Tag Archives: Roy Vallee

toasted-marshmallows

The Dish: Marshmallows

You’ll never have to eat those stale, flavorless blobs from the grocery store again, once you learn how to make your own marshmallows! Imagine: cinnamon spice marshmallows topping off your hot chocolate on a cool fall evening, vanilla bean marshmallows toasted atop your sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving or blushing, pink rose water marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate for Valentine’s Day…The possibilities are endless with these gooey little morsels!

With the holidays right around the corner, marshmallows make excellent gifts. Place several marshmallows, some graham crackers, and a chocolate bar in a box for a homemade s’more kit. You can also wrap marshmallows in cellophane and place in an nice mug with a packet of gourmet hot chocolate for another great gift idea!

Try replacing the corn syrup with honey, agave or even molasses for an interesting twist. Virtually any flavor can be added from lemon juice to rum! Try adding different extracts or spices or even a pinch of salt on top of each to cut the sweetness. You can even use food coloring and cookie cutters to make them fun and festive. The only limit to the possibilities is remembering to keep all the ingredients proportionate (i.e. if you want to add 2 TBSP of limoncello, remove 2 TBSP of water).

Though the recipe may look long, these could not be easier to make. All you need is a mixer and your imagination!

Homemade Marshmallows 

• Vegetable oil or spray for coating pan

• About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for coating pan and marshmallows

• 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin

• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

• 1 cup light corn syrup

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Pastry brush; 1 (9-inch) square baking pan; small, fine-mesh sieve; 4 1/2-quart or larger stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; candy thermometer

Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil.

Put 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl and stir briefly to make sure all the gelatin is in contact with water. Let soften while you make the sugar syrup.

In a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Place over moderate heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Put a candy thermometer into the boiling sugar syrup and continue boiling (the mixture may foam up, so turn the heat down slightly if necessary), without stirring, until the thermometer registers 240°F (soft-ball stage). Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand briefly until the bubbles dissipate slightly.

With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the softened gelatin. Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow is very thick and forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky) and use a wet spatula to spread it evenly and smooth the top. Let stand uncovered at room temperature, until the surface is no longer sticky and you can gently pull the marshmallow away from the sides of the pan with your fingertips; at least 4 hours or overnight.

Dust a cutting board with confectioners’ sugar. Use a rubber spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the edge of the pan (use the spatula to loosen the marshmallow from the bottom of the pan if necessary) and invert onto the cutting board. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar.

Brush a long thin knife or a chef’s knife with vegetable oil and dust with confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking; continue dusting the knife as necessary. Cut lengthwise into 8 strips, then crosswise into eighths, to form a total of 64 squares. (For larger marshmallows, cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into sixths, to form a total of 36 squares.) Coat marshmallows, one at a time, in confectioners’ sugar.

Tip: A larger pan such as a 9 x 13″ or even a jelly roll pan can be used as well. Recipe can make up to 70 marshmallows. 

DO AHEAD: Marshmallows can be stored, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment in an airtight container in a dry place at cool room temperature, for up to 30 days.

Click below for a printable version of this recipe

Marshmallows

flu

Who Should Get Their Flu Shot?

Getting your flu shot is even more critical when you are pregnant or have recently given birth, a University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix faculty member warns.

“Influenza is more dangerous in pregnant women than other women because the changes in the immune system while you are carrying your child,” said Maria Manriquez, MD, who is also an obstetrics/gynecological physician at Maricopa Medical Center. “That’s why it is imperative that pregnant women get their flu shot now that we are entering the season.”

The first Arizona flu case was reported earlier this month.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza is five times more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant. Pregnant women undergo changes in their immune systems, heart and lungs while pregnant making them more susceptible. Pregnant women with the flu also increase their risk of premature labor and delivery, the CDC says.

Vaccination during pregnancy has been shown to protect both the mother and child up to six months of age. Flu vaccines are not given to children until six months after they are born.

“Millions of pregnant women have received flu shots over the last several years and it has not been shown that it did any harm to mothers or babies,” Dr. Manriquez said. “In fact, it likely saved many of these women from getting sick or passing on sickness to their infant.”

