President | JT Spencer
Steve DeWalle, president of Richmond, Va.-based JT Spencer, a manufacturer of American-made embroidered belts and golf accessories, shares his “never stop” philosophy to success and why the Rappahannock River is his go-to place.
The First Call: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
Steve DeWalle: I lead a wonderful team of people and help them run a company that provides products to the golf industry and beyond.
TFC: What is your handicap index?
TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
SD: I'm up between 4:30 and 5 a.m., and in the shop prepping for the day by 5:45 to 6 a.m. I like to get in early and enjoy a few hours of quiet before everyone starts showing up.
TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
SD: Identifying each team member's strengths and understanding what type of support and encouragement they need to grow into their roles and develop professionally and personally.
TFC: What's the secret to your success?
SD: Never stop working hard, never stop learning and never stop evolving.
TFC: Who is your role model?
SD: My father. I learned everything I know about work ethic, integrity and how to treat people from him — as well as a whole lot about running a business.
TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
SD: Things will never go as planned, so always be prepared to adapt.
What’s the last book you read?
SD: I’m not much of a reader, but whatever the last book I read was it would have had to have been a biography because thats about the only type of books I read.
TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
SD: I have no idea. I don't really watch much television or go to the movies.
TFC: What’s on your playlist?
SD: I listen to both types of music, the Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band.
TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me …
SD: At our cottage on the Rappahannock River relaxing, boating or doing yard work.
TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
SD: See above response.
TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
SD: I started playing golf when I was 9, but really got into it in my mid-20s. As I was winding down my previous career in print advertising sales, the opportunity to start JT Spencer presented itself and I jumped right in.
TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
SD: I've been very fortunate to have played many great golf courses and I have loved them all.
TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to?
SD: The Country Club of Virginia.