Written by The Business Journal Staff
Ryan Geil, President
What we do: We provide commercial janitorial and security services, including janitorial supplies and electronic security systems (alarms).
Education: Bachelor’s of Science in business administration from Saint Mary’s College.
Family: Wife Kasey of 7 years, sons Oliver (7) and Maxwell (4)
Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of Geil Enterprises. What’s the secret to such longevity for a family business?
A vision of where you want to get to and why. Once you figure that out, everyone, including non-family members, will want to help get the company there.
Geil Enterprises is one of a few local employee-owned businesses in the region. What are the benefits of such an ownership structure, Ryan Geil?
From a financial standpoint, there is a huge tax advantage to being a 100 percent ESOP S-Corporation. We only pay a 1.5 percent franchise tax to the State of California and 0 percent Federal. Instead of paying taxes, we put that money into our employee’s ESOP retirement accounts. From a culture standpoint, we hope it creates a feeling of ownership where our employees understand their hard work directly benefits their retirement accounts.
What advice do you have for the younger generations of family businesses on the verge of succession?
Don’t try and do it on your own. There is so much emotion when it comes to families that it can get in the way of effective transitions. There are great resources out there to help you with succession planning.
Where do you see Geil Enterprises in 10 years?
This is a great discussion our Leadership Team has been having. We will continue to operate in the Central Valley (Lodi to Tulare), offer our same services, and endure as an ESOP.
What was the best advice you ever received?
Plagiarize. I know it sounds funny, but the intent is “someone has probably already done it before you and probably better, so don’t try and figure it out on your own.”
You must’ve had some strong mentors in your career. Can you tell us about some of them, Ryan Geil?
I have learned from many people in my life. My parents, Steve and Eileen, who founded Geil Enterprises. My uncle Sam Geil who was our CEO for nine years. My brother Jason, who is our business development manager. And five years ago I joined an amazing organization called Young President’s Organization. It’s a global organization with 25,000 members and I am a member of the San Joaquin Valley Chapter that covers Fresno to Bakersfield, where we have 40 members. We gather monthly to become better leaders through learning and idea exchange. It has really changed my life for the better. I consider all 39 other members to be mentors of mine.
What causes or organizations do you support and why?
My personal mission is to help people reach their full potential. I do this through my unique gifts, talents and skills I have learned. The greatest skill I have gained to help me reach my mission is becoming a certified facilitator of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is a great program that helps people use principles to achieve their greatest personal goals.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it?
My brothers and I all started out as janitors when we were 16. Our family motto was “family members are guaranteed a job, but never guaranteed a position.” We were also never guaranteed to keep a job if we weren’t performing to the expectations. Earning instead of entitlement was the greatest lesson I learned.
What do you like to do in your spare time, Ryan Geil?
My wife and I are very active people, so we enjoy playing sports with our boys a lot. Right now, I’m addicted to surfing.