Posted March 15, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Photo

[PROFILE] In 25 Words or Less: Michael LeBlanc (Hospitality: Restaurant)

Michael LeBlanc
Michael LeBlanc

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In 25 Words or Less

Posted: March 15, 2016


Editor’s Note: Michael is often considered the “Mayor” of Oakland’s Uptown District, being one of the first businesses to open in this now popular and growing area. He is also Board Chair of Visit Oakland, Oakland’s visitors and convention bureau.

Name: Michael LeBlanc
Age: Old enough • Status: Married • Kids: Yes
Place of Birth: New Orleans, LA • Place Raised: New Orleans 9th Ward
Professional Background: 26 years at Polaroid (finance, manufacturing, customer service, distribution, marketing, sales,human resources. National, International and Worldwide responsibilities. Resided abroad Hong Kong 5 years as President of Polaroid Asia/Pacific and Corporate Officer. Prior assignments included Ireland, Scotland, UK, and Europe. . Entrepreneur—co-launched and funded Brothers Brewing Company and founded Pican Restaurant.
What achievement or position are you most known for? Becoming Polaroid’s first African-American officer in the 60-year history of the company. Heading up the AsiaPacific region of a major corporation. Launching Brothers Brewing Company.
Contact/Follow: Email
Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now: Laborer stabilizing pilings—had to work in knee deep water in Louisiana swamp water and humidity aligning telephone pole-like wooden beams as support for building foundation.
Field: Restauranteur/Hospitality
Yrs of Experience: 8
Title: Owner/Managing Partner
Company: Pican Restaurant – Oakland, CA
What it does and what I do: Makes the best Southern Gourmet Fusion food in the area. Serves 136 Bourbons. I ‘m the visionary and integrator of my staff’s knowledge. “Mission Control”.
Current Big Project: Conceptualizing and opening a new project in the near term.
Staffing/Resource Needs: Administrative help—executive assistant help—marketing and PR.
Significant Challenge: Funding Scaling opportunities.
Significant Mistake/Regret: Saying No to McDonald’s when they offered me positions and franchises coming out of MBA program.
Significant Accomplishment: Becoming President of Polaroid Asia Pacific and living in Hong Kong.
Biggest Strength(s): Perseverance
Biggest Weakness(es): Administration
Career Advice: Excel where you are with what you have. Network. Honor commitments. Give praise and recognize others. Listen. And instead of saying I know—say Thanks.
Significant Challenge: Continuing to learn when I think I already know it all.
Significant Accomplishment: My part in parenting my biological kids and step children. Just love who they are.
Life Advice: Love, Live, Laugh. Dream Big. Make specific time-bound goals, look at them everyday. Help others get their dream. Sometimes you just gotta jump.
Trait(s) most admired in others: Discipline, attention to detail, a methodical nature, candor, pro-active listening and fairness.
Some causes/organizations I support: Black male education; women’s efficacy;Black Greeks;progressive causes.
Some of my most-admired people (excluding parents): Jackie Robinson, Naylor Fitzugh, President Obama; Oprah.
Hours of “personal” downtime/week: 10
Favorite activity(s) in my personal downtime: Golfing with my wife. Golfing with friends. Skiing. Reading about leadership, watching TV
Some of my favorite local hangouts: Actually I don’t have time to “hangout”. I like Pican. Hanging out is more a state-of-mind than an actual place.-Hanging anywhere with “my boys”.
Some of my favorite TV shows: Game of Thrones; Downton Abbey; Suits.
What news outlets or media sources do you most rely on?: MSNBC; TV One; Progressive radio on sirius.
Favorite Vacation Spot(s): Montego Bay; Vail; Palm Springs—all with my wife.
Place(s) I would like to visit: BricktMt. Rushmore; Florence Italy; South of France.
Favorite Pastime/Hobby(s): Golfing and skiing.
Favorite Book(s): Think and Grow Rich; The Godfather;Jurassic Park.
Something about me that may surprise you: I like the theater and classical music.