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My Friend, Brent Williams

Today, I want to honor a dear friend, Brent Williams, who made his transition this past weekend. I want to tell you about this great man who lived with passion, helped so many, and changed the world. A little over two years ago, my world was completely shaken when Brent told me that he had been diagnosed with ALS and only had a few years to live. Here was my FRIEND of many years, someone who was so close that we called each other “Brother,” whose life was going to end in the not too distant future! Here was someone who was my hero, a robust man, a man with the powerful voice of an orator, a man who you knew really cared about you, a man I wanted to be around because he had a way of m

Reap What You Sow

I was born to wonderful parents and I am often reminded of their many lessons. My Dad was born in 1897 and he was in his early 30’s when the Great Depression hit our country. He had experienced the ‘highs’ of being a young businessman during the Roaring Twenties’ and then experienced the lows of the 30’s. Looking back on it, I feel certain that from those experiences came many of his practical teachings for my sister, two brothers and me. Most of those teachings came through our simple lifestyle. Our family car and pick-up truck had no radio much less an air conditioner. If we started whining about there not being a radio in the car, Dad would say, “If you want some music , then sing to your

Relinquishing the Reins

When I went into business for myself at the age of 22, I made myself the decider. I did the hiring and the firing. I set the hours. I made the decisions as to what properties my companies would buy, how they would operate, when they were disposed of and what the asking price would be. Initially, I even determined the minute things like where we would purchase office supplies. I was the COO as well as President, CEO and the CFO. I was indeed ‘hands-on’ and very involved on the front lines and back lines equally. This came about naturally as I was raised to be responsible for what happens in my life. Needless to say, this took an enormous amount of energy, but it was, to me, just someth

You Can Do More Than You Think

In my early years, I was fortunate to have people in my life that believed in me and pushed me to do more. Because they helped me see beyond the limits I’d set for myself, I learned a valuable lesson: I can do more than I think. Back in my early teens in 4-H, I was very fortunate have A.T. Andrews as my 4-H leader. He was a man who taught by example. I often played softball against him at 4-H summer camp. Each year, the adult leaders would take-on the campers and the competition was fierce! We, the young whippersnappers, wanted to show the adults that we were younger and stronger. The adults often got the better of us by playing smarter and taking those calculated risks that come with experi

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