On November 1, GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation announced that it surpassed the $2 billion mark in assets and concurrently reached its 25th year of uninterrupted organic growth. The two milestones are the latest installment of the remarkable journey of a young immigrant’s dream to build a company that would be the best in its field,” according to a GreatAmerica press release.
“Tony [Golobic] changed the paradigm in the leasing business,” said Carol Mitschke, Owner of Frontier Business Products and one of the first GreatAmerica customers. “He understood that he needed to partner with the office equipment Dealer on the financing piece, and be invested together to make sure customers were happy and stayed with their Dealer.”
As GreatAmerica grew, it applied its dealer-centric approach to other industries, averaging annual double-digit asset growth since its inception. GreatAmerica also drew on the knowledge base of its customers to build tools and systems to help them grow. FleetView, PathShare, SnappShot, DocEase and Collabrance are just a few of the GreatAmerica non-financing initiatives created to help build the businesses of their channel partners.
“Our longevity and success has had everything to do with the bond between our loyal partners and our exceptional employees,” said Tony Golobic, founder, chairman and CEO of GreatAmerica. “We’ve been fortunate to have strategies in place that drive us to constantly re-evaluate where we are in providing the best value-add services for our customers. Their needs have changed over the years, and we continue to evolve to create a frictionless platform to help them become more successful and differentiate.”
At the GreatAmerica Annual Awards event this summer, employees celebrated the 25th Anniversary and saw for the first time the GreatAmerica origin story. “There are a lot of elements in our origin story that are woven into our culture,” said Jennie Fisher, senior vice president and general manager, Office Equipment Group and the third person hired at GreatAmerica. “The “why” of what we are doing becomes very clear, especially after seeing how the foundation stones have been laid. Most, if not nearly all of our 525 employees make that connection and strive to live up to our “Hard Work. Integrity. Excellence.” motto.
This is a notable achievement for GreatAmerica, which was honored last week as Best Leasing Company at The Cannata Report’s Annual Awards and Charities dinner for the ninth consecutive year. The company has consistently rated number one in our annual survey—quite an accomplishment. What impresses us about this latest announcement is that it underscores just what a terrific job GreatAmerica has accomplished in the imaging industry. The company has continued to serve the independent dealer channel unflinchingly even during tough economic times, and as one of the few leasing companies in our industry to do so, continues to set a high standard for others to follow.
In alignment with GreatAmerica's origins story emphasized in the company's announcement, we secured the rights to feature this video of Tony Golobic's journey as a 17-year-old immigrant from Nazi-occupied Slovenia to where he and the company he founded is today. Golobic is a truly humble man who eschews the spotlight and was hesitant to allow publication of this video via any media channel. However, he ultimately did grant The Cannata Report the exclusive right to publish it on thecannatareport.com.
While pursuing the video, which GreatAmerica had previously shared with us, we remembered an interview with Golobic by our Founder and CEO, Frank Cannata. That interview anchored our coverage of the No. 1 rating leasing company's origins in a piece entitled – True Greatness: The Man Behind GreatAmerica's Infinite Pursuit of Excellence – from our June/July 2015 issue.
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