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The Answers Man

Binyamin Rose

Whether you’re looking for your first job, seeking a promotion, wondering whether it’s time to hunt for a new position, seeking to buy or open your own business — or even mulling whether you’re suited to be your own boss — chances are good that Marc (Moshe) Bodner has some valuable advice for you.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Marc Bodner  could have gone home most days after putting in his nine to five as a computer programmer and systems analyst and patted himself on the back for a job well done. Had he limited himself to that, he might be in the same position today, 20 years later. But Bodner took a much greater interest in his employer, Allied Supply, a wholesale distributor that sold non-food products to supermarkets and drug stores. “I wanted to learn the business, so on my own time, at night, even sometimes on Sundays, I went out to try and open up accounts, which led me into learning the sales side of the business. I also learned the company’s warehouse processes and redesigned most of its systems,” says Bodner, while seated comfortably at the head of his dining room table, well after office hours, but with a night of family and community activities ahead of him. “The key point here is, I did all this without asking for increased pay. I just got very involved in all aspects of the company.” At the ripe old age of 23, with a degree in corporate finance and computer science from Touro College, Bodner amassed enough knowledge in key areas of the company that when opportunity knocked to buy out one of the firm’s partners, Allied’s three other partners welcomed Bodner with open arms. He eventually became the company’s president and CEO. About seven years ago, the big payoff came when Allied Supply merged with L&R Distributors. Today, at age 43, Bodner is president and owner of the combined entity. Today, L&R employs more than 900 people at four distribution centers, shipping more than 35,000 items to some 12,000 retail locations across the United States. In 2013, L&R shipped over 85 million pieces of merchandise and its revenues reached the nine-figure level. To Bodner, L&R is more than just a business. It’s also a laboratory of sorts, where he can plug the Torah concepts of emunah and bitachon into his workplace, keeping himself inspired and motivating his colleagues at the same time. “Bringing mussar into the workplace is a positive because it’s a very humbling experience,” says Bodner. “Be humble and let people see that you’re humble and they tend to respond better. 

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