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Episode 90: Building Trust and Communication in a Family Business

In this episode of the Family Biz Show, host Michael Palumbos interviews Johnny Roumanidakis, a third-generation member of a family business in the RF filter manufacturing industry. The discussion delves into Johnny's unexpected journey into the family business, starting from his initial disinterest during his college years to his eventual passion for the company's culture and growth. Johnny shares insights into the company's history, including his grandfather's pivotal role in its establishment and his personal values that shaped the business ethos.

The conversation highlights the company's evolution, from producing analog components to integrating digital technology into their RF filters. They also discuss the challenges and benefits of working in a family business, including the dynamics of trust, conflict resolution, and the blend of professional and familial relationships.

Johnny reflects on the company's strategies for growth, the importance of adapting to market changes, and the significance of their products in critical communication systems, including a notable mention of a Netcom filter on the moon as part of the Apollo space missions.

The episode also touches on the concepts of leadership, accountability, and strategic planning, with Johnny emphasizing the importance of embracing discomfort for growth and the influence of his grandfather's legacy on his leadership approach. The dialogue concludes with Johnny sharing his aspirations for the company's future and recommending some influential business books that have shaped his perspective.

Watch the entire episode!

Episode 90 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Well welcome everybody to the family. Biz show. I'm your host, Michael Columbus, with family wealth and legacy in Rochester, New York. and we've got a great show for you today. We've got Johnny Rob.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I know I was gonna do it, Johnny. I had it in my head.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  Ramana, Dacus.



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Johny Roumanidakis: dockets I, and and in full disclosure everybody. I practice this 3 times



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and asked it in advance. Okay, Johnny Ramana, Doc is from that com.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Third generation family business. We're excited to have you here.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Thanks for having me, Michael. I'm really excited to be here, and it's even more exciting to share that I'm not going by my real name, which is, that might have been a little bit more difficult. You can call me Johnny. We can leave the last name out there you go. Thanks, Johnny.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that's awesome. So tell me. You know we have the tradition, your third generation. What was your journey into entering into the family business. What did that look like? What did what was happening before? Did you spend time outside of the family business? Did you just go straight in. What was your journey into the family business?



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Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I.



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Johny Roumanidakis: So to start, I had no intentions of joining the family.



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Johny Roumanidakis: I started at Netcam in college as an accounting intern. During the summers did some work on the shop floor, doing cycle, counting, and things of that nature. It was good summer cash for my break from the University of Iowa and then I went into Grad Graduate school to get my masters in finance



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Johny Roumanidakis: in which I thought I would do what most of my peers were doing, and



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Johny Roumanidakis: get into banking, or or some other exciting finance career.



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Johny Roumanidakis: But it didn't take long to working at Netcom to realize a. The people I was surrounded by were incredible. And it we're literally family, but also the ones that aren't literally family felt like family.



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Johny Roumanidakis: and be working in a small business. You get to learn a lot and wear many hats.



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Johny Roumanidakis: and I just fell in love with the culture here, and and the idea of growing a business it was very exciting to me. And so, you know, that was when my grandpa and I decided that made sense for me to take over the finance department finance and accounting department at Netcom right out of school and the rest is kind of history



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that's awesome.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So your grandfather started the business. What was Netcom, you know? When? When was that, and what was he doing? How did the company make money when he started the business?



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Johny Roumanidakis: It's it's a true you know. American dream story. So my grandfather immigrated here from Greece.  And



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Johny Roumanidakis: came here to get his electrical engineering degree at the University of Illinois. He had some family that lived in Champaign, Illinois, which is now where the University of Illinois is. But back then University of Illinois was in Chicago.



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Johny Roumanidakis: so he was commuting from Champaign to Chicago 5 days a week to go to school. Ended up getting his master's in electrical engineering and starting his career Motorola



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Johny Roumanidakis: and he was tasked with, I'm not sure if you've seen saving Private Ryan or some of those old



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Johny Roumanidakis: war movies. But the the guys that carry around the backpack with the big brick like radio. So he was. He was passed with reducing that radio in size by a factor of 10 that was the first project he worked on at Motorola he had a great career there, and after



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Johny Roumanidakis: I'd say 7 to 10 years he decided that he wanted to kind of go off on his own and and start a business at design and manufactured Rs filters or radio frequency components that Motorola would end up using in some of their systems



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: interesting.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And what does the company do today?



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Johny Roumanidakis: So today, we haven't deviated too far from our roots.



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Johny Roumanidakis: In the seventies, when he started the company we were making Rf, filters, crystal crystal filters, and various types of analog components. This is before digital components for the thing.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Today, we're still making Rf filters. But they're digital. So there's firmware embedded in them. And they're controlled through some digital interface. So they perform the same function of filtering out the unwanted signals in a communication system. But just in a little bit of a different way.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Awful! And you've been now with the company. For how long



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Johny Roumanidakis: I've been working in account for 8 years I joined in



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Johny Roumanidakis: 2,000 and 16, so a little less than 8 years.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And so if we look at your, you know. So it's your grandfather, yeah, your father or mother and involved who? Who's in the second generation?



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Johny Roumanidakis: It's my mom's dad and so I get to work with my mom's twin and her other sister every day. Unfortunately, Mom doesn't work at the business, but she does provide us a lot of consulting services on the human resources side.



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Johny Roumanidakis: And then my uncle was involved in the business, but he moved up north, and that'll run the awesome fishing and snowmobiling resort up in the north woods of Wisconsin, so I don't get the chance to work with him. Either.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So how many family members total have been involved or are involved in the business.



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Johny Roumanidakis: have been, or are



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Johny Roumanidakis: probably close to 10. Now, right now, there's 3 family members, 4,



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Johny Roumanidakis: 3 family members actively involved. And then a fourth kind of consulting



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Johny Roumanidakis: from your perspective, you know, as the are you the youngest family member involved now? Yeah, I am. Sometimes my younger cousins joined. They're now kind of in the situation I was in when I started. They're both students at the University of Arizona and



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Johny Roumanidakis: Arizona State. So sometimes during the summers they'll come and work with me for some summer money. Some beer money. What for? You are some of the



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the best parts of being part of a family business.



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Johny Roumanidakis: I think the trust element is something that you know, I think about a lot. It's it's really



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Johny Roumanidakis: a blessing to come to work every day and be able to just leave your door open and to know that nobody's gonna walk in your office and look around, or that you're not gonna have to worry about someone you know, doing anything deceitful, or or some of those 4 stories you hear about in the workplace. Just trusting everyone I work with is



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Johny Roumanidakis: is something I don't know if everyone has that opportunity. So I love that part about my job the most.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: No, I'm good. What about what are some of the tough parts about being part of a family business from your perspective.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Well, it's a Greek family, and we all have a lot of opinions, and usually all of our opinions are right. So it's you know, there's I don't know if it's if difficult, the right word. There's



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Johny Roumanidakis: there's challenges with working with family that sometimes are, you know, easy to overcome and sometimes aren't. It's never. It's never a good thing to have, you know, have like disagreements with people in general. I'm kind of a conflict diverse person to be honest.



