Name: Erika Ramos
Family: Patrick Lai (Husband), Luca Lai (Son)
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Company: Game Theory Restaurant + Bar
Position: Owner & Co-Founder
How do you choose to give back to the community? I enjoy giving my time and talents to organizations that inspire other people. I currently serve as President of SteerFW which seeks to civically engage young adults in the city and I am a board member for the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Last year, I served on the board of the Hispanic Womens Network of Texas – Fort Worth Chapter and still serve as mentor as part of their Latinas in Progress program.
What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? Fail fast and learn faster. You have big goals and your determination will get you there, just not in the way you think. You’re going to make mistakes, some small and some that feel so big you’re not sure how to overcome them. Take everything in stride and keep moving forward.
Where did your first paycheck come from? Walnut Creek Country Club. I worked in the daycare center and can’t watch the move Elf without thinking of that job or the kids was able to spend time with.
What other profession would you like to try? A documentary producer – there are so many fascinating concepts and people with remarkable stories, I think it would be fun to think through how to capture and share those with a broader audience
Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important? I was blessed to be surround by four strong Latina women growing up. They each imparted different lessons while emphasizing the importance of sisterhood. Three aunts and my mother taught me time and again the meaning of love and family. Nothing I’ve experienced or achieved, would be possible without them. I’m forever indebted to my mother and the sisters she brought along the way that shaped me into the woman I am today.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a doctor so I could help people. Luckily by high school, I learned I would do more harm than good and found business instead.
What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? Growing up, I loved the Harry Potter series. I always loved reading, but reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first time I felt moved by book. I love the adventure it took me on and how quickly it became a family affair.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? I’ve swam with sharks and stingrays…while 6 months pregnant.
What is your ideal vacation? An beautiful beach with crystal clear blue water paired with delicious food, thrilling adventures, and a good book.
Favorite food or restaurant? Mac & cheese – I practically lived off the stuff in college
Favorite drink? Dr. Pepper
Favorite movie: Any rom-com from the 90s
Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite song: I can’t pick! Current song on replay is Baila Asi by Play N Skillz, Becky G, Thalia, & Chiquis. I love that it takes a classic cumbia song I grew up listening to and remixes it with successful female, Mexican artists. Also, Play N Skillz is from DFW.
Tell us about your prop? My props showcase my greatest loves: My family photo shows an annual Christmas tradition my mom started of gifting my sisters and I matching pajamas on Christmas Eve. The board games are a few of our favorite games and the Wahoo board is a handmade gift I received from a customer after she visited for the first time. They remind me of the fun memories our business has created. The longhorn photo holds dual meaning. Fort Worth happens to be where both my husband and I were born; however, we didn’t meet until college at The University of Texas at Austin. The longhorn is symbolic of two places where I received my greatest gifts – my husband, Patrick, and my son, Luca.