Beyond Consulting

13: From Consulting to Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)


In this week’s episode of Beyond Consulting, we welcome Leo (Chris) Kasuya, a former KPMG consultant, and current Director of Strategy and New Ventures at Irresistible Foods Group.


The Beyond Consulting Podcast is hosted by Ken Kanara.



Ken Kanara: Hello and welcome to Beyond Consulting, brought to you by ECA partners, the only podcast dedicated to helping our listeners understand the wide variety of options they have available after a career in consulting. To put it a different way, you can think of this show as addressing the question, “What can I do with my life after spending countless hours in PowerPoint and Excel?” I’m Ken Kanara, host of Beyond Consulting and CEO of ECA Partners, a specialized project staffing and executive search firm focused on former management consultants and private equity. Each week I host guests that have spent time in consulting and made some sort of pivot or career change. The goal is to help our audience understand all the options that they have available, and ideally, learn from our guest, both in terms of what they did right and things they wish they would have done differently. Today we welcome Leo (Chris) Kasuya to the studio. Leo, I hope I pronounced your last name right, but thanks so much for joining us today.


Leo Kasuya: Absolutely, thanks for letting me join you.


Ken Kanara:  What would you give me in terms of the score, like a nine and a half out of ten on the name?


Leo Kasuya: The second round, I’d maybe give you a seven and a half, eight, but it’ll play.


Ken Kanara: It’ll play, alright, cool. First of all, Leo, thanks so much for coming in and doing this show. We’re excited to have you on for a couple reasons, but I won’t get into that right away. To start, I’d love it if you could give us a quick overview of your background and feel free to wander a little bit.


Leo Kasuya:  Sure. To kick it off, my name is Leo Christopher Kasuya, I was born in Kyoto, Japan and grew up in Japan until I was ten, then I moved to Atlanta because of my dad’s work. I give you that context because, depending on where you met me, whether it’s Japan or internationally, you know me as “Lay-oh.” If you met me in the U.S. you know me as Chris. If you’re in L.A. you probably know me as a combination of one or two. If you’re a listener out there wondering why I’m saying who I am, I figured I’d just get that clarity out there. Transitioning from a professional perspective, I graduated from the University of Georgia with an International Business Marketing major. I always thought I was going to go into sales after my sales internship, but in the last inning of senior year recruiting I learned about this thing called consulting. Everybody kept telling me that you learn a lot, you travel a lot, and you work with a lot of smart people. Which, obviously, that’s something that all sounded attractive, and you don’t work that many Fridays. Well, I debunked that last one really, really quickly. Somehow I finagled my way into a consulting opportunity at KPMG within their strategy practice in Atlanta. I was there for about three and a half years, really enjoyed it and can truly say it was probably the best foundation and launch pad for my career. After about a year and a half at the Firm, focusing on developing business and operating model strategies, and due diligence, I decided I don’t want to grow up to be my boss. I started looking around for different opportunities and landed on taking a year to travel. For the next year and a half I started raising money, saving money and trying to figure out what this trip is going to be all about. I ended up convincing three of my friends to quit their jobs with me, and started my own digital media company, Unique Impressions Group, which we did for about six months of the world travels. We ended up traveling for a year and two months and just to round it out, I essentially started back in the work world by doing a gig in Barcelona for a few months and just had this convicting dream that I had to be in Los Angeles. I started looking around Silicon Beach, all the technology companies, and ended up connecting to the CEO’s son of King’s Hawaiian. He told me, “Hey, you should look at my family business. I ended up joining the company about a month after that interaction within the office of CEO, really focused on long-term projects and we created Irresistible Foods Group, which is a parent company to King’s Hawaiian and a few others, which I can talk about, last September. I am a Director of Strategy and New Ventures there, now. That may a little more context that probably needed, but hopefully that gives you ammunition to really go wherever you want to go, Ken.


