April 22, 2021

So, What’s an Atlanta-versary? How Performex CEO, Eric “Ric” Bruce, accidentally broke into the world of Learning and Development  

The year is 1991. Ric Bruce steps off a plane into sunny California to attend Doug Fletcher’s disruptive Performance Excellence Program (PEP). As an Operations Managers  at Kimberly-Clark, Bruce has shown tremendous potential, but has struggled to refine his communication and listening skills. He has heard that the combination of methods Doug Fletcher and his Performex team have both developed and perfected provides unprecedented improvement in leadership and managerial skills of the engineers that attend the program. 

He was not disappointed. The PEP’s intellectually vigorous and practical approach provided Bruce with deep insights and awareness. Bruce was immediately impressed with the skills he developed while in the program, as well as the positive feedback he received back at Kimberly-Clark about his improved communication and listening skills. Over the course of Bruce’s career, he advanced to officer-level positions of two Fortune 500 companies and, remembering what he learned from that first PEP in 1991, he always sent his top talent to Performex. 

In early 2011, while Bruce was the President of Alpharma, a subsidiary of King Pharmaceuticals, his company was acquired by Pfizer. While searching for something meaningful to do for his second career, Bruce picked up a call from Doug Fletcher, the founder and previous owner of Performex. Bruce had been sending people to Performex for the last 30 years and had associated closely with Doug, who was in his 80s and looking to retire. “I realized that Performex was a perfect fit for me – I had used Performex for the last 30 years and was impressed with the results PFX delivered. Honestly, what I thought I was going to do was teach at an MBA program,” Bruce says. “I broke into the leadership and consulting world on accident.” 

“I bought the company instead of continuing my career as an executive because I wanted to give back. I reached a point in my life where I was financially and emotionally more interested in giving back than continuing to advance my career. Giving back is our most important value. It’s not just a slogan, It a guiding principle that drives our content, who we hire, and who we choose to work with. For instance, we don’t hire coaches whose primary goal is to make money. We only hire coaches who want to give back and share what they learned working in leadership roles.  There’s nothing more rewarding than working with a manager who is having a hard time getting engagement  on their staff and seeing that individual thrive and become more successful.” 

Bruce immediately invested in upgrading the company’s technology, program content, and graphics while maintaining the company’s best and most proven developmental techniques. He hired a top Instructional Design firm to freshen the PEP’s look and approach. The revised PEP became the Summit Leadership Excellence Program, which launched in 2012 armed with new content and a fresh look. Performex quickly became a recognized leader at practical applications of EQ, the neuroscience of leadership, and high impact personal coaching by leading HR professionals in the Irvine, California area.

In 2013, Bruce decided to take the company global and relocated Performex’s headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia while maintaining a regional office in Newport Beach. 

During Bruce’s ownership of Performex, the company has stayed true its roots. He and his team continue to be thought leaders at researching, developing, and deploying the most impactful methods to provide real growth and behavioral change to the professionals that attend Performex programs. While the Summit Excellence Program remains the core Performex offering for leadership development, the company’s unique ability to develop customized leadership programs and consulting practices has led to the birth of new solutions for clients’ needs. Performex’s comprehensive overview of 2021-2022 programs and solutions is available now in our first ever Programs and Solutions Portfolio.

Join us in celebrating 10 years of Performex in Atlanta, our Atlanta-versary, by entering here for a chance to win giveaways like a full scholarship to a Summit Leadership Excellence Program or a Leadership Champion “swag” box! Stay tuned for more information about our Atlanta-versary celebration!

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