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Johny Roumanidakis: so I don't really enjoy disagreements with anybody especially with my family. But, on the other hand, kind of going back to that trust element at least when there is you know something that maybe me and another family member don't agree on. It always ends up working out because we trust, trust each other and have great working relationships. So. Yeah, there's difficult moments. But for the most part everything about working with family, in my view, is better than that working with family



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: awesome. There's if you're a reader.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: There's a book out there by Patrick Lencioni.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: called Yeah, 5. Just 5 dysfunctions of a team.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And and you know for that for that conflict avoidant personality. I tell people all the time, conflict is good.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: disagreement is good, it just needs to be healthy right, and it needs to be respectful, and if you can do that, then.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, out of conflict usually comes something better.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And you know there's never there's there's not a movie that that ever was successful, that didn't have conflict in the movie. That's what makes things better and good is, you know, we challenge each other. And then it's that ability to, you know, commit to the the path forward, because you trust each other to make it to make it work, and I think you said it about spot on trust is the foundation. It's okay to have conflict. But then we commit to what we're doing to, you know, to move forward.



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Johny Roumanidakis: That's funny



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Johny Roumanidakis: different perspectives like I mentioned, I'm the third generation. So you know, at some points there's 3 generations of perspectives, you know, and on the conversation, which ultimately leads to better decisions in the end. So I think it's a good thing



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: your so your grandfather's still involved in the business today.



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Johny Roumanidakis: My grandfather's not involved in the business anymore. Unfortunately. I lost my grandfather earlier this year. So that has been really difficult. It's been really difficult for myself and and the family definitely an adjustment.



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Johny Roumanidakis: You know, he was kind of like the guy in my corner where, if you know, I ever needed to talk about something or needed help on maybe a private issue that wasn't comfortable talking about with the team or something like that.



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Johny Roumanidakis: He was the guy. So the last 8 months have been, you know, an adjustment period and difficult. But



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Johny Roumanidakis: I think it's made me. And you know some of my other family members come together and and become closer, and and we started to work together.  we've become stronger together. So yeah, it's been difficult. But he's not not with us anymore.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I'm sorry about that. Walk me through, if you don't mind sharing. And so you just went through. It wasn't planned. Your grandfather's, you know. Not not here any longer.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  What was the succession plan like? Did you have a succession plan before your grandfather?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Was there something in writing that everybody had talked about? And then?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Now you're you know you're going through that. How did that work out.



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Johny Roumanidakis: I think that's actually another great example of why trust is so important.



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Johny Roumanidakis: We didn't have a a formal succession plan. We never worked with a



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know an attorney or an estate planner to



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Johny Roumanidakis: to really iron that all out ahead of time. Yeah, there's there. There are situations in which you know a lender. Someone may ask, What's the next steps?



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Johny Roumanidakis: And we always had an idea of of kind of the pecking order, of how things would play out.



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Johny Roumanidakis: But no, we never had like a formal written succession plan. In a trust, or anything like that, you know, really became it really had, you know, unfolded as the family kind of took it day by day. And you know, moment by moment, just kind of ironing out, how are things gonna go?



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Johny Roumanidakis: I was promoted to President 2 years ago. So you know, I'd been, you know, operating in this role, you know, with my grandfather still around for many years.



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Johny Roumanidakis: So kind of the roles and responsibilities in the in the organization, didn't.



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, weren't impacted too much? But there's a lot outside of, you know, the day to day that we had navigate. And you know, we just kind of did it as a family, and and things are.



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, working out.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It's a lot of times when those circumstances arise. It doesn't always play out



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  as amicably as as it has in your your situation. That's awesome. I'm really happy for you.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I mean, I think that you know there's there's



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Johny Roumanidakis: I've sought advice at times, and you know many.



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Johny Roumanidakis: many people might



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Johny Roumanidakis:  you know, caution me. Ii was. Gonna say, Sam, that that we're crazy, but not that intense, you know. Caution me on not having, you know, types of plans



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Johny Roumanidakis: like that in place like a succession plan or whatnot. And



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Johny Roumanidakis: I you know I grew up in a family. You know that I was blessed to grow up with where we



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Johny Roumanidakis: there was just this element of trust and and camaraderie and these were not things we worried about.



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Johny Roumanidakis: I'd be lying to you if I said that, you know kind of going through the last few years, and and hearing other views.



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Johny Roumanidakis: that it wasn't something I was concerned about, or thought that we should have, or you know, if we could do it again. Would it be something that I'd suggest? Hey? Maybe we should take



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Johny Roumanidakis: a more serious look at this. It just



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, it happened to work out for our family, which is great. But you know, I've certainly heard a lot of a lot of horror stories where things don't work out as great. So pretty appreciative of that



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  So in your role role today, you're the president of the company. How does you know it. How does the how do the roles break down between family and non-family members? If you look at like, you know the leadership team at Netcom.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: how does that break down? How many family members versus non family members, and tell me about like kind of your communication rhythm. and in decision making process. For you know how how you're doing things there.



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Johny Roumanidakis: So that's still unfolding. You know, I think like there are the day to day decisions which



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Johny Roumanidakis:  you know, II generally, you know, handle So



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things like hiring or you know, refinancing our line of credit or any operational issues. I pretty much handle if they make it to my desk.



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Johny Roumanidakis: But then there's like broader issues that you know, we're talking about.



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Johny Roumanidakis:  any types of big investments, or, you know, kind of longer term vision, for the the company will get together as a family. It's not 100% owned by my family. There are other shareholders involved. So we do. Annual shareholder meetings. An annual board of directors meetings



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Johny Roumanidakis: so there's, you know, kind of your typical corporate structure with the shareholders, the board of directors, and then the management team, which is, you know, there's 2 family members on that team? But



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know I don't. I mean



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Johny Roumanidakis: if you put if you if I put an org chart together, you know there's names on that org chart, and some of them are family members. Some of them are not however, like me and the family, even those that don't work in the business. Everyone has a voice. And so there are many times, and some of these bigger decisions where we'll just get together and have a casual meeting and talk about things.



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Johny Roumanidakis: So that's pretty much how we're working things out right now.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: No. And this is how you know. Just so you know that when we're having these discussions. There is no right or wrong.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: it's just is, and what's working or what's not working for your family as you're going through. And the shareholders that, you know, may not be family members. And so it's just interesting for us to have these conversations. I never know when somebody else is sitting there going. I'm going through this. And everybody tells me I'm crazy. But it's working for us. And I'm not gonna change. What's working.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I mean, you know there's this old Greek saying, I don't want to mess it up, but it's it's that, you know. Something's not broken. We fix it every day.



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Johny Roumanidakis: So you know, like, I'm not saying that the way we do things is perfect ad hoc, but it works for us



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: right?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What is so how often you, you shareholder meetings? Is that just an annual shareholders meeting?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, do do you mind? I mean, how many shareholders are there?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Roughly, does that matter?



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Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I mean, there's about



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, there's there's 3 shareholders that own, like the majority of the company over 2.



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Johny Roumanidakis: And then. There's a handful of other shareholders. That have been in the capital structure. For years



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Johny Roumanidakis: decade. Since, you know, since the company was started. My grandfather had a really great team that helped him grow the business.