Ken Kanara: No, that’s awesome. The thing that is super cool about your background is that you figured out a way to do the “remote year” on your own by starting your own business. That’s really cool and then you got to travel the world in doing so. I definitely want to dive into that, but let’s start with Irresistible Foods and King’s Hawaiian. You mentioned that it is a conglomerate of brands, but tell us about Irresistible Foods and what it is.


Leo Kasuya: Irresistible Foods Group is essentially the parent company to King’s Hawaiian, Grillo’s Pickles, Shaka Tea, and what we’re really trying to do is build this authentic food and beverage brand of companies that essentially have irresistible products with a raving fan base and shared values. These values can be expressed differently, obviously, based on the companies personalities, but the ethos of those values are the same. Lastly, these products are sold on the perimeter. These products are not in the center aisles of the grocery store, but on the perimeter, and also inclusive of the frozen section and direct to consumer.

Ken Kanara: I love the name too, because it really speaks to what it is. One thing that is really unique to you guys is the quality. The second that you mention Grillo’s or King’s Hawaiian, I can’t help but get excited. I literally only try to eat my burgers on King’s Hawaiian buns. It’s like a weird thing for me, personally. That’s really unique and really cool. Has that always been part of your culture, or part of your everyday work? I’m curious to hear more.


Leo Kasuya: To dig into that question a little more, what do you mean by “is that part of your culture?” The irresistibility?


Ken Kanara: Sorry, maybe that was a bad question. When you formed the holding company, how did you come up with the name?


Leo Kasuya:  Ah, no worries. There was someone on the team, I forget who came up with it, but we were between Aloha Brands or Irresistible Brands, or something along those lines, and ultimately, King’s Hawaiian’s mission includes the word “irresistible” and “irresistible” is one the descriptors of what King’s Hawaiian is. As we acquired Grillo’s, it became, “ah, man…we’re building this environment and family of food and beverage brands that are truly irresistible. That’s where the origination of the name came from, but again, really leaning on, not just the products, but we always say we’re irresistible in products, but also our values. Our values are really, truly the core to our irresistibility, because values drive behaviors and behaviors create cultures. That’s how these irresistible cultures happened. At King’s Hawaiian it’s “Aloha,” maybe at Grillo’s it’s, “vivey” pickle-people. Each company is unique in its personality, and those values are also expressed differently, but the ethos of the values are the same. Then, we have the irresistibility in our roots. The start of the companies…all of them are family-owned or family-founded businesses, and then growing above from there. Then, irresistible-ohana, which is the word in Hawaii for “family.” Not just our employee base, but our customers, our vendors, our partners, etc., we’re all family and we’re here to really help each other become the best version we can be. That irresistibility is really the core to it all.


Ken Kanara: Cool, that better answers the question that I was trying to get out. Leo, what exactly do you do for the company? I know it’s changed and evolved over time, but I’m curious to hear more.


Leo Kasuya: I’m going to answer this in two frames. Frame number one is that I started at King’s Hawaiian in the office of CEO, so that internal consulting group. I was really charged to get a grip on the business in the first two months. I bounced around with our President and Chief Strategy Officer at the time, John Linehan, who is now the President of Irresistible Foods Group. After those two months, he asked the question, “You’ve been a consultant, what are five things you identified that you think you can create value on?” I wrote those five things down, and intentionally put a few that I really wanted to work on. Then he looked at the list and said, “You know what? You’re going to lead the digital transformation for the company,” which was not one of the five items on the list. Immediately I thought, “Oh boy, this is going to be a huge challenge.” I googled what a digital transformation is and essentially focused on that for the first year and a half—how do we use technology; how do we use data to be the best company we can be and really bring the company together. Obviously, each function was on their own journey, but bringing the whole company together to a strategy, to a plan, which led to creating the Data Center of Excellence Team, which is a cross-functional, hybrid team, and really starting to address these data challenges and issues that we have across the business to create value. This led to the IT team’s recharter to create the team they are today—the Data and Technology Services Team, which led to leading the CIO certs, so I’ve been involved in a variety of different things. In the last year and a half, and what I do today is really two-pronged. One is what I would call “deals,” which is establishing relationships with target investment or acquisition companies and performing diligence if we decide there is a company we are interested. If we end up going down the path of acquisition, then doing integration planning. Last, it’s doing that post-close value creation, which is, ultimately, leading a company in a strategic planning session, creating a mission, aligning on vision, creating values if they don’t have them, and really coming up with strategic imperatives—those focus areas—to help the business grow for the next ten, fifteen, fifty years.


