ImPAct Interview: Matt Rachocki, Voodoo Brewery
Editor’s Note: Today, we continue our series of entrepreneur interviews featuring many of the leaders recognized for having “Entrepreneur ImPAct” at this year’s Governor’s ImPAct Awards. We have prepared five questions for each speaker related to the nomination criteria, and each entrepreneur has been generous enough to share their answers with us and our blog readers.
Below is the fourth interview in our series featuring Matt Rachocki of Voodoo Brewery.
Entrepreneur ImPAct Award Finalist: Matt Rachocki, Voodoo Brewery
- Title: Operations Manager
- Company: Voodoo Brewery
- PREP Region: Northwest
- City: Meadville
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/matt-rachocki/11/9a/520
What are some ways you drive creativity in yourself and your team?
As a brewery we are always being innovative when it comes to the beer we’re creating, packaging for our products, artwork, events and social media. We participate in a brewery run bottle share program where we trade Voodoo beers with folks all over the country so we can sample what else is out there and help get the creative juices flowing in the brewery.
We stay very connected to our customers through our two pubs and truly listen to their feedback and ideas. This helps us maintain cutting edge eating and drinking atmospheres and continue to deliver the best possible products to our customers.
If the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is going to continue to grow as a hub for business innovation, where should its leaders be focusing their attention to further fuel that growth?
I’m not an economist but from our perspective small businesses are one of the largest driving forces for business innovation. Having programs that exist like the Northwest Commission, Small Business Development Centers, the Economic Progress Alliances and Redevelopment Authorities are excellent proponents for small business growth and development. They help in almost every aspect such as finding financial partners, real restate, and so much more.
If the state puts focus in these programs they directly fuel the businesses that will create jobs and enable individuals to contribute to business innovation.
What entrepreneur or other prominent leader has had the greatest impact on your approach to managing and motivating your team?
There really isn’t one. I have been heavily influenced by Dale Carnegie though.
How do you go about fine tuning and improving your leadership skills?
Its a constantly changing device. Experience owning and operating businesses with a plethora of talented individuals will force you to bring out the very best in yourself. I have always tried to surround myself both personally and professionally by those far more talented and driven then myself. It makes you want to be the best you can be and improve on how you lead so those relying on you can grow as well.
Your work is never done but if you listen to the people you have entrusted to drive the ship and that’s the best thing you can do to be a great leader.