Q&A Session with Baron’s COO John Lamantia
What industry did you decide to pursue or think that you wanted to pursue initially, and do you find you are able to apply any of your knowledge or experience from that moment of your life to Baron?
I originally pursued the transportation and logistics industry upon graduation from the University of Windsor. I have always been intrigued by how various products get to market, especially as the business evolved into a global marketplace. I have always had a keen sense of commitment to on-time delivery. So much of getting a product over the finish line on time relates directly to supply chain integration and efficiency.
Baron® has had an amazing product for many years, and I saw so many similarities in the execution process to obtain a superior end result of delivering a world-class product on time.
If you could go back in 30 years, what is the best advice you would give your younger self?
I would say: don’t sweat the small stuff. Attention to detail is a key ingredient in anyone’s success, but often we get caught up in the small distractions that interfere with the end goal. I would also adjust my project timelines, personal and professional, to have a less aggressive
There is no finish line. That’s a slogan of Nike’s, but it’s also a phrase that applies to the business of Championship Rings and how Baron’s business necessarily has an endpoint. So how can you manage something that is ongoing and maybe doesn’t really have a final score, so to speak?
The question is difficult because every order we handle has an endpoint: ultimate customer satisfaction. Return business and trust in our company will set the final score. The old saying: “we are only as good as our last ballgame,” rings very true in this company… no pun intended
You were COO during the pandemic, can you comment or reflect upon the highs, lows or challenges during that time? And what are your challenges–and the company’s–going forward?
The pandemic was the biggest challenge I have encountered and managed in my personal and professional life. The uncertainty was the biggest challenge for our company. Staff adjustments and supply chain interruptions were commonplace during and long after the pandemic. The balancing act of protecting employees from harm, working in a mobile environment and keeping products moving proved very challenging. Still, Baron® was able to pivot very well and learned that it could operate lean and with greater precision by looking for internal efficiency gains.
Challenges going forward are always keeping a degree of creativity with our product and offering a very competitive price point as our valued clients demand. Baron® MUST always continue to provide the full product and service before and after the sale.
Describe your leadership style and how you “lead” others.
My style is hands-on. Understand your people! Their roles, their challenges, and work collaboratively with them to produce continuous improvement. I always like to set the bar high by my own work ethic. If our employees see my passion and commitment, they will quickly
follow me in the daily grind.
Do you have a favourite Championship Ring that Baron has created?
The first Championship Ring I managed was the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 NBA Championship Ring. The design, the process, and the execution were amazing, and I learned amazing things along the way.
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Do you have any BUCKET LIST Sports wants? (Perhaps a road trip or potential event)
I always want to do a string of Major League baseball games at various parks
They don’t have to be your favourite Team, but who has your favourite logo in all of Sports?
This is my favourite team and always will be the Detroit Tigers – Their old English D logo is also my favourite in all sports.
WE ARE SO BACK pic.twitter.com/8I8SJPXUsU
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 13, 2023
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra you often turn to or share?
I have a few :
2. Is everything under control?
3. My Dad gave me a poster when I was young as part of his many teaching lessons; it read :
“Delivery and accuracy go hand in hand” Every minute Counts! Let’s deliver on time!
I recreated this poster, which hangs above my desk as a reminder of my Dad and the commitment we must bring daily to our jobs, staff and to our clients.