The CDC said women at any point in their pregnancy can receive a flu shot and should get the vaccine rather than the nasal spray. Physicians also say women should get inoculated after they have given birth, even if they are breastfeeding, and can receive either type of vaccine.

rsz_az_opera_new_building_sign

Arizona Opera's New, $5.2M Center Opens on Central Avenue

 

Arizona Opera opened its new $5.2M, 28,000 SF Opera Center on Central Avenue in Phoenix.

The building project, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, included two phases. Phase 1 houses an intimate black box performance venue, rehearsal space, and orchestra loft and patron viewing gallery. General contractor was Brignall Construction; architect was Motley Design Group.

Phase 2 features administrative offices, box office, costume, wig and make-up shops, as well as educational and meeting facilities. Phase 2 made adaptive re-use of the previous Walsh Brothers building.

The Opera Center joins other cultural venues such as Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum and Phoenix Theatre in the “uptown” arts district, which is easily accessible via METRO Light Rail.

The Opera’s Opera Center, was built in partnership with the City of Phoenix, which provided $3.2M in city bond funds.

“We are thrilled to have found such a perfect location for our new home, near our sister arts organizations and directly on the light-rail route,” said Scott Altman, general director of Arizona Opera.

The first full opera production will be held in April 2014 in the black box theater, while rehearsals, master classes and workshops will be held in the theater as early as April.

Arizona Opera will continue to present main stage productions in Tucson Music Hall and Symphony Hall Phoenix.

rsz_reh_panorama

rsz_lt_tempe

Liberty Property Trust to Develop Liberty Center at Rio Salado

 

Liberty Property Trust announced that it will develop a sustainable, mixed-use business park on 100 acres purchased from the City of Tempe last month.

The company is developing a site plan for the new park which will be known as Liberty Center at Rio Salado.

“After several years of continued success at our nearby Liberty Cotton Center , we sought opportunities that would allow us to continue to offer national and regional tenants opportunities to relocate to or expand,” said John DiVall, senior vice president and city manager for Liberty’s Arizona region.

“Liberty Center at Rio Salado is centrally located in the heart of Metro Phoenix and it will offer a terrific mix of office, flex and industrial space, and, we anticipate, hotel and retail locations.”

The Tempe City Council approved the purchase of the first 80 acres of land at Priest Road and Rio Salado Parkway in February. Liberty has the option to purchase 20 more acres at the location once development has begun.

“The City of Tempe offered its land for this project because we recognize that it is our role to encourage high-quality development and foster the growth of our local economy,”  Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. “We are proud to welcome Liberty Center at Rio Salado to Tempe and look forward to watching it thrive, provide jobs and add to our community.”

Liberty also plans to announce the development of its first speculative building on the site later this year. All buildings it develops at the park will be designed to meet LEED certification with a focus on energy efficiency.

The park will offer visibility from Arizona Route 143 and the Loop 202, within minutes of Sky Harbor International Airport. Liberty has launched a website featuring information about the park and the surrounding area: libertycenteraz.com.

“This is a prominent piece of real estate that will allow tenants many benefits, from its central location to the airport and major highways to access to a strong, well educated labor pool,” DiVall said. “We expect to grow here for many years to come.”

Liberty Property Trust owns and manages more than 2 MSF of space in Phoenix, Tempe, Goodyear and Tolleson.

Some of its holdings include Liberty Cotton Center, Liberty 303 Business Park, Liberty Tolleson Center, Liberty Sky Harbor Center, and the LEED Gold and Energy Star certified 8501 E. Raintree Dr. office building.

Don Cardon, Arizona Commerce Authority

Don Cardon: The Driving Force Behind The Arizona Commerce Authority

A political appointee with a successful track record in the private sector, Don Cardon has become the face of the new and innovating Arizona Commerce Authority. While Gov. Jan Brewer is chair of the public/private economic development agency and sports mogul Jerry Colangelo serves as co-chair, it is Cardon, as president and CEO, who has his hands on the reins.

Leaders who have gotten to know Cardon better during the process of creating the Arizona Commerce Authority say he keeps his cool at all times, in good days and bad, is respectful of all points of view, is thoughtful, and someone who projects an element of stability for the state of Arizona.

But even more importantly, according to Roy Vallee, outgoing chairman and CEO of Avnet, are Cardon’s financial skills.

