Ray Zukowski – Leader, Visionary, Mentor and Retiree
Eventus Marketing Team
What entices a retired person to wake up early and fight traffic to go to work rather than have a standard tee time? According to new Eventus Senior Vice President of Managed Services Ray Zukowski, it takes a company with the right vision, the right people and the right products and services that can gain real traction in the marketplace today.
Eventus managing directors Milos Djokovic and Craig Tobin, who knew Ray previously, reached out to him to see if he’d be interested in working at Eventus, specifically to head up its growing managed services group. They were looking for a senior executive who could help build upon their already successful track record, such as being named to the INC 500 list of fastest growing companies, and continue to position Eventus as a leader in the marketplace.
Ray had been offered C-level positions at both public and private companies, but was not looking to be unretired anytime soon. “I was retired. I didn’t have to be here. I made a decision to come out of retirement. Having the right vision, or the right people, or the right products are rare for any one company. Having all three simultaneously, as Eventus does, is what made it worth my time and effort to be part of something special.
“I was really impressed with what Eventus has to offer and the stellar client list it has built over the past five years, which includes multiple Fortune 50 companies. They’ve really carved out a niche and have products and services in the marketplace that are unique to the industry.”
Eventus separates itself from the rest of the industry with the ease of doing business. “We really deliver how the client wants it. We own the business as much as they do, in essence becoming the client and long-term business advisor.”
Innovation is another key to Ray’s decision to join Eventus. “Eventus hires very smart people, very experienced people. Eventus is always looking at how we can be better, faster and more economical for our clients, and in innovating and delivering our goods and services.”
“That really helped me choose to come out of retirement. You know what, I found a great place where my skills and talents can be put to use immediately and at the same time, I can continue to help mentor, coach and grow the junior executives around me.”
“I head up the managed service group. What we do is help our client’s manage their call centers, staffs and technologies. Eventus not only helps by modeling and scheduling staffing, we also help them forecast what their business will look like and need over the next month, six months, year etc. We also take the key performance indicator data, on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis and help dig in and give them insights into their business to make them better, faster and more efficient going forward. We uncover the nuggets. We don’t just give our clients data, we give them trends and insights to make their businesses better. To the clients we offer these services, we absolutely bring value and drop hard dollars to their bottom line.”
Back to the Future
“I’ve been a part of very high growth companies, including getting companies prepared to go public. At my last company, we grew rapidly from $60M to $7B in 13 years with almost half of that growth being organic growth from existing clients. I’m used to working in environments where you have to build the future, literally. I was employee 400 at my last company and when I left, there were 16,000 employees. Not only the people side – I’ve worked on facilities, technology, organizational development and infrastructure design. They are all important. But the most important piece is the people side – the coaching, mentoring, guiding and developing a next generation of leaders and laying the foundation allowing a company to go from $20M to $100M or higher.”
The Essential Role of Talent
Ray is clear that the most important facet of his role is also the most challenging in the long term. “Talent. Always looking for the best in the industry. We’re a fast growing company. We always want to make sure we bring in the best of the best. Talent acquisition is always on the forefront of our minds.
“People hire us because they don’t need to go out and get a staff of three people that have six months experience, because we have a staff of 10 people who helped write the code that those people would train on. This allows our clients to do what they do best, to concentrate on their industry. Leave all of the day-to- day hard lifting and need to build expertise to us. We become a true arm to the company.”
Ray might not be golfing or fishing, but he’s getting the most out of his retirement. Like he says, “I came here for a reason. I’m very fortunate. This is what I want to wake up and do.”
It can be hard to fathom a life without customer service in it. Before remote desktop support, live chat and other contact center solutions, there were complex phone trees and outsourced call centers and before that there were buggy IVR systems and telephone switchboards connecting you to the store you purchased the product from.
The past few decades have seen the business world sway multiple times between call center outsourcing and internal call center operations.