The Griffith File Featured

8:00pm EDT May 26, 2009

Where were you born? San Francisco

Where did you get your education?

Bachelor’s from USC’s Leventhal School of Accounting

What was your very first job?

When I was 14 ½, I worked as a busboy in Encino, and it was great. There’s nothing better than working with the public because you learn who the customer is real quick.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

I’m not going to give you one name. I’m just going to tell you that, over the years of my career in California, I have been absolutely blessed to work with a number of incredibly successful entrepreneurs, and I admire entrepreneurs more in business than anyone else. Somebody who starts with an idea and takes a business and takes a risk and then, whether its 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years later, they’ve got a business going and they’re employing lots of people, I have an incredibly high admiration for them.

If you could be one superhero, who would you be and why?

It would be inconsistent not to say I would be coach John R. Wooden of UCLA. He’s up on my wall right in front of me here, his pyramid of success. My dad taught at UCLA, and I got to go to an awful lot of UCLA basketball games when I was growing up, which coincidentally was between about 1967-1975, the years they won all the championships. I saw great basketball, but most importantly, I got to see how Coach Wooden got things done. You look at his pyramid of success and how he defines success. The quote is, ‘Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction, knowing you did your best to become the best you’re capable of becoming,’ which is a fancy way of saying, ‘Did you use the potential you were given in life?’ And that’s meaningful. If I could be one superhero, Coach Wooden would be awful fun to be. And he’s 98, and he looks like he’s going pretty well.