Joe Brown, 37

Name: Joe Brown

Family: Wife, Katy Brown – Mom, Rosanne – Dad, Bill – Brothers, John and Thomas

Hometown: Overland Park, KS 

Age: 37

Company: HF Custom Solutions

Position: Owner/CEO

How do you choose to give back to the community? Initially I did not have much money, but a ton of extra time so I volunteered all over Fort Worth as often as I could.  In more recent years we have been fortunate enough to donate towards an endowed scholarship at TCU, we often donate shirts and other promotional apparel to local organizations and I am currently serving as the TCU National Alumni Board President-Elect. I am on the TCU Block T Association Board (Letter winners at TCU) and the Fort Worth Rotary Club.

What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? I believe a 15-year-old should know how to start their own business and manage finances.  I had a lawn mowing business when I was 15 and all the money went into a savings account.  I wish my parents would have made me start an LLC for my company and manage my finances on QuickBooks.  It wasn’t a very complicated business, but those tools would have set me up for success later in life.  It is easier to learn at 15 with a big safety net than when you are 26 with no safety net! 

Where did your first paycheck come from? I was a lifeguard at a local country club in Kansas City.

What other profession would you like to try? For a short time my wife had a travel blog and I really enjoyed working on it with her.  I would really like to start that again with her at some point in our lives.

Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important?  My father-in-law, Derek Cardno, has been extremely influential in my life.  My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years back and Derek has really stepped in and served as a great sounding board for business and in life.  He comes from a large company background where he worked his entire life and thus can give me a completely different perspective on many issues.  Having a safe person you can talk through situations with is priceless.

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was really young, I wanted to be a professional football player.  When that dream looked less likely in high school I focused all my attention on becoming a successful businessman.  

What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? I can’t pretend that I really watched influential TV or video games growing up, but I really enjoyed Saved By the Bell reruns, the movie Tombstone, and playing NCAA College Football on PlayStation.   

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? I am the TCU record holder in the Javelin, I was an All-American, Academic All-American, and Mountain West Conference Athlete of the Year. 

What is your ideal vacation? I love traveling and I have found the places that are hardest to get to, are the most incredible to visit.  My wife and I got engaged in the Maldives and it was incredible.

Favorite food or restaurant? Key Lime Pie 

Favorite drink? Cold beer in a frozen mug 

Favorite movie: Tombstone 

Favorite sports team: Kansas City Chiefs

Favorite song: Kings of Summer by Ayokay 

Tell us about your prop? My prop is a letter than was given to me in high school from one of my football coaches. It is the Man in the Arena quote by Theodore Roosevelt.  When I was a junior in high school, I was a long snapper on the football team and with time winding down in the game, all I needed to do was snap the ball back to the punter and we win the game.  Instead I snapped it over his head, the other team recovered and we lost the game.  He gave me that note the next day and I have kept it with me ever since.  You never know what is going to happen in life but I want to be the person in the arena putting it all on the line.  It makes the successes a little sweeter and you know you gave it your all if you come up short.  

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