YOUR PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: Everything we produce should be natural, wellness and not harm the way you look.
WHO HAD A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON YOU AS A LEADER? I believe the guy that influenced me the most was the head packaging manager at South African Brewery, a gentleman named David Crosby whose favorite saying was “Let’s Do It Once.” He was the guy running the breweries. That’s why I know about being clean, because their beer only has four ingredients and not all the junk others put in. He liked to do everything once. He said do it slowly, but do it once.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT LOCALPRENEUR? In today’s social world, everything you do is le” behind. So to be different, to be an entrepreneur, to be a manager, you have to be able to look around the corner and see what’s coming. Because if you don’t react, people are going to see what you’re leaving, and it might not be perfect.
SHARE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE STORIES? I believe winning the Ernst & Young US Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2013 against all these huge companies has been the most exciting in my life for a long time. It represented all the things that our employees have done. We were able to show people that a small company can make it. I was really surprised. We went to the dinner in Orlando and I had no idea. The look on my face. We had 5-6 people at our table and Coke was there, big companies, and they said a Sarasota company. It was the first time Sarasota was a winner. It represented what we’re doing here.
WHERE DO GREAT IDEAS COME FROM? Most ideas come from a need. People come in here and ask, can you solve mosquitos biting, can you help me with sugar diabetes, can you help me with a skin problem or just simply I’m not sleeping at night. So we tend to look at what’s aggravating the person, and see if we can find a natural solution.
WHAT BUSINESS BOOK WOULD YOU RECOMMEND? My book of all time is by Dr. Philip Kolter, the marketing guy, who actually lives in Sarasota. I’ve read the book on and off over 30 years and it never gets out of date. It reacts to marketing as it is today; give the customer what they want. This marketing handbook is called Marketing Management. He lives on Longboat Key now and is retired, but still busy teaching.
HOW COULD OUR REGION DO BETTER FOR ENTREPRENEURS? The banking world here has to really understand the difference between a traditional company and a company that wants to produce products that are geared for sale on Amazon and these new outlets. This is a totally different business philosophy. The banks are geared to every day x amount of money in, and the social world is geared to every transaction money in, and the two don’t necessarily go together. So unless we start changing our banking philosophy, we are going to restrict a lot of entrepreneurs.