I was feeling super lucky and blessed to get chosen to attend my 3rd All-Star Retreat. The last 2 years, Barbara hosted at her beach house in Fire Island, NY. This year we got to meet up at her amazing Ski Lodge in Park City, Utah. I get really amped up for All-Star weekend because Barbara always makes it a BLAST! I just can’t believe how lucky I am to get to do this.
Buzzkill: I missed my flight from Dallas to Salt Lake City, so when I arrived the opening night dinner was already underway. No big thing, as usual, Barbara and the entrepreneurs welcomed me with open arms. Barbara does everything first class including all top-notch gourmet meals, which are prepared by an incredible Chef. My Master Suite was like the Taj Mahal, decked out to the 9’s with a fireplace, massive Jacuzzi tub and every possible amenity you can imagine. I felt like King Tut, although I barely had time to enjoy the room because these retreats are chalk full of activities planned out by Barbara and her incredible team – namely Michael (my main man), Gail (Mrs. “do it all”) and Angela (a great new face).
It was a pleasure to see Barbara and the other Shark Tank entrepreneurs. Former All-Stars were:
- Me, representing Villy Custom. Wish I could have brought Villy
- Kim (Daisy Cakes). A true Southern Bell, always the life of the party. Sweetie
- Jim (Cousin’s Maine Lobster), one of the HUNKS and THE coolest cat – my true bro.
- Ryan and Daniela (Ry’s Ruffery), kid superstar and the nicest MOM ever. Love them!
Footnote: Sabin (the other HUNK from CML) was invited but had a conflict. We really missed him cause he is my other Bro!!
The new All-Stars were:
- Trevor (Cerebral Success SmartX) Great energy. Vibrant. Sky’s the limit for him!
- Jeff & Jennifer (Pipcorn). Great Brother/Sister tandem. Sharp and always smiling.
- Rick and Melissa (Grace and Lace) Great couple and brought a lot to the table. Kool peoples.
Barbara has a knack for getting the best people on board so when you blend it all together, everyone got along great. Lots of characters and strong personalities but I can honestly say everyone was awesome to be around 100% of the time.
Day 1 was a full day (starting at 7 a.m.) of group meetings and interviews as Sami Aziz (Emmy-winning Film Director from Shark Tank and overall stellar dude) had the entire film crew taping the “All Star Retreat” segment to be aired later this season on Shark Tank .
After our morning interviews, Barbara headed up a 4-hour roundtable discussion focused on each company’s successes and roadblocks, most of which was filmed. It is always interesting to get feedback, ideas, and solutions from other successful people with similar struggles. It’s one big “Think Tank” with different entrepreneurs chiming in on different areas of expertise. I learned a lot in a short period of time. I think I’m most knowledgeable about Branding, PR, and shipping – and those are the key things that I tried to bring to the table to the others. Everyone had something very beneficial to offer. Very productive meeting!
Day 2 began perfectly. Up at 7 a.m., we had a fresh coat of snow on the ground and our morning breakfast was filmed with Barbara starting things off with a super thoughtful li’l speech. We all got hooked up with lift tickets, ski gear and even a special Ski Tour Guide named Jenny who took us to all the prime places on the slopes. Shark Tank filmed a snowball fight, skiing with Barbara, and the pleasure of having fun goofing off and skiing in the mountains. I was surprised how well Barbara can ski. Great form and she skis fast. Truly amazing as she is in her mid-60’s and can ski her ass off. We had an epic day. Fresh powder, great people, alpine style lunch, drinks at the St. Regis and lots of phenomenal runs at Deer Valley. I can honestly say that it was one of the best days of my life and will not be forgotten.
After a full day of skiing, we hit the Jacuzzi tub, had another awesome meal and all watched Shark Tank together (cause it was Friday night). After the Jacuzzi, I put on my big white fluffy robe and ate dinner and laid around all night in it. I guess you could say I feel very comfortable around BC and the All-Star “Fam”.
All good things come to an end. Before we said our goodbyes early Saturday morning, I asked Barbara to film a brief video for me so I can send it out when I got a hot corporate deal working. You can check it out HERE
I always let Barbara know how lucky I feel to have her on our TEAM at Villy Custom.
Nobody could appreciate it more than I do. I am hopeful that I’m around to do this again next year. I wish that everyone had the opportunity to experience a weekend like this. I got to tip my hat to Barbara and her crew for putting together something like this for us. Lots of time, energy, planning and money went into this and I know all of us ALL-STARS feel honored to be a part of it.