Question: Tell us about why you dreamed of opening a chain of pet stores.
Answer: I originally came down to USC, believe it or not, to go through their entrepreneurial program. I was working as a regional manager of a pet company in Sacramento and I enjoyed it. We sold animals and supplies, and that sort of thing, and I enjoyed hiring the staff of the company and I got to work with animals, which I love. I was in high school up there and I thought, well I will start my own pet chain in Southern California.
Q: But that didn't happen.
A: I look back and laugh at that now because obviously my horizons were expanded when I met my friends at USC and moved from Sacramento to Southern California.
Q: I take it you still have a few pets.
A: I have a golden retriever, a Lhasa apso and a pondful of koi. The dogs were named by my children; my golden retriever is Ingo and our Lhasa is Puka. No names on the fish.
Q: So how did your horizons expand at USC?
A: I joined a fraternity, SAE, and then in the fraternity I met just a lot of people that turned out to be successful people. I met several friends that are still my best friends in the world, particularly (developer) Rick Caruso, who was the president of the fraternity and I was the one that ran the pledges. He and I became the best of friends with that process. It just expanded my horizons, by becoming friends with people that had much higher goals and aspirations. I also met my wife my second year down here.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.