The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.

Today’s Q&A feature is Justin Bayless, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bayless Integrated Healthcare. Justin is a native Phoenician who started accompanying his father, Dr. Michael Brad Bayless, to work from the time he was nine years old. Justin attended St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix and then matriculated to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia on a presidential scholarship where he graduated with academic merits such as Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Omicron Delta Kappa. After Morehouse, Justin continued his career in business with Morgan Stanley as an Investment Banker in New York City. Justin returned to work with Dr. Bayless in 2008 and served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer until being promoted to President and CEO in 2010. Under Justin’s leadership, Bayless Integrated Healthcare has pioneered the way to incorporating the most important healthcare services under one roof: primary care and behavioral health. While most patients have to patronize multiple locations for healthcare services, Bayless has created a proprietary model of wellness that incorporates addressing the mind and the body as equally important. As President and CEO, Justin continues to develop new value-based contractual relationships with diversified payer types including medicaid, medicare advantage, long-term care, employee assistance programs, workers’ compensation and commercial health plans while continuously expanding the Bayless service array, locations, and brand. Justin’s most redeeming quality is his penchant for challenging the status quo. Justin has been featured and recognized by the Arizona Republic as one of the top 35 Arizona Entrepreneurs under 35 in 2013, one of the top 40 under 40 in the 2014 Generation Next list published by AZ Business Magazine, the 2015 Healthcare Civic Leader Award by Arizona Men’s Health Expo, 2017 Top 20 Influential Millennials Honoree by AZ Business Magazine, 2017 Non-Physician Healthcare Hero by the Phoenix Business Journal and the 2017 Spirit of Enterprise Awardee by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Justin’s leadership goes beyond the clinics. Justin has been appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to serve as a public member on the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and the Arizona Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) for Infants and Toddlers. He is a member of the Phoenix Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., a community board member of Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital, and a philanthropic supporter of the Boys and Girls Club Metro Phoenix. He is also the Chairman of the Arizona Therapeutic Learning Center’s “Monarch Gardens”, a member of Vistage International Group 3679, and a member of Phoenix Country Club. Justin enjoys mentoring youth, traveling with his wife and daughter, attending classic car shows, watching his younger brother, Jerryd Bayless, play basketball for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers as well as play golf in his spare time. We caught up with Justin to find out what leadership means to him and what advice he would give to future leaders.

Why did you choose this career path?

My father pushed me into public health at an early age by having me work in his private Medicaid mental health practice when I was nine years old. He instilled in me a work ethic while my mother reinforced the ideals in serving others. Both my parents are clinicians (psychologist and counselor) and I believe they “shrinked” me to go into Business Administration and Accounting as my major in college. After graduating from Morehouse in 3.5 years, I was offered a job on Wall Street in which I worked in a small specialized private equity capital market group at Morgan Stanley. After a year, my father began recruiting me to come home and help him transform the mental health practice. I ignored my father initially until one day a sign was placed in our office above the door in which we left out of everyday reading “ How much money did you make today?”. My mother and all her lessons began to resonate and I started to yearn for something that was more than just making money but also leaving a mark on society. I called my father in late 2007 and said I would like to learn more about the business of the mental health practice that I only knew as my summer job in grade school and high school. In May 2008, I resigned from Morgan Stanley and started at the family business July 1st, 2008.

Who inspired you to get involved?

Everyone in my immediate family all share the commitment to succeed but also help others. We all believe that you can do well while serving others and making the world a better place. We all inspire and motivate one another. This includes my wife, my mother, my brother, and my late father.

How do you define a leader?

A leader organizes a group of people to achieve a common goal.  I believe a leader implements a culture of values and behaviors in themselves and others, innovates to take advantage of opportunities, takes appropriate risks and responsibility while also creating value for the benefit of their team members and society.

What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?

We are creating a best in class healthcare delivery model including medical, behavioral, emotional, nutritional, addiction and other health services into integrated outpatient clinics serving individuals and families from infancy to older adulthood. Our aim is to eliminate associated stigma with certain mental and behavioral issues as well as provide better outcomes at a lower cost than other stand alone healthcare providers.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?

Always follow your gut instinct, challenge the status quo, and find great mentors.