Joe Bourdow's job title: Pretending to be Retired. Following a thirty year career running Valpak, this could not be more true. To cure his boredom, Bourdow founded Premiere Franchise Advisors, a franchise consulting firm. He sits on multiple non-profit boards and his side gig, Radio St. Pete, is something more like a full-time job. Truth is, Bourdow is more active in the St. Petersburg's business and non-profit community in retirement than most people manage their entire lives, and St. Petersburg is beyond lucky to have him.
Years in St. Pete
since the fall of 1991
Organizations involved in
Trustee of Academy Prep St. Petersburg, Chair Tampa Bay Clutch Hitters, Treasurer of Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, Advisory Board Member for Habitat for Humanity Pinellas
What gets you out of bed every day?
There’s always something to do, and I know what it is, I figured it out the night before.
Why St. Pete?
This is a great place. I was reading an interview you did with John Collins who said he doesn’t say he’s from Florida, he says he’s from St. Pete. And I couldn’t agree more. I’m an unabashed promoter.
What is one habit that you keep?
Making lists. I still take out a yellow legal pad or a white legal pad and I write the day at the top and the words “To Do” and the “To Do” list includes everything – I’ve been doing it since high school.
Who are some people that influence you?
Began with my uncle Buck in Michigan who built a very successful business called Michigan Foods back in the day. When I was just starting out in business he sat me down and taught me accounting. He taught me how to sell when I was selling radio advertising. Other folks: Bob Musselman – original acquisition of Valpak. Bob hired me and brought me to Florida from Richmond, and helped me successfully run Valpak for a number of years. One that comes to mind when I use it today in my semi-retirement, is Dr. Ken Blanchard’s Leadership and the 1 Minute Manager.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Particularly with everything going on in the world today.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
I think three years ago I thought I might not be still doing it. And then I didn’t realize how much I was going to enjoy what I do. The professional work I do today involves franchise consulting and advisory board work for for-profit corporations, primarily in the franchise space. Several of the clients today I didn’t know I was going to have.
I’d like to move downtown at some point. We have a beautiful house out on the beach but there’s so much going on downtown, luckily we have a townhouse down here. I think we’ll find ourselves spending more time down here.