From “Semi-Retired” to “Mostly-Retired,” and a new President.
I think that I am typical of many business owners in that I’ve found it hard to leave the business into which I have put so much of my life. I have had a reluctance to retire from the business I founded 37 years ago, even though for the past five years we have been working on a succession plan to transfer all my operational responsibilities of managing AlcoPro to other staff. In fact, the plan has worked so well that for the past several years I have had very little day-to-day operational responsibilities. For the past two years I have called myself “semi-retired;” I was in the office three days a week, but didn’t necessarily have much to do every day I was there. Sam Smithey, Operations Manager, and Jennie Lee-Pace, Director of Sales and Marketing, have essentially been running the day to day business of AlcoPro for the past several years.
To recognize that fact, and to make it clear to our customers and suppliers that I no longer have any operational responsibilities, on October 1, 2019, we appointed Sam Smithey as President of AlcoPro. Sam has been with AlcoPro since 2010, first as Special Projects Coordinator, then as Operations Manager. Sam has been managing our order fulfillment, production, repair, and accounting functions for the past several years, as well as being our point of contact for our international business. Sam will continue to manage the same departments as before, and Jennie Lee-Pace, Director of Sales and Marketing, will continue to manage customer service and training departments.
I am assuming the title of Senior Advisor. I will continue to consult with Sam and Jennie and the rest of the staff of AlcoPro, and will continue to come to the office for a few hours a couple days a week for the near future. Although my office staff now consider that I am retired – they even gave me a retirement party – I prefer to call myself “mostly retired.” I’m still not ready to call myself “retired,” which to my mind means to not have anything to do with AlcoPro and Kahntact Medical, the business we acquired in 2018. I still want to offer my advice to the AlcoPro staff and stay in touch with the business. In time I imagine my advice will taper off to the point I am willing to acknowledge that I am retired. But for now, let’s call my status “mostly retired.”