Patty Piatak spoke at Monday’s press conference about the fantastic welcome the Piatak family received when they walked out on to the Brunton Park pitch for the first time as owners of the club.
“It was surreal,” she said. “I had such a wonderful time and warm welcome. It’s truly been an unbelievable experience and one of the best days of my life. We've had such awarm welcome right from the beginning when everyone started to find out who we are.
“Everyone has brought great ideas forward and given us plans from their perspective. I appreciate that because they have been here so long, they know what was, what will be and can be. And to have the game day experience with everyone, and the energy and electricity, was unparalleled.”
“We feel our presence is needed. We dig in when we do business ventures. We have not done anything without thorough thought, planning and bringing the right teams together. We’re so blessed to have such a strong home base with the Brunton Park people, the folks that are in place – there will be no changes there because they’re wonderful. So, it’s just about building on what exists. If that means bringing on more people as we grow and change, it will be wonderful opportunities for the people of Carlisle.”
When asked about how the family would split their time between the UK and the USA, she said: “It’s like any family – you spend your time where it’s most needed. If you have five children and one needs you more, you tend to spend a little more time with that one.
“In this case, our business in Jacksonville runs beautifully, we’ve got the right people in place, that’s why we took our time in moving into the sport venture that we knew we were going to eventually do – we knew our home base in Jacksonville and business would be able to support us being away.
“We all play critical roles in the business but we can do it remotely and we have the right people there to get the day to day done. So this is going to be our focus and that’s why we are actively looking for a home. We have to be here.
“You have to be here to learn and understand some of the different things we can do for the community and how we can build on what’s already there. It’s not like it’s not there, we just need to build on it, make it better and shine that diamond.”
“We’re going to address the things we need to do right away for League One, for Paul, the players, their families – they’re very important,” she added. “We need to work on that training facility, we need to find the land. We need the community to help us with that.
“Moving forward in the right direction, slowly, calculated, getting done what we need at the right time. But getting through the list, I don’t want to stop at top five things, but it’s going to take time. I would ask everyone, have a little patience, and patience is hard, but that’s what we need, because it’s going to happen.”
On how the family’s different skill sets will benefit the Blues, she explained: “When you’re in business you wear many hats. We’re blessed that our children went through university and trusted us to come back and work at the business. And then we were able to give them some of the hats.
“Alice took HR, which is booming, and she absolutely wanted to take that and run with it, even though she graduated in finance. Our son Tom is in risk management and Jenna in marketing, and we’re blessed they came back, because they didn’t have to.
“Wearing all the hats, that’s how you know your business, if you’ve been involved in different aspects. I do a lot of the diversity, and sustainability, and corporate responsibility. Those are buzzwords. In corporate American – we’re privately held – sometimes they do the bare minimum. Sometimes Patty will spend a little bit more because she wants to do it the right way.
"I care about Mother Earth. That’s my role – that lady right now, the overseer. But I’m still very involved in sales, and with our people at Magellan, I’m engrossed in that. I want them to have a good day, I want their families to be happy, I want them to have time off with their families – family first, in our opinion. I want our people happy and I want them to stay. Having longevity in a job shows something.
"One of things I would say is that I do say yes a lot. Let's make that change, let's welcome the future, let's do things that are a little bit different. Different is good, different is fun and I do want to enjoy the journey.
“We have already met community leaders, some business leaders, and the fabulous Nigel and Suzanne who have driven this club when they couldn’t do much from a financial standpoint, and couldn’t always say yes. I’m hoping we are able to help with the word yes, and positivity, and smiles – that is my mantra.”
Why Carlisle United and why English football?
“We are a sports family,” Patty explained. “We’ve always been involved in every kind of sport. Tom II was always more on the football side – we’re involved in football, tennis and baseball, but with the football, Tom II was driving it.
“When we looked at it as a family long-term, what are we going to invest in, we thought long term, this is going to be a family affair, not just Tom and Patty, this is the Piatak family. That’s how we got here. We wanted to get our home base set so we can count on being gone because we have to put our time and resources into this.
“Tom and I have talked about opening a satellite office here to continue to grow Magellan, and also help the Carlisle community with jobs and a whole different skill set for folks who have maybe never worked in logistics. It’s fast moving, exciting and an opportunity for growth.
“We’re going to be here for years and years. I’m excited to have my family engrained more and more in this community. I was telling Tom and Alice how exciting it is that they could have potential grandkids to spend time in schools here, and the States, or maybe just here. They may say hey, I’m staying in Carlisle. All these opportunities are open and we’re going to make sure we take advantage of every opportunity we have to build the club and our family experiences.”