegmans were included on the list.

Winners hail from 25 industries worldwide. The other Pennsylvania CEOs to make the list were Timothy Donahue of Crown Holdings in Philadelphia at No. 274 and University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, who ranked No. 965.

“The 2017 Owler Top Rated CEO Awards are a true market view of the most esteemed CEOs,” Jim Fowler, CEO at Owler, said in a press release. “These [1,000] winners … beat out the other 99.4 percent of leaders on our platform.”

This is the first time the roughly 3-year old California-based Owler has honored the top rated CEOs on the platform.

It explained that the CEOs are rated independently by members of the Owler Community. Owler analyzed those ratings, ultimately distributing 1,000 awards to the highest-rated CEOs.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Reporter Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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