Charles M. Leighton
1993: Chief executive of CML Group of Acton, No. 1 in 1993, which controlled NordicTrack fitness gear, Boston Whaler boats, and specialty retailers Smith & Hawken and Nature Co.
Now: Executive director of the 37,000-member US Sailing Association in Portsmouth, R.I., raising more than $2.5 million to support this summer's US Olympic sailing team in China. "I have the most wonderful job in the world: I'm being paid to do my hobby, and it's fun to give back," says Leighton, 73.
A former collegiate sailor, he gets in plenty of sailboat racing, serves on the board of Burlington's Lahey Clinic and Metropolitan Life, and recently clocked his 400,000th mile in his four-seat Cessna plane. Yes, he still works out every day on a NordicTrack and owns not one but two Boston Whalers. "Life is good," he says.