You know who Verne Harnish is if you’ve read the book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits,” perused Fortune Magazine, taken an executive training class though Gazelles, or have ever interacted with the influential member companies of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).
Over the past 30 years Harnish is responsible for all of the above having written a book endorsed by CEO’s worldwide, becoming a syndicated columnist, and founding two organizations to help executives and entrepreneurs reach their goals.
And recently he has acknowledged the success of EO Western New York companies throughout Buffalo and Rochester which Harnish says is due to their CEO’s focus on specialized marketplaces:
I’ve visited a large number of EO chapters throughout the world and I think I’ve found the most business savvy of them all – Western NY (Buffalo and Rochester). The EO members in that chapter get it – they are building “hidden champions” – growing companies focused on hyper-specialized niches and then chasing a select group of customers around the globe. (The Growth Guy, June 5, 2014)
VoIP Supply CEO Ben Sayers, also an EO Western New York member, explains that “The recognition from Harnish is a great achievment for EO Western New York because it’s based on his vast experience helping CEO’s grow their companies and learn leaderships skills.”
EO was founded in 1987 with an educational vision carried out by each chapter around the world that brings entrepreneurial members together, so that they can learn and grow from one another in both their work and personal lives.
The EO Western New York chapter currently has 48 member companies that employ over 1,200 people.
Buffalo Business is Growing
This is a remarkable time to be a growing company in Western New York.
The impression area businesses have made on Harnish coincides with the 43North startup competition offering $5 million in cash prizes, incubator space, and mentorship to the winning business ideas who agree to operate in Buffalo, NY.
The 43North contest got a huge response with nearly 7,000 entrepreneur applicants from 96 countries.
43North is part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative to develop new economic opportunities in Buffalo and Western New York.
While new start-ups are on their way, Harnish showed appreciation for some of the established EO Western New York companies and their CEO’s by pointing out their successful specializations such as:
- Amy Castronova, CEO of Novatek Communications: Creates technical and process documentation and training specifically for medical device companies.
- David Mammano, Founder of Next Step Education Group: Helping high school students, parents, and counselors figure out post-graduation options.
- David Rivers, Founder of KegWorks: The #1 website in the world providing equipment and supplies for home bars.
- Brian Brault, CEO of PURE: Focused on providing processes and technologies to create the cleanest hotel rooms in the world.
- Michael Linehan, Premier Laser Spa Founder: Expanding across the entire east coast of the US.
Harnish says the laser focus and expansion of EO Western New York companies can be attributed to “the lack of a local market and growing up around firms like Kodak.”