Mr. Scott Walker, the Thunderbird Alumni and one of the founders of the Walker Center at Thunderbird had invited us to his Winery at Napa valley. It was a beautiful ride and very scenic. At the vinery we were hustled into a cave, where in the midst of barrels of wine, we had our meeting table set-up.
Mr. Walker, is one of the amazing personality I have met in my life. After Thunderbird in 1981, he focused mainly in finance and worked with GE Capital and Lloyds bank. After 1991, he did suffer a setback in his life where in he was forced to change his career paths. Also he had to handle some personal emotional moments. After a suffering, he had decided that he will not give up, he will never compromise on anything and if he survives his bad patch, he will give back to the society.
Later, he went on to become financial consultant for many companies, one of the major one being Telepay, in which he entirely restructured the department and made it profitable. He has been partnering with his good friend, Mr. William. Here is another lesson we learnt. Till date, he and Bill (as he calls him), had several disagreements but was only for constructive purposes and there has been no thought of mistrust. BillMatrix the company which was formed as a result, is one of the most successful companies in the recent times.
In the recent times Mr. Walker also has been involving himself in aviation fuel industry. He told us a very interesting comment when it came to international business he is doing in China. It seems he was teaching some of his Chinese counterparts on how to drink wine. He says “Teach me how to drink tea and I will teach you how to drink wine”. I see a very profound meaning in this statement. This is a very statement that global businessmen should have in sharing the knowledge across borders.
After a sumptuous lunch, we were hosted by Mr. Walker for wine tasting. He is very passionate about wine industry; he was the founder of the Wine Club at Thunderbird. I was very happy that we ended the winterim on a high note.
I thank my friends in the winterim who have helped me during travel and stay. Also on behalf of all the students, I thank Prof. Stralser, for conducting this winterim which has been a fun-filled trip across California and a very valuable one in my Thunderbird experience.
Ramkumar Ganesan (1460530)
MBA Candidate, 2013