I grew up in Natchitoches, Louisiana, a small rural town best known for its meat pies and its standing as the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase. My parents were immigrants from the Philippines, drawn to the opportunities for a better life that they believed the United States could provide for their children.
After graduating from Washington & Lee University and then Kellogg’s MBA program, I joined PNC Equity Partners, co-founded Incline Equity Partners and then funded and started several different businesses in a variety of industries. I’ve spent nearly 30 years investing in growth companies, raising capital, nurturing ideas, and advising entrepreneurs.
One of the things I learned through these decades of experience is how important self-awareness and authenticity are to a company’s success. This is especially relevant for a company’s leader, whether they are a dream-driven founder or a recruited executive. You’ll encounter both types of people as you work with growing businesses. The key is to understand who that leader is individually, and how their unique path shaped them into who they are today.
I’ve always been fascinated by the stories and backgrounds of the various entrepreneurs, executives, and investors that I’ve met along the way. We all have our own paths that are widely varied. And if you’re compassionate and humble, you can meet some amazing people and make great friends, all while forging a path of your own. It’s one of the greatest things about life, and the world really.