I grew up in the shadows of Old Main in Logan and was an Aggie by the time I was four or five. I attended public schools in Logan and without a second thought enrolled at USU.
I began working at the age of nine mowing five neighbors’ lawns. I moved up to working at a grocery store at the age of fourteen, and from the age of sixteen until graduating from USU I worked at Smith’s Food King in Logan. I am not certain why I began working so young, but it just seemed to be the right thing to do. The work ethic instilled in me by my parents has carried on throughout my life. As an adult I have often worked multiple jobs developing my career and expanding my knowledge. And I suspect I will end up dying with my work boots on.
I grew up in a home where fundamental principles of success were taught, and those principles helped me develop a skill set and an attitude that started me on the right path in life. It was common to hear my father make some of the following statements:
Upon graduating from USU, I began my career in mortgage banking with the largest bank in Utah at the time. In July of 1988 I opened the doors of Academy Mortgage and began the journey of building my own company. Owning one’s own business brings a whole new perspective to a person’s life. One must control, balance, and develop an infrastructure to deal with risk, vision, business model, accounting, sales production, technology, workforce, expenses, controllable growth, etc. etc. etc. It is a never ending balancing act as a company grows and is generally a result of taking “baby steps.”
There are a number of fundamental business principles that I have learned along life’s journey:
Academy Mortgage has grown steadily and weathered the 2008 financial crisis, because from the start, we had focused on quality and integrity. The last five years have brought unexpected opportunities to Academy Mortgage. We have been given the opportunity to employ and integrate into our corporate family incredibly talented people from all across the country.
Vision? Yes. But vision can really be broken down into a group of smaller pieces.
Luck? Yes. I was lucky enough to grow up in Logan, Utah, in a wonderful home and family. I was lucky enough to attend USU. I was lucky to have chosen a career that I loved. I have been fortunate to have surrounded myself with very talented employees. And I have been lucky enough to have the skills and vision to build such a business.