Published in the Tallahassee Democrat, May 18, 2011
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A successful business begins with the art of building great relationships, Pepi Food Services CEO Vic Pemberton told his audience Tuesday morning at the Business Nuts & Bolts Breakfast of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
Pemberton walked his audience through the startup and expansion of Pepi, which began in 1987 and is a food service provider and caterer to large business customers. Today the Bainbridge company has operations in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, and a staff of 150.
“What will you do to build good relationships?” said Pemberton, who refers to himself as “a poor ol’ biscuit maker” and is a native of Flint, Mich. He challenged the Chamber members to spend time on that aspect of their businesses. Another cornerstone of Pepi is a quest for excellence.
“People want to do business with people who are really, really good at what they do,” he said. “How can you get better at what you’re doing?”
Pemberton’s method is to keep up with the latest books on business management and personal development. An avid reader, he shares what he learns with his employees.
“We have to have a passion for excellence,” Pemberton said. “The people who pursue excellence are the ones who are going to win.”
His third emphasis is on stewardship — a career that succeeds at supporting family, colleagues and community. For him, Pemberton said it was the realization as a delivery driver for soft drink giant Pepsi that he had a passion for service. He’s made that a life-long pursuit, he added.
The chamber’s Leadership Tallahassee organization will be looking for individuals with just such a trait in the 2011 Distinguished Leadership Awards. Nominations are being solicited now for the Leadership Pacesetter Award, the Leader of the Year, and the Servant Leadership Award.
Nominations are due by June 3. For information or to nominate an individual, go to the website www.NominateOne.com.