“Not only does he have numeric literacy, (he also has an)  understanding of financing, how to pull deals together and how to interact with banks and other sources of capital,” Vallee says.

Cardon began his employment with state government in March 2009 as director of the Arizona Department of Housing, and just a couple of months later Brewer appointed him director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, predecessor of the ACA. Before joining the state, Cardon was president and CEO of Cardon Development Group, creating low-income workforce housing projects in Phoenix, Gilbert, Eloy and Winslow, and was the visionary behind the group that helped create CityScape, a mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix.

Cardon’s stated intention was to see the ACA through its formative stage until a permanent president and CEO could be brought onboard, enabling him to return to the more lucrative private sector. But as the ACA board of directors took shape, comprising the cream of Arizona’s business and community leaders, Cardon was urged by Brewer, Colangelo and board member Michael Manson to remain.

“We sat him down and said you can’t create vision and hope with no structure or follow through,” says Manson, co-founder/executive chairman of Motor Excellence in Flagstaff. “That’s the worst kind of leadership. He realized that was true. We identified him as one of the few people in the state who had the political connections, the Commerce Department background and the business connections to make this work.”

Manson, who has founded several other companies, including PETsMART, says Cardon brings enthusiasm, energy and integrity to the ACA.

“He’s eternally optimistic and politically sensitive,” Manson says. “It takes a unique person to be politically rooted, but business oriented, and to be able to handle all of the political and business entities and very strong personalities it requires. He is truly focused on doing the right things for this organization.”

Indeed, focus is a key word in Cardon’s vocabulary. In guiding the ACA, the focus is attracting and retaining businesses in science and technology, aerospace/defense, renewable energy, and small business/entrepreneurship. He once told an interviewer: “You can’t just kind of throw a line in water and say whatever fish comes along you’ll take, which isn’t to say we won’t respond to any other opportunities. But you have to know what you’re trying to go after.”

At the Commerce Department, economic development was “a shotgun approach,” Cardon says. It was an approach he intends to avoid.
“There was no focus within the department,” he says. “Because of the lack of focus, I don’t believe the Legislature has had a great deal of confidence in our efficiency, our ability to accomplish what we set out to do. It was an agency that has really lost touch with what it’s really supposed to be about.”

Another ACA board member, Mary Peters, president of a consulting group bearing her name, touts Cardon’s private-sector background.
“Don understands what it takes to attract and retain businesses in Arizona,” says Peters, whose resume includes stints as federal highway administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation in President George W. Bush’s administration from 2006-2009, and director of the Arizona Department of Transportation from 1998 to 2001.

“He knows how to put projects together and how to manage,” Peters says. “That’s the value I see in Don and what he brings in the transition from the Commerce Department, having that continuity. Having spent most of my professional career in the public sector, it’s helpful for me to have someone with that private-sector experience to realize what businesses are looking for. I have a different perspective. I know very well the regulatory side of government. I know what it’s like to work through issues with government agencies so those issues aren’t barriers to companies that would like to come into Arizona.”

When Vallee of Avnet, also on the ACA board, heard about a move to encourage Cardon to accept the top ACA job, even after a search firm had been hired and specs of the job had been outlined, his instant reaction was, “That’s fantastic.”

The reasons: Cardon had a good track record at the Commerce Department and had been intimately involved in the creation of the Commerce Authority.

“He understands the history and the purpose of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Vallee says. “This was a brand new entity, and if we recruit someone who had not been involved in creating it, that person would flounder for a while trying to figure out what the job is all about.”

Because the ACA is a public/private partnership, having a CEO with experience and expertise in both areas is considered a huge benefit.

“He is better able to manage that environment very, very well — better than anyone with one viewpoint or the other,” Vallee says.

Vallee mentions Cardon’s core values, especially integrity.

“We all want someone in that role we can trust,” he says. “People are going to want to do business with someone they can trust, whether it’s investment coming from within state or from outside. As people get to know Don and develop that trust, it’s going to be beneficial to economic development.”

Vallee pauses and adds, “Don is a good man and a good executive, which makes him a really great fit for this job.”

