Wednesday, September 26, 2012


As a Public Relations Officer at UCO Management Club, I arranged to have a very inspiring man as a guest speaker for our weekly meeting. I selected Joe Holmes, CEO of Ground Works, Inc. A leader that chases opportunities regardless of how risky they are. I knew the works of GWI, Inc. when I started my career in contracting companies in Iraq. The works of GWI is well known in Iraq by its quality. GWI is an international business developer and construction company. It has offices in South Africa, Dubai, Georgia and Iraq. The HQ is here in Edmond, Oklahoma. This was a pleasant twist of destiny since I moved there from Iraq where I spent the last year working in a company next door to GWI Iraq office. I met Mr. Holmes through a dear friend family and it turned out that Mr. Holmes is their friend. The reason I chose Mr Holmes is his persistence on pursuing opportunities no matter where they are and how risky they might be. GWI operated in Iraq in the most volatile and dangerous era not letting insurgent or terrorists interfere with his vision and dreams. 

Mr. Holmes shared with us his strife to the top. He started by telling his success story on how he climbed the corporate ladder then becoming a CEO of a family owned very successful business. The primary lesson he gave us and repeatedly mentioned is " there is always something to do". This is, according to him, is what is very important in climbing the corporate ladder. It is with hard work on something really matter. He also stressed on Business Plan, when he started his business, his most important asset was a business plan based on a thorough research of the market and finances. The most important point in a business plan is what would makes it difference than other business plan and convince investors and bankers to adopt it. To seek investors, Mr Holmes advised to avoid venture capitals and look for bankers, good businessmen and foreign capital. 

Mr Holmes concluded with valuable advises for future businessmen and corporate business developers as most of us in management club seek to be. He stressed the significance of us learning up to two foreign language, Spanish is not included. There is growing need for Russian. Moreover, if we are looking for people to hire for our business, we shall look for people smarter than we are and let them do the job without micromanaging them. 

This event was one of the most insightful, informative and inspiring session we had to experience. The knowledge and the experience of a man that has not been discouraged by the most difficult and likely life threatening challenges. He went all over the world chasing his dream and making his vision a reality.