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Lessons From The Boardroom Podcast

The Lessons From The Boardroom podcast brings together successful CEOs and presidents of growing small and mid-sized companies from around the world to share successes, challenges, and what’s working now to grow a business, build a culture of accountability and profitability, and increase freedom for you, the business owner and CEO.

Tune-in each week as Kevin Minton, of Chief Executive Boards International, interviews a new leader.

  • 10 Dec 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    This week, on Lessons from the Boardroom, we speak with Ryan Yeoman, President of ADW, an OEM automotive distribution company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. ADW warehouses sells OEM parts and accessories from General Motors and parts from Ford Motor Company. Ryan was formerly the COO of Capterra, a technology and online media company he co-founded in 2000. 

    Ryan says, “The more deliberate you are, the clearer you are on what your culture is, what you stand for, the better chance you have of making sure the people that are part of it, are living it, are empowered by it, and are able to do their best work. And I think that ultimately leads to success.”

    We chat about the big shift of company culture occurring in ADW now, as well as:

    • Transitioning out of change-averse, stagnation mode

    • Establishing a really strong foundation

    • Making every company employee feel valued and heard

    • Encouraging and Inviting feedback

    • Creating an environment in which people can empower themselves

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 03 Dec 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s episode of Lessons From the Boardroom, we speak with Murrel Karsh, the President and Co-Founder of Windy City Fieldhouse and WCF Events in Chicago, Illinois. The Fieldhouse itself is a 55,000 square foot sports and entertainment complex, which represents just a portion of their business model. They are also the largest team building and corporate entertainment company in the midwest, with additional events being performed all over the country. 

    Murrel says, “The unique thing about the events we started planning was that they were very different from anything else that was being offered; virtually everything that was offered was offered by people who had never spent a day in the corporate world. So, the perspectives of consultants and type A's and what they find engaging was not particularly reflected in the events that were available. That's really who we struck a chord with. We defined programs that we, as those employees, would have enjoyed and it exploded from there.”

    We chat about making the jump into owning a major event company, as well as:

    • Designing engaging corporate events
    • His biggest challenges and successes as an entrepreneur to date and how they have helped him and his business grow
    • Reinvention during COVID and the importance of perseverance
    • And more
    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 26 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s episode of  Lessons from the Boardroom, we speak to Arjun Dhake, Vice President of Business Development at Dhake Industries. The company has been supplying paint and coatings for vehicle interiors as well as hubcaps to suppliers all over the world for over 41 years. 

    Arjun has been immersed in Dhake Industries since his childhood and has embodied every role in each department in order to effectively execute decisions for the whole of the company.

    We chat about the pivotal moments that have shaped the family-owned business and kept them competitive in the global market, as well as:

    • Growing into a family-owned business

    • Navigating exports to China during the COVID crisis 

    • The future of the global automobile market

    • The importance of understanding every role within a company

    • Seizing the opportunity for global expansion

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 19 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s episode, we speak with Chris Eifert, a mechanical engineer who always knew his true path would be one that led him to customer service. Chris was able to make his dreams come true when he became an owner of TriComB2B, an award winning business to business marketing agency with a focus on supporting technical industries. He talks about the ups and downs of the marketing world running a marketing agency that’s number one in its field.

    “A mentor of mine taught me that constructive tension is a good thing in a business. You need people with different points of view and eccentric personalities to really make a business like ours work”, says Chris

    We chat about the challenges Chris faced on the path to becoming a CEO, as well as: 

    • Being emotionally vulnerable and admitting when you’ve made a mistake

    • Creating a positive business environment

    • The importance of constructive tension to your business

    • Knowing and accepting your limitations

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 17 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s episode, we speak with Eero Pikat, President of Barchart. Eero began his journey with Barchart as a highschool student and through hard work and perseverance, has evolved the company into a global financial technology leader, providing market data and services to global financial, media, and commodity industries. He joins us today to speak about the trials and successes he experienced along the way.

    “We've always been careful not to overextend ourselves. We have a diversified set of customers, not just in the industries that they're in, but also in their size. We are not beholden to one customer that accounts for 50% of our revenue. So we've played smart and safe to some degree, but we’ve also been safely aggressive” says Eero.