[stextbox id="grey"]For more information about the Arizona Commerce Authority, visit www.azcommerce.com.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011

 

ACA Board of Directors

Arizona Commerce Authority Board Of Directors Comprised of Statewide Leaders

The Arizona Commerce Authority aims to boost Arizona’s economy by creating jobs for Arizonans, attract and bring in new business, as well as show corporations Arizona is a better operating environment and a better place to collaborate and grow.

The following ACA Board of Directors are leaders within their respective fields:

Metro Phoenix

Chair: Gov. Jan Brewer
Co-Chair: Jerry Colangelo, Partner, JDM Partners
President and CEO: Don Cardon
Hon. Kirk Adams, Speaker, Arizona House of Representatives
Richard Adkerson, CEO, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold
Benito Almanza, State President, Bank of America Arizona
Dr. Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board and CEO (Retired), Intel
Michael Bidwill, President, Arizona Cardinals
Donald Brandt, Chairman of the Board and CEO, APS
Drew Brown, Chairman of the Board, DMB Associates
Les Brun, Chairman and CEO, SARR Group
Hon. Robert Burns, President, Arizona Senate
Steve Cowman, CEO, Stirling Energy
Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
Jerry Fuentes, President, AT&T Arizona/New Mexico
Dr. William Harris, CEO and President, Science Foundation Arizona
Linda Hunt, President, Catholic Healthcare West Arizona
Mike Ingram, CEO and President, El Dorado Holdings
Sherman Jennings, Chair, Governor’s Workforce Policy Council/
Human Resources Site Leader, The Boeing Company
Anne Mariucci, Regent, Arizona Board of Regents
Dr. Vicki Panhuise, Chair, Arizona’s Aerospace & Defense Commission/
Vice President, Honeywell Military Aircraft
Mary Peters, President, Mary E. Peters Consulting Group
Doug Pruitt, Chairman and CEO, Sundt Construction
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Executive Chairman, Abraxis BioScience
Mo Stein, Principal and Senior Vice President, HKS Architects
Pat Sullivan, CEO, Flypaper Studio
Roy Vallee, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Avnet

Tucson

Gary Abrams, CEO and President, Abrams Airborne Manufacturing
Peter Herder, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Herder Companies
Dr. Robert Shelton, President,  University of Arizona
Judith Wood, Chair, Governor’s Council on Small Business/ President, Contact One Call Center

Flagstaff

Dr. John Haeger, President, Northern Arizona University
Michael Manson, Co-Founder and CEO, Motor Excellence

Prescott

Dr. Jeanne Swarthout, President, Northland Pioneer College

Yuma

Victor Smith, President and Owner, JV Farm
avnet nyse anniversary

Avnet, Inc. Unveils Sculpture For 50th Anniversary

Avnet, Inc., one of Phoenix’s largest publicly-held companies will unveil a new sculpture outside its global headquarters in Phoenix on Monday, February 7th at 3 p.m. This year will mark the companies’ 50th anniversary on the New York Stock Exchange. For Roy Vallee, Avnet’s chairman and chief executive officer, this means only good things for the company.Duncan Niederauer and Roy Vallee

“There are very few companies that ever reach a milestone of this magnitude, and it speaks volumes about how our employers and leadership team have been able to adapt, innovate and succeed in accelerating the success of Avnet and our stakeholders,” Vallee said.

Vallee will be one of a number of Avnet executives participating in the unveiling. Among the executives attending are Rick Hamada, Al Maag, Ray Sadowski, Harley Feldberg and Phil Gallagher. Dignitaries also scheduled to attend include NYSE Euronext chief operating officer Lawrence Liebowitz and the Arizona artist who designed the sculpture Lyle London.

A sculpture may be a common way to commemorate a significant milestone, but for Avnet there is more personal meaning behind this one. Lester Avnet, who led the company in the 1950s and 1960s, was a well-recognized patron of the arts. The new sculpture will not only be a symbol of business accomplishments but also of a rich, artistic history.

This heritage of the arts and Avnet’s employees and business partners, who have made Avnet a $20B+ leader in technology distribution, will be recognized at the sculpture unveiling.NYSE Bell Ringing

Avnet, Inc. is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology serving customers in more than 70 countries worldwide.

