Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mr. Garrett

On March 18, Mr. Larry Garrett past away. It's not surprising that you may have never heard of him. But I think it's necessary that I tell you a little about him to understand why he deserves a blog entry. I'll spare you his biographical details, by providing a helpful link. For me, he was the first person to give me a chance in my career as a hopeful creative professional.

In those days, I struggled to get a job paying $8 an hour - even being turned down for one paying $6.50 and hour. I packed my bags and lived on my friend's couch in Atlanta waiting on a breakthrough, and it came in a little company in the suburb of Duluth. I had dreams of working on Madison Avenue one day - being a superstar creative genius. Instead, I found myself at an family-owned company where the closest restaurant was a Waffle House and a Checkers. Who would have imagined the experience I would have at that company? When others had no interest in me, it was Mr. Garrett who believed in me. Some people thought I was being used, but he was the only one who found any value in me. For that, I owe him a great expression of thanks.

I learned so many things from this little Scottish man. I learned the basics of business, entrepreneurship, and politics. As the first African-American in the head office, I learned that performance always has value to those who manage the bottom line. I learned that you can do a lot with a little. I learned what to do with opportunity.

Thank you Mr. Garrett. May you rest in peace. My prayers are with the family, and the entire Formetco unit.

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