When Adam Skolnik became a Vistage Florida Member in 2005, he had no idea that he would make three major career changes in five years. At the time, he was President and major shareholder of a closely held Central Florida Irrigation Company. He had just overseen the building of a new headquarters office and was poised to lead the company to new heights. But, as he described it, “I was no longer so excited about my work and ‘doing cartwheels’ every morning when I went to the office.” After several months of discussing his situation with his Vistage group, he made the decision to either gain control of the organization or sell his shares and resign the presidency, and then take some time to decide what he wanted to do next. As Adam recalls, “I literally brought a spreadsheet of options to my fellow Vistage members to weigh advantages and disadvantages of one of the most important career decisions I had ever made. They helped me see that I had a rare opportunity to use my skills and experience by accepting an offer with a large public company in the Midwest.”
Having the opportunity to expand that firm’s international operations was indeed challenging and rewarding…for a while. Over time, however, Adam realized he was an entrepreneur at heart and began to prepare a plan for his future.
Adam’s next career move came in 2009 when he became a partner in Irrigation Components International, Inc. He and his partner, John McCabe, also a Vistage member, involved their respective Chairs and fellow members in the negotiations and structuring of their business agreement. And, as with all business arrangements, they have taken those issues to both groups. Adam notes, “We always come to the groups with a plan in mind, and always return with better ideas.” Most recently, they have recapitalized their company by joining up with a Private Equity Group to enable the company to expand both domestically and internationally.
Adam describes himself as a “poster boy” for Vistage. Through the various career moves he maintained his membership in the group even when it required him to pay his dues personally. He plans his travel and business schedule around his Vistage Meeting schedule, rarely missing a meeting. And, he frequently tells his Chair, Linda Pfister, and his fellow members that he can’t imagine life without them and Vistage. And, they can’t imagine the group without him!
“We always come to the groups with a plan in mind, and always return with better ideas.”