Art Oberto (left) shares a
vision of growth with Tom
Campanile, Oberto Sausage
All of the Oberto children have followed their natural creeks to find what they
enjoy doing for the business.
Steve is involved with
research and development,
while Larry and Jimi found
their niche in sports marketing. The family shares a
modest office filled with
photos and artwork. It’s
marked with a simple
“Oberto Family” nameplate.
IRIDIO PHOTOGRAPHY “In order for the com-
Despite the hand-selected board and pany to grow, we
staff, Art calls himself a “go-it-aloner.” He have to have happy and contented
saw his father struggle with business partners employees.”
and learned from his mistakes. “I won’t have You can’t find someone at Oberto Sausage
any partners come heck or high water,” says Company who doesn’t stress the importance of
Art. Gesturing to Dorothy, he adds, “My employees’ happiness. They have annual
partner is right here.” Christmas parties and company picnics for all
And her job, she says, is to interrupt. She employees. Back in the 1960s, Art and Dorothy
also keeps Art on track, commenting on his owned a motor home that employees were
stories with a silent shake of her head or an allowed to borrow for personal use.
“Oh, Art!” It’s all part of Art’s equation for success: A
strong business is one in which the employees
“Believe in the natural creek theory.” are happy, the customers are happy and the
According to Laura Oberto, the oldest of numbers add up.
She worked her way through the
company, performing nearly every possible job. The board named her president
in 1991; she held the position until Tom
Campanile took over in 1998.
Under Laura’s leadership, Oberto
Sausage Company acquired Curtice
Burns Meat Snacks, which produces
the Smokecraft, Denver Dan’s and
Lowrey’s brands. The acquisition doubled the company’s sales and production
COURTESY OF OBERTO
The Oberto Way
Art Oberto, chairman of the board of
Oberto Sausage Company, offers the
following philosophies for anyone seeking
success in today’s business world.
In order for the company to grow, you must
have happy and contented employees. You
must have happy and contented cus-
tomers. And you must be profitable.
Otherwise, you can’t grow, go and prosper.
Leadership is helping people succeed. It is
helping your suppliers and your customers
to more smoothly get their work and goals
implemented. It is creating an atmosphere
that has free-flowing thoughts and ideas
that are constructively oriented so that peo-
ple can make better decisions based on the
special insight of their fellow employees.
Keep learning, and feed your curiosity.
It’s important to get mentally recharged
throughout your career. Attend a seminar,
travel to a new place or take a class
in a subject that interests you.
Don’t give people the answers to their ques-
tions. Give them the formula so they can
figure future problems out by themselves.
The best way to get out of trouble
is not to get into it.
Hire good people to do what needs to
be done, help them succeed, have
fun and perpetuate the process.
The jerkymobile is one
way Art Oberto drives the
Art and Dorothy’s four children and the only That and “never being satisfied” have led
daughter, the natural creek theory goes some- him and the entire company to the success
thing like this: If you are interested in some- Oberto Sausage Company is experiencing.
thing, follow that natural path or interest. One last element of the equation is a man
Art’s natural creek led him to dabble in a who’s always been fortunate to do what he’s
variety of areas while doing what he felt was wanted to do and been happy to do so.
best for the company. One smart move was to “If there was something I wanted to do,
encourage Laura’s interest in the business. there was a place in the business where I
Her first job, at the age of 5, was to could do it,” say Art. “I always tell everybody
deliver the mail. Her rite of passage, she says, I’ve never had a job in my life. I’ve only had
was being put in charge of spice formulation a hobby.” C
at the age of 14. Her responsibilities included
inventory and quality control. She started
attending sales and marketing meetings at th e
age of 16. And at 17 she started giving inter-
views to newspapers in place of her father.