The Autonomic Resources Adventure

Date:  February 27, 2015

Blog Posting: 6

Over the years we have built some remarkable companies, some falter, while others meet with remarkable success.  The Autonomic Resources adventure was one of our most audacious pursuits, and I am proud to have been a part of it.  Here is a little backstory from my partner Tony’s blog

For the first three years, I was little more than an idle observer of our FedCloud initiative; but, for the past 16 months, I have been working directly with Tom and John to bring our FedCloud adventure to fruition.  It was a high risk venture [certainly higher than we ever anticipated], and it was wrought with tension throughout the journey [somewhere between white water rafting and waterboarding].  Fortunately, this past Thursday, we were able to complete the sale of Autonomic Resources [after nearly three months of a roller coaster ride of negotiations and due diligence].


Although the sale of Autonomic Resources’ remarkable FedRAMP ATO’s might put our FedDROP start-up in limbo, I couldn’t be happier for the entire Autonomic Resources family, especially the crew at our headquarters in North Carolina.  And I am particularly proud to have been in the trenches with Tom and John seeing this thing through to such a successful conclusion.

A special round of thanks needs to go out to Butch, Kerry, Mike, Lynn, Geno, and the Pfalzgraf team for bringing this one home.  And an ever bigger thanks to Joe Kreuz, who got all these partnerships started over 20 years ago.

When I look at our lineup of IT partnerships today, especially Capax Global, CBX, and AP Phoenix [which just had it biggest month ever in January], I can’t help but be excited about what the future has in store.

My family is healthy and happy, I have the best partners in the world, the sun is shining, and the sale of Autonomic Resources has provided us with the resources to expand exponentially.  If I could drop a dozen pounds, I’d have it made.

PS  Tom and Anthony are both in Naples today, and we will be over at the Shoppes at Vanderbilt checking out a potential location for our warm weather ABX [along with a new TW&Co and Giancarlo’s].  I’ll keep you posted.

Givers and Takers part 1

Givers and Takers

Date:  February 9, 2015

Blog Posting: 5

Giva and Take.jpg

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about givers and takers.  It got me thinking about the differences in people, and I started running through all of the contradictory personality traits I’ve encountered over the years.

One instance that always stuck with me about raising my children was a recent trip to Florida with my youngest daughter, Haylee.  After I gave her some money to spend at Charming Charlie’s, she came away with a boatload of goodies from bracelets to hair ribbons to rings to necklaces.  I asked her “Why so many things?”  And she told me, “They are gifts for my friends.”  I wasn’t sure what to think when she first ran out with a bag full of trinkets, but after she told me her intentions, I was proud that I had a generous and thoughtful child.

A behavioral study I read about 4 year old children comes to mind.  Over many years, the study measured the greed or patience of 4 year old children to ascertain how certain behaviors at the age of 4 shaped certain adult behaviors.  It was noted that greedy kids typically weren’t stellar adults, and patient kids had more favorable measurable outcomes in adult life.  And while I’m certain there are many more academic studies out there, I just enjoy observing behaviors as I navigate through the back nine.

Have I given more than I’ve taken?  It’s good to give pause and offer that question some quiet consideration.  To a certain extent, I guess it depends on the eye of the beholder, but I am confident that I have always had everyone’s best interest at heart, and I believe that is the foundation of being a good ‘giver.’  Any incident of giving or sharing must consider whether you are expecting something in return or not.

Over the years I have given and received my fair share, and I’ve never really kept score, but I do recognize how fortunate that I have been. By the way, I try to stay away from the people who keep score, especially the ones who know who bought lunch last time.

So what constitutes certain personality traits?  As I was talking to my friend about it, it got us thinking about other behaviors and the different types we’ve encountered in our lives.  We’ve put together a short list for consideration:

  • Giver or Taker
  • Generous or Cheap
  • Thankless or Appreciative
  • Substance or Flash
  • Self Absorbed or Concerned
  • Positive or Negative
  • Sarcastic or Nice

We all encounter these various types through family, business, and the social activities.  It’s pretty easy to pick and choose where you think your friends, family, and acquaintances fit, but what if you feel like you are on the wrong side of the equation?  How do you change?  Can you change?  Do you want to change?  Is it a thoughtful note, a kind gesture, a random gift, or a random act of kindness that’s missing?  It has me thinking about all of my relationships.

