The Philadelphia Business Journal is proud to recognize some of the region’s top executives as our 2021 Most Admired CEOs. Each have demonstrated the skills, agility and ingenuity required to lead their companies through the most difficult of times.
Named CEO of NEST International in 2015, Rob Almond has worked to dramatically grow the Sewell, New Jersey, company 300%. The integrated facilities management provider today works with over 40 major retail partners and more than 60,000 retail stores across the continent. Such retailers relied on services like enhanced protocols for HVAC systems, janitorial services, and operational procedures that grew to include curbside amidst the pandemic, ensuring the companies could safely operate. Six years ago Almond took over from his father, who established NEST in 1994.
Years as CEO: 6
Something he does as CEO to build high-level trust: It starts with communication and demonstrating we truly care about our people. We are very transparent with our employees through the good and the bad. We ramped that up as we transitioned to remote working and navigated periods of uncertainty over the last 18 months. For example, our employees know we are going to give them flexibility. In turn, they have proven they can deliver at a high level, especially when we need them the most in peak season.
How the pandemic has changed his leadership style: I think I’ve changed as a person. I came up through the ranks by being the first one in and the last one out of the office. I still have that passion and dedication. But I’ll be the first to admit where I could have been better and that was with work-life balance. I now try to instill that in our staff. … It takes a new mindset where you still do whatever it takes to get the job done – but the path to get there might look slightly different. Maybe you used to battle traffic for an hour to get to the office by 9 a.m. and get home by 6 p.m. Now you have more time to get the job done from home or come to the office at different times. … It’s a new way of thinking and I believe we are a better company as a result.
A guiding philosophy he leads by: Give back, hire great people, and celebrate our employees’ wins.
A distinguishing moment as CEO so far: Seeing how our team responded during the first few months of the pandemic. … For example, we created a program called NEST Enrichment, where our HR department built and implemented an age-appropriate virtual curriculum for our employees’ children ranging from K-12.
The most powerful tools in a CEO’s arsenal: I fall back on the experience I’ve accumulated through challenging times.
Something he does for fun: I love to spend time with my amazing wife Nicole, incredible sons Bobby and Joey, and our newest addition to the family, Mary, who was born in November. I also attempt to golf.
Members of the NEST Team Celebrate Rob’s Accomplishment