Stephen Odzer, a businessman who grew up in Brooklyn, New York, has over 30 years of experience in the distribution industry. His story serves as an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs. Stephen Odzer started his first company at the age of 18 out of his parents’ basement selling paper goods door to door. Since then, Stephen Odzer has formed several companies and named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the area of distribution in the year 2000.
What’s the Most Important Advice Your Father Gave You?
“My father taught me to surround myself with important people. I get my inspiration from the business connections I make. Two of my partners are billionaires, and I stay involved with the Republic Jewish Coalition. I recently joined the Economic Club, where I have been able to meet some of the most successful business leaders in the world,” explained Stephen Odzer.
Who are Some Other Businessmen Who Have Inspired You?
“Someone who really inspired me is Barry Halper, owner of a small percentage of the New York Yankees. His advice was invaluable when I started my company. Banker, Edmond Safra also inspired and helped me a lot,” said Stephen Odzer.
What Would Do You Consider Your Biggest Obstacle?
“I’ve dealt with several obstacles throughout my career. The first obstacle I have to say have been people with Ill intentions. The second obstacle has been my need to want to conquer the world. I’ve had to learn to identify people with bad intentions, and I also learned to pace myself. Success doesn’t happen overnight,” Odzer explained.
What is a Piece of Advice that Has Stuck With You?
“Nothing is impossible,” said Stephen Odzer.
What Have You Gotten Out of Overcoming an Obstacle?
“I learned never to despair. My mantra is always to do the work, stay optimistic, and be relentless. In life, if you work hard and stay focused, you can overcome almost all obstacles. We are responsible for our future, we dictate it,” said Odzer.
How Do You Describe Your Role at BT Supplies West?
“I am the visionary behind the company. I dictate the direction the company goes. I consider myself the company’s leader and cheerleader. I also maintain relationships with large accounts,” Stephen Odzer described.
What Are Your Plans for the Future?
“I am a big hockey fan, so I decided to merge two of my passions. We just announced a partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. The partnership consists of the naming rights to their new arena in Henderson, Nevada. Lifeguard Arena will be our next significant partnership,” explained Stephen Odzer.
Instead of planning his retirement, Stephen Odzer intends to continue his business ventures. He splits his time between New York City and Henderson, NV.
During the season to give thanks, Stephen Odzer is thankful for his family. “I have seven children and nine grandchildren. I also have a lot of family in Israel,” Stephen Odzer says. He is close to his immediate and extended family, and everyone shares the good and the bad times. This year, Stephen Odzer and his family honored his cousin, Nachshon Mordechal Wachsman, on the 25th anniversary of his death and kidnapping.
Although his cousin lived far away in Israel, Stephen Odzer and Nachshon visited each other for ten years. “We were buddies,” said Stephen Odzer. Since they were so close, his kidnapping and death was a shock. “We had asked Hashem for Nachshon’s safe release from his captors,” Stephen said. Unfortunately, the rescue mission didn’t go as planned. The Hamas, who had captured Nachshon, demanded 200 Arab prisoners were released to make the exchange. During the failed rescue attempt, two other Israeli soldiers died.
The void Nachshon left in all of their lives will never be able to get filled. To honor his lost family member, Stephen Odzer named his son Nachshon. Two other children also were named Nachshon and a Hebrew middle name. “In Israel, you can’t just name a son Nachshon Wachsman. It’s too painful,” says Stephen Odzer. Aside from children honoring Nachshon by naming their children after him, the family took other steps. They named an educational center in Jerusalem for children with special needs after Nachshon.
Four years after his death, Stephen Odzer organized a memorial service in Woodmere. Over 400 members of the Jewish Woodmere community attended. Among those who gathered the list included visiting family and local politicians. Nachshon’s mother, Esther, attended the Woodmere memorial service. At the ceremony, Esther said of her son, “He has become a symbol for everyone’s brother, sister, and friend.” Esther also said the memorial ceremonies “make my son’s life and death meaningful.”
For Stephen Odzer, the attendance of Esther meant a lot to him. Families have to stay united, especially in those tough moments when they need each other. Attending events in the memory of her son give her strength and comfort. “My son will have no descendants. It is these life-giving endeavors that perpetuate his memory,” Esther said.
