President and COO, Ultimate Toys Inc.
How would you describe your leadership style? Transparent, direct, by example and striving toward servant leadership. Having been a team sport athlete my entire life, I recognize the importance of the team in achieving greater success. I do my best every day to empower, support and hustle alongside my team.
What professional achievement has given you the most satisfaction? Delivering our 1,500th vehicle in early 2022. For context, it would take most companies in our niche 15-plus years to achieve that same milestone (depending on number of locations), and we did it in less than five years with a single location. Without our amazing team and the tireless work, it would have never been possible.
What’s the hardest thing about your job right now? Driving continued, meaningful growth and hitting our aggressive goals. We have to expand beyond our current bottlenecks, which are primarily supply chain and talent. To overcome these, I’m working on diversifying vendors, upgrading our cloud-based tech stack, hiring game changers and innovating on internal processes.
Next big personal goal you hope to achieve? Completing the Men of War Crucible in September.
Typical morning routine? Starts with a 6 a.m. home gym or Orangetheory workout. Get the kids up by 7:30 a.m. and spend an hour playing with them before getting ready. Ka’Chava shake in the car while listening to Blinkist to learn something new and spark the brain on the way to the office.
What do you enjoy outside of work? Foremost, time with my wife and kids. We enjoy spending time at Lake Lorelei and hosting friends. I love being active including playing soccer, golf, pickleball, rock climbing, or anything else really. I watch a lot of sports too – all Cincy teams, plus Manchester United and USA Soccer. I also enjoy advising, coaching, and/or brainstorming business ideas with other entrepreneurs.
Most recent book or podcast you enjoyed? “My First Million” podcast, episode No. 224 “Rob Dyrdek.” To say it was shocking and eye-opening would be a major understatement. It has changed my perspective on many facets in life, and I’ve shared it with dozens of people close to me with similar reactions.
Best advice for a new hire? Roll up your sleeves and get after it. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a “formal” training regime, you’ll learn the most, and fastest, by doing. You were hired to bring new energy, perspective and expertise; use it all … and question everything – challenge the status quo.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My first business, Puppies ‘R Us, started with my father’s help at 7 years old. It taught me the spectrum of owning and running a small business, including sales, advertising, customer service, employees and even balancing a check book. It set my future entrepreneurial path and passion.
Favorite cause or charity? The Ability Experience. Dedicated to supporting and raising awareness for people with disabilities while developing servant leaders within the Pi Kappa Phi national fraternity.
Little-known fact about yourself? I’ve had two freak accidents 10 years apart and both resulted in fractured clavicles. I now have a 5-inch titanium rod in my right shoulder and a plate with screws in my left. I’m on my way to becoming Iron Man.
If you weren’t in your current role, what would be your first choice for a new career? I’m a bit late in the game at this point but as a die-hard futbol (soccer) fan, playing professionally was always the dream. Now, coaching at a competitive level would be a dream come true, until my kids are old enough to play competitively and I can coach them too.