After graduating from The University of Texas, with a degree in accounting (1972), I moved to Houston to start a new life. I could not wait to begin this new chapter. I perused two accounting jobs before deciding I wanted to go in a new direction. With the encouragement from my friend and mentor, Guy Cordell, owner of Ridley’s, I opened Alief Vacuum Cleaner Co. in Houston. I started my business in April 1977 selling and repairing vacuum cleaners. In the forty years of business, I have diversified into sewing machines, janitorial supplies, carpet cleaners, Mattel Power Wheels and Dyna Craft service centers.
I have faced many challenges with the ebb and flow of being self-employed and the Houston economy. I owe part of my success to my accounting degree from The University of Texas at Austin. It taught me the foundation of managing my finances and attention to detail which was crucial to my success. Being self-employed gave me a lot of self-satisfaction and having some sense of control over my working life. I don’t think I could ever be an employee and I won’t have to at my age. My wives and two children all graduated from The University of Texas.