The Martin file Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2010

Born: Springfield, Mo.

Education: B.S. in business administration, MBA, finance, University of Missouri

What was your first job?

Hauling and baling hay, stacking the bails. I was 15. I lived in Springfield, which is a community of a couple hundred thousand people, but there was plenty of surrounding farmland opportunity to help farmers get their hay up. It was a good summertime job. I wasn’t old enough to formally work and I was involved in athletics and it was a good way to get a collateral bit of fitness training in.

Whom do you admire most in business?

I’ve always thought of Sam Walton as an iconic business leader. A little bit of that was probably the geographic proximity to where I was raised. I admired what he built as a leader organizationally — trying to be connected to your team, asking a lot of questions and communicating with his team what their plan was and how to stay connected with clients. Sticking with fundamental core values as an organization. The business story speaks for itself on that front.

Who had the greatest influence on you?

My parents. Unfortunately, neither one is still living, but as I’ve aged and become a parent, I look back. The things that were an important part of my upbringing — education, having faith and conviction around the faith — are all things that make up the constitution of what you are about as a person.

It’s not that you wear those things visibly on your sleeve, but they are part of the fabric of what you’re all about, and people eventually get to that when you’re a business owner or leader.