Ken Kanara: I get the connection between deals, integration planning, post-close integration, and the value-creation planning, but talk to me a bit about digital transformation for a bunch of consumer brands. If I’m a listener, I’m going, “Wait, they’re not a tech company?” Tell me more about what (managing a digital transformation) means.  


Leo Kasuya: Totally, and I just realized I never finished part two of my job today, which is…


Ken Kanara: Okay…that was just part one (laughs).


Leo Kasuya: Basically, what I used to do at King’s Hawaiian is just peppered into the different other outcomes, right?


Ken Kanara: Interesting choice of verb, by the way.


Leo Kasuya: What was…


Ken Kanara:  Peppered. That was good (laughs).


Leo Kasuya: Oh, yeah (laughs). But going back to the digital transformation…ultimately I was not an IT or a technology consultant, and that’s not necessarily my strength, so we approached it very pragmatically. The first way we did this is to acknowledge that any transformation starts from the top, so how do we get our executive team to really understand what it means to digitally transform. A lot of people probably look at it as a project, but ultimately, it’s a living and breathing activity. You’re constantly digitally transforming. Just looking at everybody’s everyday life—it was a rotary phone, to then a plugged-in, wired phone, to then a wireless phone, then to a cell phone, then to a smart phone, so you’re constantly evolving. We wanted to explain this as, not just a destination, it’s a process for our executive team members. Then we did a current state to say, “What data are we using? What technology stacks do we have? What does our future state look like for us to achieve what we want to achieve?” Then, we brought everyone together to get the education piece, as well as, what’s truly foundationally feasible for us to leverage the data that we have. I’d say our process to date has been more focused on the data piece…getting everybody on the same page through governance, catalogs, etc., so that we have a strong foundation to build the digital platforms on top of it, but not getting too heavy and focused on that without creating value along the way.


Ken Kanara:  Awesome, and I’m guessing that for ya’ll, data means insights from in-store purchases, stuff from direct to consumer based on your own web presence…is that right or I there anything else that is included in that?


Leo Kasuya: Yes, you have a variety of different data sources depending on the function. Obviously, on the operations side you have everything from what the machines are doing to create the product to where the products are moving with logistics from the plant to a distribution center or the plant to a third party, warehouse to a customer, etc. This includes ingredients and the tracking of all of our inputs, and you brought up the more obvious data sources, and that is the third party. The problem there is that we have to pay for a lot of that data since it’s being scanned, but you use your third party vendors for that information. In terms of internal data, that’s really where the goldmine is, where you can start taking it in and start asking more questions. Our econ is really focused on testing new products, so there is an endless array of ways to get information. I think it’s more about asking the right questions to figure out what insights we want to tap into, because analysis paralysis is pretty easy to do in any field, but particularly in the CPG industry you have to be able to be smart about how you tackle the information in front of you.


Ken Kanara:   I’m really glad you walked us through that because, to me, it’s something that’s not so obvious in terms of “we’re going to  lead a digital transformation product.” But what does that mean for a CPG? There’s a ton of different data sources and points of entry but it’s really, like you said, about asking the right questions to make it work. Speaking about the work that you’re doing there, Leo, you joined, if I’m not mistaken, about a year, year and a half before the pandemic hit. Tell us about the impact that the pandemic had on your business.


