Born: Starkville, Miss.
Where did you attend college?
Mississippi State University. My parents went there, [so did] my grandparents. My mom suggested to all of us — there were six children in our family — to go see the world, and she was going to live vicariously through us. But when you grew up, there was such a strong tradition; it was sort of in your blood.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
By junior high, I thought I wanted to do something in the accounting world. I really don’t remember before that. I did at one point want to be a writer. Is that ironic? It was that one poetry contest that I won in about the sixth grade.
What was your first job ever?
Baby-sitting. My first real job was I helped start a refreshment stand at my brother’s T-ball games. But before that, I was baby-sitting. I worked in the nursery at church. Actually way before that, it was digging dandelions in my grandmother’s yard. She would pay us to dig the weeds — and we were really young then.
What did you learn from your childhood jobs that still helps you today?
That hard work is rewarding. The way I got into the client service business is really all the things I did focused on helping people either solve a problem — like bookkeeping or having refreshments at the ballpark when there wasn’t a refreshment stand. It’s that client service is important, if that’s what you choose to do.
What’s your favorite board game?
I love Scrabble. I love words. I love keeping score. Definitely Scrabble.
Whom do you admire most and why?
There’s so many. It’s one of those you pick and choose the attributes and not any single person. There’s so many people in my family and public figures that I admire and respect.