Isaac LaRonge, Skyline Services Inc.
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Isaac LaRonge, director of operations, Skyline Services Inc.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
My greatest challenge and my greatest reward is in growing, investing in, and developing our leadership team. It can be difficult to pull myself away from the urgent tasks that come up each day and find time to focus on this, but the long-term effects are invaluable as you see the people around you growing and winning in both business and life.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I admire the work that Dave Ramsey has done and the company that he has built. Over the last couple years, I’ve been involved with the EntreLeadership program that he has put together, which has taught me the importance of leadership, values, and mission in business.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
One moment that stands out to me is from a few years back when I was faced with a massive project of securing a very large contract that was up for renewal. This process took months, many meetings and revisions, and resulted in not only successfully retaining all of our current business, but an actual increase in services provided. This was a huge win for both the company and me, and something I am very proud of. Since then, I’ve been able to use the experience gained from this project to sustain continued growth over recent years.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Although it was only a five years ago, I would tell myself to slow down on projects, dig deeper, and work them through to 100 percent completion. With the fast pace of business, it’s a struggle every day to maintain focus on your number-one priority and not allow the next big idea to pull you off target. Looking back now, I see that I could have avoided a lot of wasted time on repeat issues if I would have spent a little more time on the project the first time around.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
The Madison area is a great place to work and live, and it has something to offer everybody. I enjoy all of the outdoor activities, such as biking through the Pleasant View Conservancy, golfing at the Oaks, or boating on Lake Mendota. On the business side, I enjoy networking and connecting with others within groups such as the Middleton Chamber, SMBA, IFMA, and other community organizations.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
People may be surprised to know that I have competed in Olympic weightlifting. I’ve participated in numerous state and national competitions, with some victories under my belt. Some of my top lifts include a 352-pound clean and jerk, a 265-pound snatch, and a 500-pound back squat.
What are your guilty pleasures?
If you’re around our office long enough, you may notice I have a not-so-guilty pleasure of a good cup of coffee in the mornings (and some afternoons). I haven’t been able to make it happen yet, but my vision is to have a nice espresso machine in our office to start every day out with an excellent cup of joe.
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