Leadership

Gary LaCourt

Chief Executive Officer

Background

I’ve been in business for myself since the age of 16. Serial entrepreneur and veteran of 12 start-ups, most but not all winners, but all of them fun and amazingly educational.

Business Philosophy

  1. Take care of your customers like they were your mother.
  2. If you don’t have your people’s hearts you’ll never have their minds. People won’t care about you or your company unless they believe you care about them. They won’t believe you care about them unless you really care about them.
  3. Energy, creativity and execution trump industry knowledge early in a start-up. If after 24 months you can’t clearly, cogently and powerfully articulate why someone should buy from you rather than anyone else, get out of the business, all the energy in the world won’t save you.
  4. Don’t run out of cash!

Interests

Cars, bars, cigars, guitars, and a bunch more that don’t rhyme. I got my pilots license before my driver’s license and if it rolls, floats or flies, I can drive it. 

If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?

Dream Expansively, Execute Relentlessly

Bernie Czerwinski

Chief Operating Officer

Background

Thankful for my supportive family, with strong military and spiritual roots, which forged my life’s perspective and love for country.  Unique business foundation of large corporate, private equity and entrepreneurial experiences.  Created, grew and sold four companies along the way.   Forever indebted to my three amazing, caring business mentors: Tom Burr, David Shelby and my Father, who shaped my acumen and reasoning.  I try to be to others what they were to me.

Business Philosophy

  1. Serve to enrich the lives of others.  Elevate those around you.
  2. Learn from your mistakes.  Own them, wear them as a badge of honor; they will help make you great.
  3. We are only limited by our own ambitions.  Be courageous!
  4. Adapt, improvise and overcome.  Semper fidelis!

Interests

Spending time with family.  Coaching sports, playing sports, anything sports relate.  Love a good steak!  Always interested in warm weather, a beach and appreciating nature.  Seeking to increase spiritually.

If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?

Finish the Race

Brittany Bozmoski

Chief Marketing Officer

Background

I started my career at Harley-Davidson. My job was to find ways to improve efficiency in the product development cycle via Six Sigma and interpersonal collaboration. “Value Engineering” might be an uncommon path to marketing, but I got an extraordinary education on how company culture relates to and drives brand development. Leading teams through cost-cutting projects is a quick way to learn what matters most to employees, and what employees perceive to matter most to customers. That’s how I fell in love with the power of brand marketing. I shifted my career to advertising and joined one of Milwaukee’s most storied ad agencies, Laughlin Constable. I was lucky to help win and impact a portfolio of companies and causes, such as the Lung Cancer Alliance, El Camino Hospital and Bon-Ton. I learned how to market a brand to its many constituencies through omni-channel marketing. But in my heart, I longed to be a visceral part of a great and meaningful company brand. That’s why I joined Forever Companies.

Business Philosophy

  1. Care personally, challenge directly.
  2. Collaborate early and often.
  3. A bad idea executed well is worth more than a great idea executed poorly.
  4. Hire people smarter than you.

Interests

Painting when I can. Gifting like Leslie Knope. Spending time with family, especially my niece Penelope. Learning and teaching yoga. Experiencing Milwaukee. Lounging with Odin (my Frenchie). Dabbling in film and voiceover.

If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?

Smart Answers to Dumb Questions: How To Experience Life Change By Asking Stupid Questions

Bill Tait

Chief Information Officer

Background

Flattered to be called “a founding father of e-commerce” by Internet Retailer magazine, I created Upscale.com in 1994 and never looked back.

As the founder of several successful e-commerce technology companies, I’ve raised over $30M in venture capital, acquired and sold companies, and formed strategic partnerships with Google, Amazon, IBM, American Express, MasterCard, Authorize.net, PayPal, and many others.

I presented at industry conferences on e-commerce, payment systems, and data security and have been quoted in numerous publications including The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

Business Philosophy

On management: strive to create an environment where your team can do the best work of their lives.

Interests

Blessed with a big family, I enjoy going to concerts (think RHCP), sporting events (Milwaukee Brewers), or just hanging out. Even more, I enjoy watching everyone in my family grow and develop their own talents which include music, comedy, and competitive duck calling (yeah, that’s a thing).

If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?

How the (Digital) West was Won