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Johny Roumanidakis:  you know. Something I didn't share is that the you know he grew the business to be quite successful and had an exit in 2,000



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Johny Roumanidakis: and sold the private equity. And you know that



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Johny Roumanidakis: that



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Johny Roumanidakis: it just didn't pan out after about 15 years or so the the PE group decided that you know they were gonna go in a different direction sold the company back to to my grandfather. So that was like about a year or so before before I joined so there was a decent period of time where, you know, the family wasn't heavily involved in in the company, although there were still family members working for the company.



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, that was a



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Johny Roumanidakis: yeah, no, that's super interesting.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I don't know if you follow her at all. I had Stephanie Stuckey on the show.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And stuff these peanut, you know are not Peano. I just said the wrong thing. Pcan logs.



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So you're gonna smack me if I if he hears that



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: but you know they had P. You know, Private Equity Group, and had it, and she had the opportunity to buy it back.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And so it was her grandfather's business, and it's kind of cool that you know, to have that moment where it's alright when we're back again. Here we here we go again, you know.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I think. God. what were you gonna say?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: No, II just that. It's interesting that that opportunity arose. And you know now you're back in full throttle, you know, several different, you know, shareholders, a lot of family members in the business again, and and heavily involved.



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Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I think it's great. And one of the cool things about it is that, there's a lot of employees that you know we're here for that whole period of time from when my grandfather started the company, or early



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, in the after following the transaction, we sold part of it until he bought it back. And so there are people I work with right now. That literally changed my diaper. I mean, it's it's it's



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Johny Roumanidakis: it's really cool, that you know, although the family wasn't necessarily entirely involved in the business the culture kind of



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you know, was upheld. And and a lot of people have worked here for



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Johny Roumanidakis: 2030, 40 years.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Wow! That's great.



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Johny Roumanidakis: So you you interview a lot of family business, family business owners. That's right.



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Johny Roumanidakis: And so you've probably had, you know, heard a lot of



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Johny Roumanidakis: you know, different types of of cultures within family businesses. But would you say it's it's



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Johny Roumanidakis: normal on average, your family business typically has.



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Johny Roumanidakis: like a longer employee, stay with the business longer than maybe your your corporate jobs.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: 100 100%, you know, it's there's there's a statistic that runs around through the family business world that says, you know the it's it goes back to shirt sleeves, to shirt sleeves in 3 generations. Right?



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And so it's like, you know, the first generation starts at



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Johny Roumanidakis: the second generation, manages it, and the third generation loses it. And that's and and and so here I am talking to you right now. But it's.



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Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, that's what I think. It's like, 3. Make it into the fourth generation.



00:21:57.260 --> 00:21:59.700

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, and make it through. And so.



00:21:59.800 --> 00:22:02.300

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: But but at the end of the day.



00:22:02.380 --> 00:22:06.339

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know. So if you think about that in terms of generations.



00:22:06.430 --> 00:22:09.340

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the business you're running is about



00:22:09.390 --> 00:22:17.099

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: how? When was it started again? 1977? Yeah. So I mean, you're you're going on a 50 year, almost 50 years old.



00:22:17.130 --> 00:22:21.500

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah. The the average company that goes through the stock market



00:22:21.650 --> 00:22:23.490

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: isn't 50 years old.



00:22:23.920 --> 00:22:36.189

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that's right, you know. And so we we talk about this horrible statistic. I'm only 3% make it. And it's the doom and gloom and the the the real, simple reason is just. There's a lack of communication



00:22:36.410 --> 00:22:47.960

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: as as the generation starts to get further and further out, you go into the cousin generation, which is where you're going into now. The trust isn't the same, because we grew up in different households.



00:22:48.090 --> 00:22:59.020

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Communication starts to break down and we have communicate. It's just exactly what you and I started this whole conversation with. When you start with trust, and you have good communication, you can make it through anything.



00:22:59.170 --> 00:23:10.509

Johny Roumanidakis: That's right. Yeah, actually funny. Bring up that statistic around the time. My grandpa and I were talking about you know me taking over, and as the President



00:23:10.600 --> 00:23:19.820

Johny Roumanidakis: as like, you know, the odds are against me. More likely that I'm gonna fail and succeed. And he had a lot of trust. So I thought.



00:23:20.350 --> 00:23:27.330

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I think that you're in by noticing that. And you know it's



00:23:27.790 --> 00:23:35.069

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: they call it governance. And all corporate governance is, how do we make decisions? Right? Family governance is, how do we make decisions as a family?



00:23:35.270 --> 00:23:36.430




00:23:36.480 --> 00:23:43.750

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, with 3 different main shareholders. The big thing is, you know, do we have rules in place?



00:23:44.860 --> 00:23:51.879

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So that when we get to a point where maybe somebody wants to go in a different direction than everybody else.



00:23:52.030 --> 00:23:55.730

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It everything's always good until it isn't.



00:23:55.920 --> 00:24:11.070

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and so so buy sell agreements and and succession plans. You can always flush them if everybody agrees, and that's the part that everybody forgets, in my opinion, is that you do just because you have a succession plan



00:24:11.170 --> 00:24:12.420

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: just because



00:24:12.610 --> 00:24:19.800

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you have, you know, a really well defined by sell agreement of how you're going to do things. You can always flush it



00:24:19.880 --> 00:24:22.510

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: if you choose to do that together.



00:24:23.090 --> 00:24:46.019

Johny Roumanidakis: Exactly. Nothing's written in stone. There's a lot of iterations on things like this as as years go on, things change time horizons for individuals change in terms of their retirement, planning and even like, you know, not such like at an ownership level. But just thinking back to the pandemic.



00:24:46.020 --> 00:24:57.850

Johny Roumanidakis: And you know, agreements we had with customers and suppliers on the supplier side, like some of these just in time inventory programs or these stocking programs that we had in place.



00:24:57.910 --> 00:25:01.750

Johny Roumanidakis: you know, evaporated. They're they're this material didn't exist.



00:25:01.790 --> 00:25:06.800

Johny Roumanidakis: So you know, what? How are you gonna say, hey? Well, we had this agreement in place



00:25:06.810 --> 00:25:16.229

Johny Roumanidakis: well, it's it's not there anymore. So things change in business all the time, and better, at least have something to lean on than nothing.



00:25:16.320 --> 00:25:26.780

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Right? And so the documents great. But then go go back to what it really is. At the end of the day. I explain to everybody when you, when you say what business is Netcom in.



00:25:27.990 --> 00:25:40.219

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: if you, if somebody asks you, what business are you in? Most people come back and say, what? While we're in the telecom, we're in the, you know. Yeah, electronics manufacturing.



00:25:40.230 --> 00:25:41.799

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You're not.



00:25:41.950 --> 00:25:54.550

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And this is the part that I once I once said, people hear this for the end, you know. They've heard it before, but once they hear it again they're like, Oh, I have to remember that we are all as business owners in the people business.



00:25:54.660 --> 00:26:13.930

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That's right. That is, that comes first. And that's but because the you know, you can make the best electronics components on the on the planet. But if you don't have trust and good communication with the people that you supply with the people that you sell to with the people that work with you and for you where you're where you're going. And so that's



00:26:14.320 --> 00:26:15.969

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that's the yeah vibe.



00:26:16.250 --> 00:26:24.229

Johny Roumanidakis: We have some. We have some pretty expensive equipment on our floor that that places tiny components on our PC boards, you know, to the



00:26:24.250 --> 00:26:33.839

Johny Roumanidakis: to the most precise location you can imagine. And you know I've always been raised to know that our our most valuable assets, the people in the business.



