‘Paying it forward is my way of giving back in life,’ Bill Feinberg says.
Bill: Brothers Bill and Joe Feinberg founded Allied Kitchen & Bath 30 years ago in the same building on the same stretch of Oakland Park Boulevard where the business resides today. Along the way, the home remodeling company has become a fixture in its own right.
As president/CEO, Bill Feinberg runs the 40-person company like the family business it is. He espouses flexible work/life balance and leads by example. Feinberg supports the United Way, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and ARC Broward. He’s raised more than $1 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of his late father, Nate Feinberg, and he’s donated truckloads of cabinets, plumbing fixtures and appliances to Habitat for Humanity.
“Paying it forward,” he says, “is my way of giving back in life.”
What do you like about your job?
Bill: I love working and meeting new and interesting people all the time. I also love that I’m able to work with my family – including my three brothers and both my children – every day, and able to transform people’s homes and create unique, beautiful projects for their family and lifestyle.
What’s the least favorite part of your job?
Bill: Dealing with so many state and county rules and regulations. The permitting process alone here in Broward County is a nightmare, especially having to deal with 31 different municipalities, each requiring their own set of rules. I also hate hearing when a client complains. When something goes wrong, no matter how big or small, we take it very personally, as our goal is to strive for 100 percent satisfaction.
How old were you when you got your first job?
Bill: I was maybe 12 or 13 years old when I started delivering newspapers in the neighborhood and shoveling snow during the winters in Philadelphia. I then started selling newspapers on the boardwalk in Atlantic City during the summers and working in my father’s beauty salon while going to high school.
When I began college, my brother Joe and I started our own company called J & B Contractors, first doing residential and commercial window cleaning, and then expanding into painting and home repairs.
What’s in your pockets right now?
Bill: Lots of business cards. I always carry my business cards, as well as a little bit of cash and my wallet with my Amex card. I never leave home without either. I also have a spare battery charger for my cellphone, as that always seems to burn up pretty quickly.
You’re with a group of CEOs. What would you ask them?
Bill: I always want to know how people got started in their business or their career. I also want to know what their success formula is, what makes them tick and what they do to motivate people around
Name one thing about you most people would be surprised to learn. That I’m a great shopper, and I love a good deal, especially when shopping for clothes, or even at the food market.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Bill: Pretzels and cheesesteaks. Any and all types, especially the Philly kind. I eat a lot of fruit, too. I try to eat healthy, and stay away from most desserts. I do love a good apple cobbler a la mode though!
Some people believe in resolutions. Have you ever made one that truly changed your life?
Bill: After my father passed away, I vowed to help find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma. I immediately got involved in that organization and further immersed myself in many different charities, and since have raised millions of dollars in donations. Thus, I continue to do so, even more, these days, hosting charity events in my showroom on a monthly basis, and teaching others around me how to “pay it forward.”
What would people be most surprised to learn is on your MP3 player?
Bill: I’m a huge Motown fan, growing up with The Sound of Philadelphia. Groups like the Spinners, The O’Jays, The Tramps and Hall & Oates are all-time favorites.
Are you a morning or evening person? Given your answer, what’s your routine?
Bill: I’m definitely a little of both. I’m usually up early, but don’t go into the office right away. I get a ton of work done from my house early in the mornings, answering and writing lots of emails, and then I’m off to the office usually by 9 or 10 a.m. I usually stay late at the office a couple of days a week.
How do you unwind?
Bill: I definitely work hard, but I love to play hard, too. I enjoy cooking, so coming home after a long day and cooking a meal is not unusual for me. I travel as much as possible and spend a lot of time with my children and family. I do a lot of staycations at hotels right here in our own backyard.
Residence: Fort Lauderdale
Current position: CEO and President, Allied Kitchen & Bath
Education: A.A., Bucks County Community College