Describe what you do in less than 20 words.
Hire, train, motivate, and make sure Office Smart always has more steps forward than steps backward.
What was your first full-time job?
Auditor with JCPenney. Single, company car, living on the beach in Florida, thought I was overworked and quit.
What is your favourite event on the OP circuit?
The shows of course. But my current favourite is the quarterly NOPA Board of Directors meeting, because I hold the gavel.
What has been the best moment in your career?
Being the first Ethics in Business OP awardee in southern Arizona, being a judge in subsequent University of Arizona Ethics in Business awards, and being exposed to the truly amazing businesses in southern Arizona.
What has been the worst moment in your career?
After founding Office Smart, realising my wife and I no longer had a steady pay cheque.
What is the most influential company in the OP industry?
Wist Office Products, because they had the vision and intelligence to buy my company. And because they are a great company to work for.
What is the biggest change that has taken place in the industry since your career began?
The emergence of new and different competition. I can remember when Sam Walton was still talking about developing a Sam’s Club, and when Tom Stemberg was cutting opening day ribbons in front of Staples stores in New England. Who would have envisioned the biggest competitor today would be Amazon?
What do you think will be the biggest single issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years?
Whoever becomes the new OP competitor and, more importantly, how we, as OP dealers, relate to and motivate the new OP buyer, whose desires and needs may be far different to today’s OP buyers. The new competition will be working hard to influence that buyer, and we should too.
What was your first vehicle?
A 1931 Model A roadster convertible in perfect condition with a rumble seat. After three days, my father decided it was too good for me, so on day four it was his car and I had my second car, a 15-year-old Jeep with rusted floorboards.
If you could invite two people to dinner who would they be?
Walmart founder Sam Walton, because I spent two hours with him one-on-one many years ago and still have unanswered questions. And Ian Wist, my new boss, just because I enjoy talking OP with him.
What is the best concert you have been to?
Willie Nelson. When the opening band didn’t show up, Willie played both sets and, after three hours, said he would continue if we would let him repeat some songs, since he didn’t have any new ones left. Duh!!!
What was your childhood ambition?
From about five until about 20, to be an army guy. Then the realisation that I was in the army going to Vietnam and not just playing army changed my ambition to anything but an army guy.