Occupation: President and CEO, Entelligence LLC
First Car: A 1976 Powder Puff Blue Ford Pinto with 158,000 miles on it (Yeah, I know)
Favorite Restaurant: Our own kitchen.
Almost every weekend, my wife and I cook a big, hearty Italian feast for our family and friends. The wine and conversations flow freely.
1. What are three things most people don't know about you?
a). I’m an avid reader. Favorite authors include Ken Blanchard: One Minute Manager, Raving Fans and Customer Mania - all highly recommended and required reading at my company. Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and recently, Pine and Gilmore’s The Experience Economy which is a great model to follow for anyone trying to build a professional services business.
b). My wife and I take our kids to Europe at least once a year. Where else can you find great food, great people and such a rich culture?
c).I secretly want to start a restaurant and take my love of food and cooking out of my kitchen and into the public.
What's been your greatest adventure in life?
That’s easy: My wife and kids. My wife and I have been married for 13 years and it gets better every year (or at least she’s learned to tolerate me more). I have two wonderful daughters: Erin - 6, and Gemma - 2. My wife and kids are the most important things in my life.
What's your best childhood memory?
My parents were entrepreneurs and they taught me over and over to follow my dreams and to believe that I could be, do or have anything in life that I wanted. They fostered an environment that had no limitations on personal dreams. It’s a model that I try to carry forward into my family and work life.
If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?
Nelson Mandela comes to mind. Here was a guy that endured prison, torture and hardship for well over 20 years and he walked out of prison with forgiveness in his heart and subsequently changed the future of his country and the world at large for that matter. How did he do that? I think he’s an extraordinary human being.
What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?
Running a marathon. I thought the race would never end.
Tell us about your favorite hobby.
Early every Friday morning, I ride horses in the park that’s right in the middle of Houston. Over the last few years, I’ve taken up jumping and I love the thrill and challenge of it all.
What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?
Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard. It’s a culmination of 28 years of work by Ken Blanchard and his team. I think the ideas presented in this book will be a model for how business leaders lead in the future.
Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?
I’ve never been to Prague and my European friends tell me it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My great-grandparents immigrated to Texas from the Czech Republic at the turn of the 20th century and I think it would be great to visit their homeland.
If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?
Hospice Care. They perform an unbelievable service to people who need care in their last days. I’ve seen them make a great difference for my grandparents at the end of their lives. I think as the baby-boomer population continues to age, this service will be more and more valuable to making a difference in peoples’ lives.
If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?
I would be in the restaurant business. I love to eat and I love to cook. But more importantly, I love to serve others and see them smile.
What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after I graduated from college. I wanted to go to graduate school but wanted to work a couple of years beforehand. I got a job right out of college with a computer reseller back in the 80’s when personal computers were just taking off. I really liked the service aspect of the business and did well, which led me to starting Entelligence. Entelligence is the company that I’ve always wanted to work for.
What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?
Follow your dreams and desires. Whatever it is that you love to do, someone is making money at it so don’t worry about making money - just follow your heart. I think that’s the key to happiness.