Frequently asked questions
Q. Can anyone join the Trojan CEO Network?
A. No, the Trojan CEO Network is open to CEOs, Presidents, Executive Directors, and Founders affiliated with USC and is invite only.
Q. I received an invitation but I am not located in Los Angeles. Is membership open to CEOs located in other states or countries?
A. Yes, many of our members live in Northern California, outside of the state and even outside of the country. Some choose to fly in for events while others attend only the virtual webinars. Our forum groups are held over conference calls so that members have access to insight from other members regardless of their geographical location.
Q. I am thinking about starting a company. May I join the Trojan CEO Network?
A. No, membership is only open to CEOs, Presidents, Executive Directors, and Founders who have companies that already generate revenues.
Q. Are Trojan CEO members recent graduates or older graduates?
A. Trojan CEO Network membership is very diverse. Below is the composition of our membership by graduation year. For demographics by company size, revenues, and other parameters, please see the "About the Trojan CEO Network" page.
Members by Graduation Year:
Q. Is Trojan CEO Network affiliated with YPO?
A. TCN and YPO are not officially affiliated but a number of USC alumni who are YPO members helped launch the Trojan CEO Network and we appreciate their help and guidance tremendously. The Trojan CEO Network forum groups are modeled after YPO forum groups but have been modified to suit our members' needs.
Q. Who started the Trojan CEO Network? Is it affiliated with USC?
A. The Trojan CEO Network was launched by a USC MBA student, Elizabeth Amini, Tom O'Malia, the Director of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurship at USC's Marshall School of Business, and about 20 USC alumni and friends collectively called the Trojan CEO Network Founders' Circle. TCN started as a club within the Greif Center and has been spun off into a separate entity which, while separate, collaborates with the Greif Center for Entrepreneurship and USC. TCN will eventually be given to the Greif Center and they will need to decide at that point whether they would like to operate it as a separate entity or bring it back as a club.
Q. Do you share our contact information with USC Alumni groups?
A. No. Your information will not be shared with the USC alumni groups or development office. If, on your Trojan CEO Network application, you marked that you would be open to speaking in classes, we may share your email with professors who are looking for speakers. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you change your mind and do not want to be invited to speak in classes.
Q. Do all of your members come from USC Marshall?
A. Our members are from many different schools within USC as well as CEOs who are USC faculty or parents. Some of our members are Honorary Trojans, CEOs who did not attend USC but have consistently helped USC by speaking in classes and mentoring USC student.
Q. Are my dues tax-deductible?
A. Your dues won't be deductible as a donation since TCN is not a 501(c)3 but may be considered a business expense if appropriate. Ask your accountant about your specific situation.
Q. Does the Trojan CEO Network compete with YPO, EO, or Vistage?
A. No, we have very different functions and structures. For instance, in YPO members stay in their forum groups long term whereas in the Trojan CEO Network, members have to option to rotate in and out of forum groups annually as their company and goals change. Many of our members are YPO, EO, and Vistage members and remain part of their organizations and TCN. We consider TCN complementary to YPO, EO, Vistage, and other groups rather than replace.
Q. Do I need to leave the Trojan CEO Network within a certain amount of time after I sell my company if I decide not to start a new one?
A. No, once you are a TCN member, you may stay as long as you wish even if you sell your company. Our members will value the experience and insight you have as someone who operated and sold a company.
Q. I tried to add myself to the Trojan CEO Network Linked-in Group but am having trouble. What do I need to do?
A. Once you have applied, been accepted into the Trojan CEO Network, and paid dues you will be added to the Trojan CEO Network Linked-in Group. We cannot add people who have not applied to the Trojan CEO Network.
Q. Can employees of my company join the Trojan CEO Network? I'd like to bring my VP of Sales to the events.
A. No, the Trojan CEO Network is open to CEOs, Presidents, Executive Directors, and Founders only. TCN is designed to be a peer-learning group rather than a sales lead generation network. Most of our events are targeted for the CEO-level although occasionally we will have events in which you can bring your family if you wish.
Q. Can I join if I have started a non-profit organization?
A. Yes, Founders and Executive Directors of non-profits may join if they have received an invitation.
Q. How many people can each TCN member invite or nominate?
A. Each Trojan CEO Network member can invite three other CEOs, Executive Directors, or Founders per year to apply to the Trojan CEO Network.