2008 Nuggets of Wisdom

Have a vision of where you want to go and what you want to be.  Study and understand your markets, your clients and your competition. Develop a comprehensive business model/plan to project startup capital needs, cost, revenue, cash flow and operating capital needs for the first few years.  FOCUS ON EXECUTING the service or product you provide.  Reach out to other business owners/Aggies for advise and guidance and remember.....cash is king!

Michael Beard '90

Advanced Inspection Technologies

Let us run the race before us and never give up. Hebrews 12:1

Stephanie Long ‘82

AFS Environmental, Inc.

May you enjoy your work, embrace change and continue to evolve. Entrepreneurship is definitely a journey, not a destination.

David Ohendalski ‘98

Antonio Ortiz ‘99

AgniTEK

In every business, there remains one simple truth: "people buy from people."  Be honest, sincere, and put your customers' needs first, and you will find success.

Jason P. Gray ‘96

AGS Scientific, Inc.

Be honest and keep your word even when it is not to your advantage.

Cody Graham ‘99

Allstar Recycling

The most successful people in business are the ones that are too stupid to quit.  Be smart, honest, and rediculously persistant.

Steve Barry ‘94

AQWA, Inc

Being safe takes diligence, just like running a good business.

Quentin A. Baker ‘78

BakerRisk

Plan and Set Goals...Make them public and never stop walking toward them.

Warren E. Barhorst ‘88

Barhorst Insurance Group, LTD


The balanced combination of a strong entrepreneurial ethic with disciplined planning, execution and accountability for results will provide you with a solid foundation for profitable growth.

Jerry Deitchle ‘73

BJ's Restaurants, Inc.

The most valuable asset of every company is never found on its balance sheet - it is the company's employees.

Craig Brown ‘75

David Gent ‘75

Bray International, Inc.

I am a big believer in growth. Life is about learning and growth, and developing qualities like compassion and persistence.

Paul J. Bury, III ‘78

Bury+Partners, Inc

I believe entrepreneurs should be "passionate" about their beliefs, "prepare" for the execution of them, and excel at the "performance" of them. They then should continually follow-up. You should always inspect to be sure you are achieving what you expect.

Richard A. Cashen ‘02

Cabinrock Investments, L.L.C.

The fastest way to get something done is to do it.

K. Stefan Capps ‘82

CAPSHER Technology, Inc.

Find your passion, work really hard, treat others with respect, and be a servant leader!

Steven R. Burris ‘90

Capstone Commercial Real Estate Group, Inc.

“Don’t be afraid of failure.  Know that everyone fails, and usually more than once.  It’s not how you fail but how you recover that defines you.”

Sam Goodner ‘90

David Jacobson ‘90

Liam Collopy ‘96

Andrew Montz ‘90

Mike Albe ‘88

Catapult Systems Inc.

Life is a matter of choices - make the choice to follow your dreams.  Work hard and honestly with consistent ethics and basis and your possibilities are endless.

Kyle Killebrew ‘83

CENTAURI Technologies, LP


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.  So you have to decide what you want it to reveal.

Matt Bowman ‘93

CES Environmental Services, Inc.

"Smooth out the curves in the tortuosity of life with intelligent thinking and hard work."

Mark A. Fischer ‘72

Chaparral Energy Inc

Individual responsibility and accountability are cornerstones of every business. If a single person falls short, the whole foundation is compromised.

Taseer Badar ‘95

Clarus Imaging of Houston

Tell the truth, even if it hurts, since straight talk is the best way to address all issues.

Michael J. Collins ‘74

Kyle G. Basinger ‘81

Collins, Basinger & Pullman

Love what you DO.  DO it well.  Do WHAT you say you're going to do, WHEN you say you're going to do it, for the FEE you say you're going to do it for.

Ken Meline ‘82

John Hatcher ‘82

Command Commissioning, LLC

"Service" - easy to define but difficult to execute. Do what you say, when you say, and always keep the customer's interest first.

Justin Trail ‘93

Chris Austin ‘91

Commercial Insurance Solutions Group, LLC

Texas A&M University provides Aggies with everything necessary to become a successful entrepreneur, i.e., an excellent education combined with core values and integrity.

