Interviews With Gurus: Domenick Gambardella
Our featured Guru this month is Domenick Gambardella!
Domenick has 35 years of customs and trade experience, is a CPA and a licensed Customs broker.
How did your International Trade Career begin?
By accident, jobs were tight when I graduated college so I put my name anywhere I could think of and got a call for a customs auditor position.
If you could time travel back to day one of your career and have 5 min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what is the one thing you would tell yourself?
This may sound odd but I am not sure I would try and avoid “mistakes” – those missteps shaped me and the direction of my career and were valuable learning experiences.
What are your non-work habits that help you with your work-life balance?
I work out virtually every morning to get my energy level up, relieve stress and clear my head. I also have a strict no work rule in the gym, no work calls and no work discussions if I am with work colleagues.
What is the best advice you received in your career?
Be true to yourself, whatever you do, strive to do the best no matter what it is and respond to calls/emails within 1 day, even if it is just to acknowledge receipt and when you can reply.
What is your favorite “career” memory?
The day I made partner, it was a personal goal that I wanted to achieve.
What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been?
The people I have trained and mentored throughout my career, seeing where they have gone in their careers is a great accomplishment.
What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work?
Always be up front, if you do not know something say so, do not try and make something up, it is OK to admit you do not know.
If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Similar to the earlier question, that is very tough since all of the prior roles and experiences helped shape where I am.
What habits helped make you successful?
Responsiveness, honesty, respecting others.
What mindsets do you feel helped make you successful?
Believing in myself and my team.
What was the biggest risk you took in your career?
When I left Customs to go to the private sector to Arthur Andersen who was the first of the “Big 8“ accounting firms at the time to establish a customs consulting practice. I remember my father thinking I was crazy to leave a good “government job”.
What do you think were the top three factors in contributing to your successful career?
Drive/work ethic, desire to succeed, willingness to tell it like it is even if it was not in my personal best interest.