What makes you tick personally?
I’m a lifelong learner (especially from my own mistakes) and an acquirer of skills. Getting things right, going through the proper steps, and building the skills necessary to be an authority in my space are important to me. In my personal life, I’m a certified trainer, and I coach youth ice hockey. I love helping kids become better teammates, competitors, and athletes, and I see a lot of parallels in that to my professional life. I try to meet people where they are to help them become more knowledgeable and strengthen what they’re already good at. I consider myself a helper at heart.
Why are you so passionate about people-based businesses?
As powerful a force as technology seems to be these days, I’m a big believer that great businesses always start with clusters of talented people who are in sync, know what good looks like, know where they want to go, and feel empowered to help each other get there. Strategy always matters, but there’s a lot of truth to the saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” At Trilantic, we’ve been fortunate to be able to partner with some amazing teams, so we think we know authentic, high-performance cultures when we see them, and nothing excites me more than working with our managers to help them take their skills higher.
What is a company you really admire and why?
Union Square Hospitality (a small, founder-led restaurant chain that brought us Gramercy Tavern and Shake Shack, among others). Danny Meyer’s book, “Setting the Table,” opened my eyes to the power of building an authentic and passionate service-driven culture.