HYP Meet the Mentors Recap

HYPYesterday I had the opportunity to attend a phenomenal event organized by the Houston Young Professionals Chamber of Commerce.  The “Meet the Mentors” event was a wonderful opportunity to hear directly from some of the top business professionals and gain some real insight that apply directly to any career goals.  HYP Founder, Freddy Goerges, took his personal experience in the challenges of standard networking where meeting you would benefit you most is a difficult to rethink how networking can happen successfully.  In his “Meet the Mentors” series, the structure is broken down to reveal the networking benefit of small groups with one on one contact with experienced professionals.  At each of the break outs I gained tremendous insight from the mentors, here are the highlights from my experience:

Robert Del Grande, Owner RDG + Bar AnnieRobert Del Grande, Owner RDG + Bar Annie. “It’s rare to see something no one else has seen, but you can still think what no one else has thought”.

As a successful restaurateur Robert Del Grande has turned his passion for cooking into a Houston foodie obsession.  In heading the business side of a restaurant and the creative side of cooking Robert has learned the art of balance. In balancing his likes and dislikes of running a business and following his passion, he can brace himself for the work and challenges that are always waiting around the corner while not getting so lost on the creative side he does love that his business falls flat.

Marsha Murray President, Murray ResourcesMarsha Murray President, Murray Resources

The desire to do what you love and the desire to own a business are not always the same.  Marsha Murray became a business owner out of necessity, armed with her dream of delivering a service with a fairness and excellence she had not experienced before.  Despite her jolt into being a business owner, Marsha was able to envision what she wanted to create.  By staying true and holding tight to what she envisioned she was able to build on this dream step by step.

Brian Birr, Director of Marketing Live NationBrian Birr, Director of Marketing Live Nation

In the world of business, change is continuous.  In his marketing role with Live Nation Brian Birr has mastered the necessity to looking for change and being prepared to be reactive when you see change coming.  Being open to the markets and trends in a local area assist businesses in knowing when and where there marketing efforts will have the biggest impact on their desired market and is an essential part of business longevity.
Angela Putnam, President Prosperity BankAngela Putnam, President Prosperity Bank (West University)

Angela Putnam career path defines the spirit of opportunity.  An early career shift from oil and gas, into banking showcased the power of being receptive to knowledge and the opportunities that come from the preparation that is done when no one else is watching.  By being eager to learn and master the skills in her banking career, Angela Putnam was prepared and in place when opportunity arose, even without a specific plan for growth in mind.



Jamey Rootes, President of the Houston TexansJamey Rootes, President of the Houston Texans – “Just because it’s great does not mean it fits”

In taking on the challenge of building a football team from the ground up Jamey Rootes has encountered the full spectrum of creating and maintaining a brand.  Branding has to be a careful balance of appealing to a market base while remaining true to a vision for a brand.  Jamey Rootes branding success is rooted in making a brand both likeable and trustworthy.  Being keeping a brand consistent you prevent trust from eroding with your market base and build long term relationships.  By encouraging freedom within the boundaries of a consistent brand vision and avoiding venturing out of these established boundaries Jamey Rootes has seen the brand for the Texans expand while staying rooted in its seeds of growth.
Stephe Ridell CSO Blinds comStephen Riddell, CSO Blinds.com – “If you spend enough time helping people get what they want, you eventually get what you want”
A work place environment that balances fun and work sounds more like a tech firm than a blinds company.  Blinds.com, however, is not your typical company and just a quick conversation with Stephen Riddell showcases how such an innovative company operates.  For Blinds.com it begins with philosophy that has become a living component of their culture as opposed to just a message written on the wall.  By investing in people’s skills, employees are able to reach higher with the support and encouragement of their co-workers behind them.  This type of support leads to experimentation without fear of failure that sparks inspiration and innovation at Blinds.com.
Ben Young, Pastor Second BaptistBen Young, Pastor Second Baptist 
Communication can one of the biggest challenges to be successful in both business and life. As a pastor Mr. Young has taken on the challenge of communication as a life long journey to grow, improve, and practice these skills.  In tackling how to communicate successfully with others, Young encourages the following questions as a basis for your approach:

  • What do I want them to know?
  • Why do I want them to know it (what is your passion behind it)?
  • What do I want them to do?
  • Why do I want them to do it?
  • How do I make it stick?
  • How do I want them to feel?

These lessons are just a few I gained from this powerful event.  An opportunity you have to meet with mentors and peers intimately is a prime chance to really learn something new and unexpected connections that can shape your future.

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