How Gamma Chi Brothers are Shaking up the MarketplaceDon’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not capable of doing something great. That is the premise behind Luzio vs Everybody, a business venture that was developed by Sigma Chi Brothers Mike Luzio ’98 and Chris Ytuarte ’99. Luzio vs Everybody is a key part of The LVE Group, one that looks to inspire others to succeed through a “you vs. the world” attitude, and includes a weekly web series hosted by Mike called 52 American Success Stories, featuring individuals and organizations who have overcome adversity in pursuit of their passions. “My whole life, I felt like people were always telling me that I couldn’t do something,” Mike states.

So, after finding success as co-founder and CEO of Industry Retail Group (IRG), Mike decided to make a bold move. “I don’t have time to wait,” he says. “I decided to go for it and build this business.” After selling IRG for more than $50 million, Mike joined forces with Chris and developed The LVE Group. “We created a brand around the ‘I can do it’ mentality,” Mike explains. “We want people to put ‘Their name vs. Everybody’ and take on that mindset, not letting anyone tell them otherwise.”

The LVE Group has evolved since its inception. While officially becoming a company in September 2016, LVE began taking shape nearly a year prior. “Mike approached me about writing a book based on his experiences building and growing his first company, IRG,” recalls Chris. “As we started kicking ideas around and working on the book, we realized that his past and future as an entrepreneur and CEO needn’t be separate entities and both required more than just a few chapters in a book. That’s when we decided to become partners in a new venture called The LVE Group that would both document and relay Mike’s past successes so that others can learn from them, while also creating opportunities for The LVE Group to build and grow a new business.”

For its social, online component, Mike enjoys the opportunity to hear success stories, while learning from them at the same time. “I love sitting down with amazing people and hearing their stories of perseverance. After 20 years of working in business and hearing these inspiring stories, I wanted to share them,” Mike explains. “I think in this time in our country with all of the negativity going on, we have to remember that this country is amazing and we produce amazing people.” Always looking to improve himself, Mike uses these interviews as a way to become a better businessman. “Through this business, I gain knowledge. I am a big believer that I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but I surround myself with people who are better at certain things than I am.”

And what better group to work with than his fellow Sigma Chi brothers? As Creative Director for The LVE Group, Chris is responsible for growing the brand’s exposure and awareness through various creative mediums and platforms. “Since Mike’s oversized personality is such a major component of the brand and its business goals, I believe the creative side of bringing his story and persona to the forefront will play a large part in the overall success of The LVE Group,” says Chris.

On the business side, Mike and Chris are proud to work with fellow brother, Paul Tribles ‘96. Paul serves the company on the strategic business front, focusing on the different arms of The LVE Group. “While not at the forefront, the Luzio vs Everybody brand has a robust business consulting side of the house,” he explains. “I help run this crazy, but incredibly amazing and ambitious freight train we are riding on right now. I work closely with Mike on our ever-evolving business plan, help create and maintain key business partnerships, and provide financial management and marketing strategy input.”

Creating a new business is a huge undertaking, but to do so with your Sigma Chi brothers makes the ride that much more interesting and fun. “There is an immediate comfort level between us that allows us to cut through a lot of the typical corporate workforce bull. We get to the core of an issue much faster,” states Chris. “Mike and I have been great friends for 22 years, so as business partners, we know we can say pretty much anything to each other. With Paul, who was an older brother at Sigma Chi when Mike and I pledged, the foundation was already there from our shared experiences as Sigs and we all fell pretty quickly back into a rhythm and means of working and communicating that comes very naturally from being fraternity brothers.”

It is obvious that Sigma Chi has played a critical role in the coming together of Mike, Chris and Paul. It is also no surprise to any of them that the fraternity had tremendous influence on the success of the business.

 

Read the full story at www.sigmachiumd.org.

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