2727 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee
Industry: Retail merchandising/marketing
Employees: nearly 200 in Milwaukee, 500 worldwide
Family: Wife of 15 years, two daughters, one son, and two dogs named Seamus and Rocco
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“We navigated through a sales process, including private equity firms, which ultimately led to being acquired by a Berkshire Hathaway-owned organization (The Marmon Group). The result is a new owner that is in it for the long haul.”
What’s new at your company?
“The ownership (see above). We now have an owner who is willing to invest in the business, giving us a chance to leverage our Retail Science platform.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“There will be plenty of changes to the staff as we restructure the business to The Marmon Group’s completely segmented model.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“The transition to a completely new business model that features fully segmented teams that function as freestanding businesses. Finding a way through the transition while not missing a beat with our clients and maintaining happy employees will be the key to a successful integration.”
What has been your company’s most significant innovation? How do you continue to optimize your operations, products and services today?
“Our most significant innovation is our increased focus on Retail Science. Making 100 percent sure that everything we do starts with the consideration of the shopper. Never being afraid to challenge ourselves and our clients to insure that the behavior and preferences of the shopper are always at the foundation of our work.”
How has your company evolved in the past 70 years? How have you managed to stay in business for so long?
“Without a doubt our ability to sustain over all of the years has been (because of) our willingness to adapt. Adapting to the needs of the brands and retailers that we serve while never forgetting our ultimate customer, the shopper.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“I’ll use our company’s vision – do what is right for the shopper.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Jeff Bezos, Tony Hsieh”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“Don’t be afraid or hesitate to make the tough decisions regarding the people…hiring, promoting, transferring or, in some cases, moving on. Have the courage to be honest in every case.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Anything that involves my family and closest friends, seeing my kids participate in theater or sports. Personally, the Final Four and Triple Crown both serve to get my juices flowing.”