The Doody file Featured

10:30am EDT July 25, 2005
Born: April 10, 1963, Columbus

Education: Tulane University

First job: Started own car washing business at 16

Career moves: Line cook at Brennan’s, server at TGIFriday’s, Lindey’s

Boards: Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Tulane University Council of Entrepreneurs

What was your greatest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it?

I think the greatest challenge is people — hiring great people — and taking your first risk. You have to surround yourself with smarter people than yourself.

Be humble and be a good judge of character — and luck, partly. An operator can be in business for a long time and understand the business perspective but not be a good judge of character.

You also need a management team that understands the vision and culture of the organization. At this stage of our growth, it is sometimes difficult to find people with the right skill set to match our growth.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

I certainly admire my mother. She is a huge inspiration, and I admire her work ethic. Both of my parents taught me that it was important to have that work ethic, and I admire theirs.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in business?

Treat people as you’d like to be treated. Be humble and appreciate the people around you, because without those people, you won’t grow. Once we had our concept, it was all about people. You can never forget who brought you here.