Michael Panaggio
DME Academy

Michael Panaggio is founder and owner of DME Academy, an elite, multi-sport training and educational institution in Daytona Beach. Eighty percent of the company’s revenue comes from clients in Florida, with 70% from Volusia County. 

What implications do you see for your organization resulting from the coronavirus and how are you mitigating the potential risks and challenges?

We have not been seriously affected by Coronavirus.

What actions have you taken or will take to return to the growth expectations you had as 2019 ended? When will it be achieved?

We have more than doubled our revenue in the last two years. Our biggest problem is cost containment and expansion. Inflation is out of control. We don’t just hire people; we hire the right people.

 An organization’s culture flows from the top down. What leadership skills do you find effective in promoting the agency’s mission and vision to employees, clients and customers?

As they say the “Speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.” I am constantly on the move. We hired the right people and the right coaches and created a culture of excellence at DME Academy. Our founders, led by my brother, Dan; my son, Matt; and our Athletic Director, Laura Stegall, are the true reason we do so well. I see nothing stopping us except poor execution. We are proud of the fact that each year we issue well over 500,000 in scholarships. This year it will be even greater. We continue to execute at extremely high levels and care about our staff, our coaches, our students and our teachers and parents. I have never had so much fun as teaching leadership at DME Academy.

At EVOLVE we have a shared belief that leaders develop their success skills by overcoming the challenges and adversity they face. Do you believe that hypothesis and if so, what adversity have you faced and overcome that helped put you where you are today?

I personally have had very little adversity to overcome. I have been successful in business from an early age. I understand hard work and practice. Leading by example and being humble. One of the things that we aspire to is to work closer with Volusia County Schools. We feel there is tremendous synergy to gain by working closer.

What closing comments or counsel would you offer to emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs to continue their path to success?

Focus on customer success not customer satisfaction. Understand that execution is a key to long-term success and that all the little things you notice and do so well will create that big win in the end. In business you strive for revenue growth, however, it’s not the holy grail. To really be successful you must create sustainability, and our catch phrase has always been we strive for sustainable profitable revenue growth. We are getting there at DME Academy and will do our best to create the finest overall leadership academy in the state of Florida.

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