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HE HAS HANDS IN MANY POTS

How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?

We moved here in 1998 from Clearwater, where we lived for 11 years. I was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas.

Who are the members of your family?

My daughter, Haleigh, is 13, and my son, Matthew, is 12.

Tell us about your career.

After high school, I went to college to be a geologist. To help pay for college, I began working in restaurants, and I guess I decided I liked food more than rocks.

I actually am less than 10 hours away from a degree, and I've often thought about going back and finishing. But for now, work and family keep me too busy.

After moving to Clearwater, my first job was at a restaurant, as was my second and third job. Since coming to Florida, restaurant business is all I've ever done.

The first Boston Cooker restaurant opened in Oldsmar in 1985. I joined the company in 1993. My business partner, Robert Theriault, and I now have two restaurants - the one here in Spring Hill, which I operate, and the original restaurant, which is now run by Brent Munroe. Brent came on board as a partner not too long ago. Robert is currently living in Tennessee, now as more of a silent partner.

What kinds of activities are you involved in?

I recently joined Business Networking International, or BNI. I'm also a member of Rotary Club of Spring Hill. The Kiwanis Club of the Nature Coast recently made me an honorary member, since they hold their meetings at the restaurant.

But where I spend most of my time is with the First Hernando Youth Soccer Association. It's almost my second home. Both of my kids are very involved in soccer and have moved up to the travel teams.

In the past, I've coached. But they are so far advanced now, I stepped back and spend my time cheering. They both play on the U-14 competitive teams.

And to keep on top of school things and get involved, I became a member of the school advisory council at Powell Middle School.

I'm also a distributor for Mona Vie, which is a nutritional drink. I sell it, along with other energy drinks, at the restaurant. I think they are so much healthier for folks than, say, Red Bull.

Tell me more about your involvement with Rotary.

I joined Rotary many years ago. At first I was very involved. Then, after going through my divorce and spending time getting things worked out with the kids' schedules and my work schedule, there wasn't much time for Rotary. I recently found the time and have since got back into the activities of the club.

The first thing I got on board with was the new Vocational Appreciation Award that club president Janet Coit started. Each month, we recognize a hardworking individual in a profession that is often thankless but vital to the quality of life in Hernando County.

I was happy to help when Janet asked if I'd be able to contribute to the award side of things. Each month, in addition to the other club recognitions they receive, I give the recipient a $50 gift certificate to my restaurant.

I have also sponsored other Rotary events, such as the annual Brain Bowl.

Do you have any special hobbies?

With work, soccer, homework and laundry, there isn't much time left. When I think back, I remember really liking golf and fishing. But I do make time each night before I go to bed to read.

What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?

By far the sporting events. I enjoy my kids' soccer games and local football games, too. And we all enjoy Buccaneer Bay as often as we can.

What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?

I'd like to see some larger businesses move in and take advantage of our property values. These larger businesses can offer more jobs to Hernando residents and really help the county.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

Most folks don't know that I was born in Texas and raised on a cotton farm. I went to Texas Tech University to be a geologist. And I'm a Red Raider at heart.

Who would have guessed with that background I'd end up here in Hernando County?

Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at jhayes@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1438.

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