Leo Kasuya: Yes  I would say that overall, we’re extremely fortunate, all things considered, from a CPG lens. Obviously, like everyone else at the beginning there were a lot of challenges—a lot of unknowns. My bosses had some tough decisions to make. At the beginning, we didn’t know what this thing was, or how easy it was to get it. You’re putting a lot of these plant workers that are going in to make the products every day, which, shoutout to all the plant workers who continue to feed America, and making us as successful as we were over the last few years. That decision of, “Do we send workers in to potentially get COVID or do we continue to produce bread to be able to feed America?” Obviously, the right decisions were made by our leadership team and ultimately we put in the right safety protocols and the processes in place to continue to produce. With a lot of people eating at home we benefitted a lot with new consumers inviting us into their home. Obviously, from a King’s Hawaiian lens, eventually from a Grillo’s perspective and we just continued to see different challenges arise over the last few years, which certainly keeps things interesting. It has really helped everybody to be nimble and take advantage of opportunities, even if they seem like crises at times, and really helped us unlearn some of the old ways of doing things and learn new ways to approach problems as they arise.


Ken Kanara:  In terms of working for a CPG in general, if I’m a consultant right now and thinking, “Oh, I’d like to get into CPG as a focus area, or maybe make a leap to that,” could you talk about what you see as the pros and cons, or maybe just the surprises of working with a CPG company?


Leo Kasuya: Yes, that’s an interesting one. I would say, overall, when I think about the pros of CPG it’s a lot of fun in the sense that you’re involved in a lot of everyday type of things for people. Whether it’s product, food, or beverage, you’re eating and using something every single day. So it’s fun in the sense that you’re really immersed in every day life. You go through the grocery store and you see the things that you do impacted right in front of you. Those are the cool things. The bad news is that you can never go to a store and do your typical shopping. You end up wasting a lot of time. Not wasting, but you just find yourself exploring things, which is funny. Other than that, I don’t have too many qualms. Just being someone who is a generalist in his way of approaching things, I get question marks at times, like, “Should I be doing CPG forever?” It is a lot of fun, so I have no intention to leave for now.


Ken Kanara: That makes a lot of sense. Before you got involved with Irresistible Foods, you did something which was pretty incredibly, and that is, you somehow figured out a way to travel the world and also start a business in doing so. Unique Impressions Group…what was it? How did you think of it? What’s the story there?


Leo Kasuya: I’ll back up for that…in this process of trying to figure out what to do, one of the people I talked to—pretty much every day—was one of my best friends on Earth. He was living in new York at the time doing accounting at EY. We would talk pretty much every day after work, and we’d be ideating, like, “Hey, do we do our own thing…do we go work with a startup?” After reading a variety of books, talking to mentors, things like that…in Shoe Dog, which is the autobiography of Phil Knight, which is a great book, but it really helped me trigger the “You know what? I can quit my job to travel the world.” That’s what he did when he was 24 years old, I read this when I was 25, and I departed for the travels when I was 26. That was the lead up to this travel. Once I decided I was going to travel, it was just ideating and picking the brains of people who have done it before and getting a financial metric of, “Hey, this is how much money I need,” and making the adjustments in my life to be able to pay for a trip around the world without any monetary holdbacks. I didn’t want money to be the reason I couldn’t live this year of my dream. Crazy enough, people started to want to join. I ended up convincing three other friends and once the third one joined, it was like, “Well, there’s something more than just traveling here. We should start this company.” That’s the premise of the Unique Impressions Group. It was a digital media company and the fact that we were trying to play in this middle ground. You have influencers and you have agencies. We were trying to leverage the social platforms to say, “Hey, we’re an influencer for companies. We’re not trying to promote our own brand, perse.” That was the middle piece that we were trying to do is building a community of followers for other brands as a curator source for trusted travel content and really monopolizing our geographic footprint. We started in Hawaii and made our way West, basically going up to Asia—Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Middle East, and then the University of Georgia went to the National Championship, so instead of going to Africa, we went back to Atlanta for the game, then went to South America and to Europe. We were trying to leverage our footprint and essentially, exchange value for value. “In exchange for maybe a content rehaul or a marketing remix, would you let us stay at your Airbnb for free for three nights?” Things like, and that was our business model on how we tried to create this thing.


