Dec. 7th, 2012
Alan Levin, our President/CEO, is featured in this months SmartCEO Magazine. He talks about how he maintains the family business structure to streamline internal decision-making and how he has brought industry leaders to Northeast to help build his "A-team". Read on for the article...

A great executive team can take your company to the next level, but building that team takes time and, often, mistakes. Finding the best talent for the right position can be a daunting task. That's why SmartCEO asked for the help of local CEOs who have cultivated successful C-suites to share what they learned in the process.

Alan Levin,
President and CEO,
Northeast Building Products Corp.

Time For Teamwork:
My father was more of a brute force type manager and in the mid-90s, I started phasing out a lot of the old "yes men" and bringing in more of a true executive team. In 2002, I bought him out completely and fully took the reins. I had people with industry knowledge and people who were looking to grow into bigger positions than where they were currently and people from larger companies than ours. Integrating a lot of different manufacturing philosophies [was a challenge]. People came from some of the largest window manufacturers in the world, a lot of them come from an abused background -- they always feel they need to justify every decision and prove it on paper, and it could take a year to get a new piece of equipment. In the family business, we can make those decisions on the fly. Getting them to learn a family business and having one final decision-maker is a different world for them.

Lessons Learned:
Decisiveness, that's number one. [Team members] want a decision -- yes or no. They don't want a wishy-washy CEO. Sometimes, it's not that they want to hear, but it's what they need to hear. I'm always good at making decisions, I don't leave people hanging.