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n 60 offices nationwide
n Managing over 430 million SF on
behalf of private, institutional and
n $17 billion transactions completed
Tenant Representation / Corporate Services
Project & Development Services / Project Leasing
Property Management / Capital Markets
than Plummer imagined. He was pay-
ing for car washes and massages for
employees and paying the rent for
several cash-strapped friends.
“Michael Sr. gave a lot of money
away,” says Larry Neal, an Our Town
America franchisee in Detroit. What’s
more, the payroll was bloated. “He
was paying people who didn’t actually
do anything,” says Cliff Hallmark, the
company’s chief financial officer since
2009. “Instead of hiring the right per-
son for the job, he hired friends.”
his father, he threw himself into the
role of pilot. He emphasized produc-
tivity, eliminated excess inventory,
canceled unused subscriptions for
sales lead services, and cut perks. He
launched several marketing drives.
He began renegotiating agreements
with franchisees and grew adept at
handling corporate IRS filings and
drafting business plans. He hit the
road, representing the company at
trade shows, and worked long hours
when back in Florida.
“I thought, Why am I doing
this? It almost felt like I was
doing it out of stupid pride.”
The chaos at the company made
Plummer’s decision even more dif-
ficult. As the executor of his father’s
estate and next in the company’s suc-
cession plan, he knew he could sell
the business and share the proceeds
with his two sisters. Or he could
retain his equity and hire someone
else to run the business. He recalled
a conversation with his father about
the future of Our Town America. “He
knew I would feel obligated to take
over the business,” Plummer says.
“He said he understood if I wanted
to sell it.”
But could he really leave the com-
pany in such a state of disarray? He
asked Hallmark for advice. His
response: “If you wrote your obituary,
what would you want it to say?”
the decision In the months following
the funeral, Plummer thought a lot
about his father. Changing careers,
he told himself, was not realistic,
especially with two young daughters
to support. (He and wife divorced
shortly after he returned to Korea.)
Saving the company, he decided,
After years of playing wingman to
Plummer’s actions appear to have
paid off. The company has slowed its
sales slide—revenue is down 3. 25 per-
cent this year—and did it without any
layoffs. “He’s done a remarkable job in
solidifying the company,” says Neal.