Even though it has been 25 years since Nachson’s untimely death, the family will have him present in their hearts this holiday season.
About Stephen Odzer
Stephen Odzer has been a successful American entrepreneur throughout his life. Since turning 18, Stephen has worked hard to create, develop, and successfully lead businesses in the distribution industry, leading to being named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur in 2000. With over 30 years of experience under his belt, Stephen currently is the CEO of YBT Industries where he looks to transform the distribution landscape.
Stephen Odzer grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He went to Yeshiva of Flatbush High School and then he took the Brooklyn College Scholars Program. At the age of 18, Odzer went into the paper goods business and started his first company out of his parents’ basement. In 2000, Odzer was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in distribution. He sold his first company to his largest competitor, Burke Supplies, in 2006.
Odzer is heavily involved with the Republic Jewish coalition, as well as various agencies that help people with disabilities. He is a major contributor to the foundations, and he supports the work of enterprises that help and employ people with disabilities.
Stephen Odzer is the founder and CEO of YBT Industries of Henderson, NV.
- What does a typical day consist of for you?
I leave my house by 5 a.m. I go pray by 7 a.m. and then I work until about 7 p.m. Then I go home to my two youngest kids and my wife. I have seven kids. I’m very involved with the local hockey team, the Vegas Golden Knights. I’m also very involved with my grandchildren. I’m very excited to say that my 10th grandchild will be born soon.
- How do you motivate others?
As Babe Ruth said, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” That’s our mantra at work. No one ever made a shot they didn’t take.
- How has your company grown from its early days to now?
When we started, I started out of my parents’ basement. Today, we’re a national distributor with locations throughout the country.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
My father always taught me to hang out with very successful people. So two of my partners are billionaires, and I’m very active with the Republic Jewish coalition. I just joined up with the Economic Club, which is a meeting of world business leaders. I get my inspiration from other successful people.
- How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
My family keeps me grounded. As much as I want to work 24 hours a day, I’m always excited to go home to my family. I’m very involved in my seven children and ten grandchildren’s lives. I’m also close with my extended family.
- What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
That would be dealing with people who have ill intentions. I guess I just wanted to conquer the world. So the biggest obstacle is that you have to pace yourself because that can’t happen overnight.
- What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
“Nothing is impossible.”
- What is your biggest personal accomplishment?
My seven kids and my ten grandkids.
- What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
I’ve learned never to despair. Always do the work, be optimistic and relentless. In life, you dictate your future. If you work hard and you focus on what’s important, you can overcome almost any challenge.
- Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
My family and religious values. I live for my children. Anyone who talks to me knows I can’t go five minutes without bringing up my kids, I’m also very religious and am regularly involved in our community
- Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
I see my company as a recognized national distributor of our supplies. I see myself slowing down and spending more time with my family while continuing to be the visionary at my company.
- Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
I would say that it was when I was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. I was recognized as a leader in my industry and I was competing with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, some of whom I had always looked up to.
Steven Odzer attended the Economic Club on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, where President Donald Trump was a guest speaker. “My table was right in front of the dais. I’m a strong supporter of the Republican Party and the RJC, so it was an honor to attend the event.” As an active supporter of the Republican Party for many years, Steven Odzer shares his takeaways from Trump’s speech.
Moving Production Back from China
Steven Odzer has worked in the distribution industry since he was 18 when he started his first company out of his parent’s garage. He agrees with President Trump that the world is a competitive place, but it’s important to help Americans succeed. President Trump talked about his plan to move production factories back to the U.S. and help the American People.
Trade Deal with China
Steven Odzer mentions that one of the most important takeaways of the event was the president’s stand on the trade deal with China. In his speech, President Trump addressed his position on phase one of the Trade Deal with China. “A significant ‘phase one’ trade deal with China could happen. [It] could happen soon. But we will only accept a deal if it’s good for the United States and our workers and our great companies because we’ve been hit very hard,” said President Trump.
