were let go and wanted to become
consultants. I consistently tell them, “I’ll
spend some time with you, but here are
some other folks, members of TMA—go
talk to them. Really use them as a
sounding board and educate yourself on
some of the tricks of the trade. There are
number of extremely bright and capable
people in this business. You’ve got to
reach out to them and use them as a
knowledge base to see if it’s something
that works for you.”
Q Who inspires you personally or professionally? Have you had
mentors along the way?
My mother and my father.
Mom worked for the county, but was
always there for us kids. My old man, a
farmer with a high school education, is
one of the most brilliant guys I ever met.
He was one of the hardest working guys
I’ve ever had the honor of having in my
life and one of the most character-driven, honest folks that you’d ever meet.
That’s always been kind of my bellwether
in making a decision—what would my
dad do? I really have the utmost respect
for my father. He built what turned out to
be a very successful career in the
farming world, which is not easy. So my
parents were really instrumental in
shaping my work ethic, my character,
and my drive.
I remember reading a book when I was
young by Armand Hammer about taking
care of employees. He said, “I pay my
people a little bit more than average, but
I like loyal, long-term employees.” That
book has always stuck with me. I also
do a fair amount of speaking. Who’s the
best speaker I ever heard of? It’s Winston
Churchill. I read a lot about him, what he
did and his character and his resilience.
Q What might people who only know you professionally be most
surprised to learn about you?
My mother used to can
vegetables, and about five years ago, I
decided I was going to grow a garden
and bring back some of the old skill sets.
She had to dust off some of her old
recipes. I just took her recipes and spiced
them up a little bit, but she had the base.
Now, I have a garden and I can my
own salsa and spaghetti sauce. I can
my own peppers. That surprises some
of my old football buddies, I’ll tell
you that. I’m in the kitchen, cutting
up stuff and canning it in the fall. All
of my friends say my stuff is pretty
amazing, so I’m going to keep at it.
Q What are you passionate about outside the office?
I water ski whenever I can.
Last year, I got out on the river about
March 15. This year, I was skiing on
fishing opener and the water
temperature was probably 47 degrees
and the air temperature was maybe 50.
My rule is to try to get the two to
combine to equal about 100. It’s just a
matter of finding somebody crazy
enough to drive the boat.
Also, I work out a fair amount. I’ve
gotten back to my roots, and I do a
lot of fishing and hunting. I go to the
pistol range frequently, and I do a
lot of trap shooting in the winter.
Q What’s on your bucket list?
Obviously, as you might
expect, being a caretaker for my
business, especially through the
recession, has taken a lot of my time. I
really want to get out and do some more
traveling. I also got intrigued when I was
on the board of our TMA chapter. I’m on
a board of the American Factoring
Association (AFA), which is within the
International Factoring Association (IFA).
I found that I like being on boards and
helping nonprofits, and I’d like to do
more of that. Then, to be honest, it’s
more of the same. I want to spend more
time with my family and friends—more
hunting, more fishing, more shooting—
and, like I said, more travel and more
Q Is there anything you’d like to add?
When I was TMA chapter
president, we hadn’t been doing any
charity events. My first year, I decided to
start a fund raiser. At that time, it was a
wine tasting, and it still is. I think we’re
on our 11th annual. We had 20 people the
first year, and now every year we’re
getting up to the 100-attendee mark.
People have embraced this wine tasting
event. It’s usually the first Thursday
in December, and boy, that thing has
grown and people look forward to
it. It’s right during the holidays, and
it’s a real feel good event. It’s a great
networking event and it’s a great giving
back event. I’m very proud that our
chapter has continued to do that. J
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