Ken Kanara: Okay, give us an example or tell a story from one of your travels where you did this, because most people get hung up on, “This is the way a traditional business works and this is how I have to do it.” I’m curious about how you brokered these unique deals.


Leo Kasuya: It was a lot of grit, right? It was straight-up trying to convince people why they should do this. We were able to create an Instagram community of probably 13-15,000 followers, which isn’t that big, but it was big enough to say that there was something here and people that were pretty highly engaged on our page. It was emailing them, giving the statistics behind it, what they could expect from us—whether it was drone content or regular photography content, video content…and that’s just the approach. It was a lot of cold emails, a lot of trying to convince on Airbnb, and every time you do an asset on Airbnb they mark you off, so it was a lot of hustle and bustle. Transparently, it didn’t go as far as any of us hoped. We did it for about six months, and the primary reason is that it, ultimately, it was myself, and account from EY, a private equity dude in entertainment and investment banker in New York, and I was the only “creative” in that. Between all of us not necessarily being 100% passionate about this…and then, we quit our jobs, ultimately, to explore the world and once you start mixing passions with work, it’s kind of interesting. Some of the joy I used to find in creating content came out of it, so that was another lesson. Some things aren’t made to be turned into work. We stopped that after six months, but I will say that it was the best mini MBA type of project I could have, since I didn’t go to MBA school, of really starting a business from scratch and understanding what goes into it—the hustle and bustle you need. There were some benefits down the road that I learned about as well


Ken Kanara: One of the things that I have enjoyed in getting to know you, albeit briefly, is that it’s very clear—you mentioned grit—I look at it as you just pull up and shoot. Could you tell us the story that intersects travel and personal life that you shared with me about your girlfriend? That is so cool.


Leo Kasuya: (laughs) Yes (laughs) Essentially, it was a week or ten days before I went to Barcelona to start my gig there, which was a study abroad program called “Lead Abroad,” and they were having a program in Barcelona where it’s offered as an experienceship or internship, so 27 students came to work with different companies and I served as a mentor to the students and as a consultant to the businesses with which they were engaging. At the time, the three guys I was traveling with dropped off—they were getting back to their normal life—getting immersed back into their careers. I had two new buddies traveling with me, both going into the medical field—they were in medical school, so we were in Greece and Santorini specifically, and we were walking around and all I saw was a bunch of beautiful couples. I was with two dudes (laughs) and it was super romantic, and hey, it’s all good, but I was like, “Hey, we gotta find some girls, boys, I can’t get so depressed looking at all these beautiful couples.” We were walking into a bar that evening and I see a group of four women in the back of the bar, and we were three, so I thought that someone is going to be either extra lucky or someone is going to get screwed out of this situation (laughs). Essentially, we go over to them and the first person I can physically talk to and who I now know is my girlfriend’s mom, but at the time I didn’t know, and I approached her and I asked, “Hey, where are you from?” And she said, “Columbia.”  I said, “Oh, I love Columbia. I’ve been to Barranquilla,” which is where she said she was from. We talked for a bit, my Spanish is tapping out, and essentially we find out that her daughter lives in Barcelona. I asked, “Which one is your daughter?” She points to my girlfriend and I said “Hey, introduce me.” So we ended up hanging out with her and her mom’s friend’s daughter, and we ended up kicking it and the next week I took her out on the first night I lived in Barcelona. We dated for the time that we did, I actually left Barcelona to come to LA and we didn’t talk at all, it ended kind of bad. But two and a half years later I had a dream about her during quarantine that she was moving back to the US and one thing led to another, she ended up coming back to the US last July, we did a trip and we are back together. Life is crazy.


Ken Kanara: that is so cool and blends so well, a bit of who you are in terms of your willingness to pull up and shoot, and also travel the world and seize the day, right?  But before all that, you were a consultant (laughs). Our listeners know I get off track a bit, but that’s what makes life fun. You were at KPMG before you started Unique Impressions Group. Talk to us a bit about how you found that job and what types of projects you did there. I’m curious to hear about your experience at KPMG as well.


