Reputation and Legacy: Lunch with Daniele Ferrara from Gianni’s Group in Palm Beach, Aruba — Marcello Pedalino, Author

Two things I’ve come to appreciate in the world of entrepreneurship are reputation and legacy. I’m less impressed by how much money you have in the bank or how much social status you have than I am by your impact on those around you and how people respond when I ask questions like, “what is he really like to work for?”

If you’ve been to Aruba, chances are you’ve eaten at a restaurant owned by the Ferrara family. Jill and I had the pleasure of having lunch last week in Palm Beach Aruba with Daniele Ferrara at one of his family’s flagship restaurants, Gianni’s Ristorante Italiano, one of their most popular and one that has become a major tourist attraction thanks to their famous Spaghetti Al Formagio Parmigianno. During a few recent visits to Aruba we enjoyed the culinary experience of Gianni’s and we started to appreciate the chic style, genuine hospitality, and business savvy touches that Daniele and his siblings have brought to their impressive family empire known collectively as Gianni’s Group.

When I see an entrepreneur or VIP (Very Inspirational Person) who appears to be firing on all cylinders, I’ll start by simply asking some of his or her employees (especially the service staff) if their boss is a nice person and if so, does their boss make them feel valued. If I get enough positive reviews, I’ll ask that entrepreneur to lunch in hopes of getting to know him or her and hopefully having some of their brilliance and/or wisdom rub off on me.

I’m happy to report that Daniele Ferrara’s name kept being mentioned in a positive light. “He’s the nicest person you’ll want to meet,” “he’s very fun to be around,” and, “he always takes good care of us,” were the common sentiments expressed by his staff.

That was nice to hear. The only thing left was for the stars to align and have Daniele’s busy work and travel schedule match up with ours so we could carve out a time to sit down for lunch.