On Thursday evening, June 21, the Cincinnati Business Courier named ProLink CEO and founding partner Tony Munafo a winner of the Chief Executive Officer category in their annual C-Suite Awards. The award program salutes the region's top executives for their exceptional skills in leadership and innovation as well as their ability to foster growth. The video above captures Mr. Munafo's acceptance of the award.
The following interview, originally published by the Cincinnati Business Courier, provides a quick look into Mr. Munafo's background, perspective on the company's growth and more.
Family: My wife, Ashley, and I have two boys: Tee, 10, and Bennett, 8. I’m from a big family. Mike is my brother and cofounder, and sister Angel, brothers Nick and Ben, my mother, Sheila and my stepdad, Tom. What was your first job? I installed drop ceilings while walking on stilts for DeGeorge Ceilings and Floors during the summers of my freshman and sophomore years in high school.
What moment from work over the past year gave you the most satisfaction? Two points come to mind: 1. The markets we launched in – Dallas, Columbia, S.C., and Nashville – as well as our expansion in Columbus. 2. The awards ProLink has won or been named as a finalist so far this year, including being named a 2018 Best Staffing Firms to Work For, ranked third fastest-growing U.S. staffing firm by Staffing Industry Analysts and placed as a finalist for the 2018 Fast 55 Award.
What’s your biggest current challenge? Balancing the needs of our culture with goals for growth. Our team is part of the ProLink family, and a big reason they joined is to be part of a positive, growing enterprise. We never want to forget the importance of balancing those priorities, especially as we continue our national expansion.
Best part of your job? I never take our people for granted because they’ve made ProLink the company it is today. I love interacting with our staff all over the country and learning where they want to go personally, professionally, and financially. I want to help them use ProLink as their vehicle for achieving those goals.
Next big personal goal you hope to achieve? Continuing to teach my sons the importance of using their talents to have a positive impact on the world. I want them to grow up knowing that if you surround yourself with great people, have a good plan, work for results and refuse to give up, you can achieve anything.
Favorite way to relax outside of work? Spending time with my family; we love fishing, trips to the lake, somehow spending time together outdoors. My wife, Ashley, and I also love being active — spending time with close friends, trying out new restaurants, going to concerts, exercising, etc.
What’s your most distinguishing characteristic? Being adaptable. I’m good with change when it’s needed and I’m open to different perspectives.
When was your last vacation, and where did you go? Florida with my wife and sons. We visited my aunt and her family in Siesta Key and wrapped up the trip in Marco Island.
How do you measure success for yourself? I measure my success by ProLink’s success — when we hit goals, it gives me satisfaction. I also measure success by making a positive impact on my staff on a lot of different levels, not just in the professional part of their lives.
Who is a business leader you admire and why? Richard Branson — I like how empowering he is, all while holding a diverse portfolio of businesses. He truly understands that you don’t develop a company, you develop people. They in turn develop the company.
How do you try to stay in shape? I enjoy a variety of workouts, but my current favorite is OrangeTheory, a high-intensity group class with a combination of cardio and strength training. I also enjoy running and swimming.