Member Success Story
James inherited a century-old family business and made it a modern success.
Meet James Iacino
Industry: Retail trade
Success with Vistage
- Challenged long-held company practices
- Doubled company size over five years
- Followed a managed growth path
“Working with my Chair has been by far the most beneficial because she was able to really ask those questions and help me understand how I should be looking at the business.”
President and CEO, Seattle Fish Company
Seattle Fish Company opened in 1918 at the hands of James Iacino’s grandfather, Mose Iacino. Though James grew up around the business, he still had some lessons to learn when he inherited ownership in 2009.
Taking over the company at just 26 years old, he was overseeing people who had worked at Seattle Fish Company longer than he’d been alive. James turned to Vistage to learn how to effectively run a business and become the boss these employees deserved.
At the referral of a friend, James got in touch with Vistage group chair Lisa Rogge, who provided invaluable guidance through their one-to-one meetings. She guided James through a review of his business operations and leadership, looking at the financials and setting long-term goals. They also discussed questions surrounding his senior team, whether he had the right resources in place and whether he was leading the business on the right path to meet its goals.
Meanwhile, Vistage members offered expertise on the day-to-day process of running a business, such as how they viewed their organizations, leveraged resources to meet goals and managed their time. James’ Vistage colleagues also helped him determine the necessity of certain job roles and learn how to challenge old processes.
With the gusto of his own entrepreneurial spirit and the insight from Vistage colleagues, James grew Seattle Fish Company to twice its size within five years. By applying the Vistage guidance and aligning resources, he has also noticed an acceleration in professionalization.
James credits his ability to challenge past practices to his Vistage group. He looks forward to leading his family’s business toward a second century of success.
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