Collier County’s Business Hall of Fame, which has been inducting laureates since 1988, is modeled after Junior Achievement Worldwide’s U.S. Business Hall of Fame.
Barron G. Collier Sr.
Mamie B. Tooke
John F. Humphrey
Addison B. Miller
William G. Price
Henry B. Watkins Sr.
Norman A. Herren
W. Roy Smith
William Robert “Bob” Wilson
John R. Wood
Don Q. Wynn
Anthony Wayne Ridgway
Andrew Beirne Brown
Holland T. Salley
Richard “Dick” DeVoe
William L. “Bill” Barton
Dewey Oliver Gargiulo
JoAnn M. Smallwood
Donald R. Barber
Myra Janco Daniels
J. Dudley Goodlette
Robert L. Carsello
John T. Conroy Jr.
F. Fred Pezeshkan
Earl G. Hodges
Edward K. Cheffy
John M. Passidomo
Thomas S. Riley
Russell A. Budd
Jerry J. Williams
William “Bill” Schoen
Martin “Marty” Wasmer
Meet the three new inductees of the Business Hall of Fame of Collier County and hear their advice to youngsters at a Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida banquet where they were honored.
They are William “Bill” Schoen, the guiding light and chairman of Health Management Associates, which runs 56 hospitals in the United States from Naples, where it is based and has two Physicians Regional sites; and Michael Schroeder and Martin “Marty” Wasmer, partners in the Wasmer, Schroeder & Co. Inc. investment adviser offices in Naples, Philadelphia and Cleveland.
“They have made significant contributions to the development of our area and are role models for our children, all the while adhering to high moral and ethical standards,” says local Junior Achievement President Vicki Stephan.
The Southwest Florida division of Junior Achievement currently serves 9,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade with more than 370 community volunteers.
Collier County’s Business Hall of Fame, which has been inducting laureates since 1988, is modeled after J.A. Worldwide’s U.S. Business Hall of Fame.
Beginning at right are excerpts from prepared texts of the three 2009 inductees’ acceptance speeches made at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.
— Jeff Lytle, Perspective editor
By Bill Schoen
One of my favorite sayings is: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
This quotation originated many years ago, attributed to a self-made, Polish immigrant named Samuel Goldwyn. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Goldwyn became a very successful motion-picture producer in the United States. He was also famous for twisting the meanings of words — and that’s exactly what I want to point out here.
In fact, I’ll bet most of you already know what I’m going to say. Hard work won’t really make you luckier. What hard work does is to create possibilities, favorable circumstances and opportunities to succeed. This may look like luck to some people, but it’s not!
More than 2,000 years ago, a Roman philosopher named Seneca summarized this by stating: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” It was true then and it’s true now — and it’s worth remembering!
To be successful at any age you need a goal and a plan to reach that goal. You must have confidence in your plan and believe that your goal is attainable. You must also be prepared to execute the necessary steps to complete the process. The road to success is rarely smooth. In fact, it will most likely be long and a little bumpy, with some setbacks and twists and turns that you did not anticipate.
Nevertheless, you must stay focused. You can adapt and continue to move forward — you can and will overcome the obstacles in your path.
Well-known football coach Mike Ditka had many opportunities over the years to remind his players that “success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.” This is a great lesson also because each setback, every failure, provides yet another opportunity to succeed.
We, as parents, advisers and business leaders, will work diligently to give you the resources, skills and confidence to become the leaders of tomorrow. I can assure you that by taking advantage of various Junior Achievement programs, you will learn many of the valuable life lessons you will need. You will learn that true leaders must have integrity and a high moral compass. You will learn to seek out “good people,” those who also have the desire and motivation to succeed. You will learn to set challenging and rewarding goals for yourselves and for others.
We want you to know that our expectations for you are high. We do not want you only to lead. We want you to guide and inspire as well. As John Quincy Adams said: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
You possess the capacity to establish and achieve your personal dreams and goals. Each pathway to success is very different. A unique and fantastic journey lies ahead for each of you as you strive toward fulfilling your potential.
I wish you much happiness and success.
* * *
By Michael Schroeder
When my family heard I was getting an award for leadership and entrepreneurship, they sent me congratulatory text messages. My daughter Lindsay texted me: “That’s so cool! I can’t wait to find out more about it.” The message from my son Jack read: “Congrats on the entrepreneur award! How’d you get that?”
I took Jack’s question to heart as I began reflecting on all of this and I realized that he had me at a loss. It was a good question.
So, how did I get this award? I can’t speak for the Junior Achievement board and selection committee, but I can share with you tonight some of the “rules of the road” that helped Marty and me get where we are today — and these rules are no secret! You can literally look them up by Googling the phrase “secrets of success.”
* Be specific: About your goals, and better still, specialize!
* Take action: When you see an opportunity, act!
* Be decisive! When a recession cost me my job, and the opportunity arose to team up with Marty to build our own company, we didn’t hesitate; we took a chance and we committed ourselves 110 percent. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.
* Persistence pays: Work hard. Never give up, even when things get tough
* Communicate: No person is an island. Communicate honestly and openly. Understand what motivates people and, most importantly...
* Be honest: Keep your promises. Be reliable. Admit to and learn from your mistakes.
While this is just a partial list, each of these factors — decisiveness, persistence, effective communication, honesty and specialization — played a key role in building our business. But I think, most importantly, finding something you love to do that you’re very good at is essential to success.
To paraphrase Bill Gates: “It’s almost impossible to do everything well.”
Marty and I have done well by dedicating our firm to the mission of being the best fixed-income money manager possible. This has been, and will remain, a journey rather than a destination, as success is rarely measured by end results. In fact, success demands constant improvement, reinvention and adaptation.
* * *
By Marty Wasmer
I think Michael expressed the attributes of success quite well. I would add the importance of:
* Surrounding yourself with great people, and
* Creating a culture and environment for them to succeed.
For me, I was fortunate to have found in Michael a partner with exceptional complementary skills who shared my strong work ethic and desire to build something from the ground up.
With that as a foundation, we moved forward to develop a successful business.
Most importantly, on behalf of both Michael and myself, we would like to thank those who have made our journey both successful and meaningful:
The group at Wasmer, Schroeder for making us look good, every day;
Our families and friends for their ongoing support and encouragement;
And each of you for being here this evening to support the work of Junior Achievement.