Loyal, honorable, smart, ethical, conservative risk taker, family man, scholar. These are all words used to describe Tony Golobic.
Though you might not guess from his “Eastern Iowa accent”, Tony Golobic immigrated to the United States from Bela Krajina, Slovenia at the age of 17 to join his mother and other family members. Despite speaking very limited English, Tony landed a job on his second day in Chicago, Illinois. His first job was as a janitor. Unbeknownst to him, it was a dangerous job that was not appealing to many people. Tony, however, thought it was a great opportunity with great compensation. After five months in the United States, Tony joined the US Army. Over his three years of service, Tony advanced from an Infantry Soldier to a Sergeant, improved his English, earned his GED, and served a six month stint in Vietnam. Following his honorable discharge, Tony worked full-time and attended college full-time. In less than four years, Tony earned a BSBA in Accounting from Roosevelt University. He then went on to earn his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and became a Certified Public Accountant. While working in the same office park in Chicago, he met his wife Magda.
Following graduate school, Tony worked as General Manager of GE Capital Office Technology Financial Services. He was then recruited to Cedar Rapids to work at LeaseAmerica Corporation where he later became President and CEO. He then went on to serve as Senior Vice President of Mellon Financial Services. In 1993, firm in his convictions, Tony fulfilled his goal of starting his own company. His vision was to form a business that would relentlessly pursue standards of excellence in everything it did and would have no competition.
What is now known as GreatAmerica Financial Services began as GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation, a small firm with four employees (two of which were Tony and Magda) occupying a portion of an office space floor. Even though times were tough, failure was not an option. Being a big picture person, Tony had an unbelievable commitment to building a successful company that people would be proud to work for and would be long lasting. This company quickly became the largest private independent commercial equipment finance company, one of the most respected in their industry, and has seen growth in all twenty years of business. GreatAmerica now has 370 employees, and for the third year in a row, was recognized by a nationwide survey of dealers as the best company to work with.
GreatAmerica has an open, community-like culture that starts at the top. You will not find Tony or the senior leadership team in an office, but rather in cubicles as a part of their team. You will, however, find him on most paydays personally handing out paychecks to employees as an opportunity to say “thank you” for the team’s success. Tony is a firm believer in sharing recognition and rewards and evolving with time. He may be better known as the “Chief Cheerleader.”
A strong sense of community is a part of Tony’s DNA. He realizes and appreciates the fact that he has the opportunity to support the community that has afforded such wonderful employees for the company. Tony is currently active as a member of the Board of Trustees for Coe College, the Iowa College Foundation, and Mercy Medical Center, and serves on the Board of Directors for CRST International, Inc. Tony and Magda have two grown sons, Martin and Adrian.