I was born and raised in the Parkville section of Hartford. We lived in a blue-collar (at best!) neighborhood nicknamed “the Corner” for Dot’s Corner Store. Dot’s husband, Tony, ran this little store and was the heart & soul of the neighborhood. It was ethnically diverse – Italians, Irish, Portuguese, French-Canadians – and there were always a ton of kids around. We all hung out at the Corner – playing ball in the street, cards on the stoops, or just hanging out. It was a great place to grow up. I attended South Catholic High School, and went on to UCONN where I met my future wife and received my degree in Accounting.
We purchased our first house in the South End of Hartford. Our two kids were born there. One day a man came up on our front porch, introduced himself, and said “I want to buy your house.” We chatted briefly, he came back with his wife and a bottle of home-made Italian wine and within a couple of hours we had a deal. We moved to the West Hartford Center area in the mid-80’s. At that time there was maybe a couple decent restaurants in the Center. That was then…and now, 30 years later, The Center has a great restaurant and night scene.
My professional career began with Coopers & Lybrand in Hartford where I earned my CPA. Then I moved on to a 20+ year career in the insurance industry, culminating in my role as CFO at Lincoln Financial in Hartford. In 2004, after a corporate restructuring, the decision was made to consolidate the finance function back to Ft. Wayne. I was 48 years old and faced with the prospect of looking for a job for the first time since coming out of college. While the natural path would have been for me to look for another CFO position, I decided to consider doing something different. During my search I came across The Alternative Board and was very intrigued and impressed with the TAB model.
What attracted me to TAB and why I felt I could be effective as a TAB Coach & Facilitator?
- In contrast to consulting – where you come in, make recommendations to “fix” the company, and then go away – the TAB model offered a very different approach. As a TAB coach I would get to know the business owner and their business, and work closely with them over time to help create the change they want to see in their organization.
- I also liked the TAB Board model because it provides business owners the opportunity to learn from one another.
- I believed my financial skills would be an asset to the business owners of privately held businesses.
- One thing large corporations do well is train you to be effective managers and leaders. I was certain this part of my background would prove to be invaluable in working with business owners.
- And finally, one of the greatest challenges facing entrepreneurs is the need to wear many hats; constantly juggling to keep the business moving forward with limited resources.
So how has it worked out? Well, 5 of the 6 business owners who attended my first TAB meeting in January 2006 are still with me. I’m currently coaching/facilitating three TAB Boards / over 20 business owners and have seen firsthand the tremendous impact that TAB has been able to have on the business and lives of our members. Our reach has broadened with the addition of a team of coaches who can bring the TAB model to more businesses in the Greater Hartford area. I’m grateful to have the privilege to work directly with business owners and a such strong team of coaches.