Born: Lawton, Okla. My dad was in the Army; Fort Sill is the Army base there. I’ve also lived in Japan, Italy, Honduras, Connecticut, Virginia and Kansas.
Education: B.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin. I don’t think I ever really had a good plan for that. I certainly enjoyed going on archaeological digs in the summertime, but that really wasn’t a career.
What was your first job; what did you learn from it?
My first real job was working in a grocery store. I learned that I didn’t like working at a grocery store. It was kind of boring after awhile. I wanted to find something that was more interesting, and I think I did.
Whom do you admire most and why?
I like reading history. I guess if I had to pick a historical figure, it might be Abraham Lincoln. I really enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, ‘Team of Rivals.’ He certainly had a big challenge with what was going on around the country. He addressed it in a unique way and built a team from a lot of very talented but not necessarily teamwork-oriented guys.
What’s your definition of success?
I think certainly happy customers and happy employees would make me happy.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The human interaction, dealing with each other and creating a team and working together is what I enjoy the best about it.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
If I had to get it down to one word, I’d say listen. Listen and learn.
Your workday is off to a bad start. How do you turn it around?
Well, out in California, it’s pretty easy I go for a walk. The weather’s always nice, and there’s always a Starbucks a few blocks away in one direction or another. That’s an easy way to get out, get some fresh air and start over again.
If you weren’t in your current position, what might you be doing instead?
I certainly enjoy reading history. I do like to visit historical sites and museums. I think I’d like working in the field of nonprofits, especially museums and history and stuff like that. Maybe that will be my next career.