HBS-NEO Harvard Business School Club of Northeastern Ohio HBS-NEO

Membership: Member Interviews

Thomas Brick

(Interview continued from e-mail newsletter.)

Q. What does the job entail? Do you enjoy it? How do you get passionate about it?

I am the CEO of Chagrin Falls. I'm responsible for the health, safety and operations of the village. I enjoy that. I really enjoy working to maintain the very nice quality of life in Chagrin falls. I am driven to try to help the village maintain its high quality of life in the long run. Times change, and I think Chagrin Falls needs good, long-range thinking in order to continue to be, essentially, a nice place to live. Since taking the job, my drive to make Chagrin Falls a nice place to live has only increased.

Q. But, come on now, do you really love zoning appeals, architectural board meetings, planning and zoning commissions, streets and sidewalks commissions, and facilities and service commissions?

No, I don't love the specifics of some of the meetings, but I think the committees and meetings are very important. To be effective, they have to be well organized and have clear goals and procedures, and that is important to maintaining the quality of life of the village in the long run.

Q. What from your Keithley experience has helped you as Mayor of Chagrin Falls?

Everything I developed and learned at Keithley has been helpful to this job. There is no business skill that doesn't translate well, but I would say that there are some very distinct differences between the two jobs. For example, the Mayor recommends the budget to council, but council decides and approves the budget. The Mayor doesn't even have a vote, and that's the case on all laws and codes. So, while the Mayor is a leadership position, the scope of responsibility and authority is way less than in a corporation.

But, at this stage in my career, I am quite happy to adjust. The job is not by charter design a full time job, but I'm putting in full time hours right now. I'm hoping when I get through my first series of learning curves and initiatives, the hours will ease up.

Q. What are your outside interests and hobbies?

I love to read historical novels. And since I retired from Keithley, I play at golf. My wife and I also stay busy trying to keep up with our six grandchildren.

Q. What does HBS-NEO do well, and what could it do better?

I think it provides a forum for getting together for networking and for learning, and I think the most important thing the club can do is provide learning experiences for members, which it does well.

See other Member Interviews.