“Driven by the proliferation of technology, profitable organic growth and strategic acquisitions — 115 since joining the NYSE — Avnet has grown rapidly while demonstrating financial sustainability over the last 50 years on the NYSE, and it is well positioned to continue to thrive as an industry leader,” Vallee said.

For more information about Avnet, visit www.avnet.com

Arizona Business Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Janet Perez

The Buzz on AZNow.Biz – January 3, 2011

This week on AZNow.Biz, read about how the economic recovery has companies looking for ways to make sure they retain their key employees. Also, read and watch the latest edition of our CEO Series. We talk to Roy Vallee, the CEO and chairman of Avnet. And check out our Touchdown AZ section to find out what kind of economic impact the upcoming BCS College Football Championship could have on the Valley’s economy.


Avnet NYSE Bell Ringing

Avnet Celebrates 50 Years On The New York Stock Exchange

Phoenix-based Avnet, an electronics and global technology distributor, celebrated it’s 50th anniversary as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by ringing the closing bell on Dec. 15. Front and center at the bill ringing was Avnet Chairman and CEO Roy Vallee.

“We think our founders would be proud of the fact that we are now one of only 350 companies that have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for 50 years,” Vallee said. “This milestone distinguishes Avnet as a premier company — one with demonstrated adaptability, a strong culture and conservative financial discipline. These positive attributes have allowed us to grow steadily and profitably over time and become the global leader in technology distribution.”

At the time the company was first listed on the NYSE, Avnet’s market capitalization was $37 million. Today, the company’s market capitalization is approximately $5 billion.

Avnet is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology, serving customers in more than 70 countries. For the fiscal year ended July 3, 2010, Avnet generated revenue of $19.16 billion.

Avnet's Roy Vallee On Leadership

Avnet’s Roy Vallee On Leadership

Thirty-seven years ago Roy Vallee was stocking shelves at a small electronics distribution company in Los Angeles. That small firm has grown up to become Avnet, Inc., a Fortune 500 firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. Avnet is one of the largest distributors of electronic parts, enterprise computing and storage products, and embedded subsystems in the world. And Roy Vallee is the CEO and chairman of the board. One morning recently, marketing professor  Antony Peloso sat down with Mr. Vallee to talk about Avnet, his leadership style, and how to motivate employees — even in a far-flung global operation. Professor Peloso leads the Marketing Professional Sales and Relationship Management Initiative, which fosters strong relationships between students who are headed for careers in sales, marketing faculty members and corporate partners. The goal is to build professional sales capabilities and advance the profile and status of the sales function. And now let’s hear what Mr. Vallee has to say about one the toughest jobs of leadership: motivating employees. (26:42)

The podcast no longer works, please check the wpcarey website for the transcript.

Arizona Business Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Janet Perez

The Buzz on AZNow.Biz – October 18, 2010

This week on AZNow.Biz: Avnet chairman and CEO Roy Vallee talks about leading one of the largest distributors of electronic parts in the world. Green columnist Dustin Jones asks whether sustainable housing is in Arizona’s future, and political columnist Tom Milton looks at the political scene as we close in on next month’s mid-term elections.


Who To Watch: Roy Vallee

Roy Vallee
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Avnet

“..we are seeing a bounce-back in IT spending.”

–Roy Vallee, Avnet

Although it believes its performance was pretty good under the circumstances, Phoenix-based Avnet Inc. chalks up 2009 as a harsh year. Now, Avnet is focused on an improving economy and the business it will bring.

Serving more than 100,000 customers in 70 countries, Avnet is one of the world’s largest technology distributors, linking end-user clients with more than 300 software developers and electronic component and computer product manufacturers.

“It’s fair to say we have been severely impacted by the global recession,” says Roy Vallee, chairman and CEO of the Fortune 500 company. “Sales (for calendar year 2009) will be down by a double-digit percentage and earnings per share will be down substantially more than that, probably by roughly 40 percent. It has, in fact, been a tough year.”

Avnet’s revenue for its July-to-June 2009 fiscal year declined 9.6 percent from fiscal 2008, to $16.23 billion.
Globally, Vallee says purchasing of information-technology (IT) equipment dropped “precipitously” in 2009 by 5 percent or 6 percent.