00:26:33.890 --> 00:26:45.510

Johny Roumanidakis: And so, you know, there's just there's not a number you can put on that because without us meaning the people, my colleagues there is no business



00:26:45.730 --> 00:27:02.910

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: a a a thousand. So talking about that, and you know it's really interesting. You brought up, you know all bets are off when when Covid happened. And now you know again I apologize. My heart goes out to you. Lost your grandfather, but you're



00:27:02.960 --> 00:27:09.449

Johny Roumanidakis: there's we. We talked about this. There's a I think he's an organizational psychologist. His name was Bruce Tuchman.



00:27:09.480 --> 00:27:14.130

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and he came up with this. You know diagram that I think helps people to see this stuff.



00:27:14.270 --> 00:27:34.259

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And it's forming, storming, norming, and performing. Okay, those are the 4 quadrants and every leadership team. Whenever there's a change, has to go immediately back to forming you after you know the loss of your grandfather. You're in the forming stage. You're building out that leadership team again. You're gonna go through that.



00:27:34.280 --> 00:27:46.590

Johny Roumanidakis: Then you're gonna go into that storming stage, which is, we don't agree with the direction and the strategy, and we gotta work through all of that stuff and make those things. I'm making you laugh, cause it's exactly what's happening right?



00:27:46.820 --> 00:27:57.390

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: A. And and I love this stuff. And it's like, you know the reason why we coach it, why we teach it is so that people can see it. When you see that image to say, Oh.



00:27:57.810 --> 00:27:59.480

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that's where I'm supposed to be.



00:27:59.770 --> 00:28:07.799

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That makes it all better, and then is if you lose somebody on the leadership team 2 years from now. Guess what? You're right back to forming all over again.



00:28:07.930 --> 00:28:09.070

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah.



00:28:09.110 --> 00:28:11.859

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and that all goes back to people.



00:28:12.290 --> 00:28:29.860

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: how do we hold people accountable? How do I develop my leadership team? How do I get the people to agree on the strategy? How do I create a culture at Netcom that you know? How do we continue to keep this culture in a place where we continue to have trust? We continue to communicate.



00:28:30.630 --> 00:28:44.109

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, I mean, that's really hard thing to do. I think this phrase gets used a lot. But you know, kind of what you're pointing out, is it? It really matters about having the right, Pete? Not only the right people, but having the right people in the right seat.



00:28:44.270 --> 00:28:50.690

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah, that's a classic. But it's so true, you know, because



00:28:50.930 --> 00:29:11.800

Johny Roumanidakis: over time, just like we were talking about things in the business role or whatnot, people's skill sets change. People's interest change. People's motivations change and so, you know, just keeping someone on the staff, because maybe they have like the right values but don't want to do what they're doing anymore. It doesn't make any sense.



00:29:11.860 --> 00:29:12.920

Johny Roumanidakis: So yeah.



00:29:12.980 --> 00:29:21.620

Johny Roumanidakis: it need to align all all of the the cultural and the skill sets and all of those things. To keep the organization moving forward.



00:29:22.220 --> 00:29:35.390

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I mean. So you've talked to your grandfather many, many times, and you've, you know, been working side by side with him for years. When you look at the leadership team and the changes that have happened at Netcom through the years.



00:29:35.450 --> 00:29:46.049

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: How do they navigate some of those things? And what were some of the reasons that leadership positions needed to change or more? For, you know. Talk about that for a little bit, if you don't mind.



00:29:46.980 --> 00:30:04.610

Johny Roumanidakis: You know one that comes to mind first is our production manager, our our Director of Operations. He looked at my grandfather like, you know, a father figure. They were very close they would talk every night at about 50'clock.



00:30:04.630 --> 00:30:11.210

Johny Roumanidakis: and you know shipments were important to my grandfather. Making sure our products left the dock.



00:30:11.250 --> 00:30:17.630

Johny Roumanidakis: got to our customers on time and and and that was this guy's responsibility.



00:30:18.080 --> 00:30:19.170

Johny Roumanidakis: and



00:30:20.410 --> 00:30:27.120

Johny Roumanidakis: they like I mentioned they spoke every night, and I'd I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't concerned



00:30:27.130 --> 00:30:35.380

Johny Roumanidakis: about what was gonna happen when they couldn't do that anymore. You know, I kinda thought about that for myself and



00:30:35.930 --> 00:30:36.619

Johny Roumanidakis: give them to me.



00:30:37.670 --> 00:30:44.140

Johny Roumanidakis: II thought about that for myself. And putting that aside. I wasn't sure exactly how he was going to handle that.



00:30:44.190 --> 00:31:11.140

Johny Roumanidakis: And it's incredible. It's like all it's like he distilled years of 5 Pm. Conversations down to a few values and a few skill sets, and just kept doing what he had been doing for the for many years prior and just excel, you know, is he's got his own method. To how he's planning his shipment schedule. He's exceeding our targets. I mean.



00:31:11.300 --> 00:31:27.880

Johny Roumanidakis: this guy got out, you know, he doubled production on a single product. In a month. You know, just because we said, Hey, we need to do this, and he figured it out so it it was just, you know, the the team, I think was so close to my grandfather that



00:31:28.150 --> 00:31:30.189

Johny Roumanidakis: there hasn't been a lot of changes



00:31:30.240 --> 00:31:35.870

Johny Roumanidakis: since then. In terms of people getting on and off the bus at all. Actually.



00:31:35.920 --> 00:31:48.120

Johny Roumanidakis: the changes have been, how people have kind of carried themselves and and taken things that they've learned from him, and started to apply them in their own ways, which was really cool to watch happen to be honest.



00:31:48.200 --> 00:31:57.650

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Oh, that's fantastic, and it's exactly what you're hoping to do. And a lot of times people don't realize it. But



00:31:57.980 --> 00:32:02.460

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know that you can only rise to the level of



00:32:03.030 --> 00:32:04.280

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the top person.



00:32:04.840 --> 00:32:09.059

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You know what I mean. And so and so sometimes, you know.



00:32:09.580 --> 00:32:28.009

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and and I'll just take a a company that I can think of off off the top of my head. They might have somebody in finance, and they don't. I'm just making this up. But like they've got somebody in that in that finance position that they've relied on for their whole life, and they did a really great job of helping them to get to where they are right now.



00:32:28.100 --> 00:32:32.339

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and that person leaves, and they bring in somebody else who is like.



00:32:32.600 --> 00:32:36.920

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: why was it done this way? And before you know, the finance department is like



00:32:37.190 --> 00:32:55.759

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: double capacity, they're making helping make decisions that you know they're like didn't even know that these, you know, these kinds of decisions could be made that we could get, you know, data this way and that. We could help, you know, to make these things happen, and it's you just don't know what you don't know as



00:32:55.960 --> 00:33:03.229

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: as the CEO sometimes, or the president of the company cause it's just like it's hard to do. Be everything to everybody all at once.



00:33:03.950 --> 00:33:04.810




00:33:04.980 --> 00:33:18.929

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and and so it's I, you know. G, you go back to what Jack Welch used to do Jack Welch at at Ge, where he would take the bottom. 10% of performers, and and, you know, get rid of them. And that threat



00:33:18.940 --> 00:33:29.200

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: of that happening to people made people rise. I think the the other side of that is that as we're growing companies and growing people.



