Business: Special K’s Cheesecakes, West Texas Basketball Association, FDLIC
Job title: Founder/Owner of Special K’s Cheesecakes, Founder/Owner of West Texas Basketball Association, Endpoint Administrator at FDLIC
Why are you working in this industry?
I was blessed to be able to turn my hobbies and passions into my careers. I saw a need for the service, and I provided.
What are three daily habits that have helped you to become successful?
Pray and thank God everyday, keep people around that are positive and ambitious, and be genuine to people you meet!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“Invest in yourself”. At first it sounded selfish, but the more I thought about it, I understood that what they wanted me to see was that an “investment” is someone showing you “they believe in you”. If I don’t believe in myself, then how can I expect anyone else to believe in me and my vision!
2. What was the most significant hurdle you had to overcome to get where you are? How would you address this hurdle today?
In IT, the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was not looking the part or fitting the profile of your typical IT person. I had to step in and prove myself each and every day to gain trust from my peers and superiors. I still deal with this hurdle today, but it’s my work ethic and character that makes me shine! With my basketball and cheesecake companies, it was just having a vision that no one else could see. I couldn’t allow the people that couldn’t see the vision derail me from accomplishing what I felt was an amazing idea! I have some amazing family and friends that believed in me, supported me, and kept me motivated to attack my vision and goals! Make sure you have a great support system! My cheesecakes started as a Valentine’s gift for my wife because I didn’t have the money to do something extravagant. So, I made her a cheesecake lol! I then did a fundraiser to raise money for an amazing non-profit called Basketball Smiles and I had a ton of orders and great reviews. That motivated me to turn it into a business. With basketball, I saw a need that wasn’t being tended to and took small steps to make an impact in the basketball community here in Abilene. I started out making a community Facebook page that gave people a platform to link up and let others know where pick-up basketball games were being played. Then I started doing 3 on 3 basketball tournaments with my company 24/7 Hoopin. After that, I used that momentum to start an adult basketball rec league called West Texas Basketball Association and we just finished our 6th year with over 25 adult teams from all over the big country! We even had a rec league in Mansfield, Texas called North Texas Basketball Association
3. What do you want to be doing in 10 years?
I’d love to be selling my cheesecakes in multiple locations and have a successful and thriving cheesecake spot that everyone loves both in Abilene and my hometown of Arlington. I’d want our West Texas Basketball Association a continued staple of the Abilene community but also expanding in DFW, San Angelo, & Lubbock. I’d like to be years into my career as Director or VP of Information Technology at the company I am employed. I’d like to be working with Sam Nichols and Basketball Smiles on a bigger spectrum and continuing to grow his vision and the game of basketball to underprivileged kids.
4. What was your first summer job?
Subway Sandwich Artist
5. Describe yourself in one word.
West Texas Basketball Association (Owner/Founder, 2017-Present)
Special K’s Cheesecakes (Owner/Founder)
Endpoint Administrator at FDLIC
Basketball Smiles (Coach/Trainer, 2019-Present)
Future 3:14 AAU (Coach/Trainer, 2015-2020)
Big Country Impact AAU (Coach/Trainer, 2023- Present)
Wylie Little Dribblers (Coach/Trainer, 2022 Champs
I could not have done this without my Family! My lovely wife Renee Williams, my kids Kiante and Lily. My Mom (Rhonda) and sister (Courtney). My extended family as well Margie, Butch and Kevin