Jack Chidester, Delaware Valley Floral Group:

"US: "Hydrangea now one of our fastest growing products"

By any measure, John "Jack" Chidester's career has included lots of responsibility - thousands of employees worldwide as a telecom executive, not the mere hundreds he has led since he became chief executive of the Delaware Valley Floral Group in 2008.

Chidester, 58, held titles of executive vice president, chief operating officer or president at MCI, WinStar Communications and Broadwing Communications Enterprises, some with more than $1 billion in sales, not the $160 million to $170 million that the Sewell-based wholesaler takes in each year.

At Delaware Valley Floral Group, the company's wholesale network stretches across the eastern United States, but in telecom, Chidester had responsibility for national networks - "huge capital requirements to go out there and build the networks and deploy the switches and build the ubiquity that you need to compete on a national basis."

And yet.

"You know, it's funny," Chidester said. "This is the first time I've ever been a CEO and I've got to tell you the job looked so much easier when I wasn't a CEO."

Read more at www.philly.com why Chidester thinks so.

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