00:33:29.960 --> 00:33:42.920

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you have to be cognizant of the the fact that you know. Yes, you have loyalty to this person, but there might be new things out there that if you're not investigating what's happening in these different areas?



00:33:43.150 --> 00:33:46.549

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You could be hurting yourself from a company standpoint.



00:33:46.630 --> 00:34:05.490

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah. And I mean, I think that's like, you know many things. There's there's kind of a range of what works. Because, you know, I've actually heard our our head of engineering used that phrase, we don't know. We don't know. Many times recently, I mean technology. And our industry changes, you know, really fast.



00:34:05.690 --> 00:34:07.270

Johny Roumanidakis: And



00:34:07.480 --> 00:34:25.930

Johny Roumanidakis: when you hear the leader of that, that division of our organization, you know, being open and vulnerable. The fact, hey? We don't know. We don't know. And being open to, you know. Let's go talk to this, you know, company and see what they're doing, or let's go, you know. Look into new ways to use AI to do



00:34:26.199 --> 00:34:38.599

Johny Roumanidakis: things on our production floor that we hadn't been before. I don't know how to do it. But let's find someone that does, and just kind of being open to doing those things is you don't need to take the Welch, you know, approach and just



00:34:38.600 --> 00:35:04.550

Johny Roumanidakis: fire the bottom top. 10% of performers. I think there's there's an education component and and making people feel comfortable and not knowing how to do something, but knowing that they'll have the support to to figure out new ways of doing something is like huge. And that's kind of the approach we take. Trying to support people to do new things before just saying, you don't know how to do this, and



00:35:05.050 --> 00:35:11.760

Johny Roumanidakis: I know. And I think there's a balance to to that conversation. I just like love. The fact that.



00:35:11.900 --> 00:35:13.269

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, like you, said



00:35:14.980 --> 00:35:23.179

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: he, he double production in a in a certain area, because you said you needed more. And and just by thinking a little differently around it.



00:35:23.330 --> 00:35:30.230

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  you said something else that I want to talk about. You talked about. He was vulnerable.



00:35:30.500 --> 00:35:31.270

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah.



00:35:31.410 --> 00:35:33.149

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: that goes back into trust.



00:35:34.350 --> 00:35:41.569

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What would you say, were some of the ways that your grandfather and the rest of the leadership team you know



00:35:42.150 --> 00:35:47.699

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: what were some of the things that they did to create a culture of trust



00:35:47.820 --> 00:35:51.110

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and and vulnerable, and being able to be vulnerable.



00:35:54.090 --> 00:35:55.060

Johny Roumanidakis: Mean?



00:35:55.210 --> 00:36:02.209

Johny Roumanidakis:  You know it's it's hard when when you haven't met him, but you know just his presence.



00:36:02.250 --> 00:36:08.150

Johny Roumanidakis: you know, gave a very warming and welcoming you know, environment.



00:36:08.210 --> 00:36:14.319

Johny Roumanidakis: He's someone you trust. You know, the day you meet them. So you know, just kind of like



00:36:14.470 --> 00:36:19.870

Johny Roumanidakis: the energy he brought to the room in and of itself created an environment like that.



00:36:20.000 --> 00:36:27.610

Johny Roumanidakis:  But you know. for example, me coming out of, you know, like textbook finance



00:36:28.050 --> 00:36:52.840

Johny Roumanidakis: when sales would slow, we would get in, you know, massive arguments, because I'd be like, Hey, we need to cut costs here, and these are, you know, my top 3 recommendations for how to cut costs, and he would reject all 3 of them, and he would choose losing money sometimes to make sure that someone kept their job, and it took me a while to understand that and so I you know, I think when when people on the



00:36:53.710 --> 00:36:56.429

Johny Roumanidakis: people on the plant for you know our our.



00:36:56.910 --> 00:37:03.109

Johny Roumanidakis: they know what's going on because they're making the products. And so you know, as when, when that



00:37:03.120 --> 00:37:06.390

Johny Roumanidakis: when the volume decreases



00:37:06.590 --> 00:37:16.310

Johny Roumanidakis: they know that there could be layoffs and when that doesn't happen and during slow periods and during, you know, busy periods.



00:37:16.550 --> 00:37:18.150

Johny Roumanidakis: people keep their jobs.



00:37:18.280 --> 00:37:33.949

Johny Roumanidakis: It's you know, there's just like these kind of silent actions that that, you know, speak volumes that I think is really how team. And and more importantly, my grandpa built this culture of of just trust. And the people you're working with



00:37:35.200 --> 00:37:37.600

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Nice, which is, you know, the



00:37:38.720 --> 00:37:44.739

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: where would you see your grandfather throughout the course of a week? Where did he spend most of his time.



00:37:45.400 --> 00:37:50.319

Johny Roumanidakis: A lot of it was spent walking around the building, you know, talking to people.



00:37:50.630 --> 00:38:05.039

Johny Roumanidakis: Actually, I have that on my calendar. I have, like, you know, time slot blocked every day to go, you know. Get up from my desk and go do that, and I don't do it every time. You know. But it's important to



00:38:05.060 --> 00:38:09.670

Johny Roumanidakis: to to really step away from the desk and just go see what's going on. Talk to people.



00:38:09.780 --> 00:38:25.439

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, IIII knew the answer to that just based on what you were saying. It's so different when the owner or the leader, you know, leaders are walking through and



00:38:26.010 --> 00:38:28.980

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: seeing what's happening and saying hello to people.



00:38:29.010 --> 00:38:37.149

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It's it means a lot. It means a lot that's awesome for you as you're looking at, you know.



00:38:37.630 --> 00:38:40.790

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: being the president of the company. What would you say? Your top?



00:38:42.160 --> 00:38:44.509

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: 2 or 3



00:38:44.530 --> 00:38:48.539

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: priorities right now for the next 12 to 18 months?



00:38:49.780 --> 00:39:11.470

Johny Roumanidakis: Pretty simple. We've got for the rest of this year, you know, our 3 priorities are hitting our shipments goal deploying our new Erp system and going live on target and then hitting our booked orders. Goal? You know, I think the the 3 goals that we set this year around shipments.



00:39:11.470 --> 00:39:36.249

Johny Roumanidakis: booked orders and in in the Go live date with our erp, really embody so many other priorities in the organization, part of which is our digital transformation. In the shipment side. You know, that embodies quality. You know, efficiency on the production floor. There's certain things we're doing there. And then, on the booked order side. It's it's getting into new markets.



00:39:36.290 --> 00:39:38.740

Johny Roumanidakis: You know, being able to



00:39:39.030 --> 00:39:59.059

Johny Roumanidakis: being able to serve customers and new and better ways. And so you know, those are my 3 priorities. But it's it's not only you know what I care about. It's with the whole organization rallied around right now. And so you know, for them, that's it. For the next 12 months. Well, shorter than that, because it's our fiscal year goal. So we're



00:39:59.290 --> 00:40:00.939

Johny Roumanidakis: in our fifth month.