Elizabeth M. Drake ‘87

Compliance Strategies & Solutions, Inc.

Failure, Doubt and Disappointment, in and of themselves, are enemies of success.  But when you couple these with Preparation, Perseverance and Tenacity, they become some of your closest allies.

Kenneth Robinson ‘93

Donavan Wheatfall ‘98

Computer Innovation Services, Inc.


Don't be afraid to fail. The fear of failure crushes most businesses before they start. Life is not safe. Most people in the USA live their whole lives in a guarded, safe, controlled manner thinking they are in control. The answer is not to stop taking risks and to be ruled by our fears of what could happen. The answer is acknowledge our lack of control and reach out for help. When you have your faith, your family and the ability to help others you have EVERYTHING.

Kurt L. Box ‘99

Cypress Advisory Services Ltd., LLP

Listen, learn, dream, prepare, plan and then WORK!

Scott Moscrip ‘93

D&S Factors LLC

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "Be true to your work, your word, your friend."  These principals are the foundation to a successful business.

Chris Dailey ‘93

Dailey Electric, Inc.

Education is the key that opens the door of opportunity.

Douglas Frey ‘77

Desert Industrial X-Ray, LP

Make sure you understand your customers' needs, your skill sets and most importantly what you enjoy. If they match, do it now, don't wait until later, it may be too late.

Albert Mullins ‘60

DrawWorks, L.P.

Business is all about people. Treat your customers,vendors, and employees  like you would like to be treated.

Angelica Diaz-Hall ‘80

Gregory E. Hall ‘82

DSI - American Manufacturing

Thank your parents!

Dan Rooney ‘92

Earth Information Technologies, Corp.

Keep focused on growth within your market segment!

Darrell Ward ‘73

eInstruction Corp.


The common thread of all entrepreneurs is that "They do believe one person can make a difference."

Deborah Fulwiler ‘86

Elements Of Architecture, Inc.

Be Bold.  You will always be your most valuable asset.  Take prudent risks and don't be afraid to fail.

James Adams ‘76

Energy Systems Group, LLC

Fear certainty more than uncertainty. 'Being certain' is often an illusion and a precursor to disappointment.  Working from a place of uncertainty leaves room for more thought, consideration and opportunity.  To succeed, even when in doubt, you must be willing to work hard, properly prepare, keep a learner’s mind, have a great team on your side and persistently seek out the next step to making your vision a reality.

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

Pursue your dreams...but never waiver from your values.  Aggies have been leaders since 1876...continue this tradition.

William Keith Przybyla ‘86

FiberOptic Bulbs Incorporated

Without Fear there can be no Courage!  Without Failure there can be no Success!  Leaders do not whine and complain and they do not feel that somehow they are entitled.  Have Faith, and do not think it strange when trials and adversity seem more than you can bear.  Passionately pursue your dreams, even if others tell you it cannot be done.

Roscoe B. Marshall, Jr. ‘81

Frontier Truck Gear

Build on your strengths, rather than your weaknesses, and everything else will take care of itself.

Russel W. Treat ‘80

Gas Certification Institute

Attitude is 99% of everything you do! Being positive will help you to be successful both personally and in the business world!

Gay Gill Wathen ‘80

Gill Services, Inc.


Those people that I have known to be successful seem to always have the same characteristics — they smile a lot, know the value of time, are humble to both God and our subordinates, and have a wonderful family life, never focusing on material things or prestige.

Michael Hnatt ‘91

Gladstone Inc.

"There's always going to be someone better than you so don't get wrapped up in perfection. Just focus on what you do best." -- Jesse Sandifer '00

Brian Cole ‘99

Jesse Sandifer ‘00

Green Grass Studios

The highest form of being is serving others and not feeling as if it was a sacrifice to do so.

Daniel Michalk ‘92

Heritage Wealth Mgmt

Stay focused on the goal and never, ever give up.

Christine M. Hollinden ‘87

Hollinden | professional services marketing

If you find yourself overwhelmed with work and demand, hire someone who is qualified to handle something specific that you can delegate away immediately.  Delegate, delegate, GROW!

Kristen DeRocha ‘96

Hotslings, Inc.

Embrace empowerment and encourage creativity. Employ and nurture these concepts so they become the cornerstones of your corporate culture.

