2009 Nuggets of Wisdom

Preparing your company for a downturn in business is as important if not more than preparing for growth.  During an economic downturn, it's important to understand all your cost and identify the wants and the needs so you can make the proper cuts when needed.  Project out your monthly revenue and cash flow for at least 6 months so you'll have the information you need when it comes time to make those tough financial decisions.

Michael Beard ‘90

Advanced Inspection Technologies


Many in the workforce are preoccupied with titles and image, which are merely a mirage. Differentiate yourself by producing a quality product and becoming a leader within your industry.

Amber Schickedanz ‘00

AgForce, Inc.


It is especially important in times of rapid growth and economic hardship that we not overlook the basics of our service delivery. Clients and employees is what is most important, they are what will sustain us.

David Ohendalski ‘98



Always keep honesty, integrity and character as the foundation of your business plan.

Lee Duggan, III ‘76

American Wall Systems, L.P.


My grandfather always told me that if you find something that you like doing, you'll never have to "work" a day in your life.  Also, listen to your customer, imagine yourself as the customer, then give your customer more than they expect.

JC Schoel ‘00

Andersen Schoel


When times are difficult and hope begins to fade, set your sights on progress.  If you make progress, both in business and personally, then you will be one step closer to success.

Michael G. Scheurich ‘92

Arch-Con Corporation


The most important thing in starting a business is to have a product or service with unique benefits and a customer willing to purchase those services or products.

Brian Lamb ‘91

AXYS Industrial Solutions


Stay focused on the value you bring to clients and you will be successful even in difficult economic times.

Quentin A. Baker ‘78

Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants


Treat your employees as assets because your personal success or failure is ultimately determined by your personnel’s success or failure.

Warren Barhorst ‘88

Barhorst Insurance Group


Management should always recognize the most valuable asset of every company is never found on the balance sheet - "it is the company's employees."

Craig C. Brown ‘75

Bray International, Inc.


Anyone can have a vision or plan, executing it is what makes a difference.

Tim Prichard ‘92

BridgeStreet Consulting Group


It's the little holes that sink the boat, not the big ones.  The big ones are obvious and easy to fix.

Kay Capps ‘83

CAPSHER Technology, Inc.


Honesty and integrity are the most important traits that you can bring to your business.  They help you gain respect from your employees, and keep your customers coming back for more.

Jennifer Carney ‘87

Carney Ranker Architects, Ltd.


"Who" decisions are your most important decisions - who you partner with, who you hire, who you select as clients and vendors.  If you make the right "who" decisions, everything else will take care of itself.

Sam T. Goodner ‘90

Catapult Systems Inc


A good business decision should always trump a legal decision and the decision should only be made after non-emotional evaluation is complete.

Michael J. Collins ‘74

Kyle G. Basinger ‘81

Collins, Basinger & Pullman


You can lose many things in business and have lost little....but if you've lost your integrity you've lost much.

Ken Meline ‘82

Command Commissioning, LLC


When you realize the worst thing that could happen to you is that you have to get a job, that's when you really understand that you have nothing to lose by starting your own business.

Elizabeth Drake ‘87

Compliance Strategies & Solutions, Inc.


If you continue to use the principles taught at Texas A&M, treat your business associates with respect and uphold your integrity and honor at all times, you will be successful.

Dennis Corkran ‘77

Corkran Energy, LP


1. Develop and Use your network  2. Noblesse Oblige-- If you have unique skills you are obligated to use them in the community.

John W. Adams ‘70

Cowboy Adventures


Be involved in your profession and your community so that you can plan for what lies ahead... Work to formulate a strategic plan that encompasses your vision, your values and what you learn through your involvement, and implement it, even if it seems scary - if you plan for nothing, that is what you will get.

Beth & Mike Coyle ‘82

Coyle Engineering, Inc.


There can be no doubt that the business environment is ever changing and ever evolving. However, the ethics of hard-work coupled with treating your customers and your employees as you would like to be treated will never become outdated.

Gregory E. Hall ‘82

D.S.I. S.A.


Education is your best investment!

Douglas Frey ‘77

Desert Industrial X-Ray, LP


If you have a dream to build a business or be an entrepreneur do it now.  Don't wait, take the risk, it won't be easy, but it will be worth it.

Kelly Jones ‘83

Digital Discovery Corp.


No matter what successes or problems arise (and there will be plenty of both), never, ever, lose sight of your own principles.  Value your principles to the exclusion of everything else, they drive your organization, they must be constant.

Carl Dore ‘77

Dore & Associates, Attorneys, P.C.


