The Cold War came to Correct Craft yesterday as former KGB agent and author Jack Barsky visited the Orlando, Fla.-based builder. The author of Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America, Barsky spoke to Correct Craft employees about growing up in East Germany, being recruited by the KGB and becoming an operative for several years in the United States.
Barsky shared spy stories and discussed his post-Cold War transformation into a U.S. citizen.
Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin told Trade Only Today that he invites several speakers each year. “The purpose is to inspire our employees,” Yeargin said. “We have a culture where we try to invest back in our team, and this is an important component of our culture, ‘Making Life Better,’ for our employees. If we can inform, energize and inspire, it’s a great benefit for all of our team.”
Past speakers at the Orlando facility include Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham; S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A; Urban Meyer, former Ohio State football coach; U.S. Senator Rick Scott; Bubba Watson; and Brant Hansen, author of Unoffendable and a speaker last week at the Miami International Boat Show.
Yeargin said all employees are invited, but attendance in voluntary. “Generally, about 80 percent of our employees come,” he said.
Yeargin added that it’s “not too expensive” to bring in speakers. “If the speaker is an author, we will buy a copy of their book for all our employees, pay travel expenses and usually give them a gift card as a token of our thanks,” Yeargin said. “It is a small price to pay in exchange for the benefit our team receives.”
Yesterday’s event included a surprise guest to round out the Cold War collection. Former CIA agent Michele Rigby Assad spoke about her life in the Central Intelligence Agency. She had been to Correct Craft once before, lecturing about her book Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What’s Worth Fighting For.
“They both have interesting, compelling and inspirational stories and books,” Yeargin said, adding that it was “fun” to have both authors at the same event.