Texas Tech University

Mark Davis Bailey Details Entrepreneurship and Core Values to Rawls Students

Trevor Bell

February 16, 2015

President and CEO of The Original Pancake House in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Mark Davis Bailey spoke with Rawls College student leaders about his entrepreneurial background and the importance of valuing Associates (employees) in today's business environment.

Despite graduating from Texas Tech University in 1983 with a degree in Architecture and being offered an architectural role with Disney, Bailey wanted to pursue his entrepreneurial options. Through a period of several jobs in architecture, construction, and international business, he came in contact with the owner of The Original Pancake House in 1989.

He attributed his decision to invest in the company to having developed a personal relationship with the owner, experiencing an exceptional product, and seeing the potential for success. In doing so, he seized an opportunity - something he hoped would resonate with the 20 students at the luncheon.

"Based on my experience, there doesn't have to be a fixed or boxed-up way to go through life. The dreamers and the thinkers are the ones who can't be afraid to step outside the box and act upon those dreams," he said. "It's important for people to be able to recognize breaks and opportunities, and have the energy and will to take advantage of them. This can serve them well. As business students, I hope they can see that entrepreneurship matters, and it's possible to create opportunities for themselves."

Throughout his visit, Bailey spoke about leadership, overcoming challenges, the importance of networking, past success and failures, and relationship building with Associates, Vendors, etc. Through his work with The Original Pancake House, Bailey has developed a strong stance on "Enlightened Hospitality" and the "Cycle of Satisfaction" - concepts where the company's treatment of their Associates will resonate with the company's Guests; thus, maintaining a genuine, caring relationship with Associates will result in their own satisfaction, as well as those served.

Students were captivated by this practice and remarked how his ideology would better serve them in the future.

"Mr. Bailey mentioned that a large attribute to his success came from the 'family culture' that he helped instill in his businesses. By placing the employees of the company first, Mr. Bailey was able to establish a chain reaction that ultimately made the end consumers have a more enjoyable experience," Tyler Frevert, a senior Finance major, with a concentration in Real Estate, said. "I couldn't agree more with Mr. Bailey's belief system, and it was a pleasure to get to learn from his experiences."

Additionally, Bailey's commitment to standards and passion for his work was positively received by the students.

"His success hasn't compromised his genuine characteristics and what he believes in. This shows us that you can be successful by staying true to yourself and not changing your own beliefs," Brandi Decker, a senior Energy Commerce major, said. "If you have passion and love for what you do, you'll become successful."

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This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.