2007 Nuggets of Wisdom

It takes courage to venture out on your own. As you learn more about yourself and your business, courage changes to confidence. Confidence gives you knowledge that you did the right thing.

JP Magill ‘89

Achilles Group

If you have a dream, make it happen!


Michael J. Havel '76

American Protectors Inc.

The great consumer growth companies have been able to maintain a good balance of their founding entrepreneurial ethic with a strong culture of disciplined execution. That is the principal challenge of making the transition from a "good company that is growing" to a "growth company."

Jerry Deitchle ‘73

BJ's Restaurants, Inc.

Learn from the past, anticipate the future, live in the moment and remember what that wise old Aggie once said: "git er done".

Patrick Brand ‘81

Philip Frink ‘80

Blade Energy Partners

Find something you love to do. Develop a positive attitude and respect others. Uphold your ethical standards. Learn from difficult situations and never ever ever give up. Most importantly keep your family and your faith at the forefront.

Catherine Landeck Sliva ‘80

R. Scott Abel ‘84

BlueRock Energy Capital, Ltd.

Organization and persistence are essential for success; be consistent and never slow down.

Kurt Lobpries ‘77

Lizette Lobpries ‘77

Builders West, Inc.

If you are standing still you are falling behind, because everyone else is passing you by.

Paul J. Bury III ‘78

Bury+Partners, Inc.

Never take your eye off the customer. Make your team happy first and yourself happy second. The reverse will never work.

Greg Businelle ‘90

Businelle Company, LLC

Activity creates opportunity.

K. Stefan Capps ‘83

CAPSHER Technology, Inc.

Never underestimate the value of hard work.

Bill E. Carter ‘69

Carter Financial Management, Inc.

Honesty, personal integrity, and attitude define who you are as a person. Use these characteristics to lead you to your personal goals. Always dream of the positive possibilities and never look back.

Kyle Killebrew ‘83

CENTAURI Technologies, LP

Do what must be done, when it must be done, and in the proper spirit.

Matt Bowman ‘93

CES Environmental Services, Inc.

Adversity and lost dreams followed by inspiration gained equate to fortunes made.

Mark A. Fischer ‘72

Chaparral Energy Inc.

Stand out in the area of your strongest suit. Don't try to be all things to all people. Identify the area of your industry where you can differentiate yourself from others and focus on that area. Maintain and use your network - Aggies, local civic organizations, boards, chambers, you name it. Your network is worth more than silver and gold. Buy from your customers and refer others to your customers. The more your customers grow, the more of your business they need.

Kristen Cox ‘83

Checkpoint Services, Inc.

Work hard; play hard.

Albert W. Clay ‘65

Robert H. Clay ‘89

Clay Development & Construction, Inc.

Stay completely focused and maintain absolute integrity.

A. Gregory Walla ‘79

Comanche Contractors, L.P.

Never overlook small beginnings. My dad passed two things along to me, tell the truth and be the first to admit when you are wrong. Being an entrepreneur is a team, not a one person show. The beginning may be with one person, but the quality of the team will determine the potential that can be reached. All this means nothing without character. Character is defined by what you do when no one is watching and it is crunch time for yourself. Finally, failure is only an event on the road to success. The winner dusts himself or herself off and tries again. The winner will do what the loser will not.

Paul Gugenheim ‘73

Delta Structural Technology Inc.

Never stop learning!

Douglas Frey ‘77

Desert Industrial X-Ray LP

Don't wait until you are 65!

Albert A. Mullins ‘60

DrawWorks, L.P.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort intelligent direction, and skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

Mark Dudley ‘83

Deanie Dudley ‘84

Dudley Construction, Ltd.

If you have the passion and wisdom for a product or service, leave no stone unturned in attempting to achieve your goals.

Darrell Ward ‘73

eInstruction Corp.

Much of what is valuable learning in life is only learned through experience. Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted, and wisdom is learning the right lessons from your experience.

Russel W. Treat ‘80

EnerSys Corporation

Know every aspect of your business and then find people that do it better than you.

David Mebane ‘98

Fat Tire Bike Tours / City Segway Tours

Take responsibility for your company’s missteps with customers. Avoid a big-business corporate haughty mentality.

John Bellinger ‘76

Gina Bellinger ‘89

Gary C. Smith ‘68

Food Safety Net Services

Trust your luck and always remember "the harder you work the luckier you get."

Gene R. Birdwell ‘59

Brad A. Birdwell ‘83

G.R. Birdwell Construction, L.P.

The best way to success is to control your own future.

David S. Wesson ‘82


Never give up! It seems easier to walk away sometimes, but the rewards are the lessons learned and the people that helped you through them.

Gay Gill Wathen ‘80

Gill Services, Inc.

