I met Remo Picchietti (ray' mo pick ket' tee) about five years ago when he began teaching entrepreneurship part-time at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. I was thrilled that he was joining the faculty since we didn't have many professors with the operating experience he had: bought two companies, ran both as CEO, and sold them. At the time, Remo was beginning his career in private equity and was also teaching at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
In late 2012, when we were seeking JuntoMentors for our first cohort, I asked Remo if he was interested in getting involved and he was. He joined that original group of mentors, serving on the Mentor Team for Eclipse Telecom during JuntoI, then GetMaineLobster in JuntoII, and currently RxBar for JuntoIII. In addition, when we began assembling an advisory committee for the JuntoGlobal program last fall, I asked Remo if he was interested in that since he had plenty of global business experience; once again, he agreed.
So he was an active member of the JuntoTribe, we had known each other for quite some time, and I held him in high regard. He knew Junto well, but not so well that he'd be biased, and brought an operating and investing mindset to the table. As a result, last month I asked if he would meet with Catherine and me to provide his thoughts on The Junto Institute's business model, strategy, and long-term plans.
We met in early April, and had a productive meeting that helped us articulate the big picture for Junto and helped him understand it. Before ending the meeting, I asked how his private equity work was going. He acknowledged that he was starting to explore new opportunities. I sensed our own opportunity.
I shot a quick glance at Catherine, paused, then asked Remo, "Would you be interested in talking about getting involved with Junto?" After a brief pause of his own, he replied, "Yes, I would. I would be very interested in talking about that."
We set up a meeting to dive deeper into our plans, share some of our needs, and see how that lined up with Remo's interests and capabilities. They did. He also made it clear that he wanted to do something full-time not just on the side. Catherine and I agreed to work up a "job description" of sorts and a general compensation structure, and we met about 10 days later over lunch. We went through both in detail, and agreed in principle that Remo would join the JuntoTeam. Last week, he and I met one last time to go into further detail on compensation, found common ground, and made it official.
"I’m thrilled to be working with Raman and Catherine to continue their development of the JuntoTribe. I am a passionate supporter of our local entrepreneurial community and Junto’s contribution to its continued success."
So effective today, I'm delighted to announce that Remo Picchietti has begun his new career with The Junto Institute. His role will be to help us grow by recruiting qualified companies, pursuing expansion opportunities, building the strength of the Tribe, and maintaining high operating standards. Remo's affable nature, deep yet broad experience, and intimacy with Junto will all be an asset to our growth plans. We're fortunate and grateful that someone with his pedigree and credentials would join our fledgling company. To say we're excited about him joining the JuntoTeam is an understatement.