The Flood file Featured

9:00am EDT May 23, 2005
Born: 1961, Philadelphia

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, communications, Winthrop University

First job: Bagged groceries at a Publix supermarket. I realized the importance of great customer service. At the time, they used to allow tips, and the harder you worked and the more satisfied customers were, the more money you could make.

Career moves: Homebanc and its predecessors for 20 years. Started in sales at Homebanc as a loan officer, and two years later, I was in management.

I've had one wife for 20 years in July of last year, and I've had one job for 20 years. I've had a very interesting career and personal life that, in large part, haven't had a lot of change to them.

Boards: I'm not currently active, only because I wanted to make sure that life balances with a successful marriage. And being invested in my kids, both teen-agers, I've been reluctant to take on any other responsibilities.

Residence: Atlanta

What is the greatest business lesson you've learned?

Stand firm on your convictions and never negotiate them. At times in the past, I've gotten to critical times where my personal career was put at risk, but I stood on my convictions, and in the long run, it was always of material benefit to have done so.

The company, having arrived where it is today, I had some choices that would maybe have been some personal benefit along the way where I was putting risk on myself, but I thought, do the right thing and it will work out. Fortunately, it has.

What is the greatest business challenge you've faced, and how did you overcome it?

The greatest business challenge was probably this past summer, trying to finish the public offering when the market, in a 60-day window, had more public offerings pulled than at any time in history. We could have quit on the process. Instead, we believed in the idea that we were doing the right thing for the right reason, so we continued to pursue it and ultimately accomplished it.

The lesson learned for me was perseverance -- not blind perseverance, but when you're motivated appropriately, sometimes the struggle is just an affirmation that it's important and worthwhile. If you're not motivated right, the struggle's too much for you and you tend to quit.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

The person I admire most in this world is my father, but he's no longer working. He's retired. The reason I admire him most is he is simply a great Christian, father, leader and friend.

And I use the term Christian, but the bottom line is he has more integrity than any person I've ever met -- a simple guy who's turned into quite a success story in his own right. I think so much of him, and it is a tall order to meet the same standard, but I'm doing my best.

If I had a second one, I'd add Don Shula in. I grew up in South Florida as a Dolphins fan. He was always very similar to my father, very principled, played by the rules, was fair with everyone along the way, consistent and simple, and over the long run, wound up being the winningest coach in history.