Attitude and determination will take you a long way down the path to your goal.

Thomas P. Richards ‘65

Grey Wolf, Inc

Perseverance will pay off. Be patient and seek out those clients who want you to succeed.

Rachel Hayden ‘89

Hayden Consultants, Inc.

Work to live....and always give back more than you take.

Robert R. Holton ‘84

Scott Roselius ‘87

Heights Venture Architects, LLP

You can only do really good work if you enjoy what you are doing.

Daniel P. Michalk ‘92

Heritage Wealth Management

Mediocrity is not an option. Surround yourself with intelligent, motivated people who strive for excellence.

Christine M. Hollinden ‘87

Hollinden | professional services marketing

Embrace empowerment and encourage creativity. These are not buzz words to be discussed, but rather concepts to employ and nurture thus becoming the cornerstones of your corporate culture.

Robert M. Borsh, Jr. ‘03

House of Forgings Inc.

If you are going to dream, dream big! Be passionate, remain focused, surround yourself with talented individuals, look out for mentors and you will find success.

Juan Manuel Lamparero ‘87

Industrial Solutions de Mexico

Dream it. See it. Get it done. If you believe your vision, others will follow and make it great.

Uri Geva ‘98

Infinity Pro Sports

The Aggie Code of Honor to --not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do-- is also an extremely relevant business principle. Integrity is everything.

Tim Miller ‘93

Intelligent Logistics LLC

Creating your own business will be the most difficult and most exciting thing you will ever do in your professional career. It is also the most rewarding.

John Kauth ‘77

Intercontinental Consultants, LLC

Speak the truth. Provide great service and value for your customers. Don't be afraid to try and fail because your mistakes will lead to your successes.

Scott Moscrip ‘93

Internet Truckstop LLC

Network with as many people in your industry as possible, and keep contact information accessible so that it can be available when needed.

Jim Wood ‘82

InvestWood Capital

Follow the #1 rule of leadership - take care of your people. Treat everyone you meet as if they will have a direct impact on your life.

James M Benham'01

JB Knowledge Technologies, Inc.

Pursue your passion, treat your customers as your superiors (they are) & use your "Aggie Ingenuity" to grease the skids.

Shan Jenkins ‘88

Bethany Jenkins ‘88

Jenkins Custom Homes

Damn the doubts and do it! An average concept done with passion trumps a great dream unrealized. Dream, deliberate, and then for heaven's sake do it.

Donald G. Valentine ‘69

John Moore Services, Inc.

If you can see it, you can be it.

James Whiddon ‘82

JWA Financial Group, Inc.

Get to know your customer and understand his/her expectations for a successful project.

James R. Penn ‘77

Keystone Constructors, Inc.

Hire the best people and execute quickly against a well defined plan.

Travis M. Parigi ‘94


Focus on your field of expertise and surround yourself with people that compliment your skills and experience. Raise sufficient capital to make sure that your business has the best opportunity to reach the goals that you have set for it. Finally, work hard and take action to reach your goals and do not accept failure.

Jeff Mackey ‘87

Frank Tanner ‘87

Mackey & Tanner, LLC

Even a good entrepreneur may have to go through several ideas before finding one that "fits". Once you find that unique service or product continue to build on it and make it stronger so that you will always be ahead of any competitor.

Buckey Lee Turk, Jr. ‘83

Carolyn Harwell Turk ‘84

MacResource Computers

Do not let your education hold you back. Do what you love and love what you do.

Damon W. Holditch ‘65

Marquee Tent Productions

Get personally involved in your business. A lot of money can go out the back door if you aren't paying attention.

Marvin P. Tate II ‘75

Marvin Tate Communication

Follow your passion and believe in yourself.

John Mark Matkin ‘95

Matkin Hoover Engineering &  Surveying

Always offer your best effort, even in circumstances where success seems unlikely. You never know when luck or another Aggie may be the deciding factor!

Edelmiro Muniz ‘67

MEI Technologies, Inc.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tyler Merrick ‘00

Merrick Pet Care

No matter how good it is you are not that smart, and no matter how bad it is you are not that dumb. Be humble and appreciate those that have helped you along the way. Gig 'em and be thankful especially for those service men and women that allow us to enjoy this great life in the USA.


Michael J. Havel ‘76

Lea Anne Seely ‘80

Metro Custom Plastics Inc.

If ever in doubt as to what to do look to your core values as a compass for guidance.

Philip T.  Miner III ‘80

Miner Fleet Management Group

 Miner North Texas, Ltd.

Follow your passion. Too many entrepreneurs start a business simply for financial gain and later realize that no matter how much money you make you are still searching for true joy and happiness. Do something that you enjoy and are passionate about and rewrite the definition of success in your own mind to include freedom, personal joy, sense of accomplishment and the ability to help and inspire others. Then - you will truly be successful.

