Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal panel featuring leaders of the 200 largest privately held companies in the Tampa Bay area by revenue.
Jennifer Durham, chief development officer, Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants Inc.
Mike Geis, chief information officer, myMatrixx
Gary Sasso, CEO, Carlton Fields
John Zettel, CEO, AVI-SPL
Brian West, media and community relations manager, Publix Super Markets Inc.
Jamie Harden, president and CEO, Creative Sign Designs
Tyler Cathey, chief operating officer and general counsel, Franklin Street
Omar Soliman, CEO and co-founder, College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving
Leaders at some of the Tampa Bay area’s largest privately held companies share a key common concern: strengthening their labor pool, as their businesses continue to expand. They talked about their opportunities and challenges at an Oct. 30 roundtable moderated by Tampa Bay Business Journal Editor Alexis Muellner. Here are highlights of the discussion, edited for brevity and clarity.
CATHEY: The reality for Franklin Street has been a pretty strong run of commercial real estate. It is in large part the backbone of the state of Florida. There is just a ton of opportunity, the market has been so strong.
The biggest challenge is recruiting, both the top-level talent and the junior talent as well. On the junior side, a lot of the folks that we get, they don’t come with any formal training, so we have to implement that. It’s time-consuming, it’s expensive. You’ve got to make sure they’re going to stick around afterwards, so it has to be a compelling case.
And then top talent. When you’re a young company, 10 years old, you have to find the right person that’s willing to take a little bit of a risk on that entrepreneurial opportunity to join a company that doesn’t come with the big cachet of, you know, our large competitors.