President, Cold Stone Creamery/Kahala International
Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
My first job was as a bartender at TGI Fridays when I went away to college. It was such a great experience and taught me how to multitask and handle stressful situations calmly. It also helped me develop an intuition on reading people, which is still invaluable today.
Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first management job was running the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Las Vegas. The place was crazy, where a slow day was $28,000 in sales and a busy day was $125,000. It gave me a great foundation for time management, profit and loss, and public relations skills. The team we worked with there was one of the best.
What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
As a bartender I made $2.13 an hour plus tips, and as a manager for Planet Hollywood I made $32,000 per year.
Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
My biggest mentor has been my father. He is an incredible human being who has the strongest work ethic out of anyone I have ever met. He is one of those people that is knowledgeable on so many different things and just loves to teach. I remember in junior high thinking how I did not want to be like him when I grew up, and then waking up one day in my early 20s striving to be more like him everyday. I am so blessed to have him in my life.
What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
My advice would be two-fold: First, as you get comfortable start meeting with people in other departments on a regular basis. This will allow you to be able to better understand the different disciplines involved in your business and enable you to talk knowledgeably on a number of different things, which will get noticed. Secondly, I would make sure you volunteer to take on any project you can. You will learn more from leading a project than any other way and will truly become the subject matter expert. This usually transitions to people coming to you for answers and opens up additional opportunities along the way.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
If I wasn’t doing this now I think I would own a little beach bar in Mexico. Warm weather and beautiful sunsets always sound good.