I was drawn to brand creation from an early age. My family has always owned restaurants.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I started out at Subway as a sandwich artist. My owner trusted me to run his business. He put me in charge of one store, which became multiple stores.
I have always been a person who will jump in and take risks. I look at failure not as a barrier but as an opportunity and something to build on.
When I was 28 years old, I was a waiter in a restaurant that began franchising, and I bought a Pour La France! catering franchise and built that for a number of years.
I started in this business in 1987; I’ve been in hospitality since I was a busboy at 16.
I started at Schlotzsky’s almost 30 years ago as a field marketing manager. I hit the streets and developed marketing plans for all the individual corporate restaurants in Houston.
I grew up in the heartland on a small family farm and then went to Kansas State University and majored in agriculture.
I spent my high school and college years wanting to be a corporate litigator. While doing a law internship, a friend purchased an Arby’s franchise and asked me to help her get started.
Before Smoke’s, I owned a branding and design company, AmoebaCorp, for 11 years. I’m all about brand experience, and ultimately for Smoke’s, it’s about being an entertainment company.