Born: Toledo, Ohio
Education: Bachelor of science degree in finance and MBA in marketing and finance,
What was your very first job?
I was a bagboy at Marsh Supermarkets. It was either my 14th or my 16th birthday, whatever was the first day they would let us work. My dad made me go in the week before my birthday and talk to the manager and ask him if I could start on my birthday. I learned that service matters. When you’re a bagboy, you’re working for tips. I learned if I did a good job or a bad job, my pay was different at the end of the day.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
The one that first comes to mind is Wayne Huizenga. He built at least two, if not three, billion-dollar businesses. I read his book, ‘The Making of a Blockbuster.’ It was the last book I finished before I started DEFENDER. It talked about how he created Waste Management and Blockbuster.
I thought, ‘Shoot, if this guy can create two billion-dollar businesses, maybe we can create one.’ He was very persistent. He’s just a hard worker and his persistence is what I remember. It motivated me early on. He started with one garbage truck in South Florida and turned it into Waste Management.
If you could have dinner with any three people from history, who would they be and why?
Jesus, President George W. Bush and Andrew Carnegie. Jesus, it would be connecting to my faith. Carnegie, it would be his blend of business accomplishment and philanthropy. Bush, it would be someone in modern day who I felt led from principle.