CEO Hockey Night 2013

January 12, 2013

On Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 20/20 Outlook became an official limited liability corporation in the state of Texas. Last night friends who had encouraged me before, during, and after starting this CEO advisory firm gathered in a Cedar Park Center VIP suite to celebrate its third anniversary celebrations that we named “CEO Hockey Night.”

Before the game, I made notes about remarks I’d deliver during the break after the first period. When that time arrived, it didn’t feel right to interrupt the fun and conversations everyone was having. Driving home last night, though, I realized I had to share some thoughts with everyone. Here is the brief speech I had planned to give:

Welcome to 20/20 Outlook’s third anniversary celebration, cosponsored by Cedar Park and Corvalent. It’s great to be here with many old and new friends who have been encouragers in one way or another since the beginning.

A big thank you to special guest Joel Trammell, a serial entrepreneur and someone who’s become a great sounding board in the past couple of years. I’m sure many of you came because you knew he’d be here, and I appreciate his early enthusiasm and support for this event.

I could go on and on about every person in this room. Each of you is a successful leader, and I have great stories on… uh, I mean, about, almost everyone if there were time. That said, I do want to mention a few people in particular.

First, Mike Shultz of Infoglide. The 20/20 Outlook advisory processes were conceived when I worked as Mike’s CMO. They were implemented there, and he kept me on as a consultant after I left. I think of him as a cofounder for the contributions he made to forming the business, and he continues to be a mentor. Thank you, Mike, for your friendship.  And in case you were wondering, Mike, no founder’s equity is implied by those statements.

As a CEO of a medical equipment firm, Gary Cowsert hired me to advise him even before the LLC was formed. His willingness to pay me generously for my services was a significant impetus to file the LLC and get started in earnest.

Next, Ed Trevis, CEO of Corvalent Corporation. Ed hired me to advise him just two months after the LLC was formed. Since that time when he became the first official client of the LLC, Ed and I have forged a relationship that transcends business. Arriving in Silicon Valley 30 years ago with $200 in his pocket and speaking no English, Ed is the best possible example of the American dream. Thank you for sharing your friendship and your creativity, Ed.

Pat Niekamp founded TexasCEO magazine about the same time as 20/20 Outlook was born. We immediately found ways to help each other find the path to success, and that relationship continues. Some of you in this room have contributed articles to TexasCEO as a result. Thank you, Pat, for all your help.

When I started 20/20 Outlook, I vowed I would never take on a partner. Never say never. Tonight I’m announcing that Brad Young has joined 20/20 Outlook as a senior partner and trusted CEO advisor. I am blessed to be working with a close friend and confidant. Brad brings deep complementary insight and domain knowledge to the firm, and he brings his own extensive network of industry friends. Thank you for joining me, Brad, and thank you for proposing this event.

Finally, let’s thank the event’s coponsors, Corvalent and the City of Cedar Park, without whom tonight’s event would not be possible. Ed introduced us to the Honorable Matt Powell, mayor of Cedar Park, and Phil Brewer, the city’s director of Economic Development. They lead a city government that recognizes the proper role of government with respect to business: create the right environment and infrastructure, then get out of the way.  They are doing a fabulous job of making Cedar Park a thriving community, and their support and generosity are deeply appreciated.

Thanks to each of you for your friendship and for taking the time to be here tonight.




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