The owner and President of Regency Lighting on why A Tribe Called Quest and Guns N Roses should be on every music fan's playlist, his Dad is the most important influence in his life and why getting back on the road is the path to normalcy.
What is the most cherished item in your office?
My wife made a piece of artwork out of metal, which shows the New York skyline.
What is your favorite time to get things done?
Night time. I am a night owl. I love the evenings. The mornings are tough because I feel the pressure of the day building. The nighttime is more peaceful, so I feel more relaxed to crank out work.
What is the soundtrack that continually plays in the background of your office?
The soundtrack from the movie “Boomerang,” which starred Eddie Murphy. It was such a great and entertaining movie.
Name the band you cannot take off your playlist.
You have to have A Tribe Called Quest. I mean, that is more like a group, not a band. If I am going to rock ’n roll, definitely Guns N Roses.
What does a typical work day look like?
Nowadays it starts off with a Zoom call; then emails; then more Zoom calls, followed by lots of emails; perhaps a call or two, then more Zoom calls. It usually ends with some emails and more Zoom calls. I need to get on a plane again.
What are you binge watching right now?
Do Zoom calls count as binge watching?
What has this experience taught you?
This pandemic has taught me—as I am sure so many others—so many life lessons. Never over-extend yourself. Plan for not just a rainy day, but for a hurricane or two.” Value time with family. Stay focused on the future. Don’t get too wrapped up in the immediate/now (of course, you cannot neglect what is in front of you either). Value relationships. That last one has always been a staple of mine and our business model, but it is in the tough times where we need each other most. And that trust has to be built over time, not just at the last minute, you know?
If you knew what was going to happen, what would you have done differently?
Honestly, I think we have handled this pandemic pretty well. We were fairly aggressive right out of the gate with cost-cutting measures and business process realignments. However, I guess we always could have been more aggressive. But I honestly think we made good decisions with the information we had at the time, which was extremely tough.
Favorite comfort food.
Best advice you ever received?
I would probably say it is a new definition of success that my Dad penned: “Success is defined as taking advantage of the opportunities before you, without sacrificing your priorities.”
Biggest influence in your life?
My Dad, for sure. I am so grateful to have him in my life. He has taught me so much about business, sports, competition, priorities, relationships/friendships, generosity. I am so thankful for him.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient. Do not try and rush things or get ahead of yourself. Balance the ability to be in the moment while also looking forward/ahead to tomorrow.
What is the first thing you are going to do when you are able to get back to some sense of normalcy?
Jump on a plane. I miss seeing my clients. I miss seeing my vendor friends. I look forward to the day when we are all back together—talking life, strategizing, hanging out, moving our businesses forward—all while having a great time together doing it.
Check out life in the COVID landscape here.