Archive | September, 2020

A Simple Country Lawyer

24 Sep

Several years ago at Kalypso, George came to me with a big concern and we agreed to take affirmative actions to increase the diversity of our team. After years of recruiting at Rice and UT we just had too many incredibly accomplished people from top tier universities.

Our first goal was to bring in an Aggie.

After using a New York attorney for a couple of years, I loved the idea of being represented by a simple country lawyer – maybe an Atticus Finch or a Matlock. But we got Ben. He is our Elle Woods. There is much more to him than just good looks and an “aw shucks” persona.

He is a true professional. He gets us. He is one of us. He keeps us out of trouble, and he has never lost a case – no matter how badly we might have screwed up.

Ben is a real family man. In addition to the four women in his house, he has what you might call an unusually extensive extended family. If he is not returning your call, there is a good chance that he is at his half-sister’s third cousin’s boyfriend’s little sister’s sixth grade graduation.

When he is working, he is a legal all-star. Congratulations to Ben on a legendary career as our lawyer, our friend, and a core part of this incredible cast of characters with character. We love you and you will be missed.

Melinda Keller for a Lifetime

16 Sep

Kalypso KARMA 2020 was in late August and we honored a number of people with Lifetime Awards. I was asked to say a few words about my friend, Melinda Keller. She was there from almost the very beginning of the firm and has always been there for me. Here is what I had to say:

“Melinda walked into my life 36 years ago this month when we were both freshman in college. It has been quite an adventure ever since. She has been right by my side through personal tragedy and professional triumph. If not for Melinda there would be no Stelos Alliance, no Housley Principled Leadership Program, and our memories of Kalypso KARMAs past would be very different. I could tell you stories of bull fights, bikini contests, bad camping trips, a bad trip of the other kind, and many tales of youthful indiscretion, but time constraints and the overt threat of mutually assured destruction prevent me from going into detail.

What I can say is that my life has been enormously enhanced by her friendship – and all of us at Kalypso owe her a debt of gratitude for her contributions to our success and the culture we cherish so much. She is the epitome of a Kalypsonian – an incredible work ethic, a valuable set of skills, a state school attitude about life that doesn’t take things too seriously, and, most importantly, something a little weird that makes her a character with character.

Melinda, thank you from me and all of the people of Kalypso past and present. You are our rock and I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition than you. One thing you can’t make more of is old friends. I love you with all of my heart and I always will.”

My Personal Mission

6 Sep

It is week two of the Housley Principled Leadership Program and the students are drafting their personal mission statements. Many of us struggle to articulate our purpose and are subject to being bounced around by things that happen to us in life. A strong mission grounded in values provides us a guidepost in difficult times. Here is my current personal mission statement:

“My purpose in life is to help extraordinary young leaders reach their potential.

I wish to lead by example by adhering to a strong set of core values while pursuing ventures and adventures that create opportunities for others. I value hard work, the pursuit of knowledge, civic responsibility, financial prudence, entrepreneurship, adventure, exploration, laughter, friendship, and fun.

I want to be an influential and selfless person of consequence that leaves a positive legacy of enhancing the lives of all those that come into my orbit. Unless I am snow skiing or hiking, I prefer to do all these things somewhere hot.”

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