Ranch & Coast Magazine

August 2023

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On the Air is one part of a vast empire under the umbrella of the Sully Entertainment Group LLC. Sully has a full-time staff of more than a dozen employees and utilizes a group of contractors. His troupe also includes the nine other members of e Sully Band. Sully owns and operates Loft100 Studios, where his team produces three nationally syndicated TV shows that appear in more than 150 markets: e Big Biz Show. Sully co-stars with Mike Costa. Sully's beloved on-air partner for 28 years was Russ Stolnack, aka Russ T Nailz, who provided comic relief to go with Sully's vast knowledge of business topics. Stolnack died of a heart attack last year, right after practicing a song on the old set of On the Air. America Trends. Sully Entertainment Group chief of staff Mary Burt-Godwin hosts this program, which focuses on ways business leaders can prepare for the future. e Hunt. Host Trish Hunt's show zeroes in on how lifestyle and business interact with the world around us. Hunt and Sully are engaged to be married. Sully also intends to use Loft100 Studios as a recording studio for other bands, VIP performances, a corporate event space for parties, and a location for team-building events focused on making real-life TV productions. Rounding out his résumé, he's also a motivational speaker specializing in the topic of business negotiation. In the late 1980s, Sully started his working career as a newspaper publisher. en, he turned to investment banking and business consulting. "e genesis of all this started on San Diego radio and TV," Sully says. He's appeared as a business expert on the air at KCEO, KSDO, KOGO, and KUSI; then national FOX News. "I was an entrepreneur at heart. From there, I created this sort of different business model where I own the studio, the brand, the distribution, everything." Business wasn't his first passion. "When I was a kid growing up in San Diego, of course I took guitar lessons," Sully says. "Who doesn't want to be a musician? When I was going to USD, and later San Diego State, I got a record deal with Island Records. And like most development deals, it never saw the light of day." When a music career didn't pan out, he moved on. Successes in the business world started adding up. Still, in his heart, he never put down the guitar. Decades ago, he was playing regularly in a gospel band at Grace Point Church in Carmel Valley. (As fate would have it, before Sully had it retrofitted, Loft100 Studios was a church shared by Holy Cross Episcopal and Congregation B'nai Tikvah.) From Grace Point Church, e Sully Band got a gig at e House of Blues. at landed them steady bookings at e Kraken. Over the years, the group has been nominated for a combined dozen awards from the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the Emmys (two wins) and the San Diego Music Awards (two wins). In March 2022, the band released an album of vintage covers from the 1960s and '70s. Let's Straighten It Out! debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Blues Chart. Full circle. From musical wannabe to entrepreneurial whiz and now a legitimate music industry success. Sully has vision, says his chief of staff Burt-Godwin. "Sometimes I hate how he's always right," she laughs. "But he knows what he wants and has the ability and foresight to picture how things will go. His vision is right all the time." And that's the simple explanation for how you become a 63-year-old, nationally-syndicated business guru with your own Emmy-award- winning studio in which you host a one-of-a-kind TV show while also singing and playing guitar in a Billboard-charting blues band. Little Tommy and Sully @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2023 79

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