Skip to main content
40 Under 40 - Class of 2013
Business Observer Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 8 years ago

Marty Bielecki, 38

President, Southwest Direct

When he was a youngster, Marty Bielecki and his parents fled communist Poland and settled in New England.

The young Bielecki remembers marveling at the cars, including the giant 1979 Mercury Cougar his uncle drove to pick him up at the airport after his family was granted political asylum in the U.S. “I’d never seen anything like this,” he recalls.

That early life experience is part of what drives Bielecki today as president of a family-run company that handles billing and marketing for municipalities, utilities, hospitals, colleges and other large organizations around the country. Southwest Direct is now the post office’s largest customer in Fort Myers, sending out 1.2 million pieces of mail a month.

“I always wanted to work to achieve my own goals,” says Bielecki, the first of his family to attend university.

Work experiences formed an early basis for achievement. Bielecki’s parents couldn’t afford to buy him a car when he was old enough to drive, so he scooped ice cream, waited tables and washed dishes.

“My uncle is the entrepreneur,” Bielecki says. “He always had nice things and it instilled in me a strong desire to achieve.”

 —Jean Gruss


Birthplace: Lodz, Poland

Alma mater: M.B.A., University of Florida 2011; B.S., University of Florida 1998

Favorite off-hours activity: CrossFit

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Sir Winston Churchill and Ayn Rand

Book you’re reading now: Fallujah Awakens: Marines, Sheiks, and the Battle Against Al Qaeda

Favorite techno gadget: iPhone for the moment, though I’m still a Blackberry guy at heart.

The most important business lesson I’ve learned: A company is only as good as it’s people. They are at the core of everything we do. It’s the hundreds of daily decisions that every individual makes that determines the success of your business. These are the relationships that matter. Take good care of your people and they will take care of you.

Best award you ever received: After seven long seasons I finally won my fantasy football league in 2012 and the big shiny trophy that goes with it.

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Edward Norton

If I had a magic wand I’d:  Patent it. License it. Then we could all have magic wands.

Related Stories