Co-Owner, Addison’s and Sophia’s restaurants
A bit of everything, mostly supporting our great crew.
Degree in civil engineering from MU. Typical degree for a restaurateur.
Years lived in Columbia
30 or so.
Quote you live by
“Keep moving forward” —Maj. Richard Winters, from Band of Brothers.
Favorite volunteer/community activity
Working with our economic development community through REDI in order to grow Columbia’s economy. I am also passionate about our airport and making our air service as good as it can be. As a member of the Columbia Airport Advisory Board, I’m excited to see us extend the main runway so bigger planes can take off and land in all weather conditions, and I’m excited to see the completion of the new terminal, set to open next summer.
Favorite recent project
The Swift Prepared Foods facility project that the team at REDI worked to win for Columbia over several competing cities. We worked with many different stakeholders to bring Swift’s new operation to town. It will be an Italian meat curing facility that will provide specialty meats to retailers throughout the country. Swift will invest $200 million in the facility and create 250 new jobs in our burgeoning food manufacturing corridor.
A Columbia businessperson you admire and why
Brian Whorley. His integrity and entrepreneurial spirit are beacons for anyone that wants to start their own business. A few years ago, Brian had an idea to make health care more accessible and affordable while helping employees with deductibles and unexpected expenses. His company Paytient is a rising startup that is receiving national attention. Throughout, Brian has remained humble and continues to work hard to realize his vision.
Why you are passionate about your job
Every day is different. I enjoy the variety and challenges that come with operating our small businesses. I also enjoy the interactions that I have with my staff and our customers. The restaurant business gets in your blood, and those that love it love the friends and family we make along the way.
Why you are passionate about your company
My partners, Jeremy Brown and Adam Dushoff, and I have created three restaurants that, so far, are popular and see our share of repeat business. We want to continue to provide great food, great service, and an interesting atmosphere to delight our guests.
If you weren’t doing this for a living, you would
Be out of a job.
What people should know about your profession
It’s not for everyone. There are long hours and difficult situations, but there are also amazing people to work with, and you get to see people out having a good time. It’s great to know that you are a part of their experience.
The next challenge facing your industry
The historic labor shortage. Our industry is struggling to find staff, and that has led to limiting our hours and having to reduce capacity. We offer competitive pay; a health care plan that includes vision, dental, and vet care; and a 401(k) for full-time employees. There just seems to be fewer people in the workforce than before.
Your next professional goal
Innovating and improving in our restaurants. We are satisfied with the number of locations that we have, but will always look to improve the experience through food, service, and atmosphere. I am especially focused on how technology can improve efficiency and help streamline our operations.
Biggest lesson learned in business
I have had many amazing mentors throughout my years in business. My partners, Adam and Jeremy; my teammates in my MBA program; and my many friends on the boards that I’m grateful to be a part of have all taught me something that I was able to apply to my own business. The lesson for me is to continue to seek out opportunities and friendships. You never know where inspiration will come.
How you want to impact the Columbia community
I would like to continue to help make our community an amazing place to live, work, and play through volunteering with our great community partnerships. Columbia is a wonderful place to put down roots, raise a family, and live a good life. Improving our airport and making our economy thrive are two areas that I will continue to work on.
What you do for fun
Spend time with my family, mostly at a soccer field or biking on the trail.
My wife, Melinda, and I have four amazing kids: Jack, Leah, Kate, and Nick
Favorite place in Columbia
The Katy Trail is an amazing amenity for our community. I really enjoy exploring all the different trails and spurs in and around the city. I would love to see us continue to develop the trail system to complete the full loop around the city.
Accomplishment you are most proud of
In business, it is sharing these businesses with my partners and creating a partnership that has stood for over 20 years.
Most people don’t know that
I was involved in the theater department at MU and acted in a few shows my senior year.