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On November 7, 2017 we* did our tenth annual Getting the Deal Done Breakfast Conference and had record attendance of about 180 people. Our guest speaker was Joe Fugere, founder and CEO of Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria.

Joe’s topic was, “Value Based Leadership.” Here are some of the main points I picked up from Joe.

  1. Tutta Bella has their 10 Point Pizza Guidelines and if any pizza doesn’t meet all 10 guidelines it isn’t served and is donated to food banks.
  2. Joe’s business recipe for success has three ingredients: Purpose, Values, and Vision. Purpose summarizes why a company exists and Tutta Bella’s is, “To nourish lives by sharing traditions, authentic food and love.”
  3. Values in our standards of behavior. Tutta Bella’s values are love, innovation, growth (of their people), community, and passion. As part of this they expect their people to, live our values, be our values, and create memorable experiences.
  4. Vision defines the optimal desired future state. Part of Tutta Bella’s vision is providing employees with clarity, giving professional and personal support via constant feedback and coaching, and giving their people a reason to be proud. Overall, their vision is, “To transcend conventional practices and expectations in casual dining so that our enterprise flourishes and is highly respected by employees, guests, and business peers.”
  5. The company is very community oriented. Each of their five stores picks a charity in their immediate community to support and companywide they have two organizations they support.

They live the above, not just say it. That becomes obvious when you hear Joe talk about it.

As per our standard operating procedure, the sponsors then presented a panel discussion. This year it wasn’t a case study to analyze but rather sticky situations in buy-sell deals (and with operating companies). The topics our group of experts covered included:

  • (Given Tutta Bella is such a people oriented company) what are the top people-employee-management issues?
  • The plusses and minuses of selling to management and employees.
  • Dealing with a C corporation when selling, especially if there’s real estate in the corporation.
  • How to handle shareholder squabbles and disputes.
  • What to do when there’s no management development, which usually means a huge owner dependency.
  • When is a quality of earnings report needed and what makes it a good one.
  • And it goes without saying Marc presented on tax law updates.

Another great event and we hope to see you at next years.

* We means Greg Russell with PRK Law; Kit Gerwels with Columbia Bank; Marc Hutchinson with Hutchinson and Walter CPA; John O’Dore with Chinook Capital Advisors; and me.

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