The right partner can be the difference between surviving and succeeding.

Never waste a good crisis. The severity of the new reality brought clarity to make hard decisions. Further, a crisis creates opportunities as it does devastation. One cannot afford to be in denial about the latter nor be blind to the former. When we acted decisively and with conviction, we stemmed losses, bolstered positions and then used the stronger footing to create wealth. The capital invested in Covid will, I suspect, generate returns similar to the investments we made in 2009/2010. In hindsight, we could have acted even more boldly and profited greater. None of this could have been possible without the unwavering dedication and focus of our investment partners, and the steady-hand of our banking partners: they were supportive beyond expectation and immediately. Similarly, we were there for our operating partners. The loyalty and performance, all around, will not be forgotten.

Ken Rotman, CEO and Managing Director

Good partners are defined not when things are going well but when times are more challenging. This has been a challenging year and as such it is in times like these when you can really tell who you can count on.

Michael Wagman, President and Managing Director

Always manage your liquidity for the unexpected. Staying power preserves value.

John Krediet, Chairman

Be ready for the unexpected and move into action when the unexpected arrives on your doorstep. I think the Clairvest Team has met that challenge and more with their response to the COVID-19 challenge.

Joe Heffernan, Former Chairman

“You should always maintain reserves for a rainy day. While the COVID-19 shock felt more like a thunderstorm, the time-tested wisdom to have money set aside for an emergency was critical to our business in 2020. Furthermore, the challenges brought by COVID-19 show just how important it is to deal with honorable people as they will usually be there when things go wrong.”

Jeffrey Gural, CEO
Meadowlands Racetrack

“Our key lesson was consistent, honest communication to all levels of the organization on the challenges being faced. Tell your folks what you know and as importantly tell them what you don’t know. Be clear on how the company will be ready to adjust on both accounts. Our experience is that well informed employees are more willing to go into battle with you.”

Tom Vaughn, CEO
DTG Recycle

“COVID-19 closures caused a significant loss of revenue to our company and we had to navigate a sudden and new working reality of having 125 people begin working remotely. The year felt a bit like crossing the ocean in a leaky boat with a new crew and a broken motor at night during a tropical storm. Without sounding like a cliché, it was the people that mattered and the team communications that allowed us to find the right framework to analyze problems (like staff furlough decisions). This year highlighted to me just how important it is to have the right people at the executive level. If you notice any fit issues, especially at the senior level, address them right away rather than trying to manage around the problem. If someone on the senior team is not completely open and transparent, they will consume energy from the management team and prevent the business from delivering to its full potential.”

Dave McDowell, CEO and Co-Founder
FSB Tech.

“What I learned this year is that it is very important to be agile in the face of significant uncertainty and use the real and perceived volatility as an opportunity to reset your business.”

Jack Bennett, CEO and Founder

When shock overwhelms a company, be cautious, but be confident, and lead!

Anthony Durante, CEO
Durante Rentals

Whether it is Covid or different challenges in business, you always need grit, determination, and agility. The adjustment to working remotely in a business like ours created a lot of risk. I was fairly old school on my prior approach (first one in, last one to leave, taking role, etc.) and think it would have taken me, outside of Covid, a long time to trust the team to work on their own from home. That trust that I gave them in this period was repaid in a higher level of trust from them in the company and ownership. So what else could be streamlined that wouldn’t necessarily come through normal business practice?

Derek Chase, CEO
SunSystem Technology

“Know the difference between “normal” and “abnormal” situations. Overreacting to the day-to-day ebbs and flows of business will exhaust an organization. However, the reaction to an abnormal situation needs to be decisive and…extreme. In a crisis situation…be extreme. It was Admiral Mullen that gave me this advice from his 40+ years in leadership positions in the US Navy. With Covid-19, from the outset we pushed the team to assume the worst and plan for it. We did not assume it will be over in a few months. Pushing “extreme” thinking will lead you to very different decisions. And it will force the leadership team to take decisive action. “

Paul Bouchard, President and CEO
Top Aces

“My most important lesson, reinforced by the events of 2020, is that great people define great groups.”

Robert Schaefer, CEO
Also Energy

“2020 has posed some truly unique challenges and situations. It was remarkable to watch people succeed by being resourceful and proactive. But the best lesson it brought for me and our company was that working remotely can be incredibly efficient, collaborative, and productive. I believe that this technology has transformed the way we operate and the way we think about our team. It improved communication, expanded our possibilities, strengthened existing relationships, and even allowed new ones to form and develop. It also saved me some money on pants!”

Michael Skolnick, CEO

“On March 15, 2020 Canada entered a Covid-19 lockdown. Immediately, our team planned for the worst and took all the necessary actions to mitigate according to this plan. We kept our hands firmly on the wheel and ran to the same standard of metrics and expectations, with absolutely no exceptions. Our focused response paid off. Our company had the best TTM in its history, despite Covid-19!”

Vaughn Goettler, CEO and Co-Founder
Right Time