The Houston Executive Confessional Recap from November 2016
By Tricia Roberts, Area Vice President, Core24 Houston [email protected]
On Nov 14th, invited guests of Core24 and our members, mixed, mingled and met our partners while enjoying great food and cocktails over some high-level networking at the Houston Improv. That set the stage for the highlighted “fireside chat” from our featured speakers, Jon Schlegel, Founder of Snooze Café and Jeff Senske, Founder of the Aquarium Design Group (ADG). Though these are two entirely different businesses and journeys, there was a common thread heard that night – both talked about distinctive passions with an unstoppable resilience that lead them to build extraordinary companies. (Ironically, they both founded their companies with their brothers.)
Core24 & Admin Awards Founder, Sunny Nunan, interviewed Jon. His chat about how the concept and vision grew after years of hustling for restaurateurs on top of a battle with the snooze button…that’s all that was needed to became the birth of Snooze, an a.m. Eatery. He showed the true definition of relentlessness when he & his brother Adam got “no after no after no” when pitching the concept to investors and bankers. His vision and “desire to make people happy” as he stated, was quite refreshing (especially coming off the heels of the election). Failure, true grit, and a drive knowing…believing, there was something better out there to make communities and people better, 1 breakfast at a time. Houston’s first Snooze instantly became a hit and they’re expected to expand into 17 Houston locations. A toast to Jon!
Another brother like no other, Jeff Senske spoke about how he began his dream alongside his brother Mike in 2000 and have gone from a hobbyist stereotyped as the “fish guy” to having ADG becoming world-renowned trend setters with their “living art” that is now elevated to the respected heights as other art forms. He mentioned that they came out the gate with such strong financial backing that “it was like being unknown local band, playing at 1 bar that just signed a major record deal and overnight lived the lavish rock star life.” Landing major commercial contracts, working with renowned architects and designers Jeff said that regardless of “fish or insurance”, ANY business owner can relate to the ebb & flow of things. 2 years after the ‘record deal’ they were “dropped and fell hard. Again, those “no’s” and the falls are what that relentless resilience is all about. He spoke passionately about a deeper, major shift that had to happen for him internally and he reminded guests that “you finally realize you have to get out of your own way, drop any resentment and return to your ‘true self’. Once you do, it’s clear that what you thought was rock bottom was actually the beginning of the biggest doors that may ever open.” Mind, body and a passionate soul can be a profound thing to any business, anywhere.
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