As Korchmar celebrates our 100th anniversary, we are especially proud of our heritage as a family-owned and operated business. This year, we’re very excited to announce that Mike Korchmar, the great-grandson of our founder, Max Korchmar, has come on board full-time as the company’s president. While he’s grown up in the family business, Mike is looking forward to working very closely with his father, Michael Korchmar, as he takes on this leadership role. Learn more about Mike below.
What were you up to before joining the Korchmar team full-time as president?
After graduating from the University of Florida five years ago, I started a consulting position with Deloitte. In this role, I implemented financial performance management systems for clients all over the country. I developed a niche in operational and cost forecasting, which I think was closely related to my experience growing up in a manufacturing business. While I was happy to be at Deloitte for almost five years, I couldn’t think of a better time to come on board full-time at Korchmar than our 100th anniversary.
What are some of your favorite memories growing up in the family business?
I have great memories of going to work with my dad on Saturdays as a kid. And I remember spending lots of time in the factory with my grandfather in our Cincinnati, OH workshop – he was an awesome engineer and he loved showing me all of the little ins and outs. I also have memories of being assigned trash duty in the factory, and occasionally driving my remote-controlled car around after everyone left!
What’s the best advice your father has given you as you take on your new role as president at Korchmar?
It may sound cliché, but my father has always said, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I believe this wholeheartedly.
What does it mean to you to carry on your great-grandfather’s vision by being the fourth-generation family member to lead the company?
It’s tough to put into words; it’s truly such an honor. I know that fourth-generation businesses are so rare these days, and I couldn’t be more excited about continuing the legacy started by my great-grandfather in 1917. In many ways, I’ve known my whole life that I was destined to take on this responsibility and it feels great to finally be making the transition. I know that I have three pairs of big shoes to fill, but it’s really an honor to take on the challenge.
What excites you most about the future at Korchmar?
There are so many things that I'm excited about! Personally, I’m very excited by the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with my father. We have a great relationship and he’s an exceptional coach. I’m really enjoying the process of learning from him and having him mentor me directly as I take on this role. From a business perspective, I’m excited about all of the new products we have in the works, and about increasing our production in the USA.
Which Korchmar bags do you wear most frequently (for business and for travel)?
Since starting my professional career, there are three main bags that have joined me on the journey: (1) A custom-made three-gusset alligator briefcase that’s similar to the Elliott. This was a graduation gift from my father who hand cut the alligator hides himself from the old dies we have. It’s a very special bag to me. (2) The Garfield in Espresso is another favorite. When I carry the Garfield, I always receive compliments and it’s fun when people ask, “Who makes that bag?” and I get to respond, “I do!” (3) For weekend getaways, the Twain in Espresso is my go to.
What are some things that you always carry in your Korchmar bag?
I mostly carry the usual stuff: my computer, chargers, glasses, pens, etc. One special item I always make sure to have is a silver pen I inherited from my grandfather that has “Don Korchmar” engraved on it. I was named after him; as my full name is Don Michael Korchmar. I also always keep a small notepad. Pulling out the pen to take notes always makes me smile and gives me a fresh dose of inspiration.
Favorite movies: Stepbrothers, Tropic Thunder
Favorite books: American Sniper, Lone Survivor
Favorite travel destination: This is a tough one for me as I’ve been fortunate to visit a lot of places! I really loved the Netherlands (Breda, Amsterdam), Munich, and Singapore.
The Korchmar team is very excited to have Mike on board as our new president. Look for more updates from him here on the Korchmar Journal and follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes shots taken by Mike and other members of the Korchmar team.
This summer, we are excited to add three new colors to our Classic Collection of briefcases and travel bags. Handcrafted with full grain mill-dyed American saddle leather selected from the top 5% of available hides, each piece in the collection is designed to age with the richness and beauty expected of a Korchmar bag. Now available in black, brown and tan.
Phil (of @thepacman82) has become a proud father of four month old Oliver Cohen. In celebration of Father’s Day, we chatted with Phil about his experiences as a new dad.