Robert M. Borsh ‘03

House of Forgings, Inc.

Always conduct yourself with integrity, respect, focus and passion!

Juan Manuel Lamparero ‘87

Industrial Solutions de Mexico

The Aggie code of honor-to not lie, cheat, steal nor tolerate those who do-is also an extremely relevant business principle. Integrity is everything.

Tim Miller ‘93

Intelligent Logistics


Keep reinventing your business .... never compromise your core values.

John Kauth ‘77

Intercontinental Consultants, LLC

Listen, learn, dream, prepare, plan and then WORK!

Scott Moscrip ‘93

Internet Truckstop LLC

Focus on your specialty and surround yourself with good people.

W.A. McKean ‘69

JaCody, Inc.

"A good name is more desirable than great riches."  Proverbs 22:1

Donald G. Valentine ‘69

John Moore Services, Inc.

"If you can see it, You can be it."

James N. Whiddon ‘82

JWA Financial Group, Inc.

Be sure that once you pick your path you dedicate yourself fully to the endeavor.  Your success is in direct correlation to your effort.

James Webster ‘92

James Bridges ‘59

Knowledge Systems

Strong relationships with vendors, banks, creditors and personnel that are built on trust are key to your success, because the "good" times will not always last.

Ronald J. Mussett ‘94

Lake Highlands Financial Services, LP.

Always do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.

Daryl Benkendorfer ‘82

Paul J. Bury, III ‘78

Land Design Partners, Inc.


Don't listen to people that want to tell you all the reasons why you can't do something! They never have and probably never will attempt to accomplish their dreams.

Trent Latshaw ‘75

Latshaw Drilling & Exploration

Provide a product or service that people want or need, and do it better than anyone else.

Mike Garratt ‘98

Layne's of College Station

“Hire the best people, focus on a niche and always deliver the highest quality possible to your customers.”

Travis Parigi ‘94

LiquidFrameworks

Be obsessed with waking up everyday looking to be better than the previous one.  Hire good people to surround yourself with and work towards goals that get your employees and your clients/customers to where they want to be.  Think multiple steps ahead of the competition and execute quickly.

Jeff Mackey ‘87

Frank Tanner ‘87

Mackey & Tanner LLC

No matter where you are and no matter how big your business is, don't ever forget where you started and where you came from.

Carolyn Harwell Turk ‘84

Buckey Lee Turk, Jr. ‘83

MacResource Computers

Believe in yourself, your vision and your employees.  Create a well rounded team by paying special attention to each individual’s talent, passion, commitment and capacity to learn.  Then teach them everything you can, train them better than you were trained, inspire them to be the best they can be and empower them to take your vision and improve it.

Gordon Ivan Townsend ‘81

Margarita Naturalmente, S.A. de C.V.

We never say no to our clients.  We always listen to our staff.

Damon W. Holditch ‘65

Marquee Tent Production, Inc.

Relationships are the foundation on which all businesses are made.  Building a solid business relationship requires focusing on your clients' needs - not yours.  Be a servant leader with high ethical standards at the forefront of every decision you and your team make.

Larry R. Bloomquist ‘79

Mechanical Reps, Inc.


Work hard and always do the right thing.  It’s not glamorous, but it works.

Kyle Cook ‘91

Mike Galvin ‘77

Meridian Constructors, L.L.C.

Find a service company who has culture built around core values and I'll show you a profitable company.

Phil Miner ‘80

Miner Fleet Management Group

Success is ultimately found in hiring those who already understand the value of The Golden Rule.

Phil Miner ‘80

Miner Houston, Ltd.

"Be sure you love what you are doing.  Life gets too long if you aren't passionate about your pursuits."

Steve Knowles ‘84

Mustang Engineering

Hire people who understand and accept your vision, and always remember that they are ALWAYS your most important resource.  Cultivate them and treat them like family.

Larry Cress ‘76

New Tech Engineering

Your reputation is your most critical asset, treat it as so.

Fred Brown ‘84

Next IT Corporation

Be passionate about what you do. Stay focused, work hard and believe in yourself, especially on the days when your faith is tested.

Jacqueline D'Elia ‘05

Olive Barn Inc.

Treat your customers like they are your best friend.  If they need it, and you can provide it, do it to the best of your ability.

