All Business, Even at Home
Valley entrepreneurs Simer and Vicki Mayo run multiple companies while balancing work, marriage and raising two children. Being sequestered at home offers new challenges.
Above all else, Vicki and Simer Mayo prize organizational skills. While raising two children, maintaining their marriage and running multiple Valley companies with interests spanning the globe, they have utilized one tool above all others: the scorecard.
They have scorecards for almost everything in their lives. Each company has goals, they set business targets as leaders and all their employees use them as well. Their kids have them to monitor chores and aspirations. They even use cards to evaluate each other during their monthly marriage meetings.
Personal, professional and interpersonal goals all find a home on these scorecards. And they have helped provide some stability for their family in this time when work, school and home have all blended into one.
“The scorecards actually helped us to maintain a sense of routine,” Vicki Mayo said in an interview with the Business Journal.
She’s also quick to note, that just because they use metrics across all sorts of things, that doesn’t mean it’s forced or mechanical. These self-imposed checkups help prioritize what’s important, provide a forum to discuss areas of improvement and monitor evolving visions for the future, be it for a fast-growing startup or a family with fast-growing children.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Simer added. “You have to manage your life to a certain degree or you become a bystander and your life will pass you by.”
“I don’t want to look back at the end of our life and say, ‘Oh, I wish I would have done these things,’” Vicki said. “Why do you have to wait until the end of your life to reflect? Reflect everyday, reflect every week, every month to make sure that you’re doing it now.”
Simer was a little confused the first couple times he met Vicki in Tempe in 2006. He was coaching field hockey for young teenagers when he spotted her picking up and dropping off a pair of his players. Simer couldn’t guess her role: A sister? A helpful cousin?
He soon found out that Vicki, only 21 at the time, had adopted the two boys after their uncle was deported to India. She helped support and raise them, despite only being a few years older. Simer, an immigrant from India in 1999, and Vicki, a first-generation American whose parents had also emigrated to the U.S. from India, soon found a mutual attraction.
After six months of dating, Simer proposed. They got married in 2006 and had two receptions: One in the U.S. and one in India during which 700 guests attended six days of rituals and celebration.
“Indians take getting married very seriously,” Vicki said.
“Yeah, it was a little crazy,” Simer recalled.
Simer, now 42, founded Valor Global, a thriving call center enterprise that is now Phoenix’s largest minority-owned business, back in 2004. After the two married, it just made sense that they would combine their entrepreneurial drives.
“It was just kind of a natural fit,” Simer said. “We would, then at the end of the day, have a glass of wine and talk about business and then continue growing that conversation during the daytime and kind of work together.”
Blurring home, office life
At Valor, Vicki owns the company and provides strategic vision, while Simer runs the company as CEO. But their collaboration doesn’t stop there.
On July 1, the Mayo’s latest company was established: GMI. Global Market Innovators is a combination of nVision Networking, a IT services company that Simer led as CEO, and two small complimentary IT service firms that nVision acquired. As with Valor, Vicki, who is 36, is the owner of GMI and Simer is the CEO.
GMI currently has 150 employees and Simer said they hope to hire at least 100 more before the year is done. The plans to acquire Extreme Integration and General Microsystems — based in Phoenix and Bellevue, Washington respectively — started last year, but were hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The twin acquisitions were finalized in June, and similarly, the Mayos are adapting to work in ever-changing conditions. When they designed their Paradise Valley home that was built in 2018, it did not include spaces for a home office when it was built. Due to the pandemic, their practice of separating home from office has eroded.
Still, losing that sense of control hasn’t thrown the Mayos’ life into disarray. They’ve found ways to maintain a balance, finding time both for executive meetings and cooking with their daughter Mehr, and son Veer. When meetings end early that means there’s a few extra minutes to shoot hoops or go on a walk, pandemic memories that will surely be among their children’s most unique.
“We’re looking at it as a blessing that we’re having three meals with the kids every day,” Simer said. “Twenty years down the road, we’ll remember this and say, ‘Wow, remember the six months or one year when every day, we had meals together and laughed, watched movies and things like that?’”
He said it’s been a joy to watch his kids —one a budding chef and the other a tae kwon do practitioner — discover their passions during the past few months.
Said Simer, “We’re just blessed that they’re healthy and we’re safe and that whatever the future holds for them and what they want to do, we’ll be there to support them.”
Original Post: https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2020/08/14/simer-vicki-mayo-run-companies-and-their-family.html
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