College Professor | Entrepreneur | “Wise Old Man”
I was born in 1950, the son of a cotton sharecropper in Northern Louisiana, moved to Compton, CA and lived there for 4 years. At 7 years old, I moved to New Sarpy, LA. It was wonderful growing up in the River Parishes spending time hunting & fishing behind the levee, in the St. Charles Parish swamps, and dirt bike riding in the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway. Playing football, basketball, and baseball at Destrehan High School was truly for me a life changing experience.
After attending USL for 3 semesters, running out of money and options, I went to work for Carruth Mortgage, a small mortgage company in New Orleans. As only one of 5 executives in a 250 person company, I was the only executive without a college degree. With Carruth’s support, I returned to night school at Loyola and completed my BBA in 1978. When Carruth Mortgage was sold to the Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh in the late 70’s, existing Management was told we were the future of the company. But, when the Mellon Bank began they began sending in their freshly minted MBAs, I realized it was time for me to move on.
In 1978, I started RGC Investments, Inc., a real estate development company. From 1978 – 1988, RGC built $40 million dollars of speculative real estate projects. In the 1980s two things dramatically changed my life: First, I had an automobile accident resulting in T-7 Paraplegia, and Secondly, the oil field crashed taking the Louisiana economy with it. By early 1989 I had successfully liquidated my real estate holdings without personal or corporate bankruptcy. Now out of debt, out of a job, and scraped of all funds by lenders, I was relieved, but certainly concerned about the future.
Using Student Loans, I returned to school at UNO in 1991 received my MBA and in 1996 my PhD. After teaching 5 1/2 years as an Instructor, after graduation I got a job at LaGrange College in Georgia for 2 years, then to Morehead State for 2 years, all the while leaving my family in New Orleans. My wife was a Counselor and my daughters were now in high school. In Fall of 2000 I came to UL Lafayette and this Spring just completed my 20th year there. I have taught Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management and will continue you to teach, God willing for the foreseeable future.
My love is for God, Family, Country, and all things Louisiana. Historically, as citizens of Louisiana, we have laughed about the shenanigans of our politicians both at the state and local offices. But when your children and grandchildren are forced to move thousands of miles away because of the lack of career opportunities in Louisiana, the political corruption, self-serving career politicians, and support for political cronies, all humor disappears.
*Note – one daughter and 3 grandchildren live in California.