THANKING THE ONES WHO SHAPED US.

How one role model inspired an entrepreneur to switch roles

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Rudy,

I am happy to share that the work we have done since iNSPIRE! got started has been recognized in our industry and has helped us grow the business and subsequently the size of our team. As I interviewed candidates to fill the newly created positions and thought about who would be the best person for the different roles, I could not help but think about when we met in that first interview as I was getting ready to graduate. Even though it was over 10 years ago, I still remember it pretty well.

I remember the drive to the office, how nervous I was sitting in your office, what suit I was wearing, and how in the middle of the interview you switched to talking in Spanish just to see if I really was bilingual. But out of all the memories, the one that is the strongest and was the reason why I was so interested in joining the company was the impression you made on me. As one who always seemed to be the youngest person in the room, I was so impressed by what you had been able to achieve at such a young age. The reality is I wanted to be just like you. Thank you for never disappointing that first-interview impression.

I have never told you this, but you are one of the reasons why I am an entrepreneur today. While I always dreamt of the day when I would own my own advertising agency, it was the subsequent conversations you and I had after our lunch with Pete and Owen at Taco Diner that helped me realize I have what it takes to make the dream a reality. Your advice changed my perspective and the path that I would follow from that point on. Even today, as we find ourselves as 2 business owners competing in the same industry, you continue to provide guidance and to be there to ensure that I am successful.

Through our years of working together, you were always a role model to me. Even when career opportunities took us in different paths, you have always been there when I have needed it the most. Whether I was looking for advice or a listening ear, I have always been able to count on you for great perspective on anything. What has impacted me the most over the years we have known each other is that regardless of how complicated the situation I am wrestling with may be, I have always felt better after talking to you.

I have been very blessed in my personal and professional life to have people who believe in me and have given me the opportunities to succeed. As I look back at key moments that have set me in the path I am today, I can't help but realize they all seem to have you at the starting line - that first interview, the move to Miami to work on McDonald's, and the realization that there is no better time than now to make dreams a reality.

Thank you for your support, your guidance, and your friendship all these years. To have you as a mentor is inspirational, but to have you as a friend is beyond words.

Sincerely,

Tommy T.

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