Who hasn’t thought about these scenarios as you navigate through life.  Go ahead, give me your opinion, or just take my thoughts and move on [or make a note on your scorecard, I’ll owe you one].​

What would Norm do?


What Would Norm Do?

I was talking to my mom the other day about our new business and the referral network and relationship driven nature of things. I told mom as I began to recruit sales agents to the team I’d be looking for people similar to my dad. His business acumen and sales ability were second to none as I watched him sell Yellow Pages his entire adult career. I joked he could sell a ketchup popsicle to a person in white gloves. He was like the Arnold Palmer of sales.  A true legend.

The year was 1969. I was in fourth grade in Cleveland, Ohio. At nine, I hadn’t had enough of a life in Ohio to register the loss. Instead, from the morning I parachuted in at St. Gregory the Great to the December day I graduated from SUNY Buffalo, its streets, schools, basketball courts and golf courses were my home. As for our move, the timing couldn’t have been better. My dad was selected as part of an elite sales team to expand LM Berry’s Yellow Page footprint in Western New York. He was good at what he did and off we went to Buffalo. I watched my dad prosper over the years. I often tell people dad taught me social and selling skills at the kitchen table. I was exposed to Emotional Intelligence my entire upbringing.  

When I landed my first sales job at PAYCHEX in 1982, I broke the news to my mom and dad and they were so happy I was following in similar footsteps. I was a cold calling maven and walked the beat, knocked on doors, made cold calls and wrote hand written thank you notes just like him. His farm heritage turned him into an early riser and I too rose early.  He milked cows every morning and I delivered newspapers. Who needed an alarm clock when you had work to do. Getting up early and working became a way of life.

My dad sold one thing, and he sold it exceptionally well. Forty-five years later, as we recruit our own elite sales team, I wonder how much more he would have made if he had other things to sell to his loyal following. Regardless, we’ve developed a great product mix, and we’ll make those products and services available to our tenants, agents, and global commissioned sales force.

But my father’s story is not just about selling one thing well. It is a story of dedication, hard work, and a commitment to building relationships that last a lifetime. I noticed as I grew up that my dad had a great following of clients, and every year when it was time for renewals, he sold those ads with confidence as he renewed one account after another, traveling from city to city around New York State. I recently bumped into Lee Federaconi, who used to buy ads from my dad, and he said, “Your father would often come for lunch and always stayed in touch after my renewal. That’s what real sales pros do. He always had something nice to say and always complimentary.”

Yellow pages was Google from the 50’s to the 90’s. I told my mom Google didn’t exist back then, and if dad were selling today, he’d be top of the heap in Google sales. If you wanted something back then, you had to rely on Yellow pages and word of mouth (and an encyclopedia). One thing I noticed as I grew up was my dad had a great following of clients, and every year when it was time for renewals, he sold those ads with confidence as he renewed one account after another, traveling from city to city around New York State. I bumped into Lee Federaconi who used to buy adds from my dad and unsolicited Lee says “Your father would often come for lunch and always stayed in touch after my renewal. That’s what real sales pos do.  He always had something nice to say and always complimentary.”

My dad sold one thing and he sold it well. Forty Five years later after my dad was recruited, we will be recruiting our own elite sales teams. I wrote in my high school yearbook that I wanted to wear a suit to work and follow in my dad’s footsteps. I wonder how much more he would have made if he had other things to sell to his loyal following. 

In the end, my father’s story is not just about selling one thing well. It is a story of dedication, hard work, and a commitment to building relationships that last a lifetime. And as we move forward, we will honor his memory by striving to embody these values in everything we do.

Norm Tractor Angola

Norm showing me a few tractor tips from his upbringing as a farmer.