The Current U.S. Job Market
As someone who has been in the distribution industry for over 30 years, Steven Odzer pays close attention to the overall job market of the country. President Trump mentioned how Americans are now forced to work two or three jobs and make a lot less money than they made 21 years ago. However, due to recent changes in the market, “A record number of Americans are quitting the job they had to take the job they like even better … This increased competition is driving up wages for blue-collar workers,” said the President.
The U.S. Economy
As the CEO of the new YBT Industries of Henderson, NV, Steven Odzer is affected by fluctuations in the economy. A takeaway from the speech is the mention that the American economy is headed for an “economic boom.” President Trump said, “We have ended the war on American workers, we have stopped the assault on [the] American industry, and we have launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before.”
Trade Relationships with Other Countries
Since this is part of his industry, Steven Odzer pays close attention to trade relationships with other countries. He shares the opinion with President Trump that many countries charge the United States with exorbitant tariffs or make it impossible for trade.
Aside from supporting the Republican Party and the RJC, Steven Odzer also supports the AHRC Foundation, Bris Avrohom, Jewish and Non-Jewish causes, and Arab/Jewish business cooperation. When he’s not making a difference in the world and his community, you can find Steven Odzer at a New York Yankees game or cheering on the Las Vegas Golden Knights. He also loves to spend quality time with his seven children and nine grandchildren.
Tzvi Odzer is the current CEO of YBT Industries of Henderson, NV, and has over 30 years of experience in the distribution industry. The business career of Tzvi Odzer had humble beginnings. “I started my first company at age 18 out of my parents’ basement,” he says. At this time, Tzvi Odzer started selling napkins, paper cups, and plates door to door in his neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn. After many years of hard work, he was able to expand his business to selling supplies to food chain restaurants and eventually hospitals and nursing homes.
Tzvi Odzer confesses, “Janitorial supplies are not sexy items, but it’s big business.” By the year 1999, long after the days of selling door to door, Tzvi Odzer’s company was making it big. Paper Pro Inc., a company that sold janitorial products, made almost $15 million in revenue. Following the momentum of his success, Tzvi Odzer was also named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the area of distribution in the year 2000.
While many people would have been happy with this success, Tzvi Odzer was ready to catch a bigger fish. In 1998 Tzvi Odzer had merged Paper Pro with another company, but he decided to resign as President and CEO to focus on his new business venture. With the growth of the online market, Tzvi Odzer decided to channel all of his energy into GlobalSupplyNet.com, an online marketplace selling janitorial supplies and equipment.
GlobalSupplyNet.com, headquartered in the Empire State Building, became an exciting new venture for Tzvi Odzer. During the initial stages of GlobalSupplyNet.com, Tzvi Odzer was so confident in its success, and he invested $1 million of his money. With a 75% stake of the company, Tzvi Odzer used his Paper Pro contacts to raise $3 million in capital from investors to run the new company. He planned to take the company public later that year.
It wasn’t long before GlobalSupplyNet.com had ten employees and 1,000 members before the official launch. Tzvi Odzer had big plans for his new company. His goal was to have 10,000 customers within 60 days of launching the site. Although he was busy starting a new company, Paper Pro also remained a focus for Tzvi Odzer. He stated that both companies had completely separate agendas.
Aside from taking the distribution industry by storm, Tzvi Odzer also helps worthy causes. He is a big supporter of Jewish and non-Jewish causes, the Arab-Jewish business cooperation, and agencies that help people with disabilities. Tzvi Odzer likes to spend his free time with his seven children and nine grandchildren.
To contact Tzvi Odzer, please visit: http://tzviodzer.com/
Businessman Steven Odzer is a proud Republican and has been a strong supporter of the Republican Jewish Coalition for many years. For Steven Odzer, his participation in politics is important since he likes to stay on top of what is best for his community. “I am very involved with Republican Party and Republican Jewish Committee,” he says. Steven Odzer recognizes it’s important to also get young Americans to vote and find their voice, so they can make a difference in the local and national level. He shares why he considers important that young Americans vote.
According to Steven Odzer of Henderson, many young Americans don’t realize how much influence they have on the future of their country. Statistics show that the young vote accounts for about half of the voting population. Although the young vote declined 2% from 52% in the 2008 election, young voters still made up half of the voters in 2016. It will only be a matter of time before millennials overpower baby boomers as a population, which is why it’s so important they get out and vote.
