At the helm of NMBL Strategies is CEO Eric Moraczewski. His dynamic, seasoned leadership style sets the tone at NMBL and in turn, for NMBL’s extensive portfolio of clients. Whether it be Strategic Planning for Nonprofits to Merger and Acquisition work for small businesses to turnaround work with Court-Appointed Receiverships, his deep and varied experience make him a coveted leader to create extraordinary change, growth, and success.
Eric took his background as a global consultant, CEO, and CFO to found NMBL Strategies, LLC in 2019 after leading the Gateway Arch Park Foundation (a Private Foundation responsible for providing $250 million of the $380 million projects) through the largest Public-Private Partnership in National Park Service history. NMBL was built to tie in Eric’s love of startups and turnarounds with data analytics, strategy, and finance blended through experience working with nonprofits, public-private partnerships, and small businesses.
Skilled in fast-paced, intensive environments, including direct interactions with local and national media, he is an ideal spokesperson for any project. For example, the St. Louis Business Journal sought him out as a contributor to their story on “Trust your gut: 15 ways to build your intuition about your business.” (St. Louis Business Journal, December 15, 2020) Moraczewski is frequently asked to contribute to media outlets both domestically and internationally.
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Eric Moraczewski: When NMBL Strategies was founded in 2019, it was established with the needs of nonprofits, small businesses, and public-private partnerships in mind. As a thought leader in this space, co-founders Eric and Kathryn Moraczewski wanted to create a trusted resource for those who sought assistance with strategic plans, financial strategy/analytics, fundraising strategy/planning, and building partnerships. As such, NMBL is adept at meeting clients where they are and helping them to achieve their full potential. In addition, NMBL recognizes that their approach needs to be as unique as their client base and tailors the needs specific to each one. NMBL has grown its practice and its portfolio has evolved to include a myriad of facets of change management work, including court-appointed receiverships, merger and acquisition analysis, and turnarounds.
NMBL’s varied portfolio includes work with the America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Empower Missouri, Examkrackers, JM Marschuetz Construction Co, Mass Cultural Council, and the Thanks-Giving Foundation, among others. This work has included strategic planning, interim leadership, merger and investment analysis, court-appointed receiverships, leadership development, and project consulting.
NMBL can understand the perspectives of such a dynamic portfolio thanks to the team’s varied background. As a global consultancy, Eric and Kathryn took their backgrounds in communications and as CFO’s and CEOs to found NMBL Strategies to be the most strategic, decisive partner trusted to deliver the best return on investment when needed most.
NMBL Strategies continues to grow its portfolio of clientele around the world, as well as expand its service offerings. This growth into new areas evolves to ensure our clients have exactly what they need from some of the leading, most innovative minds in the industry today.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Eric Moraczewski: Like many children, I wanted to be an athlete, specifically I wanted to play professional soccer. I look back today and realize that it was a real possibility if I had the drive then about soccer that I do now about running my business. Natural talent will only get you so far before work ethic kicks in and that was something I had to learn.
When I first graduated from college I worked for Citigroup and Ford Motor Credit, at the time I thought I hated working. I took a job in Washington, DC with Gallagher & Associates, one of the leading museum design firms in the world. My first year I averaged a little over 100 hours a week for the year, and I loved it. I quickly found that I loved working at a small business, seeing the impact I made, and recognizing that every person there was important. That experience, finding the right environment for myself both pushed me to develop the work ethic needed, as well as inspired me to want more from my career.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Eric Moraczewski: I’m very numbers-oriented, which everyone is highly aware of, but one of the reasons I love having a small business is we become a family. At Gallagher & Associates, our Creative Director used to say we are one big dysfunctional family, it wasn’t a negative thing to say dysfunctional, just that we all had the quirks that built the relationship amongst us. That has resonated with me ever since. Today the NMBL Strategies team is one family, even if we’re not all related, and we love being around each other. Choosing who you work with and who joins that family is one of the greatest privileges of starting and owning your own business.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Eric Moraczewski: Entrepreneurship is the desire and interest to take something you know and are passionate about and turn it into your livelihood. For me, working with nonprofits, small businesses, and public-private partnerships and providing them the basis to not just survive, but thrive brings great joy to my life.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Eric Moraczewski: A supportive, inclusive culture is what makes our business work, knowing that the best ideas can come from anywhere you have to provide an environment that people feel good about voicing those thoughts. Putting people into a position to lead and own the work they do only inspires them to do more and continuously improve their efforts.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Eric Moraczewski: Disruption takes place in many different forms. For us, we recognized that many nonprofits and small businesses do not have the necessary knowledge of what a strategic plan is, or needs to provide for their organization. Along those same lines, there are many firms out there providing “strategic plans” not worth the paper they are written on. It’s with this in mind that we decided a necessary step for these groups was education, it’s why we provide so many free resources on strategic planning. We notice a lot of competitors downloading our materials, which some would be wary of but we know it’s not the recipe, it’s how you mix it. Our team is the secret sauce to what we do, so education, even of competitors, is a positive for ensuring the growth and disruption of the practice.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Eric Moraczewski: We help good organizations learn how to do things better and prepare for their future.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Eric Moraczewski: Early in 2021 we didn’t have a ton of work coming in, but someone that myself and our Managing Director of Nonprofit Services had worked with previously was moving back to town. We knew she could find a job at many places, we made the decision to bring her in even though at the time we didn’t have the work to support her salary. I knew we had to invest in the people and that would pay off in the long run. She has done a great job leading projects and integrated them perfectly into our team. Sometimes you have to make difficult decisions, that don’t always make financial sense, but in this case, it has benefitted our team and our clients.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Eric Moraczewski: When I was in college I used to do stand-up comedy at the Funny Bone in St. Louis. Nowadays, my wife consistently reminds me that she does not find me funny.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Eric Moraczewski: ‘The Wandering Statistic.’
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Eric Moraczewski for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Eric Moraczewski or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin
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