Shell said, ‘No, we can’t supply diesel.’ But I don’t take no for an answer.”, He found a diesel supplier and bought a truck, maxing out his credit cards to the tune of $30,000 to get started. You have to understand the trends before you make a deal and understand that each industry’s trends are different. Instead, they took on jobs (at newspapers, for example) to support themselves and contribute to society, despite the bullying and cultural differences the young Sam faced. Michael Evans is another example of Simon betting on people. Once he jumped in, he was all in.”. Simon Group Holdings (SGH) was created in 1985 with the founding of Atlas Oil Company by Sam Simon. “There is always a risk in everything that you do. In 2009, Simon purchased the former St. Clair Edison building on Pierce Street in Birmingham and transformed it into a showcase office, designed for entertaining and building relationships. Seven years later, that was not his business. Thanks, I negotiated with the guy who had been very successful in steel fabricating. Be disciplined and don’t fall in love with the assets or the company. Jobs; Top Jobs at Atlas Oil; ... Sam Simon. This is indicative of the way SGH’s collaboration with its partners is deeply interconnected. Entrepreneur Sam Simon has built his success by betting on people. That hardworking, entrepreneurial spirit led Sam to found Atlas Oil Company 12 years later. The first deal I did was in 1986 when I bought a company called Great Lakes Oil out of Detroit. About five years ago, he left the day-to-day running of Atlas Oil to longtime employee and now president and COO Bob Kenyon to concentrate on strategic planning for SGH. Another of Simon’s passions is giving, and he encourages his employees to volunteer for a day at the charity of their choice. You have to get better at every single thing you do. SGH also helps the community buy police dogs and, through the police, offers money to the needy at Christmastime. There will always be problems. When he was 19, Sam struck out on his own, founding Atlas Oil in 1985. “He makes pretty quick decisions. Our customers needed diesel and we didn’t have it. Get them away and sit down with them in a different environment so they can loosen up and speak honestly. The reason Sam maintains this high standard is his belief that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Simon founded Atlas Oil in 1985 and built it into a $1 billion company that delivers more than 1 billion gallons of fuel each year to customers in 49 states. Don’t assume anything. There were a lot of people in the fuel industry with an 8-to-5 mentality, delivering Monday through Friday. “It was a terrible time. I spent the time to hire the best people and to understand how to build processes and continually improve and things grew from there. Someone sent me a note saying that you would send me a couple copies. Through it all, Sam hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Time is the most precious thing we have. He began by buying the mortgages of retail gas stations, fixing them up and bringing in the right people to run them. He bought the company in 1979 during the oil embargo for the trucks in his facility. Again, it’s all about people and customers. Here we have a nice homelike atmosphere where people feel comfortable and we can build relationships.”. They haven’t done a deal and they have money and that often leads to bad deals. If not, you’re going to fall apart. Through it all, Sam hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Jobs. Sometimes, people have to do a deal. When SGH was deployed to assist in the wake of hurricanes Florence and Michael, it worked alongside its partners, using all its resources to help rebuild the communities and infrastructure of Florida and the Carolinas. But if you believe in that person, in that leader and you believe they have the capacity to grow and do well, that’s what I care about.”. “Shell Oil gave him the door opening, and from there on he worked hard,” Simon said. Both companies were barely a year old in 1986 when Simon made the first of many acquisitions. SGH has 120 direct investments and 15 companies in sectors including commercial fuel supply and distribution; oil field services; logistics and transportation; commercial and residential real estate; aerospace and defense; technology; and turnkey modular housing. Because for Sam, money isn’t everything. For Sam, this community spirit is one part of the American dream and, to this day, it inspires the way he does business. Let’s work together.’ And I invested with him.”, That person was Dan McMurtrie, CEO of VESTA Modular, an SGH company. “Being with the wine is about friendship. Our clothes didn’t match. About 10 years ago, he created his own wine called Simon Estate, working with Bill Harlan of the Napa Valley Wine Reserve, a private club where members get five rows of grapes on 88 acres to create their own wines with help from the experts. The CEO Magazine is more than a business title; it’s a source of information, inspiration and motivation for the world’s most successful leaders, executives, investors and entrepreneurs. “They’re so loud you can’t talk. Best Cities for Jobs 2020 NEW! At the time, all the family had was a US$200 debt for their flights and basement accommodation in the home of Sam’s father’s friend. It’s hard to believe that it’s already Novembe, @casamaraclub founder @jjlavalla ditched his corpo, From world-class sushi and killer burgers to funky, Tap the in our to meet Detroit artist known, 20 Questions with Shoe Designer Eric Lowry, Metro Detroit Wine Spectator Restaurant Award Winners, 220 Merrill Serves Up an Iconic Experience Every Time, Birmingham Shopping District: Work-From-Home Fall Fashion, Holistic Support: How Cranbrook is Boosting Students’ Health and Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Advanced Organisational Design Masterclass. The Atlas Cares team purchased two K9 dogs for the Taylor Police Department; the dogs are named “Atlas” and “Simon.” They built Atlas Park, complete with playground equipment, in Taylor across from Atlas Oil headquarters. Go all the way down to the receptionist, who will tell you a lot more. Bob Kenyon, Atlas’s President, says the company’s success is due to its non-traditional approach – for example, embracing digitization to offer efficient, accessible, data-driven customer platforms. “What motivates me is seeing people’s success,” says Sam. All Rights Reserved. Sam’s perseverance paid off, however, and Atlas is now a US$1 billion-plus-a-year oil wholesaler with 600 employees, operating under the umbrella of SGH, a company with interests across a diverse field of energy solutions. If you want something, you must go after it and never give up. That means if we connect the dots, we look at strategic alliances and strategic people and ways we can enhance the business. Not just managing people, but leading them, coaching them, training them, showing them.”. Sam Simon is Chairman/CEO/Founder at Simon Group Holdings Limited. “I get close to 50 cases a year, mostly cabernet, and I don’t have to worry about day-to-day operations.”.