Born: Bentwaters, England My father was in the Air Force at that time.
First job: Working as an assistant for the coordinator of a summer regatta. I was 15 years old.
Childhood career aspirations: I always wanted to have my own business. Of course, I didn’t have any idea what it would be, but I was always buying and selling something or making a deal ... whether it had to do with chores around the house or peddling homemade or home-baked goodies on the street.
Education: Since I was in a military family, I attended eight different schools. I attended two different colleges the University of Kentucky and Mt. Vernon Nazarene University and have a B.S. in business administration.
Biggest business challenge: Without a doubt, the biggest challenge in my career was maintaining my objectivity when securing third-party bids for the business I started for Ashland, knowing in my heart and soul that the best buyer for the business was me. I overcame this challenge by performing the work that was expected from me to the best of my ability and, when the timing was right, making the request to purchase the business.
Most important business lesson: I have two. One was recognizing the skills and knowledge that I didn’t possess and hiring people who had them as long as they shared my core values. The second was realizing that relationships are more important than contracts. If the relationship dissolves, the contract won’t help you.