Build a Better Culture Through Employee Ownership w/ Bob Tomaka

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Podcast

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Guest: Robert (Bob) Tomaka loves to build a better culture through employee ownership. Bob has been a co-owner at Meier Supply for over 16 years and is engaged in all aspects of the ESOP. In addition to being the company’s CFO, he is a member of the Meier ESOP Advisory Council and Strategic Planning Committee. He has been a presenter at several ESOP conferences, including The National Center for Employee Ownership and is President of the NY/NJ chapter of The ESOP Association.

Founded in 1957, Meier Supply is an employee-owned wholesale distributor of HVAC and refrigeration products with a rich history and family culture. With over 100 employees and 17 locations in New York and Pennsylvania, its core values (Excellence, Trust, People, and Respect) align strongly with its Mission Statement, “Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

As an ESOP, Meier Supply values the contribution of every employee, providing an environment conducive to exceptional customer service, productivity and personal growth. The company is currently managed by the third generation of the Meier family and employs several members of the fourth generation.

Episode in a Tweet: It’s amazing what happens when you ask your employees to develop new ideas to solve old problems. Doing so creates ownership and engagement in ways you never imagined.

Background: I love interviewing people who are part of the employee ownership community and my interview with Bob Tomaka, CFO of Meirer Supply, didn’t disappoint. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Bob shares Meier Supply’s journey to employee ownership and how teaching people how to think and act like owners transformed the company. Bob also tells us how being an executive at an employee-owned company caused him to be more empathetic and a better listener. He gives excellent advice about management by walking around and why you should get up from your desk and sit next to people who come into your office to talk to show them that you are fully present. Bob is also highly involved in the ESOP community and inspires with his commitment to educating founders and owners on the power of employee ownership. Have a listen and let me know what you think!

How to find Bob:



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