Vice president of marketing
Palermo Villa Inc.
3301 W. Canal St.
Industry: Pizza manufacturer
Number of employees: More than 350
Family: Husman, Giacomo, and sons Nick and Jasper.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“Palermo’s launched the Classics by Palermo value line, which targeted consumers looking for traditional toppings and crusts that are fun, filling and most importantly, economical. This new product line helped increase sales even in these tough economic times.”
What’s new at your company?
“We worked really hard at bringing in people with the skill sets needed to match our business plan. These new people will be instrumental in shaping our new products and new market launches in 2010.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We recently began construction of an expansion of our bakery, freezer space and employee amenities.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Palermo’s main challenge will be to increase our market share in a category dominated by multi-national CGP companies.”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“The hottest pizza trend is premium frozen pizza that delivers pizzeria taste. We have also noticed a trend moving into more gourmet and upscale flavors.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“We are an entrepreneurial company that celebrates Italian culture to unite and serve others. Our mission is to deliver a great pizza experience.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“All brands that have intense consumer loyalty, which leads their consumers to evangelize for the brand.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“The best advice I ever received was to make a quality product that you would not think twice about serving to your own family. When was the last time you ever regretted buying the very best?”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Being in the food business I find ways to incorporate my day-to-day activities into our family business. My family and I eat and sleep pizza. We love to try every new pizza restaurants in each city we travel to, including pizzerias in Italy. Our other passion is entertaining and sharing our love of food with others.”