Born: St. Louis
Education: Saint Louis University, general business degree
What was your first job?
It was playing professional soccer. I played a couple years of professional soccer out in L.A., and then back in St. Louis in the Major Indoor Soccer League. My first paying job was picking tomatoes.
My parents helped establish core values, including honesty, integrity and respect. Sports helped drive the teamwork side of things and the work ethic. If you want to succeed as a team, you have to work together and play together as a team.
If you want to be successful in sports or business, you have to be prepared to work your tail off. Going through the process of playing sports at a number of different levels helped significantly build some of the values we have incorporated into our business.
What is the most important business lesson you have learned?
Making sure that whatever you say you’re going to do, that you do it. It’s not like it’s a revelation or an epiphany to anybody. A lot of times, you can find yourself in a position where you commit to a lot of things and you commit to people. You jeopardize your integrity. Whatever you say you’re going to do, do it. There’s a lot of respect that’s garnered from that, and I think people appreciate that.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Jack Welch. He has a lot of experience and some very sound insight around management and leadership. If someone is looking to run a business, build a business or get in to business, the book by Jim Collins, ‘Good to Great,’ is a great baseline. It’s an easy read. But the challenge is executing what you hear and what you see in that book.