Interview with Serial Entrepreneur Tom Walter
Tom Walter is CEO of Tasty Catering, a mentor to young entrepreneurs and co-author of the book It’s My Company Too!. Tom will be speaking to students at the 2013 CEO National Conference in Chicago, October 31 – November 2 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
Tasty Catering is a full service catering company in Chicago. The company was founded by three brothers – Tom, Larry, and Kevin Walter. The company does over 10,000 events a year and has won countless awards including being name to Crain’s Chicago Business’ Best Place to Work list for the past three years, including two top three finishes.
Tom is an avid supporter of young entrepreneurs. As a business owner and serial entrepreneur over the past 40 years, Tom will be the first one to admit that he has made many mistakes along the way. Tom promised himself that if he ever made it as a successful entrepreneur, he would give back to others to help them avoid some of the mistakes that he has made along the way. Tom mentors 30-40 entrepreneurs at any given time.
Among the entrepreneurs that Tom works with on a regular basis are his employees. Tom has helped start five companies in the last five years within Tasty Catering. Helping his employees start their own business has helped retain talented employees along with growing Tasty Catering. ”Rather than lose them to go out and find their own business and leave us completely, we wanted to keep them involved because their brains were so precious and their approaches to life were so unique. Rather than have them leave us, we thought that we would help them start their own business.” Tom described this as his 401K plan.
2013 CEO National Conference
At the 2013 Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) National Conference, Tom will be speaking about what it takes to build a sustainable organization, including the important options to consider when developing a business model. One key point he will touch on is prenuptials, which he highly recommends for young entrepreneurs who will work with partners.
– More insights on Tom’s journey as an entrepreneur.
– What a young entrepreneur can gain from his book It’s My Company Too!.
– Tom and I discuss the divorce rate among startups, why it is so high, and if it is higher than the rate of divorce in marriage.
– The 3 traits of success in startups.
– Best piece of advice: “Ask for advice and ask for help. I’ll never be able to answer unless you ask for help.”
– If you could add one person to your team at Tasty Catering, who would it be and why? Jack Stack. Humble leader who gives uncommon common wisdom.