Rick Meekins

Meet Rick! Rick is an experienced entrepreneur and business operations management consultant who works with business leaders to improve business operations performance and design strategies for business growth. His education spans Culinary Arts, Business Management, Project Management, Organizational Development, Business Strategy, Business Operations, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Design, and Innovation. Rick is a creative thinker who seeks out ways to combine seemingly unrelated lines of thinking to develop unique approaches to solving problems. I loved talking with Rick as he passionately expanded upon so many deep ideas from these basic questions!

A huge thank you to you, Rick, for sharing your time and thoughts with us! You are greatly appreciated!!

 

Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?

Answer: Many years ago I owned a restaurant. We were good at putting out food and catering but had a gap in operations, which I think was a matter of a lack of time and experience. But looking at other businesses, I saw the same struggle- they were great at their crafts but were limited in their abilities to grow because they didn’t have the necessary knowledge or experience. Business operations was not a concept that is foreign to me. I’ve always been good at clarifying hazy concepts and organizing ideas into concrete, workable concepts, which is foundational for operations.
So I saw this gap in the marketplace and I decided to build a company that would support operations for small businesses to help them manage their businesses effectively and helping them be more efficient and effective to support long-term growth. One of our clients recently was selected for the Inc. 5000 list by achieving 99% growth over a 3-year period!

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock, and what do you love there?
A: The Reel on Main Street. It’s one of those great restaurants with great food, wonderful service an open kitchen and fantastic energy. Had lunch there with my daughter and loved it.

Q: How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
A: We moved here in September of 2017 from Acworth.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock?
A: My neighbor, Rich Garogalo. When I met him, he had a company. Later he told me, he hired someone to run the company. Then all of a sudden, he’s at home and he’s doing all kinds of things to his house! But he’s a great man, he loves my kids- he’ll sit and talk to them more than he talks to me! I’ve seen he and his wife Loren open his home to people or hold events that fill our cul-de-sac with cars. He’s 70 something years old, and he can handle anything! I hope to be like him when I am that age.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: Well now with the internet, you meet people from all over the world, so I’ve gotten invitations to visit many interesting places that I’d love to go to! I think what would be amazing would be to go on an African safari.

Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: I’ve always liked ‘The Matrix’. I guess what I get from it is how the awakening that he and the other unplugged people had seemed to parallel life: there are people who just go through life and treat it like it is a complete drudgery versus the people who find their purpose and live it every day – the “unplugged”.

Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: I think what strikes me about a lot of people is that there’s the opportunity to seek out the truth, but many seem to choose what is easiest or most convenient rather than “digging in” to find what’s true. I would tell a crowd of people to seek out the truth, don’t just go along with what everybody else is telling you.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: Well you have your typical bucket list- you know, jump out of an airplane, bungee jumping, etc., but I was thinking “what’s beyond that?” … I think I want to be in a rodeo. I want to ride on a bull. I’m considering the medical impacts, but I think if I can do it while I’m young enough…

Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: I listen to a lot of music, but I always go back to reggae. Now, I’m a musician, so I’d be really interested to hang out and talk with Jimmy Hendrix because his artistry is just amazing. I also really appreciate Bob Marley- what his message is, his passion for his children, and the hope that he gave to people in his country. The third person I think would be Sade. With what she’s done for her culture, I just think it’s amazing. I don’t know as much about her, but I understand that she overcame a lot and when you watch her performances, it’s like she’s just giving it all.

Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Woodstock?
A: I went to The Wright Stuff with all the records and comic books on Main Street, and I had like an hour-long conversation with Tom, the owner, which was awesome. I’ve enjoyed watching downtown and its rebirth over these past few years.

Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
A: I’d like to have lunch with President Obama. I’d take him to Maple Street Biscuit Company

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Woodstock?
A: I’d call it the different flavors of Woodstock. There’s so much diversity in what you might call a small community.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: One thing I’m working on right now is some additional ways to drive revenue to the company that would potentially allow me to get into teaching. Teaching entrepreneurialism is an important topic for communities, and I would love to get into a program to help teach that.

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I am a formally trained chef. I have an AoS from Johnson & Wales University

Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Family, God, and culture

Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: I’m leaning towards Harrison Ford- I was a fan of Indiana Jones and all his adventures.

Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: Trainer, hands down!

Learn more about Rick’s business here: Aepiphini Business Consulting  https://aepiphanni.com/

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