Finance & Insurance

HAROLD MILLS

CEO, VMD VENTURES, ORLANDO

Mills landed in Orlando in 2000 after working as a manager at General Electric and AT&T and joined ZeroChaos, then a small company that provided payroll processing and other back-office services to other companies. Mills transformed it into a global high-tech staffing company and took control of the firm in a 2004 management buyout. Under his leadership, ZeroChaos surpassed $3 billion in annual revenue and was recognized as one of the country’s largest black-owned business, with 800 employees managing 100,000 workers in dozens of countries.

The Snow Phipps Group, a New York private equity firm, acquired the company for $200 million in 2011. Mills stepped down as CEO in 2016 and started VMD Ventures to focus on enabling other aspiring entrepreneurs. “It is a platform to invest in leaders that create technologies and tech-enabled services that fundamentally change or create new market spaces,” he says.

Mills grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where his mother worked in a hospital and his stepfather worked in a foundry. In middle school, he decided he wanted to go to the local prep school and talked his way into a partial scholarship, according to a 2008 profile in the Orlando Sentinel. By the time he was 16, he was interning at GM. He says he had dreams of one day becoming a surgeon — “if only I could have tolerated school that long.” He ended up getting a finance degree from Purdue University — he met his future wife, Rosy, during freshman orientation — and eventually earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard.

Mills launched his career at General Electric in the company’s fast-track management program. He went on to become a general manager of one of AT&T’s emerging technology business units before joining ZeroChaos. He serves on the board of GuideWell and Florida Blue, Rollins College, the University of Central Florida, the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center and LIFT Orlando, which is transforming one of the worst ZIP codes in Florida through more than $120 million investments in housing, education, health and economic development.

He also serves on the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. He previously served as a board member for the Florida Council of 100, Florida A&M University and the Jacksonville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He resides in Orlando with his wife and three children.

RESOLUTION KEPT At least one random act of kindness each day. So far that has included providing a meal to a homeless man, to giving someone an umbrella, to an unexpected call to say thank you, among others.
FAVORITE VACATION Dude ranch in Colorado with my family. From riding horses for eight hours every day through the mountain terrain, to camp fires at night, to retrieving eggs from the hen house, the simplicity of no access to cell phones and enjoying nature was awesome.
FAVORITE PART OF LEADERSHIP The impact I have on people’s lives. I treat everyone I work with appreciating the number of dinner plates at each of my employee’s tables I am responsible for every day.
STAYING FIT Primarily through yoga, Peloton and the gym. I’ve found meditation is the best anchor and start to every day.

“I have been blessed to have had an amazing career in corporate and as an entrepreneur. The journey has taught me the value of innovation and continuous reinvention, but most importantly the value of the people and their passion and their willingness to believe in a vision alongside of me.”

Fabiola Brumley

Bank of America

Trevor Burgess

Neptune Flood

Kevin Burgoyne

Florida Venture Forum

Locke Burt

Security First Insurance

Timothy Cartwright

Fifth Avenue Family Office

David Chitester

Seedfunders

Scott M. Coble

Wells Fargo

John Corbett

Centerstate Bank

KERRY DUSTIN

FALLS RIVER GROUP

Mike Fernandez

MBF Healthcare Partners

Ray Ferrara

ProVise Management Group

John Forney

UPC Insurance

John Fumagalli

Northern Trust

Pat Geraghty

Guidewell and Florida Blue

Barry Gilway

Citizens Property Insurance

Jorge J. Gonzalez

City National Bank

Drew Graham

Ballast Point Ventures

Keith Hoskins

Navy FCU

Dennis S. Hudson III

Seacoast Banking

KEVIN JOHNSON

SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION

Guy King III

M.E. Wilson

Rodger Krouse

Sun Capital Partners

Marc Leder

Sun Capital Partners

INEZ LONG

BLACK BUSINESS INVESTMENT FUND FLORIDA

Ian Mackechnie

Amscot Financial

Harold Mills

VMD Ventures

Michael Myhre

Florida SBDC Network

Gary Norcross

Fidelity National Information Services

Brian Philpot

AgAmerica Lending

Joy Randels

New Market Partners

Paul Reilly

Raymond James Financial

Garrett Richter

First Florida Integrity Bank

Robert Ritchie

American Integrity Insurance

Gene Schaefer

Bank of America

Bruce Sherman

Miami Marlins

Rajinder Singh

BankUnited

THOMAS SITTEMA

CONVERSUS

BILL SMITH

CAPITAL CITY BANK GROUP

James Tate

Tate Capital

Gary Tice

First Florida Integrity Bank

Mario Trueba

First Horizon

Jeff Vinik

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tom Wallace

Florida Funders

Will Weatherford

Weatherford Capital

Bill West

Bank of Tampa