Joe Skotarzak, Sailing Ahead on the Next Beat – Episode 13

Joe Skotarzak began his career at Peterson Consulting (now Navigant Consulting ) before becoming a partner in River Run Computers for 20 years because “opportunity knocked.”  River Run is an IT Managed Services Provider that Joe and his best friend, Paul Riedl, bought and built into a “big boy company,” navigating & overcoming many industry, cash flow and differentiation challenges along the way.  He’s a UW Madison graduate, who thought he wanted to be an accountant (until he encountered cost accounting – which he found hard and boring) before pivoting to his degree in Finance & Marketing.    

Joe shares his aha moment from page one of Jim Collin’s classic book, ‘Good to Great’ which he read over a weekend in Iowa where he was participating in a sailing regatta.  He promptly shared the book with his partner and team and he shares some of the River Run “secret sauce” that developed from what they learned and applied, including the RSVP program and FIPPERD.  

In this wide ranging conversation, Mike talks with Joe about his entrepreneurial spirit, what excellence means to him, how sailing has impacted his life, having a young son and why “if you’re lucky enough to live on a lake – you’re lucky enough.”  

Please enjoy Mike Malatesta and Joe Skotarzak. 


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