Name: Marc Rothbart
Date of birth: Jan. 29, 1963
Place of birth: New Brunswick, NJ.
Has lived in Columbus since: September 1999
Title: Senior vice president and chief financial officer of SIHO Insurance Services
Job duties: Runs finance, sales, account management, IT, data management, project management
Education: Bachelor of Science from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass.
Family: Wife, Nina; daughters Alexandra and Jamie, both students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business
Hobbies: Golf, running (runs three to four miles daily), community involvement (United Way, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic), spending time with friends, watching Red Sox and Packers games
Q: What was your first job?
A: During summers in high school, I worked a 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift at a fish market in Wethersfield, Conn. I had to prepare orders for trucks that would take the fish to restaurants. It was a really smelly job — but the operation was very clean and made me appreciate the work that went into getting a fish onto a plate in a restaurant. I am a fish lover to this day.
Q: What was the main lesson you learned from that job?
A: I learned what hard work was and that there are capable people everywhere who take pride in their profession.
Q: What do you like best about your job?
A: I like that SIHO is very entrepreneurial. We compete in an industry of giants and are finding interesting and profitable niches. It’s fun every day to come to work.
Q: What do you like least?
A: We’re in an industry that’s heavily legislated. There’s a lot of scrutiny. Health care reform hasn’t helped. It’s a difficult industry with many uncertainties — but we can either complain or find niches to take advantage.
Q: Tell me about the transition when you first took a leadership role.
A: In the late 1980s, I worked for Traveler’s Insurance, and I got a management position in my 20s, running the sales office in Syracuse, N.Y. I dealt with more experienced employees and had to earn their respect. I am a doer, and when you make a transition to supervisor, you have to change your mindset, you have to set goals, hold people accountable and take pride in developing people.
Q: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started? How have you changed as a leader?
A: The development of effective management skills almost has to happen over time. It goes hand in hand with maturing and having more life experience. I certainly listen more carefully today, and I am much more patient.
I also feel that I have less to prove, so I am much more willing to take pleasure from successes of the people reporting to me and around me, and I am much better at delegating and not getting involved in every issue. Management is about hiring great people, setting proper expectations and holding them accountable.
I have also entered that stage in life where giving back is much more important. I am involved in numerous community boards and advisory committees, such as United Way, the Philharmonic, Columbus Museum of Art + Design, and I am on advisory boards for BCSC and a local bank. My involvement outside of SIHO has helped me grow as an individual; it has set a good example for my children and, as a bonus, it has helped SIHO grow.
Q: What’s the No. 1 thing you expect from your employees?
A: Integrity. Our employees represent us, and we need to make sure that our customers trust us. Every day, every decision they make has to be the best for the customer. Even if our employees make a mistake, if they tell me they thought their decision would be the best for the customer, I’ll look at that very differently.
Q: What do your employees absolutely have to avoid?
A: Dishonesty in any way, shape or form. And having the intention to only benefit themselves — and not the team and the customer.
Q: What’s the best advice you can give people who are just now starting to enter the job market?
A: Hard work leads to opportunities. Hard work in high school leads to good college opportunities. Hard work in college leads to good job opportunities. And hard work in your job leads to good career opportunities.
Every other Sunday, The Republic will present short Q&As with local leaders eager to share the lessons they’ve learned. If you have a suggestion for someone to be profiled, please contact finance editor Boris Ladwig at 379-5712 or email@example.com.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.