If you can dream, you can do it...don't listen to the multitude of naysayers.  Always have confidence in yourself and your vision of the future.

Elizabeth Gerbel ‘95

E.A.G. Services, Inc.


All of the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.

Dan Rooney ‘92

Earth Information Technologies


Take care of your customers and employees, pay your vendors timely, and collect your receivables.  Everything else will take care of itself.

Frederick Lalumandier ‘89

Expedited Logistics and Freight Services, Ltd.


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


Many great businesses and ideas struggle despite the herculean efforts of the entrepreneurs. You have to be passionate, manage cash flow and have adequate capital to fund your business plan for the first two years.

David S. Wesson ‘82

GEODynamics, Inc.


Trying to measure success in life before one's life is over is like measuring a win half-way around the horse track.

Michael Hnatt ‘91

Gladstone Inc.


Pursue your dream with all of your energy, but keep God and family first.

Gene Birdwell ‘59

GR Birdwell Construction


Listen more than you talk.  Don't be afraid of failing or making mistakes.  Perfection is unattainable.

Kristen DeRocha ‘96

Hotslings, Inc.


What your grandparents said is true.  Discipline and hard work coupled with integrity and solid Judeo-Christian values bring success in both a career and in a life.

Jerry Easterly ‘73

INSYTE Information Co.


Put Christ in control of your business and you will be amazed when you look back in 5 years!  "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

Ray Deyoe ‘91

Ted Boriack ‘85

Integral Power, LLC


Follow your dreams, fight for your visions, do what others refuse to do, but always follow the Aggie Code.

Scott Moscrip ‘93

Internet Truckstop


Reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and expect a greater reward-not the kind in a bank account. I used to try to run my company my way, today I lean on the Holy Spirit to guide me and I list Jesus Christ as my CEO on my organizational chart.

James Bo Miles ‘81

Anna Beth Miles ‘88

J.P. Miles Construction Corporation


Always give the credit to God as all blessings come from Him.

Donald G. Valentine ‘69

John Moore Services, Inc.


I ask what my patients expect and then give it to them. It works better than guessing.

Jon P. Wheeler ‘95

Jon P. Wheeler, DDS, PA


Balance your life-don't forget why you are working so hard.

Dr. Kevin Kettler ‘87

Jonna Kettler ‘90

Kettler Veterinary Hospitals, Inc.


It's okay to listen to the advice of others, but then make your own decision & move forward with your dreams.  Most of those offering their advice are the same ones sitting in the bleachers & watching others take the risks to pursue their goals.

Trent B. Latshaw ‘75

Latshaw Drilling & Exploration Co.


Expect opportunities and prepare for them, so that when they come, you can take full advantage of them.

Mike Garratt ‘98

Layne's Of College Station


Always focus on quality with the highest service possible and growth will follow.

Travis Parigi ‘94



"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."    Be clear as to what your purpose is, and who you are truly working for.

P. R. Arguindegui, III ‘84

Lobo Logistics,L.L.C.


Always look to and plan for the future.  Be willing to adjust your plans to meet the needs of others.  Always give your company/employees the tools they need to get the job done.  Let your employees know that the success of the organization is due to their hard work and dedication.  Focus on the People, Relationships, and the Results.

Jeff Mackey ‘87

Frank Tanner ‘87

Mackey & Tanner, LLC


Keep your priorities straight, your goals in front of you and never compromise your integrity.

Carolyn Turk ‘84

MacResource Computers


Hire the best, train them to be the best and hold them, as well as yourself, to the highest standards of integrity.  You will know true success when you see your vision reflected in their eyes.

Gordon Ivan Townsend ‘81

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


Working harder is not always working smarter.

Robert Reeves ‘77

McLane Advanced Technologies


As leaders, we must be the champions for building, communicating and fulfilling the PURPOSE of our companies.

Larry R. Bloomquist ‘79

Mechanical Rep, Inc.


When starting a business, look for a banker (not a bank) who believes in you.

Phil Miner ‘80

Miner El Paso, Ltd.


When times get tough…transparency, accountability, and execution become the stalwarts of the day.

Phil Miner ‘80

Miner Fleet Management Group


There is no more important time than now to be data driven in your decision making.

Phil Miner ‘80

Miner Houston, Ltd.


You have to be realistic about what you are trying to accomplish, believe the time is right, be willing to take a risk, and then pour your heart and soul into reaching your goals.

Monique Threadgill ‘90

MOSAK Advertising & Insights


No organization will thrive and have enduring value without a continuous and sincere focus on creating and maintaining a people-oriented culture.  Without this basic tenet you will have only created a house of cards.