Kenny Rogers ‘90

Omega Atomizers / SDA Engineers, LTD.


There are companies that charge the most and then there are companies that provide the most. We are the latter one.

Taseer Badar ‘95

Oprex Surgery Center of Houston

Set up accounting and other systems to track company and individual performance and then use it often.

Grant Swartzwelder ‘85

OTA Compression, LLC

Don’t be afraid to take a risk.

David Gedeon ‘96

Premier Placement Media, LTD

Never give up and don't let people tell you what you can't do.  Anything is possible.

Bob Albers ‘87

Project Solutions International (Thailand) Company Limited

Treat everyone with respect, always maintain your integrity, work hard, and believe in yourself and your team.

Rachel Williams ‘01

Ranch House Designs, Inc.

Be bold in both your vision and in your willingness to take a chance.  If you truly believe in your product / service, come up with a solid business plan and execute it to the best of your ability.  Also, plug into the Aggie Network immediately upon graduation.  The dividends this will pay are too numerous to list, both personally as well as from a business perspective!

Damon Veazey ‘86

RBSI Consulting Inc.

#1 - Never Give Up!!  Be sure that you have a very clear vision of what you want to do.  Then  create and maintain a business plan-it helps you to stay on track.  Surround yourself with the best people, and watch your business SOAR!!

Shane T. White ‘96

Paige White ‘96

RE/MAX Town & Country

Live by giving and helping others to excel and they will help you achieve your own goals

Hubert D. Glover ‘92

REDE, Inc.


See Routh Development Group

Todd Routh ‘86

River Place Golf Group L.P.

If ever in doubt as to what to do look to your core values as a compass for guidance. Start your own business early and work for yourself and control your own destiny.

Todd Routh ‘86

Rob Routh ‘78

Stephanie Routh ‘93

Clay Routh ‘87

Routh Development Group

Business is about people. Approach growing a business with confidence and humility both in the service of people. And make no mistake, your number one job is to recruit and grow your people.

Ed Schipul ‘90

Schipul - The Web Marketing Company

Treat others fairly and associate with those who do the same to you.

Michael M. Slay ‘71

Slay Engineering Co, Inc.

Don't let the fun of daydreaming get in the way of the tedious day-to-day work that actually produces success.

Burton Stevens ‘97

Specialty Appliance, Inc

Success is not to be pursued, but rather attracted by the person you become. So become a person of character and integrity that attracts business associates and customers based on who you are and the reputation and culture of your company.

Bruce Davidson ‘78

Speech Privacy Systems

Always remember to slow down and thank those that helped you achieve your goals and give thanks for your blessings. Never look back and say that you did not try to be the best you could be.

Jay B. Carlton ‘81

Sterling Structures, LP

Hire the best people you can, and then make a place for them.

James M. Brooks ‘70

Bernie B. Bernard ‘78

TDI-Brooks International, Inc.


If you want to grow the business, perform only your ‘genius work’ and recruit teammates that shine in those areas where you’re not the expert.  Then hold everyone accountable to results.

Mandy Cavanaugh ‘90

Team Housing Solutions

Dream big, set goals and stay focused.  There will always be bumps in the road when starting and running your own business but through perseverance you can and will succeed.

Clay Schlinke ‘94

Tesoro Homes and Development, Ltd.

To maintain your motivation, strive for the highest of achievements and always deliver service and products of unsurpassed quality.

Leslie G. Liere ‘84

The Liere Agency

Surround yourself with great people and work hard everyday with honesty and integrity.

Cynthia Richter ‘84

Rance Richter ‘83

Vanguard Fire Systems, L.P.

Operate your business with Skill, Honesty and Performance.

Kyle D. Workman ‘97

Paul D. Workman ‘73

Workman Commercial Construction Services, Ltd.

In all your endeavors - do them great today and even better tomorrow.

Kyle D. Barrington ‘87

Zajonc Corporation

Integrity in business has a boomerang effect,  what you sent out eventually returns to you.

Taseer Badar ‘95

Zerenity Sleep Lab of Houston

A successful risk-taker usually manipulates his own outcome, and if that does not work, he always has Plan B.

Taseer Badar ‘95

ZT Investments, Inc.