Phil Romano makes no bones about it. He doesn’t listen to others. While he claimed that made him an ideal entrepreneur, he also was a memory-maker at Wednesday’s “Expanding Worlds” luncheon at the Hilton Anatole benefiting LaunchAbility.
Co-chaired by Jay Hull and Maggie Cooke Kipp, this year’s on-stage chat trio included Phil and fellow entrepreneurs Dee Lincoln and Scott Ginsburg with emcee Scott Murray. And that maverick spirit was the common thread of the three, as was their all having been in the restaurant business and in customer service.
But on this occasion there was no doubt that Phil was the godfather of entrepreneurship and he was not going to be corralled by time restraints.
A perfect example was when emcee Scott was winding things down and announced they were going to have a lightning round of questions requiring “only a one- or two-word answer.”
First question: “As a kid growing up, everybody wanted to be fireman or a policeman or a cheerleader, whatever it was; what did you want to be?”
Dee: “Airline stewardess.”
Phil: A two-minute monologue about how from childhood he had wanted to be an entrepreneur.
As emcee Scott tried to lasso Phil to conclusion, Dee asked, “Did you say two minutes?” and Scott G interjected, “This is starting to feel like a presidential debate.” [Laughter]
Phil continued. Long story made short, he wanted to survive and be the best at whatever he did. He feared failure.
Another question raised, brought another Phil-ism. He recalled that after working for a while with the late legendary restaurateur Norman Brinker, Phil was advised to cut his ponytail. On this suggestion, Phil must have listened to his inner man and realized Norman’s wisdom. The ponytail vanished.
Once again LaunchAbility brought together three totally different Dallas personalities to fascinate hundreds for the good of “children and adults with developmental disabilities in achieving their maximum potential and leading fulfilling lives.”
Can’t wait to see which three Dallasites will be talking next year!