Lee O. Molette, II is a savvy business man. But he also gives me grief. He affectionately hazes me. (In 2016, the use of the word haze is equivalent to a form of teasing or giving someone a hard time, though slightly playful.)
When I came back from North Carolina Central University (NCCU) one summer, he was already working and building a business. I went back to school (for a couple more years), crossed Phi Beta Lambda (co-ed business fraternity), then Alpha Kappa Alpha, and then the stage, for graduation. Once back in Nashville, I worked at HCA, then got laid off. (We all did, in marketing, we were in the ‘dark days).
Lee had started a new business by that time, and we attended the same church. He knew I was looking and asked if I’d be interested in meeting his business partners. “Of course!” I said. So, lunch at Friday’s on Elliston Place included meeting Lee, his three partners (Tony Holt, Reginald Holt and ‘Big Rich’) and the marketing director (Eric Walker), light banter and a new set of friends were born. I didn’t know I was actually interviewing (at the time). I knew they were all Ques and that Lee had crossed on a Phi Beta Lambda line a couple/few lines before me at NCCU.
So, I studied his line, the line before him and the lines after him.
And, then…I was asked the inevitable question, “what was Lee’s line name?” (In hindsight, they were so predictable, but at the time, I knew I had to be on my toes and prepared. Funny how different your perspective is right out of college…and after you’ve been on line in an undergraduate environment).
My response? “For Que or PBL?”
Needless to say, I got the job. Not just because of that answer, but because I was prepared. “The Joker” was proud, the guys were impressed and my resume spoke volumes. (That turned out to be an interview for the books. )
Many years later, Lee is still giving me grief, but he’s one of my biggest supporters. He’s like my big brother, client and friend all rolled into one. We’ve seen a lot in over 20 years…and it makes me even more proud when he accomplishes great things.
What a way to start off 2016, Lee! Congrats, my friend.