I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. My father owned an industrial valve and fitting distribution company. Early on, my mom worked with my dad, doing the books and customer service. Once I came along Mom left the business and took care of me.
While in Corpus Christi, I did the things normal youngsters do. It was a great upbringing there on the coast. I learned how to hunt and fish. I was an Eagle Scout. Once I got to high school, I played tennis. I was always the junior varsity player, almost ready to be varsity. Chemistry got in the way of tennis, because I had to pass chemistry to pass high school.
After high school, I went to Baylor University where I worked towards a major in entrepreneurship and marketing. I had a great experience there. I was involved in a lot of organizations on campus, including The Baylor Line, a cheer tradition for first-year students. I was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, where I served all the way up to the vice-president of relations for the fraternity.
A fun part of going to Baylor was becoming the mascot for the university. In fact, I was the first costumed bear for Baylor. The last two years I became a part of the Baylor Spirit Squad. In my senior year, I was named an All-American mascot at a competition at SMU.
After college, I went to work for our family business in sales. My sales area was San Antonio. There I learned how to ask good questions, how to discover a customer’s needs, how to build relationships and how to be intentional about asking people to become a regular customer.
In 1987, I met my wife at a shoe store in San Antonio. She thought I worked there. A conversation began; two weeks later we had our first date. We were married three years later. The Lord has blessed us with two wonderful daughters, Deanna and Andrea. I’ve had a great time exploring and learning through them. We've since added a son-in-law with Deanna's marriage to Scott.
I worked in the family business through many different levels of leadership: sales management, branch management, vice-president, and general manager. In 2002 I bought the company from my dad. For the next seven years I ran the business, guiding it through some amazing changes, from selling components to making pieces of equipment for our customers.
In September of 2009 I was called to a meeting with our supplier and found out they were not renewing our contract. Within 90 days I went from what I thought was a life-long job to wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
After some soul-searching, I came across a book titled “Halftime,” by Bob Buford. Reading that helped me to understand that the skills that I had learned to be successful in business could also make me successful in other ways. I started coaching leaders of non-profit organizations. That grew into speaking and consulting with non-profits as well as with pastors and churches. One of my mottoes has become, “We help good people get better and do great things.”