Born: I was born in Perry, Iowa, but my parents moved out of there before I was 1, and I grew up in Kirkland, Wash.
Education: Undergraduate degree in business from the University of Washington. Post-grad, I did two independent study programs in hospital and health care administration: three years at the University of Minnesota and two years at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
My parents raised chickens on a 20-acre farm, so my first job when I was 5 years old was to feed 500 chickens after kindergarten. I learned my work ethic from that. One day I decided I’d rather play than feed those chickens. My mom told my dad, and my dad said I had to go feed those chickens. That was like a quarter of a mile away from the house in the dark in the country of Washington state, with plenty of bears to eat little boys. So I fed those chickens and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to miss doing the job next time.
Whom do you admire most and why?
Coach John Wooden is one. I don’t know if anyone will ever duplicate the national wins that he had at UCLA basketball, but for him, it wasn’t about the wins it’s the lives which he built and changed to be more productive, better people in life.
Walt Disney is another who created an incredible creative business structure where he has given literally millions of people happiness and pleasure and been a model for corporate culture.
President Reagan has gone against what people said should be done. He saw the future and had ongoing optimism about the country. He came into office on the heels of the Carter administration and the Vietnam War when the country was in the doldrums for sure and gave the message of pride and hope and opportunity back.
What’s your definition of success?
Success is leaving the world in a better place. Creating success at Silverado is changing lives but also letting the others know in our marketplace and beyond that that can happen, that they can do that, too.