    We chat about Eero’s entrepreneurial journey, as well as:

    • How he turned his general interest in pure software development into a lucrative career

    • The transformation of a commercial website into a leading financial portal

    • His evolution from college grad to company President

    • His biggest challenges as a business owner

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 12 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Tim Allen, CEO of Oberon Technologies. Tim has over 35 years of experience with automating the delivery of enterprise content and virtual reality training. Oberon Technologies has a staff that is over 90% virtual, with its executive team spread across five states, and employees in 33. 

    Tim had this to say about team collaboration during the pandemic: “One of the things I think that really helped us and made us successful in this was getting everybody's input. And when we got ideas, all the way down to the lowest level employee coming up with ideas as to what we could potentially use to help survive in this situation, we got those kinds of cross-functional ideas that really helped us make good decisions and put everything on the board that we wouldn't have thought of if we just kept it at the executive level, or I tried to come up with solutions on my own.”

    We chat about Tim’s entrepreneurial journey, as well as:

    • His biggest challenges and successes

    • Building success from scratch

    • How COVID-19 sped up plans and exposed underlying strengths

    • Virtualization in a hurry

    • The importance of communication throughout executive levels

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 10 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    Hi-Tech Furnace Systems produces niche products for very specific industries, including cleaning systems for jet engines and industrial gas turbines for power generation, among others. But, as president and owner of the company for almost 25 years, Robert Kornfeld has seen the power of having a “small” yet very vital product.

    Hi-Tech has worked with GE, Siemens, Pratt and Whitney, Rolls-Royce, and many other powerhouse companies over the years. They have an international footprint.

    It’s a reputation and expertise Robert has helped instill since he first acquired the company in order to take advantage of coming industry trends. We talk about how he spotted this market change and how he positioned Hi-Tech to capitalize on it… so much so that the company is now regarded as a world leader in the technology.

    Tune in to also hear about…

    • How he convinced his first clients to do multimillion-dollar deals 

    • The power of creating “personal” professional relationships

    • The #1 biggest driver of business success in this – and any – industry

    • A strategy for creating long-term, profitable relationships with your best customers

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 05 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    Back in 2009, Matt Ray didn’t know what he was getting into when he bought Midwest Retail Services. But he smelled opportunity, even during that tough time for our economy.

    Today, this former salesman is still the proud owner and president of this business that provides shelving, displays, and more to stores. In fact, since he took over, the business’s revenues have tripled.

    His philosophy since the beginning has been to enjoy the ups and downs, the triumphs and the struggles, because it’s all part of, as he puts it, “living life to the fullest.”

    We get into that during our conversation and also talk about… 

    • Why running a business is like raising kids

    • The importance of having a positive company culture – and how to cultivate it

    • The role of fear in guiding important decisions

    • Maintaining an appetite of continuous learning and improvement

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 03 Nov 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    Steve Hoffman’s two businesses are definitely complimentary.

    Skyline provides exhibit design services for tradeshows, while Steve’s new startup, Innovative Environments, provides corporate interior design and signage. He’s been able to leverage a lot from the old into the new.

    But his career background is quite different than the “visual impact pieces” his businesses provide today… or is it?

    He worked in TV for many years… until he knew he needed a change in location and profession. Yet he knows those past experiences shaped his work today.

    In this episode, we talk about:

    • The crucial first job in his current industry and how it changed him forever.

    • How his new company allows them to branch into unique new markets

    • What he learned from his first business that carried over to his new one

    • The practice that sets his startup apart from the competition

    • And more
    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

  • 28 Oct 2020 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    On this week’s episode, we speak with special guest, Brain English, Co-Owner and President of 4 Walls, a Cleveland-based company specializing in designing and producing digitally printed wallcoverings, window films, acoustic fabrics, and other decor solutions. Brian started his career as an accountant, but ultimately decided to transition to entrepreneurship to create a lifestyle that better suited his growing family.

    “I felt very restricted in the corporate world, and I just kept coming back to that dream I always had of doing my own thing and building it. Lucky for me, I've got the most amazing spouse and her family is incredible. They believed in me and really encouraged me, and us, to kind of go out and try to find a business that we could run on our own. Through some networking, we came across 4 Walls and, at the time, it wasn’t too big or too small, we shared a lot of values with the founder of the business, and the rest is kind of history,” says Brian.

    We chat about Brian’s journey from accountant to entrepreneur, as well as:

    • His biggest challenges and successes as a business owner

    • Reconfiguring your business’ culture

    • Locating and navigating your blind spots

    • The importance of humility

    • And more

    Listen now...

    Mentioned in this episode:

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