and partners continued
|© Nathan Mandell
CIM Week pals Ken Shore '91 and Jay LeCoque '91 keep their
friendship alive at Celsis International.
LeCoque 91 and Ken Shore 91
LeCoque and Ken Shore became fast friends during CIM Week.
Impressed by each others intelligence and drive, the
1991 grads never missed a chance to work together during their
two years at Kellogg.
we were ever in a class together, we were always on the same
team, LeCoque remembers.
a decade later, LeCoque, by then CEO of Celsis International,
pondered his companys latest job opening: vice president
of product sales for North America. LeCoque knew he needed
a good team player, someone strong in marketing but also possessed
of an urgency that would reflect the firms post-start-up
up the phone and called Shore.
said, Ken, its great to work with someone who
knows what BATNA means, referring to lingo recognized
worldwide by veterans of the negotiations class taught by
Kellogg Professor Jeanne Brett.
seemed just right for Shore, who had spent the past six years
working for entrepreneurial ventures in Minneapolis and Chicago
and was eager to join a company poised for growth.
which develops systems to detect and measure microbial contamination
in consumer products, seemed to fit the bill. The company
which LeCoque had helped build as a member of Celsis
original management team had grown from $250,000 in
sales in 1995 to $30 million last year. Marketing efforts
in North America would be key to future growth. It was
clear Celsis had yet to reach its full potential, Shore
said. As I learned more about the company and Jays
vision for it, it seemed like a great fit.
be because the company was built largely by Kellogg alumni.
LeCoque, as the firms first director of global business
development, had worked closely with then-CEO Arthur Holden
81 and Bill Rusconi 94 to develop Celsis
strategic platform. Kelloggs marketing and teamwork
philosophies were built right into the infrastructure of the
had already experienced the satisfaction of sharing success
with a friend. He and Rusconi had been pals before they arrived
at Celsis, and even though Rusconi is no longer with the company,
LeCoque says their working relationship only enhanced their
such a shared camaraderie when you make a business grow together,
LeCoque. Its definitely different than doing it
with people who arent already your friends.
not to say that friendship eases all aspects of running a
got the teamwork and the trust, LeCoque says. But
it can be difficult when a deal falls through or the sales
dont come in. How do you give a friend feedback? You
just have to be very honest and say, This is what Im
seeing. What do we have to do to get things back on track?
doesnt find it difficult to be on the other side of
that desk. Our backgrounds are so similar that the feedback
Jay provides is often very consistent with my own perspectives,
he says. Our friendship enables me to take it to heart
in a way thats different than it would be with other