Get to know Robert Zuclich, Plycon Transportation Group’s CFO, who just raked in his third Long Island Business News “CFO of the Year” nomination. We sat down with Zuclich to get his thoughts about this year’s awards, the growth he’s seen as CFO at Plycon, and where the company is going next.
You’ve won “CFO of the Year” twice in a row. This is your third nomination now–how do you feel?
Robert Zuclich: I’m very honored to receive a nomination for the third time. The feeling is always the same no matter how many times you’re nominated and win. Just to be recognized in a field you spend your life putting energy into, is truly a huge honor. I have so many people to thank.
What would you say differentiates this year at Plycon from the year you first won “CFO of the Year”?
RZ: That’s a good question. I’d say the first time I received the “CFO of the Year” distinction it was purely based on the financial end of my job. The benchmark for my second year, and this last nomination, would have to now include various aspects of cultivating more branches in the company; getting involved in the operations side, getting involved in HR, in all different aspects of the company. I think I consider myself more than a CFO. So for me, I’ve developed more of a management approach to the CFO job since 2014, and that continues to be the direction I’m moving in.
Talk to me about the owners of the company: Chris, Dean and Dave Pliaconis. What are they like as collaborators?
RZ: I get a chance to work most closely with Chris, as I’m based out of the Kings Park location, and Dean is in California, and Dave’s in Florida. But no one understands logistics, transportation and working on the trucks better than Chris, as well as Dean and Dave. There’s forty plus years of experience that they have, and which I’ll never understand operationally as well as them. They grew up with these trucks, driving around in them since they were five years old with their dad, Arthur, who started the company. It’s interesting to have discussions with them because they can tell me how a move is going to go before it even happens.
What’s next for you, and the company?
RZ: My goal is to try to help Chris, Dave and Dean, build the number one company in the industry. Within our group of competitors, we’re already looked at as an innovative and leading freight and transportation company, but in terms of revenue and volume, I’d like to push into the $200 milion mark within the next five to ten years.
As far as individual goals, seeing the company do better means a lot. Awards aside, that’s what we’re here to do.