(DOUG JESSOP’S JESSOP’S JOURNAL – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) “Everyone starts from small beginnings. Every great business started in someone’s garage, in someone’s basement or on the back of a napkin.” Profound words from the person I interviewed for this episode of Jessop’s Journal.
If you drive along Interstate 15 in Utah there will be a name that keeps showing up on signs. Who is Brandon Fugal and why is his name everywhere?
Brandon Fugal is THE commercial real estate icon for Utah. As the Chairman of Collier’s International in Utah; he has represented hundreds of high-profile projects across the entire Wasatch Front. At last count, Brandon has projects in 25 Utah municipalities.
To say that Brandon has his fingerprints on the skyline of Utah is an understatement. Come to find out that he is also the owner of a very interesting property that is the subject of a History Channel show called “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch.” HINT – I’ll be doing a special Jessop’s Journal episode with inside information about the Skinwalker Ranch from Brandon soon.
So what’s the backstory on Brandon?
He told me; “At age 13, my father received a book on Father’s Day, called Iacocca, which was the great autobiography of the automotive icon Lee Iacocca. I picked up that book that weekend and out of curiosity I started reading it and I ended up reading it cover to cover and it changed my whole world view.
Fast forward to high school and Brandon was a self-admitted business geek with his own subscription to the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. As he was getting ready to graduate, he decided that commercial real estate was an ideal career path that would afford him to work with what he described as; “the captains of industry, the entrepreneurs, the people that I was reading about.” The character Alex Keaton from the sitcom Family Ties would be proud.
I asked Brandon what his definition of an entrepreneur was. His reply: “My definition of an entrepreneur is anyone who really looks at bringing a product or service to market and is trying to come up with a better mousetrap, a better way to serve the community and mankind.”
One of the entrepreneurs he has helped goes back to the 1990’s with a little genealogy company just starting a website called Ancestry.com. Company executives came to him as said, “We have just a handful of us in the old WordPerfect publishing space behind the Orem post office but we except some growth in the future and need some help with that. Would you be willing to sit down with us and help us with our growth strategy?”
How is Ancestry.com doing now? Brandon grinned as he said, “Well their headquarters that I put them in just a couple of years ago is two hundred thousand square feet in Lehi, Utah. It was funny to see their growth from two thousand square feet to hundreds of thousands of square feet and being one of the most successful online enterprises and websites in history has been really gratifying.”
Why does Brandon do what he does? As he put it; “To be able to see a tangible manifestation of one’s labors. To be able to have a seat at the table and be able to assist and advise those that are literally changing the landscape of our world, is a thrill.”
Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode of Jessop’s Journal and please share it with someone that likes a good story.
I strongly feel that “everyone has a story” and that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. Other episodes of Jessop’s Journal can be seen at www.ABC4.com/Journal and are made possible by the generous support of Rustico, Tailor Cooperative, JW Custom Hats, Ogden’s Own Distillery and XLEAR.
You can also see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success