On a visit recently with a local businessman we began discussing the Amon G. Carter biography by the late Jerry Flemmons – appropriately titled Amon: The Life of Amon Carter, Sr. of Texas – and some stories that helped advance the Carter legend but may have strayed from the facts.
Our colleague said arguing about facts misses the point.
Amon G. Carter was larger than life and his accomplishments were truly phenomenal. He built a media empire, starting with the Star-Telegram and then adding WBAP radio and a television station. He delivered newspapers by plane to the far reaches of West Texas. He was an oilman and real estate magnate.
The list of accomplishments goes on and on.
So it really doesn’t matter whether it’s truth or myth that he would carry a sack lunch with him on visits to Dallas to avoid supporting the rival city’s economy. It’s a great story that represents his competitive spirit.
Carter was the first pick for our Fort Worth Business Press Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. His recognition is a special one called the Pioneer Award.
Other members of our inaugural class are featured in this week’s (July 25-31) issue of the Business Press. Most of them have some quirkiness of personality. All of them, like Carter, are driven individuals and risk takers. Builders.
Here’s the list: David Minor, retired landscaping entrepreneur and founder emeritus Neeley Entrepreneurship Center; Bill Burns, Encore Vision; Tom Buxton, Buxton Company; Paul Dorman, DFB Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Marie Holliday, Marie M. Holliday D.D.S.; Rosa Navejar, The Rios Group; Clifton Morris, GM Financial; Bernard Tronche, Saint-Emilion; Debbie Cooley, M-Pak Inc.
Some of these individuals started out with little more than a dream and a credit card. Some of the highly successful businesses they founded are still “small” in common economic terms; some have grown into large companies.
We will recognize these innovators and job creators during our first Entrepreneur Summit to be held Friday, July 29, at TCU’s Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center. Our partners in the summit are IDEA Works FW and TCU’s Neeley School of Business.
The summit will feature panels of experts who will provide advice for participants who have started their own businesses or who dream of building one.
Taking the risk to start a business – and finding support for the undertaking – takes more than guts and more than money. It requires mentors willing to help guide a budding entrepreneur through the peaks and valleys inherent in the process. We have a number of persons who have offered to take part in the summit in that capacity.
The Business Press is honored to have the opportunity of recognizing those who have built companies, often in the face of tremendous challenges. Just as businesses start with the seed of an idea, so did this summit. We expect it to grow and expand, and as it does we and our partners hope to be a tiny cog in the wheel of job creation and economic growth.
As a bonus for our honorees, we’re planning a dinner for them at a restaurant owned by one of the group. It seemed like a better plan for sharing a meal than hauling them to Dallas and asking them to bring a sack lunch.
Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.