What initially inspired you to pursue a career in business development?
My career began by starting my own landscaping business and then transitioned into wholesale plant growing. An industry veteran, Joe Hertsenberg sparked my journey into business development. Joe introduced me to participating in trade organizations, making connections with people and communities, and recommended that I explore business development. Experiences in my early career opened my mind to the profound influence of business strategy. It became clear that a well-executed strategy could unlock new opportunities, attract the right clients, and fuel sustainable growth.
What are some of the key motivators that drive you to excel in your professional field?
I have always had a deep appreciation for the power of human connections and the impact they can have on both personal and professional endeavors. Whether it’s fostering relationships with clients, colleagues, or community members, I strive to create meaningful connections that bring people together and drive positive outcomes. I am passionate about thinking beyond immediate circumstances and considering the broader implications of my actions.
Classic and timeless pieces are some of my favorite things. Currently, I am restoring a 1968 Chevelle that I’ve been holding onto for the past 20 years. It is a fun project to finally tackle. This translates to the way I view relationships. Once someone becomes a client, I want to stay connected long-term.
Can you tell us about a (RVi) project or achievement that you’re particularly proud of in your career?
One of my favorite RVi projects is the San Gabriel Park redesign. I grew up playing in San Gabriel Park and now I take my own kids there. The park holds a special place in my heart, and seeing the restoration of the springs, new play areas, and hike and bike trail enhancements has been so exciting. My family volunteers in the park, and we enjoy relationships with several Parks Department members. The San Gabriel Park project is truly the embodiment of the RVi mission – “to inspire people to be outside and engage in the community around them” by community connection, revitalization, bridging the past, present, and future, and continuing a legacy in Georgetown.
Have you faced any significant challenges in your professional journey, and how did you overcome them?
College wasn’t originally in my plans; I was able to make a good living running my own business and it didn’t matter those first few years that I didn’t have a degree. I acquired knowledge via professional licensing and certifications. However, as life unfolded and my career progressed, I decided I wanted to go back to college and finish my degree.
This choice was not easy, as it meant juggling responsibilities and dedicating countless hours to studying while balancing family life. However, my determination and support from my wife, Grace, allowed me to pursue my educational goals with unwavering commitment. Through the challenges and sacrifices, I discovered a newfound passion for learning, personal growth, and the pursuit of knowledge. Going back to college not only expanded my skill set but also opened doors to new opportunities and career advancements. I am proud to call myself a Texas Tech Red Raider graduate!
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in BD?
- Honesty and integrity will never go out of style.
- Always think of business development as connecting people to opportunities. Look for ways to help others.
- Follow-through. Do what you say you are going to do.
- Don’t only reach out when you need something; be sure to foster these relationships and build them to be lifelong connections.
- Get involved in your industry associations and the community where you live and work.
Beyond your professional life, what are some of your personal interests or hobbies that bring you joy and fulfillment?
I love to open the outdoors! My favorite hobby is cycling. Whether on the road or through the trails, I love moving and gaining mileage. My family also has a vegetable garden that we tend together, and we use the produce to make family dinners. Most of my hobbies involve being outside, and in addition to having too many hobbies, I aspire to have more time to hike, fish, and golf. No matter the activity, I enjoy a soundtrack of good music (Ray Wiley Hubbard, Sir Douglas Quintet, Gary P. Nunn, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and ZZ Top).
Lastly, if you could choose one word to describe your professional philosophy or approach, what would it be and why?
Perseverance. My wife even had it inscribed on my college ring. This word has applied to all aspects of my life, from career to family. My wife’s family has a small farm that I help with on the weekends. Multiple generations have remained committed to keeping it going. While it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain, it is all about the legacy and honoring the work of prior generations. All this to say, none of this happened overnight, it took perseverance. In my day job, it begins with an introduction to develop a friendship, which leads to putting in the work to submit a proposal, to hopefully win the job. I make sure that the little steps I am taking every day are those that will lead me to my big-picture goals.