Steven Odzer of Henderson expresses that although young Americans feel their vote doesn’t count, it absolutely does. The young population needs to understand that since they make up over half of the voting population their vote counts.
Another reason why young Americans should vote is because they are the ones who got hit the hardest during the recession of 2008. The recession affected many financial sectors that made an impact on the life of young Americans such as jobs, healthcare, and student debt. By voting, young voters can take charge and support the leaders that represent their best financial interests. Aside from being a large group, young voters are also a diverse group. Young voters come from all kinds of different backgrounds, which also help diversify the vote. According to Steven Odzer is important to talk to them about the importance of voting from an early age.
Aside from being involved with politics, Steven Odzer is the current CEO and founder of YBT Industries of Henderson. Steven Odzer of Henderson has worked in the distribution industry for 30 years. When he’s not chasing after his grandchildren, he’s cheering on the New York Yankees or the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Steven Odzer and his family also like to give back to the community. They support causes such as both Jewish and non-Jewish causes, the AHRC, and Bris Avrohom, a large non-profit that helps Jewish immigrants from Russia integrate into life in the U.S.
During the Interview
Stephen Odzer understands that although many employers might want to hire more employees with disabilities, they might not know how to get started. For starters, many employers are not as familiar with employment laws in their state. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, potential employers can only ask if the interviewee has a disability if it’s a visible one. In this case, the employer can ask the candidate what type of accommodation he or she will need for the job. Asking this question will take the pressure off and make for a more successful interview. However, if the candidate shows no visible signs of a disability, then the employer should conduct the interview like any other one.
Once They Get the Job
Once an employer moves forward with hiring an employee with a disability, they need to set up the employee for success, according to Stephen Odzer. Aside from the necessary accommodations, the employee will need, employers should treat an employee with disabilities the same way as everyone else. Colleagues and employers should feel comfortable giving feedback to the new employee. Employees with disabilities want to be treated like any other member of the team. Depending on the employee, some might want to have a meeting with the team to talk about their disability and answer any questions. This should only get done with the employee’s consent.
Avoid Common Mistakes
As a business owner and someone who promotes hiring employees with disabilities, Stephen Odzer acknowledges many employers make a few mistakes. For example, instead of focusing on what employees cannot do, employers should focus on what the employee can do. Employees with disabilities want their employers to focus on their strengths. As long as the company practices inclusivity and communication, employees with disabilities will thrive.
Aside from supporting agencies that hire people with disabilities, Stephen Odzer also support causes such as both Jewish and non-Jewish causes, the AHRC, and Bris Avrohom, a large non-profit that helps Jewish immigrants from Russia integrate to life in the U.S. When he’s not working on his business, he enjoys spending his free time with his seven children and nine grandchildren. Also, Stephen Odzer is a sports fan. He spends his time cheering on the New York Yankees or the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Stephen Odzer acknowledges that with the rise of internet shopping, distributors now face shorter delivery windows. Consumers now expect to receive their products within only a few days, which has forced distributors to change the way they handle shipping. To not lose customers and meet their expectations, businesses are expecting shorter delivery windows.
With the rise of technology, many distribution companies need to look at software that will help them improve productivity. Stephen Odzer points out that many distribution companies see the value of investing in transport management software (TMS). TMS can not only help distributors increase productivity, but it can also help them cut down costs.
Stephen Odzer also points out that eCommerce and TMS will also change the way distributors conduct business. With the merging of both technologies, customers will have more tools to decide which carriers and systems they utilize. This will also give them the opportunity to demand more transparency with each of their orders. They will be able to track their order from the moment the distributor receives it, to the moment someone buys the product. Customers will also get notifications every step of the way.
Stephen Odzer enjoys spending his free time with his seven children and nine grandchildren. When he’s not chasing after his grandchildren, he’s cheering on the New York Yankees or the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Stephen Odzer and his family also like to give back to the community. They support causes such as both Jewish and non-Jewish causes, the AHRC, and Bris Avrohom, a large non-profit that helps Jewish immigrants from Russia integrate into life in the U.S.