00:40:01.120 --> 00:40:08.960

Johny Roumanidakis:  over over the next 18 months, though, and and maybe longer term call, you know, next 3 years.



00:40:09.000 --> 00:40:12.679

Johny Roumanidakis: It's really diversifying our our product group offerings.



00:40:12.960 --> 00:40:31.420

Johny Roumanidakis: That's that's you know, we we wanna we provide right now. We're really great at designing and manufacturing an Rf tunable filter. And that's a critical component in, you know, many military communication systems and other types of wireless communication systems.



00:40:31.590 --> 00:40:51.360

Johny Roumanidakis: But you know that components part of a bigger architecture that has other things like Rs amplifiers, antennas, power sources, and so trying to get into new markets and the new new products is you know, our 3 year or my 3 year priority.



00:40:51.570 --> 00:40:52.370

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Okay.



00:40:53.520 --> 00:40:58.000

running the business right now.



00:40:58.210 --> 00:41:03.099

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: what would you say? Are some of the pain points or frustrations



00:41:03.120 --> 00:41:07.560

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: as you're trying to, you know. Hit your priorities. What are the what are the things that



00:41:07.890 --> 00:41:09.779

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: can trip you up, so to speak.



00:41:10.290 --> 00:41:20.659

Johny Roumanidakis: So what was the massive pain points years ago with our supply chain and not being able to get chips not being able to get a lot of components



00:41:20.980 --> 00:41:38.120

Johny Roumanidakis: that that put companies into a mindset where it was, you know. Buy what you can get, bring it in, bring it in, bring it in and I think you know, it seems as though many companies were slow to see the shift in the supply chains lining up, and are now



00:41:38.520 --> 00:41:40.530

Johny Roumanidakis: over supplied over stocked.



00:41:40.540 --> 00:41:50.649

Johny Roumanidakis: And so we're we're seeing kind of a slow and buying because of that, you know, over supply or over stock and some of the end users of our products.



00:41:50.680 --> 00:41:58.389

Johny Roumanidakis: So you know, I think over the next 6 to 12 months. It'll be interesting to see you know how how the sales



00:41:58.410 --> 00:42:10.010

Johny Roumanidakis: play out. Given some of these customers, we know, have plenty of material on hand. I'd say. That'll be one of our challenges. To hitting our booked orders. Goal.



00:42:11.170 --> 00:42:11.969

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Got it?



00:42:12.180 --> 00:42:19.849

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Any other pain? Points, frustrations that you, you know. If you wake up at 30'clock 3 am. What are you thinking about?



00:42:22.380 --> 00:42:29.909

Johny Roumanidakis: You know? I think you're seeing it more and more in the news. The cyber security. We've



00:42:30.080 --> 00:42:30.940

Johny Roumanidakis: II



00:42:31.110 --> 00:42:45.460

Johny Roumanidakis: it's hard to compare yourself to other companies our size. I'd like to think we're further along than than others, but at the end of the day we're small business. We've got 60 employees, and



00:42:45.560 --> 00:43:03.959

Johny Roumanidakis: you know, to to really secure your your network and your it. Environment is expensive. And it's and it's also, you know when you're selling into the defense base requirement? So you know that that is a that's a challenge for us.



00:43:04.210 --> 00:43:05.959

Johny Roumanidakis: And then the other is.



00:43:06.330 --> 00:43:14.779

Johny Roumanidakis: the business has been around for a while, which means we have some aging equipment. And so, you know, making sure that we're staying.



00:43:15.780 --> 00:43:28.149

Johny Roumanidakis: you know, we're staying current with. You know, manufacturing processes. That some of our other competitors have with potentially bigger budgets is something I worry about.



00:43:28.210 --> 00:43:32.809

Johny Roumanidakis: But you know, we find ways to to make things work. So



00:43:32.870 --> 00:43:39.510

Johny Roumanidakis: those are some other things I'm thinking about that I wake up or



00:43:40.150 --> 00:43:41.970

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I appreciate it.



00:43:42.570 --> 00:43:48.279

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  10 years from now you're looking back.



00:43:49.780 --> 00:43:56.679

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What are the what are the what is? What's the dreams, the aspirations for you to say you, you know that like



00:43:57.600 --> 00:43:59.839

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: it all came together. If



00:44:00.990 --> 00:44:02.370

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: what has to happen?



00:44:03.030 --> 00:44:08.550

Johny Roumanidakis:  you know there's no there's no formula behind this



00:44:08.710 --> 00:44:14.969

Johny Roumanidakis: the biggest the company ever got was close to 50 million. So I want to hit 100.



00:44:15.020 --> 00:44:21.219

Johny Roumanidakis: If we had 100 million in revenue in 10 years, I'll be pretty happy.



00:44:22.760 --> 00:44:23.670

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: awesome.



00:44:23.960 --> 00:44:29.450

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: No, I appreciate you, Sharon. It's fun to be thinking about. You know these things



00:44:31.260 --> 00:44:35.459

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: a lot of times. I feel that.



00:44:37.190 --> 00:44:45.099

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: especially as a business starts to age, meaning we've been around for a while. It's thinking about, you know.



00:44:46.420 --> 00:45:00.400

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: making a giant leap like 50 to a hundred is a giant leap. and it's so much easier for people to say, you know, this is just what we've always done. This is where we are. This is where we fit into the world.



00:45:00.570 --> 00:45:07.440

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  I would I would tell you that this would be a really fun exercise to do with your leadership team to say.



00:45:07.450 --> 00:45:09.859

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: what would we have to do.



00:45:11.470 --> 00:45:15.099

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Take the thinking caps off. What would have to be different



00:45:15.160 --> 00:45:18.489

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: in order for us to be double our revenue



00:45:18.610 --> 00:45:32.660

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: in in 10 years. That is a really fun, you know. Exercise to do with people and take the gloves off. Take the the, you know, the the we've always done it this way off and just get creative.



00:45:32.910 --> 00:45:50.610

Johny Roumanidakis: I'll do that. That sounds like a really fun off-site type activity. But you know, even on the on the this is the way we do things, or whatnot. You know, being a 25 million or 50 million dollar company, you know, net, and 10 to 15 is



00:45:50.610 --> 00:46:07.080

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: revenue.



00:46:07.250 --> 00:46:26.399

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It's under 10% or something, you know, crazy like that. And when you break that, that that 10 million dollar a revenue mark, it's it's on. I think you're into the 1% range on over 10 million dollars at that point. So, congratulations! I was not taking anything away from it.



00:46:26.400 --> 00:46:37.429

Johny Roumanidakis: Oh, I didn't mean it as you were. I was just pointing out that like, that's a decision that you know people have to make is like, Do we want to be kind of a smaller



00:46:37.440 --> 00:46:45.210

Johny Roumanidakis:  small organization. That cash flows and makes you know the owners money? Or do we wanna shoot for the moon? And



00:46:45.340 --> 00:46:58.969

Johny Roumanidakis: I mean, that's still a conversation we're having even as a family right now. So it's I think both of those are are appropriate decisions matter of what you want.



00:46:59.220 --> 00:47:04.650

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah? And just like you said, you know, in order to grow. you know, it takes cash



00:47:04.810 --> 00:47:22.500

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and cash cash sucks growth like there's no, you know, is so much so, you know you you will not cash flow, probably for a while. In that, in a growth process to to double over a 10 year period. But



00:47:22.540 --> 00:47:36.879

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you have to. You have to make those determinations. Is it worth that? From? Let's talk about accountability real quick in order. You you, you have a culture where there's trust and there's good communication.



