Executive Chat – June 2020

Executive Chat with Reggie Wright, VP Development at Wray Executive Search

 

By Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search

Reggie Wright joined the Wray Search team as VP Development in 2019 after 12 years in franchise recruitment with Dunkin’ Brands. Reggie is based in St Louis, MO.

What inspired you to join Wray Executive Search after 12 years as Director of Franchising with Dunkin’ Brands?

I was placed with Dunkin’ through my relationship with Bob Gershberg and Wray Executive Search. Bob and I hit it off right away, as I found him to be honest and trustworthy in the way that he conducted business. Out of respect for that experience, I let him know about my plans to retire from Dunkin’ last year. Bob continued to track my extensive career with Dunkin’, and we share a mutual respect.

One of the most gratifying aspects of franchise development and franchisee recruitment is the satisfaction realized from marrying a dream with opportunity. I have been very fortunate to meet a lot of wonderfully talented people who needed my assistance in acquiring the rights to develop a business all the way back to my shoe business licensing days. Bob and I agreed that some of the same talents that I developed in growing licensed and franchise brands would be useful for Wray Search as we work to grow our business.

Over the term of my career, I have enjoyed PEOPLE and that continues the be the case as I work to garner new business for Wray. I will also be working to develop new opportunities for the individuals that are in my network. Passion for people along with and an extensive background in business development made the opportunity to join Wray a no-brainer at this stage of my life.

What is a moment you look back at in your career as one of the biggest turning points?

I am sure that most people can look back at their career and remember a point in time that something did not quite work out. It could be a challenge with an impossible boss, being downsized, or just not feeling fulfilled from a career perspective. It is relatively easy to be a certain way when things are going well, but in my experience a character check takes place when you face difficult challenges.

My early career was spent primarily in corporate financial roles, but I was fortunate to gain some exposure with business development and sales types who felt I had the talent to move into sales. During a company restructuring initiative, I was awarded a Business Development position that progressed to Sales Management roles over time. Those opportunities changed the trajectory of my career. The transition was highly uncomfortable, but the challenge was exciting as well. I was able to provide a nice standard of living for my family, and it was also extremely gratifying personally!

What is your hot take on a hot topic?

Wow, hot topic? There are so many things going on in our country and in our corporate environment that are troubling. There is a great deal of misinformation, mistrust, misunderstanding, and I am creating a new word here: misopportunity. The world is changing at a very rapid pace, and some people are experiencing a high level of anxiety. People in power need to understand that there is nothing to fear. We all need to live courageously with the understanding that we all benefit from an inclusive society where you can reach your full potential only limited by your abilities. Too often, decisions and opportunities are based upon who and what we are comfortable with, and the inherent limitations come at a substantial cost. If we can overcome some of these self-imposed barriers our society will reach new heights!

You’ve been on the road a lot in your career, and now, like many people, you’re working remotely. How is working from home going for you? How is your home office?

My preference has always been to work remotely. It certainly helps to minimize office politics, and I am a home body anyway. I am a home body, likely due to all the business travel over the years. I can focus more, and my wife has done a great job of setting me up with a nicely decorated office! Golf and the St. Louis Cardinals are two of my passions, and my office reflects that. I might be upgrading to a standup desk in the future, sitting does not do the body good.

What do you like to do for fun when you are not working?

Not to confuse anyone, but the home body loves to travel! I draw a hard distinction between personal and business travel. My wife and l like the same things, and we have really enjoyed traveling together over the years. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in Fiji, and we annually attend an Independent Film Festival in the Napa Valley. We love independent film, good food, and good wine!  I have promised her another great adventure for 2022, so the pressure is on!

Rebecca Patt specializes in retained executive search for the restaurant industry with Wray Executive Search. Email her at rebecca@wraysearch.com.

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