Why did you choose this business?
I've been working in video game retail for nearly 20 years, but slightly prior to owning GA, I had a job at Tivo. I realized that I didn't care for what I was doing, and I didn't want to simply work for a paycheck, because it wasn't fair to myself or the Tivo customers. It was about four months after Tivo that I had the opportunity to buy GA, and it wasn't just that I loved games, but that I could give customers the most authentic service possible. I just want to help people have the best gaming experience they could hope to have.
What is your company's greatest asset?
Without question, my employees. We have a lot of awesome resources to draw from, but since I'm very scattered about doing remote events and behind-the-scenes work, they've been a wonderful, helpful, kind, cooperative and reliable selection of people. Every one of them contributes something different, and they all do a great job at keeping GA at the forefront of customer service in their own unique way.
Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?
I was born and raised here, and from all the stores that have influenced me growing up to all the stores I've seen in my travels, I wanted to present ABQ with the culmination of all of my experiences and desires that a game store could be. It's been a lot of fun to put it together, and even cooler that the community has contributed so much to it, so now it's truly a product of all of us here.
What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?
Being strong enough to know when to let go. I opened a second store almost seven years ago, and finally sold it last year. It was a very difficult choice, but ultimately it was good for me to know what my limits were, and what would better allow me to allocate my time into the business for its benefit.
How do you maintain your competitive edge?
The best way to compete is to make myself the goal, and to constantly push towards bettering myself. We certainly have plenty of people in town who are in the same field, but our concern isn't to out-do anyone else, it's to constantly set our own bar higher. Listening to feedback and acknowledging missteps is the best way for us to see what the next best step is. The priority is to make ourselves better than each day before, and to not compete directly with anyone else.
What's your favorite saying or quotation?
"Shitsui Taizen, Tokui Reizen." Which means that we should act regally when things are bad, and be calm when things are going well.
I've learned an awful lot over the years, from conducting myself in a certain way to being humble enough to be wrong. There is always more to learn, and so I never want to get complacent. I’d say, keep going forward with conduct that will help inspire people.
If there is one thing about Albuquerque or New Mexico that you could change, what would it be?
I want people to give it a chance. I know there are issues here, but if we aren't willing to make it a better place, how can we expect it to improve? The only thing that can change is how people wish to make it better. So if I could change one thing, it would be a call-to-action to have people make the choice to stay here and help improve our city.
What inspires you?
Seeing people happy. Seeing people succeed. There is no greater joy than seeing someone enjoying the moment they are in. There is so much adversity in life, and nothing that hits quite as hard as it. When I get the chance to help someone relive a classic memory, make a new one, or forge a path for themselves with an air of renewed confidence, it makes me want to do and be more.