Steven Odzer might be the CEO of the new YBT Industries of Henderson, NV with over 30 years of experience in the distribution industry, but he started small. Steven Odzer refers to his entrepreneurship beginnings as humble. He says, “I went to Yeshiva of Flatbush High School and then to the Brooklyn College Scholars program. I started my first company at age 18 out of my parents’ basement.” Even though he started working at a very young age, success didn’t happen overnight. Steven Odzer worked for years while supporting his family before he got recognition. After he established his career, he earned the title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 in the area of distribution.
Although he claims making a name for himself in the distribution business meant a lot to him, having a successful career doesn’t bring complete fulfillment. Steven Odzer is a notorious family man. “I have seven kids and nine grandkids. I also have many family members living in Israel,” he says. Steven’s nine grandchildren not only keep him young, but they also keep him on his toes. Despite the distance, Steven Ozer is also extremely close to his family in Israel. The entire family honored his late cousin, Nachshon Wachsman, on the 25th anniversary of his kidnapping and murder.
Aside from focusing on family, Steven Odzer also devotes his time to philanthropic work. He wishes to touch as many people and give them access to opportunities to improve their life. Bris Avrohom, a large non-profit that helps Jewish immigrants from Russia integrate into life in the U.S. and continue to foster their religious traditions, is one of the causes he feels most passionate about.
Ever since its foundation in 1979, Bris Avrohom has been making a difference in the lives of Russian immigrants. “I am a large supporter of both Jewish and non-Jewish causes.” Other causes he supports include the Arab-Jewish business cooperation, agencies that support hiring individuals with disabilities, and the AHRC, a non-profit that benefits individuals and children suffering from intellectual disabilities. Steven Odzer also believes in taking action in his community by staying involved with politics. I am very involved with the Republican Party and Republican Jewish Committee,” he says.
Even though it seems Steven Odzer is all work and no play, he believes having personal interests helps him have a fulfilling life. Steven Odzer is also a big fan of the New York Yankees. He also travels to Nevada to cheer on the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League.
There is no doubt Stephen Odzer has achieved a lot in his life, and instead of choosing retirement, he decided to start a new company. Stephen Odzer serves as the CEO of the new YBT Industries of Henderson, NV. With over 30 years of experience in the distribution industry, he has come a long way since starting his career. “I went to Yeshiva of Flatbush High School and then to the Brooklyn College Scholars program. I started my first company at age 18 out of my parents’ basement,” he says proudly. Due to his accomplishments in the industry, Stephen Odzer alsoearned the title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 in the area of distribution.
Although he is an accomplished businessman, his family is the most important thing to him. “I have seven kids and eight grandkids,” he says with a smile. Creating a legacy for his family is one of the things that keeps him going. Of course, his eight grandchildren, keep Stephen Odzer on his toes. Spending time with his grandchildren keep Stephen Odzer feeling young and motivated.
Aside from his immediate family, Stephen Odzer also has a large extended family. I also have many family members living in Israel,” Stephen Odzer says. Even though they live far away, Stephen Odzer likes to stay in touch with them. This past October 14th, the family honored his cousin Nachston Wachsman on the 25th anniversary of his kidnap and murder.
Nachshon Wachsman, a dual citizen of Israel in the United States, grew up in Jerusalem. In 1994, at the age of 19, the military instructed him to attend a one-day training in northern Israel when he was on leave. His family expected him home on Sunday night, October 9, 1994, but sadly he never made it back. Hamas militants kidnapped Nachshon Wachsman as he attempted to catch a ride back home. Although the Israeli military launched a rescue mission, Nachshon Wachsman lost his life.
The memorial of Nachshon Wachsman on his 25th death anniversary, while sad, made everyone appreciate the importance of family. This painful event keeps motivating Stephen Odzer to make the world a better place. Stephen Odzer is a large supporter of both Jewish and non-Jewish causes. Stephen Odzer also supports Bris Avrohom, a large non-profit that helps Jewish immigrants from Russia integrate into life in the U.S. Plus, he advocates for non-profits that help adults and children with disabilities.