Mike Vellano is the CEO of Vortex Companies – a trenchless technology company focused on water and sewer infrastructure. As CEO and Founder, Mike's primary focus is fulfilling the corporate mission and ensuring Vortex delivers on its promise of...
Mike Vellano is the CEO of Vortex Companies – a trenchless technology company focused on water and sewer infrastructure. As CEO and Founder, Mike's primary focus is fulfilling the corporate mission and ensuring Vortex delivers on its promise of being a solutions-focused, cost-effective trenchless products and services provider ranging from consulting and project management services to the delivery of products, training, and installation. Formerly, Mike was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for one of North America's largest privately held trenchless underground contractors. His primary responsibilities included overseeing all business entities' sales, marketing, and product development functions. He was also in charge of forging strategic business alliances as part of the company's vision of providing its customers with the widest selection of environmentally friendly, trenchless underground repair solutions. During his five-year tenure, Mike used his vision and leadership to help measurably grow the company's revenue. From 2001 to 2009, Mike worked for Albany, New York-based Vellano Brothers, where he rose from the ranks from local Branch Manager to Vice President. He helped streamline operations, grow accounts, and increase sales exponentially during his tenure there. Mike resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife Lettie and two daughters.
On this episode, Chris and Mike discuss:
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(2:36) - Mike’s background & career
(4:54) - What is the ‘Trenchless’ industry?
(9:50) - Are your customers government contractors or private companies?
(10:54) - How old are some of these pipe systems and how much has their design changed over the years?
(14:23) - Is there anything Trenchless can do for a city like Austin?
(17:04) - Are there areas in the US where your business typically does better?
(21:08) - How did you build Vortex?
(29:48) - How did you finance your way to $40mm in Revenue?
(32:25) - Do you operate as a Holdco or does every acquisition get rolled up under the Vortex brand?
(35:34) - What mattered to you when finding capital partners?
(44:44) - What’s your playbook for integrating new acquisitions into your company?
(49:01) - Do you care if the leaders of an acquired business stay or post-close?
(50:27) - How much impact is the Russia-Ukraine situation having on your business in Europe?
(52:25) - Does your technology scale well into residential?
(53:25) - Why do you think executives have it easy?
(54:28) - How do you see the labor market over the next 20 years?
(57:56) - Why is family so important to you?
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