Mike McNally is a connector. As a founding member and emcee of the Vinoy Business Alliance, and a veteran rain maker at Genesis Direct, McNally uses his natural networking skills for the benefit of the community. McNally connects the best and brightest from both sides of the bridge together to move the community forward.
Years in St. Pete
I came here in 1973 to go to Eckerd College and except for a couple of years in Philadelphia right after graduation, I've been in St. Pete. So 45 years.
Organizations involved in
Leadership St. Pete, Leadership St. Pete Alumni, St. Pete Chamber, Leadership Westshore, Gasparilla Board and The Copperheads, which put on the Valspar Championship.
What gets you out of bed every day?
Connecting people. It's very fulfilling to make introductions for people, to help two individuals involved. Over many years, I've become a catalyst of connecting people. It's gratifying to see the positive impact it has had in those people's lives.
Why St. Pete?
A lot of reasons. First of all, it's just a beautiful locale. Near the beaches, beautiful sunsets, wonderful climate almost all year long. And I've been here long enough to see the transformative changes in St. Pete, from an arts and culture standpoint. Now it's pretty well regarded as a very cool and progressive city, and it's very welcoming to diversity. And then finally, it's a wonderful place to raise a family. I've been blessed to be married 40 years to my wife Terry, and we've raised three children. They all loved their childhood in St. Pete, and now as adults they've all moved on to make their place in the world.
What is one habit that you keep?
To manifest gratitude and appreciation. From the time I wake up in the morning and throughout the day, to be grateful and appreciative of all of the blessings that I have.
who are some people that influence you?
Early on, my parents set a really good example for me and my siblings. They were definitely part of the greatest generation. Dad was a decorated WWII hero, and worked very hard throughout his life to support his family. My mom worked for NASA during Gemini and Apollo, which I thought was very cool. And together, they raised six children who are still very close to one another, even as we ease out of middle age. So from my parents I learned the blessings of a long, happy marriage and the importance of family. After my parents it was Bob Stewart. For those who don't know, Bob Stewart was a city council member and a well-known, well-respected, popular county commissioner for Pinellas County. He was initially my mentor in college, and subsequently just helped me and was an influence on me as I got into the business world. Most recently, Colonel Tom Gates. Gates saw potential in me and got me involved in organizations where I could make a difference.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
Every year, make a visualization board. Take your written goals in multiple areas of life and put them to images. It's very powerful.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
As a rainmaker at my business, the importance of a strategic alliance group. A friend and I started our own strategic alliance group where we selected high integrity individuals, high character individuals in different fields, not competitive fields, that are comfortable calling on the C-Suite. And we meet once a month, break bread together, and share calendars, and it's a safe place for folks to discuss not only successes in their business and professional lives but also some challenges. I would recommend that if you're not part of such a strategic alliance group, to start your own.
Continue this wonderful life's journey. Terry and I have two granddaughters that we love spending time with. My oldest daughter is getting married this year, and while they live in Manhattan, they're actually having their wedding here in St. Pete because they want all of their New York City friends to see how cool this city has become. Continue to work on the Vinoy Business Alliance, putting together interesting thought leaders from both sides of the bay. The more informative and entertaining the presenter, the larger the turnout at the VBA and the stronger the room. It's really gratifying to me to look out at the ballroom when it's packed and see new connections being made and old friends reconnecting. Finally, always being an encourager going forward.