Welcome to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Meet the C-Suite,” where each week we will feature one of the city’s most high profile c-level executives.
This week meet Joseph P. Longosz, chief financial officer of Dallas-based Zyston, a cybersecurity advisory and human capital delivery firm.
Name: Joseph P. Longosz
Company: Zyston – A cybersecurity advisory and human capital delivery firm
Headquarters: Dallas – Significant additional office in Atlanta.
Background: Born in Plainfield, N.J., and have been in Atlanta since 1989. Have spent almost 30 years financing and investing in middle market companies. Established and ran Wachovia Emerging Companies Group, which provided capital to early stage venture companies. Ran the Atlanta office for Golub Capital, a $15B credit-based asset manager. More recently, Managing Director for Kayne Anderson Middle Market Lending Group, tasked with forming a new middle market SBIC debt fund.
First Job: Lehman Brothers
Education: B.S. in finance and computer science at Boston College; M.B.A in corporate and international finance from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
How’s business: Excellent – seems like cybersecurity is in the news every day – which is good for Zyston.
Biggest challenge for your business: Execution. Given the number of opportunities, we have to prioritize the use of our time and energy.
What’s going to change at your company in the next year: The number of employees (projected to double by year end), and the number of products and services and we provide to our customers.
Company goal yet to be achieved: Full execution of our original business plan.
Guiding principles for good management: Lots of communication and responsiveness. Also, it pays to be organized.
Best way to keep competitive edge: Work hard and stay educated in your space. Always keep learnin.
Why people like working for you: Straightforward and direct management style. “More stuff than fluff”. Folks won’t always like what I have to say, but they will typically get feedback quickly so they can respond and execute.
Most inspiring entrepreneur: Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet.
Best business decision: Sounds like a cliche, but the best business decisions I have made have been picking the tougher (more challenging) routes, when faced with a fork in the road.
Hardest lesson learned and how you learned it: Need to move quickly and decisively on problems. Most people will say they need “time and money” to fix most problems – but that is usually only part of the issue that needs correction.
Toughest business decision: Terminating employees.
Biggest missed opportunity: Some investments that we lost to competitors, because we wanted a few more dollars – that in the end, really did not matter.
Like best about job: Diverse set of tasks – a lot to do. Zyston is a new company with a “blank sheet of paper” in many areas. The plus is that you can shape and evolve structure on that paper, the downside is you have “a blank piece of paper”.
Like least about job: Sometimes the minutia – reviewing long documents and getting into the financial details needed to represent accurate financials can be laborious at times – but necessary to get the job done.
Pet peeve: Tardiness.
First choice for a new career: Zyston represents a new career for me – so in some regard, I’m already in my first choice for a new career. However, if I wasn’t working with Zyston, I’d like to be a professional money manager.
Most influential book: Go Set a Watchman; The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing.
Favorite cause: YMCA Camp High Harbour; Amigos for Christ.
Favorite restaurant: Valenza.
Favorite way to spend free time: Family, golf, hiking, and all sorts of exercise.
Favorite music: Classic Rock.