Walk around Ko-Mar Productions, Inc. with Todd Kolich as he banters with staff and you quickly realize this is a company president comfortable in his own skin…and workplace. He started the video production company in West Palm Beach straight out of college and its success is among the reasons Todd lives by the biblical proverb, “To whom much has been given, much is expected.”
The businessman and longtime Wellington resident counts many ways in which he’s been blessed – a happy childhood in Stamford, Connecticut; a great education at Loyola University in New Orleans where he met his wife, Judith of 30 years; and three grown daughters, Hayley, Tori and Tish, flourishing in medicine and law enforcement.
On top of all that, is Ko-Mar Productions. Todd says 1980 was a perfect time to start a business in Florida with his then-partner, Bob Maher (hence the company’s name). “Palm Beach County wasn’t too big. We could get in on the ground floor.” And from the beginning, Todd has applied a hare and tortoise business approach. “A lot of production companies are started with grandma’s inheritance, but I didn’t have that luxury so I had to do it slow. We always say around here, ‘we grind it out’ and we’ve come a long way.”
The company’s 38-year run has garnered high profile clients like Pratt & Whitney and Palm Beach International Airport, along with golf clients that include the PGA of America and Nicklaus Companies. “We work for Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman and a couple of years ago we did a project for the Nicklaus Companies that gave me the chance to fly on Jack’s private jet with him.” It was a pinnacle moment for Todd. The avid golfer spent his teenage years caddying on the rolling hills of Connecticut and never imagined he would one day work with celebrity athletes.
Todd acknowledges that the growth of his company paralleled his maturity as a businessman. “I started this business when I was 22 and didn’t really know what I was doing and didn’t care until my wife got pregnant. So having kids was the best thing that could have happened to my business career. I realized there were going to be mouths to feed.”
Another motivating factor was the death of his father, Frank, when Todd was 19-years old. His parents had semi-retired to West Palm Beach just the year before. “My dad’s death at age 52 didn’t change what I was going to do but it was a wakeup call. I realized this doesn’t last forever.” His father’s absence was especially felt as Todd learned how to run the business. “My dad was a builder and could have been a mentor for me but he wasn’t here.”
All along, Todd has measured success by the ability to provide for his family and to facilitate opportunities for the professionals who make up Ko-Mar Productions. “I’ll take that to the grave, that I helped people buy homes and pay for college. I remember thinking ‘These people depend on me, I better show up.’” An obligation to community also weighs heavy on Todd so he devotes time to the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County by driving to Belle Glade to tutor two adults in reading and writing.
Boyish good looks and a trim physique belie the fact that Todd turned 60 this year, a milestone he says he’s still processing but when asked to reflect on his journey he seems more than satisfied. “I carved my own path, that’s not to say I didn’t have influences, but I learned things the hard way when I was young enough and could afford to make mistakes.”
It makes sense that one of Todd’s favorite pastimes outside of work is gardening. “I love getting dirty gardening, anything outside, I love crawling around in the dirt.”
He is definitely a guy comfortable in his own skin.
F – French fries or tater tots? French fries
R – Right brained or left brained? Left brained
E – Email or carrier pigeon? Email
S – Sunshine or moonlight? Sunshine
H – Homebody or party animal? Homebody