Name: Walter Kinzie
Family: Spouse: Clara Kinzie, Kids: Piper Kinzie, Poppy Kinzie
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Company: Encore Holdings
How do you choose to give back to the community? We have a charity arm at Encore Live called Encore Love. Every artist we book, we ask to autograph guitars. Those guitars are then donated to charities to raise funds for that specific charity through silent auction, etc.
What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams but know that it will take great sacrifice and discipline to achieve them.
Where did your first paycheck come from? I had my first job when I was five years old, I got paid $4 a week for sweeping a local lumber yard retail store.
What other profession would you like to try? I would love to direct a movie some time.
Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important?
When I was 18, I was sick and in the hospital. I had to have an auto kidney transplant. While I was hospitalized, I got to know this other young man who had a terminal condition. The kicker was he didn’t have insurance and I did. During my time with him, he expressed that his wishes were to attend prom, graduate high school, and become a college student. At 18 I founded a 501c3, to raise money for him to get the medicine that he needed to check those bucket-list items off before he passed away. We helped him do those things and it is one of the most fulfilling projects I have ever done. He all but validated my decision to become an event-planner because I put on a concert to raise money and I was able to help him achieve what he wanted to do in life.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I was able to figure out early on that this was really what I wanted to do, thanks to my father and watching him so closely. I initially started doing this on a part-time basis since I needed to work full time to help pay my bills after my auto kidney transplant. I never completed college and I was 27 years old with just $500 to my name – but at least I was debt-free. Since I had paid off my all my medical debt, I quit my job and started Encore Live. So, this was always in the cards for me.
What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? I loved listening to a syndicated radio show growing up and hearing listeners call in from across America always had me dreaming about traveling the world and exploring new places. It drove my sense of adventure and discovery for me.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? I told my father when I was seven years old that I was going to produce concerts for a living.
What is your ideal vacation? It would be a phenomenal cruise featuring lots of destinations but with very little planning and delicious food 24/7.
Favorite food or restaurant? I love tacos
Favorite drink? Arnold Palmer all day long.
Favorite movie: While it’s not a movie, I have watched “The Office” from start to finish 14 times
Favorite sports team: Kansas City Chiefs, baby!
Favorite song: “The River” by Garth Brooks
Tell us about your prop? It’s a photo of my girls – my wife and my girls are everything to me.