NCC Monroe held a fireside conversation with this year’s guest Stephen Somers who is President and owner of Vigon, a company that makes the ingredients that goes into fragrances and foods.
Somers talked about the beginning of his company from starting with 5 employees and $5 million in sales to going to 130 employees and $100 million in sales.
Commentating the fireside conversation was NCC’s President Dr. Mark Erickson.
The audience included not only NCC students and faculty but students from Pleasant Valley and East Stroudsburg -South, two local high schools.
Somers talked about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and the challenges and rewards that come with it.
His biggest reward he said “is carving out a legacy,” and the impact he has had on his employees.
The toughest part of his job he said were “people,” but that was also the greatest part he talked about.
When it comes to people it’s not always easy to find the best team member for his company and having to let go of someone that doesn’t work out is the hardest part.
Somers talked about what he looks for in employees as well as what other employers are looking for.
He talked about the importance of not only education but life experience, what it means having a job for multiple years dealing with customers and gaining that experience, and the importance of follow up emails and showing how bad you want to succeed.
One of the last things he left the audience with was that “fear is the enemy.”
He said sometimes you will do something that is scary but when it comes to being an entrepreneur the scary route is usually the most successful one.