Education: Northwood Institute, Midland, Mich., associate degree, automotive marketing; Indiana University, bachelor’s degree, business administration
What is the biggest business challenge you’ve faced?
When you’re young in business, sometimes people don’t give you the respect because they think just because you’re young that you don’t know what you’re talking about or what you’re doing. That’s not always true. You just have to let your actions and your performance speak as your words. If you really genuinely know what you are doing, people will respect you. You have to treat people with respect.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
You can’t micromanage people. You just have to give them the tools and the ability and training to be successful, and then let your people go to work to achieve the results. You have to give them the monitoring and feedback along the way.
I believe that you have to follow up. Don’t assume that things are going to get done. That’s a pitfall in any business. You assign a task or create a job or a project, and then come back to it later on down the road and you’re very disappointed. That’s not how it works.
Whom do you most admire in business and why?
It was my father. He had this ability about him to persevere through tough economic times and through a multitude of business issues. At the same time, he made everybody that was his franchisee feel equally important no matter what their background was. He looked at the vision of the future.
He was a visionary and a futuristic-type thinker. But he was also grounded in the immediate, too. He was a unique, very special person.