Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Southeast Texas, Port Neches, a little town of about 15,000 people near Beaumont and Port Arthur, a blue-collar town. You grow up working in refineries. You’re close to the earth. Our relatives come from Louisiana. I make a mean gumbo.
And you played football at Rice University?
I played there from 1968 to 1971. I was a linebacker.
What’s your favorite football memory?
My junior year we played at California – Berkeley. It was one of those games when everything clicked, except the final score (thanks to a last-minute Hail Mary). I had my career high in tackles and assists, two blocked passes, and I recovered a fumble.
Who’s your favorite NFL team?
I have a soft spot for the Texans, but I have to pull for the Cowboys.
How would you describe your management style?
I’m an intense salesman with a great deal of empathy for co-workers. I think colleagues would say I’m tenaciously aggressive toward business and very appreciative toward people who work with me.
Who was your mentor in the industry?
Blois Bridges, a past managing partner of Swantner & Gordon. He gave unselfishly of his time, energy and wisdom.
What have you learned that you would pass on to others?
If you seek to lead, your ability will be measured in the successes of those around you.
What business leader do you most admire?
Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford, for his leadership style.
What’s the most interesting thing in your office?
Other than all the deer and turkey and horns on the wall?
I’m guessing you’re a hunter.
Avid hunter and fisherman. I have a collection of everything from an arctic musk ox to a fully mounted turkey I shot with a bow. I went hunting in the Arctic Circle for caribou and musk ox. I got what I call a snow white caribou.
What do use when hunting?
A high-powered .300 Weatherby rifle.
Where do you typically hunt?
I have a ranch north of town and a lease in South Texas. On opening day of dove season, we take people shooting. After that, quail season opens, and right after that deer season.
What’s your biggest catch?
An Alaska Yukon moose, taken in southern Alaska near the Bering Glacier.
The third largest in Alaska that year. It scored 531 5/8 Boone & Crockett points and 1,800 pounds.
How big is your ranch?
There are three things you don’t ask a ranch owner in Texas. You don’t ask how many cattle he’s got. You don’t ask the size of his ranch. And you don’t ask if he only drinks bourbon. It’s not that big—fewer than 500 acres. It’s just a place to go hide.
Family: Wife Donna (39 years); two sons: Reid, in California, and Mark, who works for his father in the Houston office (“He’s better than me: He walked on at Rice; then, they gave him a scholarship.”)
Wheels: During the week, a Suburban; Weekends, a 4x4 crew cab pickup
Nightstand Reading: One Ranger by H. Joaquin Jackson and David Marion Wilkinson
Favorite Charities: American Cancer Society, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Houston Livestock and Rodeo