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Local leader named to the Business Transformation 150 list

Jewelers Mutual’s CIO John Kreul recognized as an executive leading business transformation efforts around the globe

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July 12, 2023

NEENAH – When John Kreul attended college for business administration at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he said focusing on both IT (information technology) and human resources was a very intentional move on his part.

Kreul, the chief information officer (CIO) at Jewelers Mutual® Group – the Neenah-based insurance and business solutions provider dedicated to the jewelry industry – said he’s always been fascinated with how technology and people work together.

“One of the things that was probably a non-traditional path back when I graduated was, I focused and got schooling on technology and human resources,” he said. “So, I’ve incorporated that into everything I do, (especially) with all this digital change going on.”

Working for a variety of companies throughout the Midwest, Kreul said he’s held positions in both sectors, which oftentimes overlapped.

Since assuming the role of CIO with Jewelers Mutual in late 2021, Kreul said he has worked to set the vision for Jewelers Mutual’s future by embracing technology-led innovations that enhance the customer experience. 

“I’m a business leader that works and focuses on IT,” he said. So, I’m accountable for all the IT and digital services for our company – almost all our business channels are enabled by data and technology.”

Kreul’s focus on “driving the Jewelers Mutual’s digital future” recently got him recognized nationally – being named to Constellation Research’s 2024 Business Transformation 150 (BT150), a list of executives leading business transformation efforts around the globe. 

“I am immensely grateful to be recognized for my role in steering our company’s digital future,” he said.

Kreul, however, was quick to point out that though he was individually recognized, the effort “reflects the hard work and collective dedication of our talented team.”

“Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and shape a transformative digital landscape for our organization,” he said.

More about the BT150
The BT150 list is compiled by Constellation Research – a technology research and advisory firm based in Silicon Valley.

The list recognizes influential executives across a variety of industries – including entertainment, financial services, health care, higher education, pharmaceuticals, public sector, retail and sports.

R “Ray” Wang, founder and CEO at Constellation Research, said this year’s list highlights the increasing importance of digital leaders who prioritize stakeholder and shareholder interests, embodying the principles they champion.

“In the year of extreme efficiency, these organizations and their leaders have balanced the need for business transformation and optimization,” Wang said. “The BT150 are the most resilient, skilled and successful leaders in leading large-scale change. We’re excited to see a diversity of industries, projects, and roles in this year’s winners.”

John Kreul, front, and the entire technology team at Jewelers Mutual participated in a Feeding America event earlier this summer. Submitted Photo

Dion Hinchcliffe, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said this year’s BT150 reflects the “momentous trends in the market, from the challenges of navigating economic turmoil to the surge in interest in artificial intelligence.”

“These digital leaders are stand-out exemplars of innovation, an effective digital mindset and the ability to guide organizations through uncertain times,” he said.

Kreul said this is the second time he’s made the BT150.

“This time I am on the list because I spent a little time with Ray and talked to him about our business strategies – which are very customer-focused, have frictionless and personalized customer experiences, using data and analytics to drive value for our customers. We are focusing on ways to digitize our whole business and the products and services we offer from Jewelers Mutual,” he said. “Ray thought it was an unbelievable digital transformation we were going through and said he felt it was really special.”

Kreul said as a BT150 member, he will be recognized at Constellation’s Flagship Executive Innovation Summit in Half Moon Bay at The Ritz-Carlton this fall.

“They get everybody together and we’ll discuss a bunch of relevant topics in the space, get to meet with other people on the list and share experiences and help each other,” he said.

The full BT150 list can be found at,

A digital future
Kreul said he thinks the BT150 list is important because “this is the next level of disruption for our country and the world.”

“Going from the steam engine to the computer to the internet to now digital and AI – it is the new way of doing business,” he said. “We are going through major disruption in the world and leading through this change is both very fulfilling and very challenging. I appreciate being recognized for helping move things forward.’”

Kreul said it is often a topic of discussion internally at Jewelers Mutual that “the world is moving a lot faster than we are.”

“We have to really think about how we can digitize, adjust and be customer-focused on what our customers need and want,” he said. “Especially with the next generation – it’s all linked to digital products and services. If we want to be relevant for another 110 years, we will need a robust portfolio of products and services enabled by digital capabilities.”

Kreul said promoting the importance of moving digital forward in Northeastern Wisconsin is very important to him.

We need to invest in digital talent and leverage digital technologies across all our businesses in Northeast Wisconsin, otherwise, we will be at a disadvantage,” he said.

As a member of the New North, Inc. Board of Directors, Kreul said it is a discussion he’s had often when talking about supporting the area for future growth.

“Embracing technology and leading with a digital-first mindset will help our region become more viable and attract needed talent,” he said.

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