John Macchia was just 21 years old when he started a manufacturing company from his garage.
"I borrowed $1,500 and bought my first machine and then, within a couple of years, had several machines, bought a building in the company and grew from there," Macchia said.
Now, he's the Board Chairman of Advance Turning & Manufacturing.
Fox 4 has spoken with the owners of some of Southwest Florida's most influential businesses as they prepare for the Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference at Florida Gulf Coast University, which focuses on family-owned businesses.
Macchia's son is the CEO of Advance Turning & Manufacturing, while his grandson runs operations at one of their sites.
Since its establishment, the family-owned company — which manufactures supplies for the aerospace industry, the military and medical devices — has grown to 300 employees. Some of those employees have also been family.
"I've had brothers, sisters and my mother, my nephew and my nieces all work for me over the years," Macchia said. "If you set the expectation and is realistic, follow through. It'll work."
Macchia now has a foundation in Naples. He said he'll be sure to attend the Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference at FGCU this Friday because it's a conference like no other.
"It addresses something that I've never seen in another conference deal, and that is family businesses."
The conference is expected to address issues such as affordable housing, government assistance and subsidies, as many SWFL businesses navigate keeping the "family" in family business.