Giorgio Carera’s life was shaped around equipment — his father worked for a tractor manufacturer, and his grandfathers were a farmer and a builder, respectively. His first job was with an Italian equipment manufacturer, and he was based in Bangkok, Thailand.
He covered the Southeast Asian Pacific Rim, including Australia and New Zealand. He then moved to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, working for the largest agriculture attachments company in the world and traveling for the next few years — from Asia to South America, Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S. He moved to Chicago in 2002, and eventually settled in Atlanta in 2005 to join FAE’s fledgling U.S. branch.
“When I was hired as CEO of FAE USA, the company was in its infancy. My job was to establish the U.S. headquarters and a strong sales and service team,” said Carera. “Now FAE USA has a very solid organization like the parent company FAE Group in Italy.”
He credits his success to his team. To Carera, it’s important for the work environment to be people-oriented, for customers, employees and suppliers alike. He explained: “Employees are an asset; as such, they must be treated with highest care. If a company is able to do this, it will be reciprocal, and the employees will take care of the company.”
In nearly 19 years as the leader of FAE USA, Carera has developed a culture he’s proud of. “This is probably the biggest challenge for any company in any industry,” he said. “The culture you create is what makes the difference.”
He recognizes the importance of employees who work well together — and want to stay. “If you have a great team and it stays for a long time, you can do anything you want,” Carera said. When conducting interviews, he likes to assess whether individuals intend to be at the company in 10 years and have a career rather than a job. After he finds people motivated to grow with the company, he ensures the environment is one where people want to spend their careers. Compensation, career pathing and recognition are key factors in FAE’s employee culture. “Continuing and transparent communication builds trust and confidence. Recognizing and rewarding employees can significantly impact job satisfaction and motivation,” he said. “If employees are happy and motivated, they reflect it onto the dealers and customers by performing excellently in their job.”
Carera’s leadership plays a big role in his tight-knit, productive workplace. His open-door policy enables him to listen to employees and receive direct feedback. He views transparency as the most valuable characteristic for a person in a leadership position. You must be able to discuss negative things openly, he explained, and that openness builds trust between the CEO and the team. “If the management or CEO of the company operates in this way, they can build a very solid and loyal team — and people will stay with you because they trust you.”
Over the last two decades, Carera has seen major shifts in the way the construction and land management industries operate: “The construction industry has embraced technological advancements in every field and every direction, such as virtual reality, drones, very advanced computerized technology on the equipment, etc.” In addition, he observed the way jobsite safety has improved in recent years. As equipment tech advanced,
safety standards evolved along with it: “Embracing automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can further enhance productivity and safety in construction. Enhancing focus on workforce development and investing in vocational training programs is something that I see companies doing more and more to increase productivity and make jobsites safer.” He understands the importance of staying up to date with tech trends and changes, stating: “Technology is the future. And if you are not up to date with the technology, you are out of the game.”
From a career that has spanned nearly every corner of the globe, experience in various positions and almost two decades at the helm of a major equipment manufacturer, Carera is most proud of FAE USA’s progress. “My greatest achievement is bringing the company from zero to where we are today. And building a team that is basically making this system work, making this company work, making our procedures work. I think probably the biggest achievement is putting together this team, because the team makes the company.”