Ben Collinsworth ‘99

Native Land Design

Hire people who can understand your vision and buy into it and always remember that people are always your most important resource. Cultivate them and treat them like family.

Larry Cress ‘76

New Tech Engineering LP

Be selective in your choice of partners, employees and customers. Ensure that they have similar goals and business philosophy.

Grant Swartzwelder ‘85

OTA Compression, LLC

Treat people right! Your co-workers, your employees, your vendors, your customers, everyone you come in contact with. Be fair, be honest and treat people with respect. That strategy never fails and it's what being an Aggie is all about.

David Lipscomb ‘85

Overflow Inc.

Knowledge is wasted without tenacity.

Gary K. Gonzalez ‘80

Paloma Energy Consultants

If you encounter an opportunity trust your instincts and follow it immediately.

David Gedeon ‘96

Premier Placement Media

If you fail to plan you should plan to fail.

Robert J. Albers ‘87

Project Solutions International

It is extremely important that you know every phase of your business and understand every aspect of your business, and that you have your employees understand that they work as a team for the best end result.

Alan B. Roberts ‘78

Pumpco, Inc.

Embrace a vision and allow that to drive your passion to leverage your God granted talents to achieve your goals.

Hubert Glover ‘92

REDE, Inc.

Work hard and follow the Aggie traditions and good things will come to you.

Todd Routh ‘86

River Place Golf Group L.P.

 Routh Development Group

For true success put Christ first in everything you do, treat everyone with respect, love your family, work smart and take care of the details.

Jay Dickens ‘82

Rolling Vistas, Ltd.

Start your own business early and work for yourself and control your own destiny.


Rob Routh '78

Stephanie Routh '93

Clay Routh '87

Routh Development Group

Service is key. When a client or customer asks for something respond as quickly as possible. Service and responsiveness is what they remember and it's what sets you apart from the rest.

Gerald H. Schwarz ‘82

Tod D. Hanson ‘88

Schwarz Hanson Architects

Remember that the client is the boss which requires you to listen well, do the best job you can and do what you say you are going to do.

Michael M. Slay ‘71

Slay Engineering Co., Inc.

Be curious. Determine to be a life long learner. As my favorite business philosopher Jim Rohn says: "Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune." --- "The book you don’t read won’t help."

Bruce Davidson ‘78

Speech Privacy Systems

Strive to maintain the highest levels of honesty ethics and respect for others in business and in life. Fair treatment at all levels generates loyal clients, employees, and vendors.

Michael D. Freeman ‘91

Steele & Freeman, Inc.

Never settle. Always push forward on finding new ways to better serve your shareholders, employees, and clients.

Lawrence Morris ‘88

Summit Insurance Group

Be persistent and confident in your ability while maintaining the highest ethical standards in everything you do.

Todd C. Howard ‘91

t. howard & associates architects, inc.

Just as the Fighting Texas Aggie's football team thrives with the support and loyalty of the 12th Man your customers and employees will perform and reward you for the same supportive devotion. Let them know how valuable they are and show it in your actions.

Kimberly D. Lawrence ‘82

Tape Solutions, Inc.

Listen to your customers and your employees. Your success depends on the satisfaction of both.

Steve Berry ‘90

Texas Tree & Landscape

The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spend themselves in a worthy cause.

Leslie G. Liere ‘84


Start early in your career to believe in your abilities to run your own company it will reward you earlier in you life. Remember to treat you customers and your employees as you would yourself. Always be straight with them and always operate in an ethical manner.

Terry Austin Ray ‘79

Valley Construction Services, LTD.

Integrity provides the roadmap for your actions and persistence is the key to realizing your dreams.

Jon Klement ‘85

Valley Garden Center, Inc.

The Aggie Honor Code is all about integrity. Integrity is essential for success. It's no wonder that "a successful Aggie" is somewhat redundant.

Michael W. Busch '88

Vogel Financial Advisors, LLC

Don't let anyone - family friends etc. - steal your dream. March to the beat of your own drum and remember to dream big and think smart.

Will H. Garner IV '02

W. Garner Enterprises

Act when you have to...Take your time when you can think about it, pray about it, discuss it, decide it and then act.

Paul D. Workman '73

Kyle D. Workman '97

Workman Commercial   Construction Services

Surround yourself with people that buy into your vision. They will always be your strongest allies.

John M. Yantis ‘53

J. Mike Yantis '76

Thomas G. Yantis '78

Mike Yantis, Jr. '02

Yantis Company

Perseverance comes way before success in any business. You may hear 100 "no’s" before a "yes". Not giving up is what sets true entrepreneurs apart from the rest.

Taseer Badar ‘95

ZT Financial Network Inc.

 ZT Global Investments Inc.