Steve Knowles ‘84

Mustang Engineering


Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most gratifying and frustrating challenges in your professional life.  It will shine a light on all those little insecurities that you have tucked away in the back corner of your mind.  Like college, it will make you stronger if you allow yourself to learn from mistakes and be honest with your own abilities. Hire to your weaknesses and always try to find and hire talent that far exceeds your own ability and you can succeed.

Ben Collinsworth ‘99

Native Land Design


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


Let your passion drive you, your ethics guide you, and your common sense lead.

Jacqueline D'Elia ‘05

Olive Barn Inc.


Your business will be successful if you focus on the success of your employees and your clients.  Never let your ego get in the way of a deal.

Paul Mason ‘85

Path Consulting Ltd.


Everyone is presented with opportunities. The challenge is to recognize the opportunity, hedge your risks as much as possible, and then ultimately react and seize the opportunity.

Jason Schickedanz ‘98

Perryton Aviation, Inc.


Recognize your weaknesses quickly.  Build a team that supports your values and that has strengths to offset your weaknesses.  Never stop analyzing and improving.

Mark Barron ‘89

Petroleum Solutions, Inc.


Take "what if" off the table and realize your potential.

David Gedeon ‘96

Premier Placement Media


Never give up.

Bob Albers ‘87

Project Solutions International


Value your education...but have fun too! We skipped a lot of class, and now look at us...Aggie 100!

Rachel Williams ‘01

Catherine Williams ‘05

Ranch House Designs, Inc.


Don't underestimate what you can accomplish with determination and courage.  Most important, always make your customer's and employee's needs the first priority and they will make you successful.

Ryan Reichardt ‘04

Reichardt Construction, LLC


Focus now on getting the best education and relevant work experience you can.  If your ultimate goal is to have your own business, trust yourself to know when the time is right.

Mitt Salvaggio ‘82

Salvaggio, Teal & Associates


Set a clear vision. Hire good people based on integrity, attitude and intelligence. Train the heck out of them. Let them run.

Ed Schipul ‘90

Schipul - The Web Marketing Company


Seek out a mentor and then be a mentor to others.

Todd Sorrel ‘96

Select Premium Services, Inc.


There’s never a “smart” time to start a company, unless having 1 year old triplets and a 6 year old qualifies!  Come up with a plan, GO FOR IT, and pour your heart and soul into it if you want to succeed.

Bret Farrar ‘88

Sendero Business Services


It always comes down to dealing with people, so do the right thing. Always.

Casey Sledge ‘93

Sledge Engineering, LLC


Take pride in your work and build strong, positive relationships with clients, vendors and employees.

Kyle Biagioli ‘00

Southern Land Design Group


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

Michael D. Freeman ‘91

Steele & Freeman, Inc.


Pick a business where the basic economics are good and you can have a competitive advantage, and treat employees and partners well. Employees will treat customers the way they are treated, and low turnover will give you an additional competitive advantage.

Joe R. Fowler ‘68

Stress Engineering Services Inc


Study and chose your goals early in life, then work toward them. Never be afraid to share success with those around you, they help make you what you want to be.

Terry A. Ray ‘79

Terry Ray Construction, Inc.


Of the three elements needed for success talent, timing and integrity, hire integrity.

Gordon Sorrel ‘69

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.


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

Leslie Liere ‘84

The Liere Agency


Write down specific, concrete and measurable goals.  Believe that you can achieve them, share them with others whose counsel you trust and focus on them regularly until you find ways to achieve them.

Richard Payton ‘84

The Payton Company


"Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Your relationships with customers, employees, and suppliers will benefit greatly if you strive to reach those three goals.

Chris Gober ‘96



Listen and Learn.  You already know what you know, so don't waste time talking. Ask questions, listen to your customers, your partners, employees, accountants and lawyers and learn from them all.

John C. Schuepbach ‘97

Trans-Tex Fabricating Co., Inc.


True healing comes when the science of medicine meets the art of service.

Taseer A. Badar ‘95

Oprex Surgery Center Of Houston


You can achieve great things through hard work and having passion in what you do.  Believe in yourself and never give up.

Cindy Richter ‘84

Rance Richter ‘83

Vanguard Fire Systems, L.P.


The best advertising is a satisfied client's referral.

Patrick Whitworth ‘90

Whitworth and Company, P.C.


The best way to build a network is by referrals.  And the best way to get referrals is to exceed your client's expectations, every time.

Taseer A. Badar ‘95

ZT Financial Network, Inc.


Great investors have two qualities that everyone else lacks: the courage of their convictions and the depth of knowledge to make them courageous.

Taseer A. Badar ‘95

ZT Global Investments, Inc.