" I grew up in Carrollton and Farmers Branch in Texas with my grandmother. She always told me I can be whatever I want to be and the only person that would ever hold me back would be me. You never know the role your family plays in shaping you as a person until you look back and see it. "
I never had a relationship with my parents. It was all my grandmother from three months old. I had odd and end jobs for a few years with construction, the city water department, and getting a job on a route truck for Pepsi Cola in Carrollton, TX in 1985. This is where my 37 years in this business started.
After about a year, I went to Dr Pepper as a route salesman off Mockingbird & Central Expressway in Dallas. There is a Kroger there now filled with Dr Pepper memorabilia because this was considered a historical landmark. I spent the next 20 years in various roles as Cold Drink Manager and Key Accounts calling on small convenience store chains. I then became a Regional Sales Director covering Texas and California chain convenience and drug stores.
The last six years of my career at Dr Pepper was Vice President over National Accounts Small Format. I was responsible for all convenience stores chains, drug store chains, and Dollar Store chains in 23 states. From there, I was recruited by the owner of Rockstar Energy drink to run his business over distributors and key accounts such as Walmart, Sam’s, HEB, Valero, 7-Eleven and many more in the US central region for the Coke distributors through this region. This job was suited for me because at Dr Pepper, I was a leading part of rolling out Monster Original Black 16oz cans. After my contract with Rockstar expired, I took a job at Coke USA as the Brand Manager over NOS and Fuse. This was not a long run at Coke because of restructuring.
I kept up with a friend but also customer for many years, Lee Highsmith. He was part owner in the business I own 100% of now. I remember when he first started I.B.C., the concept was to bring all of the independent convenience store owners together as an organization so they could get deals like QT, 7Eleven, RaceTrac through collective buying power. This was a way to help the little mom and pop convenience store owners compete against corporate chains. Lee and I kept up with each other over the years because people that worked under me at Dr Pepper managed his account.
In 2010, Lee and I had lunch to just to catch up. He had a manager that had cancer and was going to pass soon and wanted to know if I knew anyone that would like that job. At the same time, his partner was selling out to Lee and retiring. Lee and I got to talking and I made a suggestion that with my experience maybe I could fill the void for the manager and his partner retiring. We sat down and worked out a deal to earn me a fair paycheck but a lesser piece of the business profits if we grew. No risk there and very motivating for me to not be capped on my potential. I started I.B.C. in August 2010. At that time, I.B.C. had about 800+ store members in the organization throughout Texas and Louisiana. We started putting together a business plan that I felt would take I.B.C. to the next level because this was a service that a lot of stores needed.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is the balance of hours between family and business and what it took to get ahead to win without anyone suffering. Anyone can do it but not many are willing to put in it what it takes to truly be an entrepreneur. This could have not have been done without my wife who has worked equally as hard towards our success. I could not have done it without her work ethic and commitment to the same goals. She is the hardest working woman I have ever known. I knew I wanted to own my own business when I started on a route truck At Dr Pepper and shot up the system because I treated it like my own business. When the opportunity to work with Lee and own I.B.C. when he retired came up, it was a dream come true for me.
Spend time with my family, Lake Life, and Backyard Grilling
QUOTE FROM ROB
"You get back from the world what you put into it. Karma is real. Keep a good heart but even a stronger mind."