A Call for the Return of Family Values (originally posted 9/2/15)

As we face today’s issues, riots in Ferguson, Baltimore, ISIS, politicians who lie, etc…we are told my many that old solutions will not work. We must come up with new ideas and the people that commit these atrocities are justified in their actions. We excuse bad behavior, bad manners, and even murder. When a teacher or a parent tries to discipline a child and teach some kind of responsibility and morality, it is usually the teacher or parent who gets into trouble. If the parent will not make sure their child is attending school and the child fails, it is a bad school and it is the school’s fault. If someone murders a policeman, they are ‘justified’. Our politicians lie so routinely we excuse and just accept it.

I say we do not need any new age ideas, we just need to get back to basic principles of right and wrong and personal responsibility. We can work to pull people out of poverty but not excuse rioting and murder in the process. There are ways to better one’s station in life and stealing, vandalism and murder is not one of them. There are many legitimate ways to express your displeasure with certain policies but they do not include burning down your neighbor’s business or killing someone you don’t even know.

Public officials routinely lie, but what is worse we make excuses for them if they are a member of our party of share our views…and condone the behavior.

We are a country of laws and behind those laws are a strong sense of right and wrong, and fairness. If you violate these laws you should be punished without exception. Being wealthy does not give anyone the right to commit crimes but neither does being white, black, brown or poor. If you go through life treating others with respect you will get respect returned. If you are financially poor you can rise above this. There are many private and government programs to help anyone rise from poverty but  you must make the effort and do the work. Ultimately, only you can dictate your success.



On Winning the Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Jo Ann and I started our business in May 1987. We were having difficult financial times and we wanted our own source of income. We both worked full time jobs and delivered coffee on lunch hours, nights and weekends. We started with just the coffee service and added vending two years later.

Today things are very different, we serve 17 counties and have 23 employees. I believe we have been successful because we put our customer’s needs first. Technology is the buzzword in business today and it certainly has its place but personal service (the human touch) is still the key to our success and I don’t see that changing.

Another key to success in today’s business is offering the products your customers need and want. We have greatly expanded the services we offer our customers, such as filtered water systems and micromarkets. We are always looking for new ideas to better serve our clients.

When you are starting a new business, all your focus is on making a profit and establishing your business, as your business matures, some of your energy should be directed to giving back to your community. We have tried to be an asset to East Texas by Adopt-A-Highway program and other charities. We encourage all our employees to adopt the same philosophy.

Which leads me to my final point: to grow your business you must recruit and employ good people. You cannot do everything yourself so you must surround yourself with competent, dedicated individuals. We have done this at Robert’s Coffee & Vending and have a great team.

Jo Ann and I want to thank the Chamber and our employees for this award.


*Originally posted in March 2014