Phil Bartocci believes in pushing boundaries.

20 under 40

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Phil Bartocci, Vice President of Sales at Primo started his career as an account manager and today is known for his zeal to make people, places, and products better. With exceptional abilities combined with focus, engagement, and insights, and mastery in 21 different skills including Account Management, Transportation, Cold Calling, Sales, Shipping, Customer Service, Sales Presentations, Direct Sales, Marketing, logistics, and more. Phil is a leader driven by passion and believes in bringing massive value to his customers. A strong believer in creating his own luck, Phil is an outgoing & approachable leader. Phil, with his expertise, is effortlessly leading Primo to exceptional growth that is ascribed to some major deals and programs he has instigated.

Founded in 1991 Primo is a produce wholesaler that distributes products to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. It stocks over 1500 fresh produce items, has its processing plant, and offers extensive repack services for many different companies in the food industry. Primo operates through one location and caters to the foodservice vertical with meal kits, processors, industrial accounts, and retail as its prime customers. It also has its logistics division that is expertise in moving freight and backhauls.

Below Phil discusses how to work hard so you can play harder 

Aspioneer (A): How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Phil (P): “If I believe something can work and is worthwhile, I will exhaust every effort to make it work. If at that point it’s just not meant to be, I can say that I did everything I could to see it through.”

(A): How do you stay productive?

(P): “I am a self-starter who is motivated by pushing the boundaries of what our company can do. The allure of the next big thing in our business keeps me motivated to stay productive.”

(A): How do you manage stress?

(P): “I manage stress well. I think others around me would say I don’t let stress get to me or affect my overall demeanor. If you can always be cool during a stressful environment it tends to rub off on the others around you.”

"You have to have the mindset that you are the best company for the job and that no one can handle a customer better than you can. It’s also good to know and understand that if you can’t handle or service a customer—they will find someone who will. It’s always good to ask for forgiveness and not for permission as well—you should always be pushing the envelope."

(A): How do you organize your time?

(P): “Sticking to a schedule and monitoring when I am in the office and on the road is pivotal. When I am in the office I try to be as efficient as I can be.”

(A): How well do you delegate?

(P): “I think delegation is one of the biggest factors in the success of any leader. I think I delegate very well. You are only as good as the team you surround yourself with. If you can trust your team and delegate accordingly –that’s a recipe for success.”

(A): How do you balance between working hard and playing hard?

(P): “Easy—you work hard so you can play hard. Always work first, but in those times when you can truly relax it’s important to do the things you enjoy doing. Whether that’s family time or some time spent with friends—the harder you work, the more you feel you deserve that time to get away.”

(A): What are your passions outside work? 

(P): “Family—I have a wife and 3 daughters (5, 3, & 5 months) so that usually keeps me busy. Outside of that I’m a big golfer, foodie, and have a very close group of friends I have been close with since college. You make the time when you can—as I get older, I realize that one of the best things you can do for the people that mean the most to you is simply showing up.” 

(A): What do you do on a daily basis to grow as a leader?

(P): “Pre-Covid I was on the road a lot and I am a big fan of listening to audiobooks. You can always learn something from someone else out there who is successful.”

(A): Do you believe in luck? 

(P): “Yes. You create your own luck and I’m a big believer in positive thinking and throwing ideas out to the universe. A little bit of luck goes a long way if you know how to use it to your advantage.”

(A): How would you describe your leadership style?  

(P): “I’m outgoing and very involved when I need to be. I’m a big believer in correcting what’s wrong and having a consultative approach vs. reprimanding someone for doing something wrong. I’m very approachable and I welcome anyone to talk to me whenever they want to. I like to let people do their jobs and then insert myself if something isn’t going to plan.”

(A): What mindsets helped make you successful?

(P): “You have to have the mindset that you are the best company for the job and that no one can handle a customer better than you can. It’s also good to know and understand that if you can’t handle or service a customer—they will find someone who will. It’s always good to ask for forgiveness and not for permission as well—you should always be pushing the envelope.”

(A): Do you have a mantra? 

(P): “Adapt or die.”

(A): What’s next for you? 

(P): “The goal is to get Primo to be as big as we can be and to continue to expand our footprint of all of the things we can do.”

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Aspioneer Magazine, 20 under 40 issue