CEO, LaBella Associates, DPC
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
The development of my work ethic began as a teenager working with my father in the family business, which taught me 1) show up at 7:45 for an 8 a.m. start to the workday, 2) never sit down on the job, and 3) when you run out of things to do, sweep the floor. Later in my professional career, I discovered that finding the proper balance of courage, wisdom and humility when tackling the tough decisions is a fine art that requires continual practice, but is really important.
What’s been your biggest success?
Throughout my 25-plus years as an engineer at LaBella, I’ve worked on many projects that proved to be successful, some bigger than others. Along the way, firm leaders provided opportunities for me to work with others to develop and sustain a culture committed to providing outstanding service to our clients while creating an inspiring place to work for our employees. Being named to lead this important work as CEO last year was an affirmation of my efforts, but perhaps more importantly it represented the product of a team of leaders, past and present, committed to the continuity of this culture.
Who have been the biggest mentors in your career?
Sergio Esteban, from whom I’m still learning the lessons of courage, wisdom and humility; Mike Schaffron, who always challenged me to the best scientist/engineer I could be; and Gary Squires, who taught me to support those that follow us as they pursue their career ambitions.
What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?
That we truly strive to find common ground and work as a community to tackle the many difficult and complex challenges we face, AND that we see an infrastructure bill which will create economic opportunities while improving the basic facilities so necessary for a healthy society — hey, I’m an engineer after all!
What do you do to unplug in your free time?
Exercise, get outdoors, consume books, travel and family time.