As I approached "retirement" age (not to be confused with retirement itself), I began to look for someone who would take over some of the responsibilities I did not enjoy and was not very good at.
I had my eye on a friend I had known through our work at the Memphis Boys and Girls Club. I was a board member. He was the board chairman.
He was also the CEO of a well-known, successful company. He had studied and lived abroad. And his background as an engineer and in manufacturing obviously complemented my strong suits, which were sales and marketing.
"Could this be the guy I'm looking for?"
I felt good about approaching him, but decided to dig just a little deeper first. Soon after my spade touched the ground, I stopped digging.
My prospect grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Not speaking Portuguese is another weakness of mine). And on his 16th birthday, he went to get his driver's license with his father – an attorney by trade.
After passing the driving test and filling out the forms, there was a waiting period. The officer in charge came over and told my friend and his father that there was a slight mistake under the question regarding race.
"This 16-year-old kid had entered the letter 'H' as his race. And he replied that his answer was indeed correct because he was a member of the Human Race."
In spite of his father's "pleas to settle," this 16-year-old kid stood his ground and walked out with a card signifying that he was indeed a member of the Human Race.
I never looked any further.
Today, Paulo Teixeira is the CEO of The Juice Plus+ Company. And I hope and pray he will be here for a long time.
As for me, I am more involved than ever with Juice Plus+, doing what I love most and enjoying answering the race question on every form I fill out with an "H."
I just wish there were enough room to spell out "Human" and be able to add an "E" on the end.