Introducing Neil O’Donnell, EFBC President 2021-2022
I became a member of the EFBC (then FBC) over a decade ago. At the time, I was very uncertain as to how I would fit in to the overall group and my Forum. I met with TAU and we seemed to hit it off. I joined, and the rest has been an integral part of my life.
I was in my late 20s and had recently rejoined my family’s business, Progressive Industries. I was brought back on to take our regionally successful distribution organization and take it to the national level. On the outside I acted as if I were very confident in my ability to make this initiative successful; Internally I was unsure if I could accomplish it.
Through my forum experience, TAU has taught me how to gain the confidence that I needed to conquer most situations. For those that I cannot figure out on my own, or if my mind is making me take pause, I will bring the topic to TAU. The group has been a guiding light and a sounding board of mentors that is always there, helping mold me in to the man I have become today.
Through our collective successes and failures, we work together to make each other better. Being in forum is such an interesting dynamic, like no other I’ve experienced. It can be a glimpse of future trends, a way to realize that although you might feel lonely, you are not alone. Our collective businesses represent an array of industries, manufacturing, distribution, construction, services, automotive, as well as many others over the years. Yet there is a commonality to our companies and we experience many of the same issues. When our business was down, I looked to the previous ebb and flow of all TAU forum companies over the years. This helped me to stay motivated during difficult times, because if my friends could overcome their down times, then so could Progressive.
My EFBC experience has made me a better business person, father, employee, son and maybe a budding mentor to some. I have witnessed many different life experiences and absorbed countless great things over the years that I consider myself sort of a “product” of the EFBC.
I hope that I can fill the shoes of my previous TAUmate and outgoing President, Nirel Inman. Combined with that, many current and former forum-mates have held the same position. I’ll do my best to take the great things that they’ve taught me over the years and combine that with my own strategy in an effort to keep the EFBC rolling in the right direction.
We are excited to offer some upcoming in-person events and I look forward to seeing my fellow members soon.
VP of Business Development, Progressive Industries
EFBC President 2021-2022