September 22, 2015
When talking about business success, people often say that “it’s all about who you know.” I would change that to — “it’s all about the friendships you make.” For me, this slightly revised version of an old expression, which sounds inherently personal, is personal. But it applies to business too.
During these past two years of entrepreneurship, there are many times I have needed help, advice or simply to bounce an idea off of someone whose opinion I value. When I was given the opportunity to speak at the Harvard Club on the topic of entrepreneurship, I decided that even better than hearing from me would be for the audience to hear from some of my trusted advisors.
Putting this panel together is based on my belief that the way you survive (and even thrive) without a paycheck is by having a network of people willing to take the time to invest in your success, just because they care about whether you succeed.
So on October 26, I’m giving an audience the opportunity to ask questions of three people who have given me so many thoughtful answers over so many years.
Cindy Machles is CEO and co-founder of Glue, a boutique advertising agency in the Chelsea section of New York City. Leveraging her 25 years of experience running and starting companies for WPP, she, along with her business partner Alan Rothenberg, streamlined the agency model, incorporating what works from the big conglomerate world and eliminating what doesn’t. As a result, Glue clients get a hands-on, resource-rich experience that is strong on strategy, innovation and creativity, without the churn and waste that increase costs.
Cindy began her career on the client side in packaged goods at Clorox and continued it at Johnson & Johnson, giving her the solid foundation in marketing fundamentals that benefits Glue clients today. She also launched and supported products in Europe, Asia, Canada and Latin America, which enables her to bring a very important global perspective to the table.
Cindy has always had P&L responsibility. When she became an entrepreneur, she quickly learned that managing cash flow was the even bigger challenge.
Cindy has an MBA in marketing and finance from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a B.S. summa cum laude in journalism and economics from Boston University’s School of Public Communications. She is also an active member of the NHF Business Council.
Gerald Mosely, PhD, is the Principal and Founder of CP&P Development, a leadership development and strategy firm that assists corporate leaders and teams in achieving their business objectives. Gerald and CP&P focus on the people-oriented aspects of commercial success, with a particular emphasis on organizational health. Before founding CP&P, Gerald rose through the ranks of Corporate America. His career at SmithKlineBeecham, which became GlaxoSmithKline, took him from the lab to sales to US and Global Marketing positions to Country Manager of Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei. When he returned to the US, he assumed the role of one of two National Sales Vice Presidents, which gave him responsibility for delivering against sales goals in the Western half of the country. Gerald then followed one of his mentors to become General Manager of Global Anesthesia for Baxter. By the time he opted for entrepreneurship, he had led organizations of more than 2,000 people. Gerald’s people skills, charisma and inherent ability to develop others were the basis for a chapter in executive coach Karol Wasylyshyn’s book, ‘Destined to Lead’. Relevant to the panel is that – using a pseudonym – Karol writes about the courage behind Gerald’s decision to strike out on his own.
Gerald has a B.S. in Biology from Loma Linda University and a PhD in pathology and tumor immunology from the University of Washington.
Tracy Schefler and her staff serve as carve-out accountants to companies and as business managers for high net worth individuals. Tracy’s business model gives her clients access to premiere bookkeeping, CFO services and everything in between, as often as and exactly when they need them.
Tracy often calls herself “the accidental entrepreneur”. After a career that took her from Big 4 Public Accounting to the controllership of New Line Cinema, she decided to leave the corporate world so that she could dedicate herself to her family. When she re-entered the workforce as a company founder, she sourced her first client from Craigslist. Since that time, through networking and referrals, she has built an enviable and eclectic roster that includes advertising agencies, law firms, an organic farm, fashion designers and some of New York’s wealthiest families.
Tracy continually confronts the high-class entrepreneurial problem of how to grow in response to demand without sacrificing quality.
Tracy is a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor and a CPA, who earned her accounting degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Sladkus is the Founder and President of Red Lighthouse Investment Management, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm in New York City. Red Lighthouse focuses on asset allocation and provides structured portfolio management to its clients.
Prior to Red Lighthouse, Mark served as the head of Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI). In this capacity, Mark created the world’s first invest-able emerging market index and led the effort to create the first global style indices, which partitioned the world’s developed and emerging markets into “value” and “growth” indices. At MSCI, he acted as the chair of the index committee, the group responsible for selecting which securities enter and exit the MSCI family of indices (including the well-known EAFE, EM, and ACWI Indices.)
Mark’s unique expertise in creating and maintaining indices provided the inspiration for his firm and continue to be the principles upon which it is based.
Mark is a recognized speaker at investment conferences around the world and was the 2008 recipient of the William F. Sharpe Lifetime Indexing Achievement Award. Mark has an MBA in finance from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a B.S. in economics from Cornell University.