Leo Kasuya: Totally, so at KPMG, within the strategy practice, honestly it was similar to my role today. I had to split between business and an operating model type of strategy projects. Process optimization, or whatever it might be. The other half was more deal-related in nature. A lot of due diligences, whether it be commercial or operational due diligences. I served on both sides of the coin and learned a tremendous amount, and really enjoyed it frankly, but it just wasn’t something, I could tell, that was going to last for the long term, because I certainly was putting in a fair amount of hours.


Ken Kanara: You mentioned a lot of different types of projects. When you were at KPMG did you have any kind of clue or inkling that you were going to end up in CPG?


Leo Kasuya: It’s an interesting question. I would say that the majority of my time was spent in financial services, as well as consumer goods. In a way, a big portion of my time was in that CPG space. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t thinking that I definitely wanted to go into CPG one day. It was just one of those things that is intriguing. To be fair, I’m unfortunately a person where it’s hard for me to commit to one thing. So I’m don’t necessarily believe that this is the industry where I’m going to spend the rest of my life. I definitely did not necessarily commit a major, if you will, in an industry or the type of work.


Ken Kanara: Was that part of the appeal of consulting to you from the get go?


Leo Kasuya: Without a doubt. I mentioned to you that I thought I was going to go into sales and the whole attraction was this concept that I was able to go in and really refine my business acumen skills. Consulting, especially if it’s your first job out of undergraduate, it’s a great way to establish those foundations, but also build this launch pad for all sorts of opportunities. Not only because of the experience and skill sets that you build that can take you far in your career, but it also gives you such a wide array of experiences and exposures that it really helps you curate, in some way, shape or form, where you want to go. Whether it was in an industry or not for me, it did really share the type of people I want to work and the values in the company and how they approached their strategic planning and their strategy. Those are the type of things that I took away from my consulting, to say, “That’s the type of company…,” not necessarily an industry or a type of work.   


Ken Kanara: I think that’s right. Something else that you’re hitting on is that consulting is fairly academic in some ways. If you compare it to college, you can pick a major. You can go major in particle physics and do that for the rest of your life. Or you can be like Van Wilder and do a bunch of stuff and never graduate, right? I think that’s kind of the appeal, at least it was for me, and it sounds like it was for you too.


Leo Kasuya: Totally. It was definitely an appeal.


Ken Kanara: Do you have advice for someone that is two, three years into consulting and thinking about making a move? What would your advice be to them?


Leo Kasuya: I’d say a few things, especially if you’re finding yourself in a “What am I doing?” If you’re in that burnt-out stage where you’re in these negative, spiraling thoughts, the first thing is to have confidence in the fact that you’ve learned how to create value. You’re not the expert in a lot of the projects you’re thrown into, but you have that customer mindset which will carry you really far. You’ve learned how to problem solve super well. Find confidence n that. The second thing is you’ve built your career in consulting by asking the right questions. The smartest person is not the one that is the loudest, it’s really who’s asking the right questions. Start asking serious questions of what it is that you want, be honest with yourself and really start thinking through what it is that you’d be willing to take that next leap of faith in. The third is again, another skill you learned in consulting—networking. Start really networking. Tap into your community, your peer set, your mentors, whatever your network looks like and really start figuring out opportunities outside of consulting and just go for it. Ultimately, you’re the only person that can control your actions and if you don’t take the shot, to use your words, if you don’t shoot your shot, no one else is going to shoot it for you. Just do it.


Ken Kanara: I think that’s good advice. Let’s talk a little about networking. One of the things I struggled with when I was in consulting, and I think, from what I’ve heard, is fairly similar, is that everyone says to make sure you network while you’re in consulting—it’s the same thing with business school—but my struggle was always, “How do I network at the velocity that everyone is telling me to do and also keep it authentic and real?” What tips or suggestions would you have for someone like that?


