LifeLast, Inc. specializes in formulating and manufacturing high-performance polyurethane protective coatings for a variety of industries. Since 1988, the company’s mission has been the same: to build lasting, sustainable solutions for their customers and the environment.
In 2007, LifeLast was searching for a new identity. A few years prior Jeff Buratto, CEO and his brother Mark took over for his father, the founder of the company. Despite solid momentum at the time, Buratto felt that LifeLast, “needed to be something different.” In his initial years leading the company, Buratto tried to understand the vision “for what we wanted to build and who we were,” but he struggled to devise a coherent strategy to get there. He wanted to bring in a professional advisor with a fresh perspective to challenge his own. Buratto struggled, however, to find the right advisor for the job. Whether it had to do with their motives, cost, or incompatibility, he was not finding the right fit. He wanted an advisor who was “interested in learning who we were — without an agenda.” After witnessing some of Rick’s work first-hand with another organization, Buratto decided to engage Rick Thomas to assist LifeLast.
Rick quickly set to work, not only helping the LifeLast team get aligned under a common vision and set of working values, but also helping them recognize areas of strength and weakness. Buratto noted that “Rick was able to help us filter our priorities through our common vision, work through the weeds, and truly understand who we are, what we are best at, and what we wanted to accomplish.” He added that Rick brought clarity that “allowed us to put a strategy together that we could execute.”
Ultimately, the authentic business relationship that developed between Rick Thomas and the team at LifeLast was critical to the success and growth of the company. Thomas’ professionalism, discretion, flexibility, and open-minded approach set him apart from the competition and make him an invaluable asset to any company looking for challenge and change.
“Choose Rick if you’re willing to look critically at yourself, your team, and your company as a whole. You’ll be happy you did, and you’ll be able to move forward with a clear, actionable plan to accomplish your goals.”
- Jeff Buratto CEO of Life Last, Inc.
Most recently Rick facilitated a series of discussions with Jeff and Mark to establish and clarify objectives for selling the business. With the aid of Rick’s insight and guidance, LifeLast was able to accomplish the goals for their three-year exit strategy in only one year, becoming acquired by Seal For Life Industries in January, 2020. Today, the company continues to move forward, still aligned under a unified vision for growth while now also playing a key role in contributing to a portfolio of businesses. To other owners who are seeking similar guidance and are committed to learning and trusting the process, Buratto recommends Rick at First Generation Advisors for this important work.