00:47:37.030 --> 00:47:42.479

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  how do you know? How do you build a culture of accountability.



00:47:42.690 --> 00:47:56.379

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And you know how we're you know. How is the company grown this culture of accountability you don't get, you know, people doing what they say they're going to do, you know, getting it done? And you knowing that you can rely upon people. How did that happen?



00:47:57.170 --> 00:48:02.450

Johny Roumanidakis: That's hard for me. Honestly. Because we do have a



00:48:02.790 --> 00:48:04.340

Johny Roumanidakis: somewhat relaxed



00:48:04.350 --> 00:48:08.949

Johny Roumanidakis: and friendly culture here. That, you know.



00:48:10.580 --> 00:48:15.559

Johny Roumanidakis: that doesn't always lend itself to the most accountable type of organization.



00:48:15.710 --> 00:48:23.590

Johny Roumanidakis: And so that's actually something that you know, I'm trying to figure out. What's right for us.



00:48:23.700 --> 00:48:26.089

Johny Roumanidakis: at this time. I, you know.



00:48:26.630 --> 00:48:44.920

Johny Roumanidakis: we have accountability because people come to work every day and generally want to do a good job. II don't believe anybody shows up and says, You know I'm just here to get through the day, or I'm here to mess something up, or I'm here to miss a deadline. Typically, you know, someone doesn't do something when they said they



00:48:45.100 --> 00:48:53.010

Johny Roumanidakis: we're gonna do it by because of a reason. Whether that was in their control or they can their control. Usually there's a reason.



00:48:53.170 --> 00:48:57.200

Johny Roumanidakis: and we're pretty accepting of those reasons. So



00:48:57.330 --> 00:49:07.609

Johny Roumanidakis: you know, it's finding that balance between like cutthroat accountability culture, and nothing gets done. Type of culture.



00:49:08.050 --> 00:49:18.730

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and I would say that where your ad is in more appropriate I don't think I'm not saying cutthroat, you know accountability. You get stuff done.



00:49:18.880 --> 00:49:39.710

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, we do. You wouldn't be able to do what you're doing. So there is some accountability that's happening. And yeah, you know, we. We don't always make everything. But like. Yeah, II think it goes back to. If I had to, you know, just from our conversation, it's it's because we trust one another. The trust was probably so important that people know that



00:49:39.760 --> 00:49:44.660

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: everybody else's jobs is dependent on the job that I do inside of the business.



00:49:44.800 --> 00:49:53.600

Johny Roumanidakis: and no one wants to let their friend or family member down. There's there might be a little bit of peer pressure even at some, you know healthy peer pressure



00:49:53.910 --> 00:49:55.250

Johny Roumanidakis: absolutely.



00:49:55.310 --> 00:50:25.169

Johny Roumanidakis: And and and on top of that you know, we're a really customer focused company. And so so many of the E. You know, every function ends up supporting the customer, whether it's, you know, sales bringing, bringing in the orders to supply chain, making sure the materials on time quality ensuring the customers getting a good product, and our engineering team designing, you know, high performing high tech filters. Everybody has a, you know, has a hand in serving the customer. And



00:50:25.310 --> 00:50:36.980

Johny Roumanidakis: I think we do a good job of sharing that. And so, you know, it's not only accountability to our peers. But to the end user. Actually, a cool story this past weekend I was at a



00:50:36.980 --> 00:50:56.239

Johny Roumanidakis: I was at a wedding, and I don't know if you've been on our website or seen what our products look like. But you know, they're tiny. They're pretty small. They're, you know, metal enclosures. Electronics. There's you know they're not that appealing to the eye. You know we're not. We're not making the.



00:50:56.250 --> 00:50:57.170

Johny Roumanidakis: So



00:50:58.050 --> 00:51:10.070

Johny Roumanidakis: I've I've been wondering. How can I kinda try to tie what we do here to to the bigger picture, which is providing a critical component to military communication systems.



00:51:10.150 --> 00:51:17.010

Johny Roumanidakis: And this guy was talking to at a wedding used to use radios designed by one of our biggest customers.



00:51:17.050 --> 00:51:39.820

Johny Roumanidakis: And you know, I was asking him those radios ever fail. And he's like, Yeah, when it comes fails. We have problems. And you know, it just kinda really opened my eyes, even though I knew this. But hearing a soldier say that when Comms goes down we have problems. You know that that piece of equipment went down because of a component, and it could be our component



00:51:40.000 --> 00:51:59.120

Johny Roumanidakis: and so, you know, really trying to like tie the narrative to, although it's a small component in a bigger system, it performs a critical function, and knowing that you're accountable for that you know, is another element that's really important to us, and probably has a reason to do why we do do things.



00:51:59.330 --> 00:52:01.110

We get things done.



00:52:01.390 --> 00:52:08.709

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: No, II love it. I mean, you're you're echoing core purpose, you know. Why do we exist beyond money.



00:52:08.740 --> 00:52:13.270

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You know, it's you're you're out there protecting people.



00:52:14.190 --> 00:52:16.080

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know. Yeah. And and



00:52:16.300 --> 00:52:29.559

Johny Roumanidakis: it doesn't always feel that way when you look at the components we're making. But at the end of the day you know, it takes everybody or every manufacturer that supports those bigger programs to do their part.



00:52:29.680 --> 00:52:30.390

Johny Roumanidakis: Yeah.



00:52:31.080 --> 00:52:43.829

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I there's I. I've said it on this show before. But John F. Kennedy was walking around NASA. You know Kennedy Space or before with Kennedy Space center, I guess, or maybe it was



00:52:44.090 --> 00:52:46.450

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and asking people, What do they do?



00:52:46.970 --> 00:52:53.740

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And you know this person, I'm an engineer, and I'm a this, and I'm a that, and you know, when he asked the janitor, you know, what do you do?



00:52:53.810 --> 00:52:57.030

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: The custodian, Z. I'm hoping to put a man on the moon.



00:52:57.230 --> 00:53:10.840

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and at the end, whether that's a true story or not, a true story I don't know, but at the end of the day it really makes a lot of sense. That's what you want in your team, and that's what you were talking about is, how do I make sure that everybody knows that



00:53:11.460 --> 00:53:15.130

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: every one of us matters in what we're doing here.



00:53:15.350 --> 00:53:28.059

Johny Roumanidakis: That's right. And speaking of the moon we actually have a Netcom filter on the moon. So my grandpa designed a filter that was on the Apollo space capsule. That when like a a light was



00:53:28.060 --> 00:53:45.639

Johny Roumanidakis: basically knitted onto the surface of the moon, which is a little metallic. It was reflected and received by a filter as part of the landing mechanism to know how far it was from the surface. So there was a soft landing. So that's pretty cool. It's a pretty cool pro. We're probably one of our coolest products that we ever sold.



00:53:45.920 --> 00:53:51.849

Johny Roumanidakis: That's that's wicked cool, and I'm glad. So I'm super glad that I brought that up then.



