Saints Running Back
This is an article from the Feb. 14, 2005 issue
MCALLISTER, 26, is helping to renovate the 82-year-old King Edward Hotel in Jackson, Miss. The native Mississipian graduated from Ole Miss, to which he recently donated $1 million.
ON THE RENOVATION It's been abandoned for a while [since the late 1960s], and city officials were throwing around the idea of restoring it. I got involved last year. Some said it shouldn't happen. Mississippi has gone through extremely racist times, and at this hotel black people weren't allowed to enter unless they were working or delivering. That was as late as 1967. I'm partners with HRI Properties Inc., a real-estate group, and we're going to turn it into office space, condos and apartments. It will help bring life to the downtown. We hope to have it done within two years.
ON BEING CRITICIZED FOR RESTORING A 'SYMBOL OF RACISM' I'm a big enough person to accept criticism. That we're at a point where minorities can own the building shows how far we've come. I believe we're doing something positive. Not only as a black person, but for Jackson and for Mississippi.
ON OPENING A NISSAN DEALERSHIP IN JACKSON THIS SUMMER I got involved through a friend who was a car dealer in Gulfport, Miss. I plan to be actively involved. The biggest thing in any business is how you treat your customers. If you treat them right, they'll come back. I can't say I'm greatly informed about dealerships and selling cars, but I'm learning.
ON THE TRUCKING BUSINESS My father, Carl, has been a truck driver for more than 30 years. He had taken me to 48 states by the time I was seven. He owns a few 18-wheelers. I own four and lease them out.
ON BEING A CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJOR There's a possibility I'll go to law school down the road. It depends on how these business endeavors play out.
KONRAD, 28, is a partner at AllenKonrad, a wealth management firm that opened in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2003 and has about 500 clients.
ON HIS BACKGROUND IN ASSET MANAGEMENT I studied finance at Syracuse, and I've always been interested in the markets. They incorporate everything--from politics to economic policy. Even sports come down to dollars and cents.
ON GETTING STARTED When I came into the league [in 1999], I saw players who needed help. I saw guys who made seven-figure salaries, and then one or two years after retirement they would be broke. To me that was not only sad, but also pretty scary. So I started out just giving some guys on the team advice. I came to the conclusion that this is what I wanted to do once I was done playing, so I got my Series 7 and 24 licenses, which allow you to sell securities and to manage and oversee employees.
ON ADVICE TO PLAYERS Spend less. When you come in at a young age and get checks for more than you've ever dreamed of, you think you have all the money in the world. You don't think about the day when you're not earning that kind of money. Guys also get intimidated by the people who come at them with investment advice. Athletes are prime targets. You would be shocked at what comes in our mailboxes. We're talking things like investing in emu. Guys have a hard time distinguishing a good investment from a bad investment.
ON WHO'S LISTENING About 40 of our clients are athletes. We have a few guys on the Dolphins and throughout the league. Also some pro golfers and hockey players. We help with everything: estate planning, health benefits, 401(k)s.
ON WEARING A SUIT Very different from putting on pads, but both are satisfying. The common thread is competition. Either you put on pads and compete physically or you get in front of a client and compete against other wealth managers.
TROTTER, 28, runs T & I Unisex Salon in Willingboro, N.J., and Trott's Spot Car Wash in Cherry Hill, N.J. He's building two more car washes.
ON HIS SALON I studied business management at Stephen F. Austin, and I had a passion to open my own business. I thought a salon would be an opportunity to get my feet wet. I'm in there every week. I get a haircut and take care of business.
ON EAGLES WHO COME IN Brian Dawkins, Hugh Douglas, L.J. Smith all stop by regularly. Now, [linebacker] Dhani Jones? He needs to swing by.
ON THE CAR WASH A friend of mine, Victor Thomas, was working for another car wash in Cherry Hill, and we became partners. I spent more then a year learning the business and going to car-wash events. They have conventions every summer, the past two in Las Vegas. Everyone in the industry goes and sets up booths to showcase products. New chemicals, tunnel equipment. It's a big deal.
ON HIS MOST POPULAR SERVICE Our LB Blitz package. It's our full-service package for $10.95. We also have the $8.95 price QB Sack package that people like. Our basic wash package costs $6.95 and is called a Safety.
ON WASHING TEAMMATE NATE WAYNE'S CAR TO GET HIS JERSEY NUMBER, 54 I offered to give him free car washes for a year, but he wanted me to hand wash his Mercedes myself one time instead. I said, 'You know what? I'm humble. I'll wash his car to get the number.' Of course, he threw a bucket of dirt on it before I washed it, but I got in there and scrubbed it clean.
ON HIS FIRST JOB At a tire store in Texas when I was 15. I'd change oil, fix flats. I was the fastest tire changer around. Senior year in high school I bagged groceries. My next job was the NFL. That's not a bad job at all. --As told to Lisa Altobelli