“There were only two years in history when IT spending was negative and that was 2001 and 2002,” he adds. “So there was a big cutback by businesses on IT in 2009.”

Because of the nature of the electronics supply chain, business spending on electronic components deteriorated more rapidly than IT. But Avnet held to its strategy of focusing on value-based management and return on capital, rather than earnings per share. As sales declined, it reduced investment in inventory and accounts receivable and generated $1.4 billion in cash flow from operations.

It also continued a tradition of acquisition, thus expanding its market. Avnet negotiated a controlling interest in Vanda Group in China, and acquired Abacus Group in the United Kingdom and Nippon Denso Industry Co. in Japan. It also formed a joint venture in Turkey with Sanko Holding Group. In India, it purchased a small firm to launch an IT distribution company.

Now Vallee thinks “we are past the trough.” The accordion-like behavior of the electronics supply chain is responding to the reviving global economy. What was once squeezed is now expanding. Vallee says IT spending is showing signs of improvement and that “components spending is increasing at a rapid rate.” That already is showing up in Avnet’s financials for fiscal 2010. And Vallee is hopeful that Avnet’s October-through-December second quarter revenue will top the same period a year ago.

“IT spending will grow in 2010, probably in the mid-single digits,” he says. “There is pent-up demand. Companies that needed to spend on IT put it off because they were uncertain about where the economy was headed. They were also uncertain about where they would get the money. But you can only delay that kind of spending so long. Now that the economy is turning and capital is more available, we are seeing a bounce-back in IT spending.”

That spending also is a result of renewed focus on business growth that follows a couple of years of emphasis on cash, balance sheets, profit and loss, Vallee notes.

www.avnet.com


Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

First Job: Roy Vallee, Avnet Inc.

First Job: Roy Vallee, Avnet Inc.

Roy Vallee
Chairman and CEO
Avnet Inc.

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
I was 13 years old when I landed my first job selling cosmetics and household products door-to-door. As a salesman, my earnings were based entirely on what I sold. That meant that if I sold nothing, I got paid nothing. While my first job was many years ago, being a door-to-door salesman taught me several valuable lessons that have helped me throughout my career, especially when I began working in technology sales. It taught me to focus on the customer and their needs, how to deal with rejection and use it as a learning experience, and how to motivate myself to keep making calls knowing that the more calls I made the better my odds of making a sale.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
I began my career in technology distribution in 1971 as part of a work-study program where I earned school credits. The job involved stocking shelves in the warehouse of a small electronics distributor in California. This gave me an opportunity to learn and experience first hand how a warehouse operates. Early on, I learned the importance of quality practices around inventory management and processing an order.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
As a door-to-door salesman in 1966, I was paid completely on commission and earned 35 percent of what I sold. When I worked at the warehouse stocking shelves, I was paid $2.25 an hour, plus I received school credit. While the money was important at the time, the experience that I gained from these jobs has been invaluable throughout my career.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
My most influential mentor was Leon Machiz, the chairman and CEO of Avnet from 1988 to 1998. In 1989, I was a mid-level Avnet manager when he first noticed me during a presentation at one of our top suppliers. He called me into his office a few days later to promote me to president of Avnet’s computing business, a division that had $300 million in annual revenues at the time. This was a significant and unexpected promotion. However, Leon had been impressed by how well I understood our suppliers’ needs, their business challenges, and how Avnet could help them overcome those challenges. As I took on this new role, Leon spent hours with me talking about the business and helping me understand what it would take to be successful. His mentorship helped me understand one of the greatest lessons of my career — my job is not to run the company, but rather to lead it.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
I am a true believer in doing the right things consistently over time. My observation is that the most successful people in business are relentless about their focus on delivering the highest value to their customers and other partners — and that’s true if you are just starting out or if you are heading a big corporation. If you have your customers’ best interests at heart and approach that with an uncompromising single mindedness, they will reward you with their business.

I also believe that meritocracy is vital to attracting and engaging the best employees. And acting with honesty and integrity is always the right thing to do. Do it even though it might not be what everyone else is doing or it feels uncomfortable at the time. This will give you a solid reputation as an employee, business partner, employer and investment for shareholders.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably start my own company or buy into a smaller business and get involved in the strategy and people development. Alternatively, I might work in venture capital or private equity investing.