David Glickman '91 carves out a new career and lifestyle
Dot-com failures and a stressful lifestyle led David Glickman ’91 to swap a New York City corporate life for a more appealing environment for his young family—one where his two German shepherds often accompany him to the office. Glickman worked for entrepreneurs and a Fortune 500 company before founding his own company in 2004.
A lesson learned at Bryant still resonates: “Commodities equals death.” His company, Vermont Butcher Block & Board, produces premium quality products, not commodities, he explains. The company’s revenues in its first month of business were $205. Today, monthly revenues average $100,000.
In Vermont, where business owners have a hyperlocal focus, Glickman sometimes feels isolated. Nevertheless, he has learned from others' errors. When a failed woodworking company held an auction, he wrote himself a cautionary note on an auction tag: "Do you want this to be you?"
At one time, cash flow challenges kept his business from growing, so Glickman auditioned for “Shark Tank,” the ABC reality show. He faced fierce competition: 54,000 applications, 180 business owners filmed, and 90 pitches aired. Glickman’s pitch began, “Like Steve Jobs, I started in a garage.”
In May 2013, no “sharks” took the bait —$400,000 for 45 percent ownership -- but they encouraged Glickman to stay the course, recommending he seek bank financing.
After borrowing $250,000, Glickman was able to grow the company. His credo: “Do what you love so you’re in control of your life.”
This profile is adapted from the Winter 2014 edition of Bryant Magazine