North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 8, 2010, 2:43 am

Most Influential Leaders: Stan Mead

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    Most Influential Leaders

    Stan Mead on vacation in Venice, Italy

    Stan Mead on vacation in Italy

    CEO, La Tortilla Factory

    Company address: 3300 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403

    Phone: 707-586-4000

    Website: www.latortillafactory.com

    Staff: 250

    Residence: Santa Rosa

    Professional background: General and financial management, consulting, sales management

    Education: B.A. in finance, MBA coursework

    Age: 57

    What do you see as the essential role of a leader in the current environment? Regardless of the “current environment,” leadership consists of developing a shared vision, empowering everyone to achieve the vision, providing the tools needed and acting in a committed and selfless way.

    What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry? Consumer acceptance of healthier tortillas and wrap as a bread substitute

    What advice would you give to young emerging leaders? Be sure to align your career goals with your passion in life.

    What’s the best advice for weathering today’s economic environment? Run a tight ship, analyze all the metrics, scenario plan upside and downside situations, under-commit and over-perform for you customers.

    How do you think your business will change in the next five years? Continued growth in tortillas and wraps, and the development of new and exciting alternative specialty baked-type products

    What is a decision you wish you hadn’t made? What did you learn from it? Staying in a position longer than I should have. The future holds better opportunities so long as you believe in yourself and pursue your passion.

    What is your most memorable business experience? Orchestrating the building of LTF’s factory and relocation of the operations from six other locations

    What is your greatest business success? Establishing and successfully running a consulting business

    What was your toughest business decision? Having to lay off people due to business conditions they had no control or influence over

    What would your friends be surprised to find out about you? How many jobs I have had in my life and that I ride my Harley to work when I can

    First job: Staff accountant (professional), TV repairman (not so professional)

    Most admired businessperson outside the company: Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE

    Current reading: “The Wisdom of Teams,” by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith

    Most want to meet: George W. Bush

    Stress relievers: Discussions with my wife

    Favorite activities outside work: Fishing, camping, boating, motorcycle riding and wine tasting (but not all at the same time)

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