Green Shoots Blog
SAN DIEGO, CA June 29, 2017
Cali Bamboo co-founder and CEO, Jeff Goldberg, has been named Most Admired CEO by the San Diego Business Journal. The award was granted on June 15, 2017 at a ceremony at the Hilton Del Mar in the category of a Privately Held Company with 101 to 199 employees.
This is the fifth year Goldberg has been named a finalist and his second time winning. The award recognizes CEOs’ achievements across a wide variety of industries, as they demonstrate leadership and vision within their company and throughout the community.
Goldberg founded Cali Bamboo with Tanner Haigwood (now the green building company’s Executive VP) in 2004 with $50,000 in capital and a single product — bamboo fencing. They have since kept the company on a strong upward trajectory with inclusion on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list year after year. Their greatly expanded product line now includes bamboo, eucalyptus, cork, and vinyl flooring, as well as composite decking. 2016 saw over 80% revenue growth and $73 million in flooring sales alone, compared to $39 million in 2015 — an 87% boost to the core product family. Those flooring sales represent 19.7 million square feet, or the equivalent footprint of the entire heart of downtown San Diego. Products are sold direct via CaliBamboo.com, at Lowe’s stores nationwide, and through select dealers.
Throughout his company’s success, Goldberg remains committed to Cali Bamboo’s original mission — to pave the way toward a more sustainable future through the promotion of renewable resources as viable alternatives to traditional products. All flooring, decking, fencing, and plywood is designed to make use of renewable and recycled materials, thereby preserving old growth forests for future generations and decreasing habitat loss and CO2 emissions.
Says Misty Madrid, VP of Human Resources, “His heart and vision can be seen in each employee throughout the organization. It is truly incredible, but under his leadership and guidance, Cali Bamboo has been able to grow, both in revenue and headcount, at a rapid pace, yet stay authentic to its core values.”
GREEN BUILDING INNOVATION
A background in bioengineering fosters Goldberg’s drive to innovate, making him uniquely qualified to oversee the development of new products and procedures to enhance the Cali Bamboo product offering and overall customer experience. Under his direction, 2016 saw the launch of several new product lines including the following:
Cali Bamboo’s first ever Engineered Bamboo flooring with extra wide planks. This product boasts an inventive composition with a unique 4mm strand woven bamboo top layer to withstand impact, a 9mm eucalyptus core ply (using a sustainable species with very low VOC content), and a thin poplar backing to ensure effective adhesion and deter slippage.
An all-new Cali Vinyl™ flooring line with best-in-class features — advanced imaging and pattern variety (including bamboo flooring prints), a built-in underlayment of 100% recycled cork, and bio-based plasticizers. The new line makes commercial grade durability accessible to the average homeowner.
Cali Complete™ — an all-in-one underlayment designed for any floor or subfloor. The product has extremely high IIC (Impact Insulation Class) and STC (Sound Transmission Class) ratings, and is revolutionary in that it can withstand up to 12lbs of moisture per 1000sqft per 24 hours.
BUILDING A STRONG TEAM
The Cali Bamboo team itself also saw massive growth in 2016, increasing the employee headcount by 47% over 2015, with 60% growth in just the sales department. “Having the wisdom and scars from growing the business from scratch, Jeff hires ambitious people, who share his sense of purpose for improving the planet,” says Tom Hume, Cali Bamboo’s VP of Marketing.
Recognized as a Top Workplace by U-T San Diego for the past three years, Cali Bamboo is known for its inclusive and fun, yet highly competitive culture that Goldberg envisioned from the start, and continually works to maintain throughout its growth. Employees are consistently the company’s best hiring recruiters and stay happy and engaged through perks like a company wellness and workout program, dog-friendly office, game room, backyard grill, motivational lunches, and product launch happy hours.
Goldberg personally oversaw the layout and design of the expanded Mira Mesa headquarters office with a focus on an open, connective floor plan, ample kitchen and break room amenities, and bright, eye-pleasing decor. More importantly, he maintains a positive, creative work environment by encouraging employees to focus on the kind of work they love doing most. Under this philosophy, team members are intrinsically motivated, empowered, and loyal.
In keeping with Cali Bamboo’s mission to do good for the planet, under Goldberg’s leadership, 2016 saw a continued surge of philanthropic involvement and giving in the San Diego community and beyond.
Cali Bamboo marked its 12 year anniversary with a concert fundraiser benefitting four charity partners: Rady Children’s Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, the San Diego Humane Society, and Surfrider Foundation. About 400 guests attended the first annual “Green Against the Machine” show held at The Belly Up in Solana Beach, and raised $10,721 to be split among the four nonprofits.
In addition to supporting school projects and individual employee fundraising campaigns, Cali Bamboo bolstered its 2016 philanthropy game by donating green building materials to several nonprofits, partnering with Rady Children’s Hospital for the “Miracle Month of May” to raise $5,150 in funding for research on children’s respiratory pulmonary illnesses, and sponsoring multiple Surfrider Foundation events.
ABOUT CALI BAMBOO®
Headquartered in San Diego, Cali Bamboo manufactures green building materials made primarily of bamboo — one of the world’s most durable, sustainable, and renewable materials. Founded in 2004 and recognized as an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company eight years in a row, Cali Bamboo models how individuals, businesses, and communities can implement modern design along with structural strength and environmental integrity. Cali Bamboo services residential and commercial building projects across North America with a wide range of products including bamboo, eucalyptus, cork, and vinyl flooring, fencing, composite decking, plywood, cork wall tiles, poles, paneling, and more. Products are available directly from Cali Bamboo or through Lowe’s and top dealers across the country. www.CaliBamboo.com
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