00:53:51.910 --> 00:53:54.459

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What? You know as you think about



00:53:55.150 --> 00:54:00.350

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: your grandfather and and I and I hope you get that. You know.



00:54:00.550 --> 00:54:11.979

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  this is. This has been a kind of a tribute a little bit to him. He's done a yeah re remarkable job. What would you say? Or his



00:54:12.620 --> 00:54:19.790

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: founding? You know, foundational core values if you had to boil them down.



00:54:20.880 --> 00:54:23.659

Johny Roumanidakis: man, that's a hard one.



00:54:24.340 --> 00:54:28.229

Johny Roumanidakis: I think I think about that a lot. Actually.



00:54:28.270 --> 00:54:36.610

Johny Roumanidakis: and you know I don't think I have the perfect answer. But what what comes to mind is just



00:54:36.920 --> 00:54:43.699

Johny Roumanidakis: doing what's right for other people or being a servant, I guess, is maybe like the



00:54:43.780 --> 00:55:05.940

Johny Roumanidakis: the most basic way I could could say it. I mean he he never! You know. He was never thinking about himself. He was always thinking about his family or his friends or his colleagues. And he was always serving people, you know, for the last I mean, as long as I've worked here. So for the last 8 years about. He didn't take a salary



00:55:06.610 --> 00:55:14.769

Johny Roumanidakis: like not once. There were times where you know. The company was in a in a in a difficult position. You had to put money in.



00:55:14.930 --> 00:55:26.849

Johny Roumanidakis: So you know he didn't do this you know, for the money. He did it because he loved the people that he was doing it for and that he was able to serve them. And I think that's what it all came down to.



00:55:27.740 --> 00:55:30.860

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That's amazing. I love that. Thank you for sharing



00:55:31.210 --> 00:55:37.070

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: as you're distilling those things down. What was your grandfather's name?



00:55:37.200 --> 00:55:38.260

Johny Roumanidakis: Angelo?



00:55:38.370 --> 00:55:40.620

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Angelo? So I do. You know.



00:55:40.640 --> 00:55:51.420

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You you you can do the the and I. Some. Some people may not appreciate this, but it's wwad. What would Andrew do, Angelo do?



00:55:51.790 --> 00:55:54.039

And and it's so really



00:55:54.140 --> 00:56:04.649

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: important to remember. You know the founder of a company, and the the spirit and the everything that they brought to the table through all those years.



00:56:04.730 --> 00:56:09.350

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: When you can hang on to that for as long as you can.



00:56:09.620 --> 00:56:13.789

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It just helps it. Just it really does help to look back.



00:56:14.020 --> 00:56:22.760

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: My, I'm second generation. and there are, you know. There are times when I have to go back and say, I get. Why Dad did this now



00:56:22.930 --> 00:56:32.049

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I didn't get it there. There was times when I didn't get it. And now you're in that seat, and you're like, Oh, okay, that makes sense. Now.



00:56:32.870 --> 00:56:34.920

Johny Roumanidakis: So Alex was.



00:56:34.950 --> 00:56:41.240

Johny Roumanidakis: I'm glad I had that experience. Really blessed have been able to just learn from him. And



00:56:41.250 --> 00:56:51.029

Johny Roumanidakis: and like you said, you know, there were times where I would argue with them until I was blue in the face to save a dollar. And now it's a get. Why, we made the decisions we made at those times.



00:56:51.210 --> 00:56:52.340

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: That's great.



00:56:52.660 --> 00:57:09.800

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: If you're sitting on a panel you're you've got third generations in the audience in front of you. And there you're giving your advice to you know. What is Johnny's advice for working in a family business? What are you sharing with the audience?



00:57:12.240 --> 00:57:19.069

Johny Roumanidakis:  you know, I unfortunately,



00:57:19.480 --> 00:57:32.259

Johny Roumanidakis: recently lost another family member that with my grandfather's cousin. and she used to always although I was never soccer player, he would always ask me, do you kick with your right foot or your left foot?



00:57:32.370 --> 00:57:51.829

Johny Roumanidakis: And I would, you know he would ask all the you know younger children as you kick with your right foot, your left foot, and I would always respond. I kick with my right foot, and he'd be like, no, you take with both feet. I you know I always tried to understand. You know what the principle he was trying to share there was. But it's that.



00:57:51.830 --> 00:58:08.799

Johny Roumanidakis: you know we do what we're comfortable doing, and and if you're comfortable kicking with your right foot, you kick with your right foot. But in a family business. Sometimes you have to do things that you're not comfortable. Doing and getting comfortable. Being uncomfortable is is really important. So my advice would be to kick the boat beat.



00:58:10.300 --> 00:58:21.240

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I love it, I love it. Thank you.  One more thing, and then I'll let you go. Favorite book business book



00:58:26.310 --> 00:58:31.610

Johny Roumanidakis: your principles by Ray Daleio is is just. There's so much



00:58:31.840 --> 00:58:38.680

Johny Roumanidakis: there, it's just there. It's just an endless amount of information. That



00:58:38.700 --> 00:59:02.369

Johny Roumanidakis: that. I'm still trying to take in. So you know, I think that will ultimately be my favorite business book long term, although I've only gotten through once. I think the most, the more basic one that I really enjoy is traction the entrepreneurial operating system. And although we don't necessarily follow it here, I think, you know, my main takeaway from that is, any system is better than no system.



00:59:02.420 --> 00:59:07.609

Johny Roumanidakis: And so, you know, I like that book. I think that I've taken a lot of good pieces of information from it.



00:59:07.800 --> 00:59:21.020

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah, I think Gino did a really good job of distilling down what execution looks like, and making sure that we're running a smooth system inside of the you know, inside of the business. Very, very good.



00:59:21.700 --> 00:59:26.869

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Johnny Ramadakis. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Netcom.



00:59:27.300 --> 00:59:31.180

You guys are available, you know, wh, which? What is your website?



00:59:31.970 --> 00:59:40.150

Johny Roumanidakis: Www, net, dot netcomink dotcom? yeah, you make on Google.



00:59:40.180 --> 00:59:57.369

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So if anybody needs some Rf filters. Yeah, Johnny's the guy. Definitely check them out. Check them out. II would just wanna say, Thank you. This has been great. I love talking about this. I never know where they're gonna go and what the conversations look like. But.



00:59:57.380 --> 01:00:03.420

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: man, I would have loved to spend some time with Angelo and you together, and just



01:00:03.730 --> 01:00:26.539

Johny Roumanidakis: I'm glad that you got a lot of years working with them and learning from them. That's just awesome. Well, thanks, Michael, this is a great opportunity really appreciate you having me on the show. I gotta be honest. I was a little nervous when I talked to Christina, and there was no preparation, and I had no clue where this conversation was gonna go, but



01:00:26.540 --> 01:00:41.059

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: really excited about where it went, and just can't thank you enough for the opportunity. Thank you. Thank you. Well, thank you. Everybody for listening to another episode of the family. Biz show. I am your host, Michael Columbus, with family wealth and legacy in Rochester, New York.



01:00:41.120 --> 01:00:48.570

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and we cannot wait to have you listen in on the next episode of the family biz show. Thanks. Everybody have a great day.



01:00:50.380 --> 01:00:51.140

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and.

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Michael Palumbos is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth & Legacy, LLC is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.