entrepreneur of the year

I feel humbled each day that we get to work with some of the most incredible companies in Dallas.  On Saturday evening, I had the privilege of attending the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Texas North) awards ceremony.  Two of our clients, Studio Movie Grill and Freeman were up for Entrepreneur of the year in the categories of Hospitality and Service, respectively.

As I watched Brian Schultz, founder of Studio Movie Grill, accept the award for Entrepreneur of the Year, I was filled with equal parts pride and humility.  Brian is a remarkable man in love with his business.  He immediately thanked his 3,500 employees and their dedication to the consistent customer experience.  He truly is changing lives one movie at a time.

Just a few moments later, to see the Freeman legacy make their way down the center aisle – Don Freeman, Carrie Freeman Parsons and Joe Popolo – again, I found myself in awe of the fact that I had worked with such a remarkable leadership team.  The Freeman dedication to their family and employee owned business and a culture that truly cares about people is a rare gem.

These companies and these leaders have something in common: they are risk takers.  In this article in the Wall Street Journal, they honor the leaders just like them who are taking the road less traveled. “Companies that gamble on new ideas are more likely to fail, but also more likely to hit it big. Entrepreneurs face long odds, but those that achieve success create jobs for many others…Multiplied across the U.S. economy, these acts of faith and ambition help speed money, talent and resources to where they are needed.”

So congratulations to the Studio Movie Grill and Freeman teams!  Thank you for letting us join you and be part of your story.  Thank you for paving the way for entrepreneurs by innovating, taking risks, hiring the best talent and creating cultures for each employee to contribute to the success of the enterprise.

Thank you for the privilege to serve you and for letting me remain, as always, your number one fan.

-Jesse Ihde