Leo Kasuya: Two things. First, although this one doesn’t really address the authentic and real, but I always heard that your network is your net worth. It’s all around creating a network, not superficially or manipulatively to grow your net worth perse, but making sure that you’re wise with who you surround yourself with. Going back to another quote of, “You’re an average of the five people you spend your time with most,” so that always made me realize to be smart with who you connect yourself with and how you connect yourself with them. The second one is the most important thing and it’s that networking is all about giving. A lot of people think that they’re doing it for their career and it’s all about “me, me, me.” If you look at networking for others and how you get to, whether it’s mentoring, giving back to people, or just giving that ear, so that someone can talk and you can be that listener, I think that’s ultimately what networking is all about. Looking at it from the sense of, “How do I meet people to create value for someone else?,” even if it’s just listening and not opening your mouth, would be my recommendation.          


Ken Kanara: That’s such great advice. I think back to my time in consulting and people always said to do it and I always felt like I was being fake. Am I supposed to walk up to 40 people at a cocktail hour and say, “Hi, I’m Joe Smith, nice to meet you,” right? I love that advice about giving and asking. That’s really helpful. The last thing, just to wrap things up, Leo you had mentioned Shoe Dog…we are on an endless quest to build up our library of books. Any recommendations for our listeners in terms of books that have been a big deal in your life?


Leo Kasuya: Yes, obviously Shoe Dog was one that helped me take action on the travels. I’m a big biographies and autobiographies, self-help kind of book guy, Defining Decade is an interesting one for the younger audience. It’s all about why your 20’s are important and how to make the most of it. I wouldn’t say it’s ground-breaking information, but it’s certainly a good guide, if you will. This one is going to be a funny one, Green Lights, it’s Matthew McConaughey’s book. He calls it an approach book and it’s actually fascinating. A lot of good info in there that I found really empowering and inspirational and something that I would recommend to all. One that I am reading right now, I’m only in chapter three, but it’s called Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. It’s this concept that our average lifespan is 4,000 weeks, 80 years old, and how to best utilize your time—everything is a trade-off and helping you make decisions. I’m at a stage in life where I’m making some big decisions right now and a CEO of a company recently recommended it to me. I started it and it’s been really good.


Ken Kanara: Even hearing that there’s only 4,000 weeks in your life is a little bit of a mind eff in and of itself (laughs).


Leo Kasuya: It really is, right (laughs)? It’s kind of crazy.


Ken Kanara: I’m like, “What did I do last week?!” Okay, I will definitely check all three of those out. Lastly, Leo, if folks wanted to learn more about Irresistible Foods or you, is there a website you can share? We’ll drop it in the description as well, but where should we go?


Leo Kasuya: Totally, we are still creating things, so one of the thing that Io, my boss is fixing up is our website. We have a landing page,, that will be revamped with more information. Until then feel free to find me on LinkedIn, or you can email me directly at [email protected]. I’m happy to connect and provide anything that I can be resourceful for.


Ken Kanara: Leo this has been super fun, and informative. I really appreciate you joining the show. For those of our listeners who are listening for the first time, make sure you subscribe to either Spotify or Apple so you’re notified when new episodes come up, which we publish every week. If you’re looking for past episodes you can check out and then lastly, if you want to get in touch with me personally or anybody else at my firm, it’s going to be Once again Leo, this was so much fun, thank you for joining and everybody else, we will talk to you next week. Thanks a lot.



Connect with Leo on LinkedIn and visit for more information.



ECA PE PortCo Operations Whitepaper

The 2022
ECA CFO Report

ECA Mid-Market Transformation Whitepaper

Value-Creation Talent Solutions for Strategy, Finance, and Operations

Get in touch to find your next hire.

Get Started with ECA

Tell us about your hiring needs using the form below. One of our Managing Directors will be in touch to help.

Download our latest PortCo Operations Whitepaper

Download the latest CFO whitepaper, written by our finance practice lead

Download the Mid-Market Transformation Whitepaper by our private equity practice leads

Interested in joining us?

Enter your info to schedule an interview with one of our internship leads.