Case

brenda galilee rhodes & SugarBeets Productions
CEO- Actress - Producer - Mom and Lover!

Good Grief! Where is He?

 

Of course they didn't say it exactly like that. They asked "Is he here yet?" "What time does class start?" or "Do you know where he is?"

 

Yes, I knew where he was! My father was in his crappy little apartment undoubtedly sleeping off last nights' drunk, counting on me to wake him, even though I'd already called him at least a dozen times. It must have been a doozy of a night, since he hadn't responded, so I headed over to drag him out of bed.

 

He didn't answer the door. When I finally was able to gain entry through the landlord's son, I saw why my father was late, and it wasn't because he was hung-over. It was because he was dead. On the bathroom floor.

 

A substantial piece of my heart died that day with my much beloved alcoholic father. In the aftermath of the trauma I came to realize that my goal of maintaining my home for myself and my 2 little girls also evaporated- as every cent I'd had (which was very little as a college dropout and single mother) had been poured into the business I shared with my dad aka my best friend. Since my dad was the "meat" of the business, it just wasn't going to survive without him.

 

Within months I was facing bankruptcy and foreclosure, and trying to raise two little girls on my own. Though my mother was still living, and I had seven brothers and sisters; there was no hope that they could help me out financially. I was broke, scared and feeling pretty beaten down by life. At 27 years of age , I was ready to cry "uncle" to give up.

 

But in all honesty what did giving up mean? Give up what? I'd already lost everything. There wasn't really much left. Oh yes- except for those two little girls who needed a mother to care for them. Pushing all thoughts of giving up from my mind, I went into overdrive.

 

It was 1981 and I lived smack dab in the middle of Silicon Valley surrounded by technology entrepreneurs who were literally inventing the future. If they were successful - surely their companies would need tech-savvy engineers design and build product? I was always good at bringing people together. If someone would invest a bit of training in me, I could be a technical recruiter! All I had to do was convince someone to take a chance on me…..

 

In August of 1981 I did convince a brilliant entrepreneur to hire me as a technical recruiter and over the next 7 years made my way out of the hole I was in, finding a love for the work, the engineers , the energy and excitement of silicon valley. I was making a terrific income , loved my job, loved my life. I was never going to leave it! That is until I got fired!

 

July 1987 my brilliant boss told me that I had done a good job until now managing his $3 million dollar recruiting company, but he needed a different type of leader now to take it into the big time . His sites were set on developing a $10 million business and he was sure that Brenda Rhodes was a talented manager of a small business.

 

"Go open your own agency", he said. "But keep it small. That's really where you are best at managing!" was his encouraging parting advice.

 

So began my second attempt at entrepreneurialism. My little start up of 1987- Hall Kinion and Associates - led by me as the CEO and Chairman of the Board grew to be a mid size regional company by 1994,a public NASDAQ company (HaKi) by 1997 and eventually reaching $300 million in revenue, 3,000 employees with operations on 3 continents. And yes, my former boss eventually reached his "big" goal of $10 million.

 

The 10 year stretch from start up to IPO involved 3 years at Harvard’s OPM program as I learned the language of finance. My family life grew to include 4 daughters. I matured into a competent CEO capable of wowing wall street with the most successful IPO of Montgomery Securities year (1997) and then profitable secondary offerings and eventually the sale of Hall Kinion in 2004 to a NYSE company.

 

2004 – I found myself single again, independent and ready to look for my "next big thing". Reaching back into my dreams as a young girl I set out to try my skills as an actress.

 

"Your kidding – right?" exclaimed by 14 year old daughter. "You can't be in a movie – you've never done that and your 50 years old! This is embarrassing!"

She wasn't so embarrassed when, after completing the esteemed acting program at ACT in San Francisco, I landed my first "gig" as the teacher in an MTV video – California by Hawk Nelson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kub0BiruPsM) ! More than a few indie productions later, I find myself in 2009 anxiously awaiting my first full length comedy "Knight To F4" (http://www.knighttof4.com co-staring Brenda Galilee Rhodes) going direct to DVD this spring and a second full length comedy production – "Bart Got a Room" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472050/) staring William H Macy and Alia Shawkat with me as one of the executive productions coming to a theater near you!

 

I am excited this year to be balancing my life with a position as the CEO of a terrific little start up InTouch Corp ( https://www.iwillbeintouch.com/ ), some acting and producing as I send my last daughter off to college to pursue her dreams of being a photo journalist. The same daughter of little faith in her mother at 14 is a young woman of great confidence in herself at 17!

 

Pursuing dreams, walking thru fear, being nimble in the face of obstacles, these are all traits that I hope my 5 daughters have absorbed from me . They are the strengths that I believe have enabled me to live a full and abundant life! A friend and I jointly constructed this sentiment and I keep it printed on my desk. It expresses my sentiments about the life I lead today: "When I am gone I will long for even the worst day of my life. Such has been the joy in my life." signed....Brenda Galilee Rhodes

 

And I think wherever my dad is; he's smiling, watching me saying "I knew you could do it angel!" That feels really, really, good.