Meet the Class of 2019!
Business: Funeral Directors Life
Job title: Vice President of Development
Why are you working in this industry? I didn’t initially envision myself working in the funeral industry. I went to college for Computer Science and was able to find a job right out of college. The reason I have stayed in the funeral industry, is because I’ve witnessed firsthand the value of the software we’re able to deliver to our funeral homes. We’re providing solutions that not only help the funeral director provide meaningful, healing funerals but we’re able to provide software solutions to families to allow them to heal in the way they need to. I really enjoy being able to see the impact of the work that I’m doing, and I get to see that every day in the industry I’m working in now. I also really enjoy building solutions for the funeral industry that don’t exist yet and innovating in an industry that hasn’t had much innovation.
What are three daily habits that have helped you to become successful?
Every morning, I review what my day is going to entail and mentally prepare myself for the people I will be interacting with and the tasks I’ll need to complete.
In the afternoon, I do some brief meditation to clear my mind for what I will be doing in the afternoon.
Every evening, I reflect on the day and evaluate the things I could have done differently and what I could change for the next time I have the same interactions.
Who is the person who most influenced you in business? I have two for the two different stages I’ve been in throughout life. First person who most influenced me is my dad. He was able to provide a great example of how to be successful in business and love and care for his family. He has been the sounding board I’ve needed throughout my career and has helped propel me to where I am today. The second person would be my Computer Science professor Dr. Terry Sergeant. He taught me how to think pragmatically and how to tackle problems from different directions. I’m confident that without his leadership and guidance, I would not be in the position I am today.
What was your first summer job? My first summer job was as a runner for a real estate office while I was in high school. My mom is a realtor, and they were always needing someone to put signs up, fold thousands of newsletters and drop off flyers for showings. Since I played a lot of sports through school, this allowed me to make a little extra money and stay focused on school and sports.
Where will we find you enjoying your hard-earned time off?I really enjoy spending time with my family on the weekends. We’ve got 3 kids that keep us busy most weekends. When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy playing golf. I enjoy playing golf because it challenges me and I’m learning something new each time I play.
Describe yourself in one word. Driven
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone starting out in your field what would it be? Fail fast and fail forward. Nothing great that I’ve achieved in my career has come from having all the answers or succeeding 100% of the time. My greatest achievements have always followed hundreds of failed attempts and learning from and iterating on those mistakes until it was perfected.
Fielder Road Baptist Church – Member
Abilene Young Professionals – Member
Aite-Novarica Group Research Council - Member
Meals on Wheels – Volunteer
Habitat for Humanity - Volunteer
Family: I’ve been married for 13 years to my wife Kelsey. We met at Hardin-Simmons University and were in the same new student orientation group. We have a 9-year-old daughter, Kynlee, and just recently had twins, Knox and Karsyn, last June. Additionally, we have 3 dogs, a miniature Australian Shepard, a Goldendoodle, and a Sheepadoodle.