I continually look for exciting companies and young leaders that are making a difference in the state. These individuals have the vision, passion, and courage to take calculated risks and put ideas into action. I believe this entrepreneurial spirit is critical to Mississippi’s future. Christopher Lumaghini, president of Jackson-based Magnolia Data Solutions, is one of those young leaders that is aggressively growing his business and making a difference in Mississippi.
A native of Quincy, Mass., Lumaghini graduated from Curry College where he studied business management.Prior to Magnolia Data Solutions, he founded Magnolia-Trading.com, which quickly became one of the most successful third-party dealers of Kronos equipment in the country. Established in 2008, Magnolia Data Solutions collects and recycles all types of electronic waste and specializes in the sustainable dismantling of consumer electronic items. Under Lumaghini’s leadership, the company has fast become the largest recycler of electronic waste in the state of Mississippi. In addition, the company is Mississippi’s only R2 certified recycling facility and serves customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi Tennessee and Texas.
Last fall, Magnolia Environmental Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of Magnolia Data Solutions, completed the acquisition of Advantage Destruction Services Inc. (d/b/a Advantage E-Cycling) to further strengthen it as a leader in the recycling of e-waste and on-site shredding services. Lumaghini commented on the merger, “Together, our companies will have enhanced resources to compete aggressively in the southeastern United States market, while also allowing us to better serve our clients with increased support staff, fleet lines, and processing equipment.”
Lumaghini shared about his leadership style, “On my journey to becoming a leader, the best experience has been learning by doing.” He continued, “I’ve never been the kind of person that waits to get the job done. In my early leadership development, I learned skills by trial and error that I could apply to my business.”
Lumaghini believes in surrounding himself with the very best team members. He noted that his father as well as his grandfather were early influences on him and taught him the value of following through on his commitments.
Another key principle he follows is to be a continual learner and to be highly skilled at what he does. He said, “I like to set the example in the workplace and train my employees as a team. We work together so we can operate at our fullest. By working as a team, our communication is always open which ensures tasks are understood and accomplished.” Simply stated, his philosophy as a leader is to “Lead the way.” Lumaghini believes, “A boss tells others what to do, a leader shows it can be done and is not afraid to jump in and help accomplish the task at hand.” Lumaghini’s “hands on” leadership style has served him well, and it sounds like he will be continuing to grow and expand his enterprises throughout the Southeast.
Martin Willoughby is a business consultant and regular contributing columnist for the Mississippi Business Journal. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC and can be reached at martin.willoughby@ butlersnow.com.