C-SuiteAdvisor and investorBreakthrough strategies | Wauwatosa
Jerry Jendusa founded New Berlin-based Emteq Inc., a manufacturer of aircraft interior and exterior lighting systems and aircraft cabin management and power systems, in 1995 and grew it into a $100 million company. He went on to sell Emteq in 2014, and the same year co-founded Stuck LLC, now known as Breakthrough Strategies, a business advisory company focused on helping small- to mid-sized businesses grow. Jendusa is also one of the majority owners and chairman of the board for Biocut Systems. Biocut Systems and Breakthrough Strategies will be the main tenants in a 77,000-square-foot facility that is under construction in Muskego. Jendusa is also co-chair for Scale-Up Milwaukee, a member of the UWM Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship’s board of advisors and has served as a mogul on WISN-TV Channel 12’s “Project Pitch It” show.
Education: Bachelor’s, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
"Stock Boy at my father's pharmacy. (I learned the importance of) customer service and the support of your customers whenever or wherever possible. I remember my father taking calls from clients at all hours."
What piece of advice has had the most significant impact on your career?
"Don't expect someone to do something that you wouldn't be willing to do yourself."
If you could have dinner with any two business leaders, who would you choose and why?
"Tony Hsieh, Zappos founder, how he went about eliminating titles in the workplace and the impact it had on the organization's culture and growth. Sam Walton and his growth journey with Walmart from the time he started to how he was able to scale the business."
What are some of your favorite destinations/places to visit?
"Recent European destinations of Croatia, Turkey (where the east meets the west), Italy and Greece."
What is one book you think everyone should read?
"'Who Moved My Cheese,' by Ken Blanchard"
What's your hobby/passion?
"Analyzing businesses, business leaders and their growth journeys; outdoors and the beauty of this great country that we live in; exercising and attempting to enjoy all aspects of life, each and every day."
What is your favorite Wisconsin restaurant and what do you order there?
"Eddie Martini's, Lobster bisque soup and their filet."
What would people be surprised to learn about you (fun fact)?
"My kids say I have no dance rhythm whatsoever and I respectfully disagree."
What was your first car?
"Cutlass Supreme, which I bought from my best friend’s dad in college. I couldn’t afford insurance and drove it until it was stolen and stripped down. I was then relegated to a bike."
If you could take a one-year sabbatical, what would you do?
"Nothing different than what I do right now."
What’s the toughest business challenge you’ve had to overcome?
"Navigating through the business downturn of 2008-10."
What advice would you give to a young professional?
"Never settle, be open to listen, learn and get better every single day. It is a journey."
What has been your/your company’s most significant success over the last 12 months?
"Growth, expansion and change. This is in our people, our products/services and our strategy and brand reorganization. We are primed and prepped for future growth."
What is one thing you would you change about Wisconsin to make it even better?
"Connectivity of not-for-profit organizations around business growth from startups; small, mid-size and large corporations; government and universities. This is an ecosystem project. Wisconsin has so much to offer. Let's celebrate this and never forget it."
As you enter your office, what would you choose to be your walk-up or theme song?
"'We're Not Gonna Take It,' by Twisted Sister."
Is there a nonprofit cause that has special meaning to you?
"Kids for Wish Kids, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin Mental and Behavioral Health. My wife, Becky, and I are extremely active in each cause."
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
"Starting a company out of my basement with limited knowledge, resources and no customers."
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
"Seeing firsthand the palm island, Dubai UAE."
What has you most excited about the future?
"Our growth potential and maximizing the untapped potential in all that we do."