We are proud to introduce you to one of our most valued team members, Tom Gudowicz.

Tom Gudowicz first met Frank Merenda more than 30 years ago when they were both employed at an international chemical company. They struck up a strong and lasting friendship and built a smooth working relationship as well. Although they eventually went their separate ways, it was no surprise when Frank sought Tom out 10 years ago with a proposition.

Frank had just purchased Enterprise Appraisal Company (EAC), a well-established valuations practice that became the predecessor to Sobel Valuations LLC.  He asked Tom to join him in the business to assume responsibility for marketing and business development. Over time he grew into the Chief Operating Officer role as well.

Both Frank and Tom recognized that Tom’s unique background made him the perfect person to fill this critical role.  He had a combination of traits that included the depth of business experience and the leadership skills necessary to do the job.  Over time he had demonstrated profound proficiency in these three distinctive areas: during his time in the military where he served in the ordinance corps and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel; when working for corporations of all sizes from multi-million dollar companies to middle-market, privately-held, family-owned businesses; and as a leader and captain of rugby teams for 20 years.    

His diverse background enabled him to take on significant internal and external focused responsibilities with confidence while at the same time helping to create a nurturing and welcoming company culture at EAC.  With six full time employees and more than seven sub-contractors he is obligated to make key decisions quickly in a fast – paced environment.

The schedule he juggles is intense, as at any one time he is balancing over 20 projects from origination to completion. Each day brings new opportunities. But when dealing with clients who are seeking quick answers and a resolution to their problems, the situation can often become chaotic. This is when his corporate experience serves him well. As a result, he is able to immediately establish a rapport with the clients, talking the talk and walking the walk. He understands business challenges from the inside out and as such he quickly gains their trust and confidence. All he has to do is ask, “How can I help you? What do you need?” in order to disarm the most agitated client.  Most importantly, Tom never gets flustered. His hero is Alfred E. Newman of MAD Magazine, whose famous motto is “What – me worry?” That attitude has helped him preserve his good nature and make every client or prospect comfortable!

And that is when Tom is his best! In fact, he thrives under pressure, posing the key questions, gaining the trust and respect of the client, and helping to find the right answers. This is when he relies on his military training and the chain of command he has grown accustomed to.  Clients, centers of influence, prospects and employees all respect Tom’s leadership and his commitment to maximizing the practice’s productivity and efficiency, but most importantly, profitability. Tom’s best response in all his various winning job interviews over the years was that he viewed his job through the lens of being on a team. He has always believed that the discussion should focus on “us” rather than on “me” or “you.”  This is obvious in his consistent commitment to building wealth for the partners/owners.       

And finally, the lessons learned as an athlete – the power of positive thinking, of team work, of persistence, and of patience, are all necessary when he is interacting with a client, a subcontractor, or a new prospect.

From his first days at EAC, Tom agreed to help bring the firm into the 20th century – improving technology and the computer systems, identifying and hiring smart, engaging, enthusiastic and passionate employees, and upgrading the brand image in the market place.

It is this integrated mix of characteristics and the diversity of his experiences that has made Tom such a valuable member of EAC and the Sobel Valuations practice as he continues to enhance and enrich the firm. But he never forgets that the real everyday obstacle is to generate revenue. Most engagements are nonrecurring, which means that there is a critical need to continuously identifying new clients. Tom and the team are vigilant. They recognize the challenge of filling the pipeline in this environment and as such every contact, every call, every meeting must be managed to a successful outcome. The importance of continuous marketing and relationship building is never overlooked by Tom!