Rich Ellerman

What is your personal passion and how does that apply to your role at Suffolk?

I enjoy being a leader, not a follower. I try to constantly think outside the box in everything I do, always looking for an edge. I try to come up with a better plan or idea, which keeps me alert and involved but also helps me improve myself and the people around me. This approach has made me into a strong problem solver and senior member of my teams, and I like that. I like being counted on as the “go to guy.” 

In the end, it’s all about effort. There is one trait that I preach to my boys, and it also pertains to the workplace — always give 100 percent in everything you do. I am a firm believer that you get out of life what you put into it. While you might not be the smartest guy in every situation, persistence will help you overcome most obstacles. Never be satisfied with the status quo. If you don’t know the answer to something, ask. I am the first person to ask for assistance when I am struggling with something, and I’m the first person to step up and teach someone who is willing to learn something new. That’s what being on a team is all about.