The Clark File Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009

Born: Camden, N.J.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, University of Miami; MBA, Drexel University

First job: My dad had a gas station, and I pumped gas there when I was a kid.

What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?

I had a mentor very early on in business, and he gave me some simple rules to live by. One, hire the best people and make sure they know more than you do. Don’t be afraid to hire someone because they know more than you. Two, don’t avoid responsibility. In addition, empower people to make decisions on the spot. Give people authority as well as responsibility.

What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?

The three most important things come down to integrity, honesty and trust. If I don’t trust someone, they shouldn’t be a part of my team. And if I have no integrity, no one is going to trust me. Those two things walk hand in hand. It is so key to have those things in place. Without them, it is very difficult to get anything done in an organization.

What is your definition of success?

In business, it’s that customers have good things to say about you and your whole business. If you provide value for your customers, the financial success will follow.