The Advantage Business Exchange

Launching The Advantage Business Exchange

Date:  December 10, 2014

Blog Posting: 3

I am proud to announce the launch of our new business concept, The Advantage Business Exchange (ABX).  At ABX, we are a trusted one-stop resource for all of our clients’ business needs.  We provide our commercial, institutional, and government clients with direct access to premium resources for all of their business activities.  All of our services, programs, and products are fully vetted for our clients’ assurance that they are receiving the finest resources befitting their specific needs.  ABX is located at The Walker Center and showcases many fantastic world class resources including:

  1. AP Professionals AP
  2. iWorld Professionals iWorld
  3. Capax Discovery Capax Discovery
  4. c1Secure CISO
  5. c1Advantage c1
  6. iWorld Shopping Center iWolrd Shopping Center
  7. iWorld Fundraising iWorld Fundraising
  8. Giancarlo’s Sicilian Steakhouse and Pizzeria, Events, and Catering Giancarlo’s
  9. Grivani Corporate Gift Giving Grivani

ABX’s business services will offer robust Resource Library of Business Services and product offerings available to certified and commissioned sales agents, and Physical class A space located at the Walker Center offering professional office space and advertising opportunities, individual catalog and profile displays, virtual web based presentations, and physical presentations all in a succinct bundled package.  You can get a sneak preview of the goods and services available by viewing our annual catalog on line at

ABX will be presenting a weekly Webinar Series and showcasing their subject matter experts in their respective fields commencing with our grand opening January 22, 2015.



The Advantage Catalog

20th Anniversary Catalog Edition

Date:  November 29, 2014

Blog Posting: 2

Check this out!  Our annual catalog will be in the stores, on the shelves, and distributed next week at our annual catalog launch party.  You can view The Advantage Co annual catalog online at  http://www.theadvantagecatalog.comThe Advantage Catalog


Here is a little story for you.  For starters, one of my titles I use often is Chief Story Teller (CST).  The Advantage Co opened its doors the summer of 1978 as I was finishing my first year of college.  36+ years later, and as we approach the launch of our 20th anniversary of our annual catalog, I often reflect what has transpired since the first catalog edition in 1995.

​I started my first business as a partnership with The Advantage Co in the summer of 1993, the Walker Center opened its doors the holiday season of 1994, and our first catalog edition was published for the holiday season in 1995.  My mother, Eloise, has the first 19 catalogs neatly arranged, next to the encyclopedias, at the home that Norm built.  Mom and I often reminisce as we peruse the catalogs and what’s transpired over the years and what a wonderful experience it’s been for the Advantage Nation, and the Kreuz family for that matter.  

I hope you enjoy this year’s edition as much as Eloise does.  


AP Professionals

Posted by:  Joe Kreuz

Date:  November 7, 2011

Blog Posting: 1

Globally Competitive.  Expanded IT Services.  Record Profits.

The root of G8 Professionals ongoing international success all started in Western New York in 1993.  At that time, we were fortunate enough to build an enduring partnership with the Advantage Co. now identified as UGA Capital Ventures (UGA).  Our original business model was simple: we would access the remarkable resources of the Advantage, now UGA, and we would control our own  destiny.  AP’s alignment with the Advantage as our strategic partner has enabled us to far exceed our own expectations.

At AP Professionals (AP), we have been setting the standard for excellence in global Staffing, IT professional services, software development, cloud services, platform modernization, and staff augmentation since our inception and as of recent our launch of Black Progress Matters, effectuating change in the C suite.  Through our initial partnership groups in the 90’s: AP Professionals, Consilium 1, Capax Global, and Autonomic Resources, we’ve established the industry standard in end-to-end solutions for our blue chip clientele.

Our AP partnerships have always had a common strategy: navigate adroitly, innovate, and, ultimately, be the dominant provider in our chosen vertical categories.  Today, our industry leading delivery teams are capable of resolving the most complex problems while delivering proven results [and continuing to expand our service offerings around the globe].  Along with our wide array of strategic alliances and channel partners, we are well positioned and poised to continue our remarkable growth.  The future’s so bright I’m treating all my partners to new shades for the holidays.

Thank you,

Joe Kreuz, AP Professionals founder