What is your role with Lloyd now?
President and CEO.
What do you spend most of your time focused on at this point?
Don Spencer has been my management coach for twelve years. He changed my job title. I’m now called the CMO. Chief Morale Officer. And I’ve found that the way to keep morale up is making sure people have meaningful work.
The second thing that I do is I’m always looking for the next good customer. We built a profile of what good customers look like and we know that not everyone qualifies to be a Lloyd customer.
Best piece of advice you ever received?
‘Hire people smarter than yourself.’ If you are the CEO and you are in a room full of your own employees and you are the smartest person in the room, you are not hiring very well.
Also: ‘Fifty percent of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at.’
What are you working on at Lloyd Pans right now?
What keeps me up at night is trying to get the balance between all our businesses. We have commercial pizza, commercial bakeware, and commercial cookware and then we have ManPans which is our consumer product.
We’d like to grow ManPans; it is something we can make when we are slow and put in the warehouse.
Tell us two fun things about Lloyd.
We are the first or second largest pizza pan manufacturer in the world. We sell orders up to 4 million dollars and we take orders for $49 on the internet. The scope of the work that we do is, I think, really phenomenal.
The other thing people are shocked by the number of pan emergencies we have. A small operator or a chain will have a restaurant they’ve had to find a location, get a permit to build, buy all the furniture and buy the oven, and then two weeks before their grand opening they say, “Oh my gosh, we have no pans.”
We’ve had at least 100 pan emergencies like that. We’ve put pans on a Southwest flight for a guy who called up at 9 am saying ‘I’ve got people coming tomorrow and I have no pans for my grand opening.”
Big guys will design a whole marketing plan around a new pan and six weeks before implementation, they will realize they don’t have any of the new pans.
We love procrastinators. We turn around things so fast that if they wait too long we are the only game in the world. If you plan poorly, we are it.
What do you eat when you are tired or stressed?
I’ve actually changed that. It used to be sweets. Now it is a cup of tea.
What kind of tea?
Any kind of tea as long as it is green.
What made you interested in connecting with Big Table?
I’ve been involved with philanthropy all my life and I’ve found a common theme in just about everything I’ve ever been involved in: ‘if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for the rest of his life.’
I think Big Table does a great job of teaching people how to fish. That is what attracted me: a hand up rather than a hand out.
Next to teachers, hospitality workers are the least appreciated in the world. Big Table gives people a sense that someone cares about them.