NAMA promotes and protects the advancement of the convenience services industry.
From InTouch Magazine Winter 2020 Issue
Vice President of Manufacturing, Minus Forty Technologies Corp
University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
Trade Shows — Since April 2013
How did you get into the convenience services industry?
I joined Minus Forty (Coldtech at the time) 20 years ago. I was a junior lab technician and was in charge of all the testing and assisted with proto-types. We were consistently developing new product requests that our customers came to us with from the convenience store industry.
Give us an overview of your role and key responsibilities.
Throughout my career at Minus Forty I have worked my way up to the role of VP of Manufacturing. I am responsible for all operational aspects pertaining to production, quality assurance, maintenance, and logistics. Developing and implementing strategies to increase production output and efficiency to meet daily, monthly, and annual company goals and objectives of delivering product that meets our motto of smart investment and better sales for our customers.
What are the skills you use most in your career?
Lean Six Sigma, Process Improvements, & Coaching Team Members. The goal of any company is to be more profitable. The pathway to success is through our people. Through consistent training and internal growth within our organization we’ve seen how strong, focused, energized team members can quickly contribute to the bottom line!
What do you believe are the biggest challenges you face in your business?
Our company as done an amazing job expanding its supply chain around the globe. Some of our biggest challenges lie in a consistent supply. We are starting to see a lot more disruptions in the supply chain around the globe caused by uncontrollable risk factors. Forcing us along with other manufactures to have a plan with more of a domestic supply chain in place.
What are the greatest opportunities?
What I love about LEAN is that there is ALWAYS opportunity. The goal line is constantly shifting and evolving with every improvement. The key is to train your staff to evolve with this change and to have a positive can-do attitude. We have an amazing team here at Minus Forty that consistently rallies to go above and beyond on a regular basis!
How has COVID-19 impacted your life and business? (i.e. did your company pivot in a unique way? Is there something special you accomplished during this time? What lessons have you learned?)
COVID-19 has been tough. As I’m sure for a lot of retailers and manufactures a like. There have been a lot of up and downs this past year. Being forced to ramp down and then later ramp back up. Nobody really knew how this was all going to play out in the beginning. We have been fortunate at Minus Forty as we are supplying refrigeration equipment to the food industry. For the team here that has endured it the longest, I believe it has brought us closer together, made us more of a family unit. Work is often referred to as your home away from home. Well your team is your family and that’s how we’ve grown together through this.
Moving forward, what are your personal/professional goals?
Professionally I really enjoy coaching and mentoring our team. Their success is my success. I love seeing people grow within our community!
Tell us about the most memorable work experience you’ve had.
October 2001. Our company was looking for a volunteer to drive a sales rep and work a trade show in downtown New York city. I was driving a big white box truck. Words cannot describe this trip as it took place only four weeks after 9/11. I’ll never forget the patriotism I witnessed, or the empty streets. The strength and the resilience of New Yorkers left a lifelong impression on my life.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — you learned in the last month?
The Social Dilemma. A Netflix documentary that talks about society’s dependency on technology, and how big tech companies are driven by profits and attention-grabbing algorithms. I’ve always tried to stay up-to-date (with technology) and be consciously “aware” of its effects.
What advice would you offer young people starting their careers in this industry?
You don’t have to know what you want to do or where you want to go right away. You DO need to have good work ethic and a can-do attitude. Looking back in my career it was a positive attitude, always volunteering when others wouldn’t, and good attendance, lol, that contributed to my growth. Make a goal for yourself each year. How am I going to be better, what am I going to learn this year? Continuing education has also contributed to my success both personally and professionally.
What’s a favorite piece of advice you’ve received that has helped you in your professional career?
Progress, not perfection! Don’t be as focused on how big each step is. Focus on the direction and keep moving forward.
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I love spending most of my time with my family! Raising three little boys with my wife seems to fill in all the extra time, lol! Any other time you can find me at the range, practicing for a local sport shoot here and there.