CBOF Fellowship Dinner with Tony Laurinaitis
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Let's start with a big thank you to Tony Laurinaitis, Founder and CEO of Choice Cabinet, for sharing his life and career journey with those who were able to attend the Christian Business Owners Fellowship dinner last Thursday. What an amazing story of set-backs and triumphs! At a high level, Tony described it as: refined by fire → leads to trust in God → reliance on faith → power of prayer → become someone that is used by the Lord.
Tony began by sharing how his dad had died when he was three years old and how he had moved from Lithuania, to Germany, then Venezuela before settling in the North Collinwood area of Cleveland. Tony attended church, but it wasn’t till he experienced a supernatural event at a gas station in 1997 that he realized it was time for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He was a believer, but, prior to that, his pride got in the way.
Tony started the business in 2006 while working as an executive at Swagelok. His wife, an interior designer, helped him realize that there was a need in the marketplace for cabinets at a particular price point that could be inexpensively shipped and assembled in an IKEA-type manner. His Swagelok trips to China provided him with the know-how and experience to line up Chinese suppliers for his new cabinet business. Tony also needed to tap his credit cards to pay for his first order of cabinets.
Beyond tapping his credit cards, Tony made his move from Swagelok just in time for the recession of 2008-2010 and a massive heart attack and follow-on strokes. However, prayer led to his healing. Tony has that “driver – driver” personality, but he has slowed down a bit now. He is more cautious, more attentive to others around him, and the importance of surrounding himself with other capable Christian leaders. He now also has the blessing of all three of his adult children in the business. They all started in the trenches and worked their way up.
Tony shared a number of stories of his wife’s significant impact on him and Choice Cabinet. He described his wife as a prayer warrior who “prayed and customers showed up.” He also expressed the importance of praying every morning as husband and wife. He said, “We should never be desperate. God is in control.” Tony also said, “God does my marketing,” which may have been a reference to Ephesians 2:10 (“… good works, which God prepared beforehand…”).
God has clearly put Tony and his family on an amazing journey and blessed them with the opportunity to bless others in and through their business.
Save the Date!
Our next dinner meeting is October 11. Len Cosentino, CEO of Checkpoint Surgical, will be our featured speaker.