About – Joe Schumacker
To many, bowling may not seem like it is a business. It is in fact an excellent example of local market business, the type of business which truly drives the American economy. The business of bowling has much to teach about the operation of community-centric businesses. At the same time, operators of bowling-based businesses have much to learn about the contemporary marketplace for active out-of-home entertainment. Posting on this blog will be a mixture of general business content with an occasional bowling specific item. I encourage comment on all thoughts presented and will endeavor to respond to specific questions or when further discussion will enhance clarity.
I have been blessed to have had great learning experiences along my journey. Formal education at Hudson Valley Community College (NY), State University of New York at Albany and the College of William & Mary provided me with a solid platform for a lifetime of learning. Leadership positions with Fair Lanes, Don Carter Management Company, Schumacker & Company, and the Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America have provided me with the experience component of lifelong learning. Vistage membership has provided an invaluable peer advisory experience, expanding my understanding of business in general, an understanding of the value of process-directed issue resolution, and many personal friendships.
Bowling business mentors such as Wally Hall, Sandy Hansell, and Frank Esposito have provided focus and support through the inevitable peaks and valleys of a business career. Vistage mentors such as Red Scott, Chip Webster, Charlie Davis, and Ray Zentis have provided insight and guidance that has leaded me to a new place in my career.
In January 2013, I began the transition from being a Vistage member to being a Vistage Chair. As a Chair I lead a group of seasoned CEOs in what can be best described as being a “peer advisory board”. The experience of leading such a group is exhilarating and has in fact prompted the re-starting of this blog after a rather lengthy hiatus.
A learning leader is a person willing to challenge the assumptions and facts which have defined his (her) life and career to date. Learning is about challenging yourself. Learning is also about sharing. Being the only learning leader would be as useful as having the only e-mail address or being the only person to post on Facebook; value is created with shared participation and shared ownership of ideas. With this blog I intend to share some of my thoughts, ideas, and concepts with other learners or potential learners. Hopefully, you will find a few flowers on these pages; but remember even the fertilizer serves a useful purpose – if it makes you think.