Shine the spotlight over here, please! We like to recognize our hard working clients and celebrate their successes. Let’s hear it for Martin Hess, General Manager of the ACA Business Club.
Hess spent a lifetime playing tennis, including time on the circuit. In addition to developing a killer backhand, he learned the importance of making connections on and off the court.
Hess says he’s always been in the club industry through tennis. The camaraderie he felt in the tennis clubs is the same he experiences at ACE Business Club. Hess says, “In my younger days in the tennis clubs, I formed strong relationships. Today, I absolutely still love being part of a club and forming new partnerships.”
The ACA Business Club is a private club dedicated to serving professionals, executives and business owners. The club’s goal, and Hess’s driving passion, is to help people find the time to connect with others in person – building real relationships with real people.
The ACA Business Club is committed to promoting professional development and relationships that advance business interests. They help facilitate experiences and educational opportunities that assist members in connecting and collaborating in the spirit of community and trust.
Building strong relationships is the cornerstone of Enterprise Bank & Trust, too. We’ve worked with Hess for 2 years. Over the last couple of years, we’ve gotten to know a lot about his business and him.
What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was little, I wanted to be a professional baseball player.
Did you play baseball when you were younger?
I did until I broke my thumb playing third base and started playing tennis with one hand. Then I was a one-handed tennis player and never went back to playing baseball. I’ve been playing tennis the rest of my life; I got to travel the circuit some.
Did you ever think you would be doing what you do now?
Not exactly, but I love what I do now. I’ve always been in the club industry through tennis, so I’m not surprised at what I’m doing now. I love it. It’s still like a private club, really, catering to and serving executives and business owners. Ever since my younger days playing tennis in country clubs, and now in private clubs, I absolutely love what I do.
What are your biggest business challenges?
There are a lot of challenges, and partnering with Enterprise Bank & Trust solved a lot of them. We’re here to serve, and there are a lot of needs out there. We end up embracing everyone’s challenges, so we want to make sure we are delivering…really serving and providing value to our members. Another challenge is staying on top of so much interest. Since the business club is a new concept here, as we start expanding and ramping up with staff, our main priority is continuing to deliver and serve and not drop the ball. That’s a challenge. Then, behind the scenes we provide centralized administrative support to all of our clubs, and that’s where Enterprise has really been helpful setting up different club accounts. Streamlining that process is important because we juggle a lot of details people don’t see, so having a partner like Enterprise helps us keep moving forward as we expand.
What tools do you use to overcome your business challenges?
We rely heavily on online banking – with Enterprise Bank & Trust, of course. We also have some good software that runs our website and database systems; you’ve got to leverage technology. We have a technology exchange community called TEC, an organization under the umbrella of the business club, that provides a lot of resources.
What do you love most about being the General Manager?
I love coming into work; every day is new and exciting. You’ll never know what or who you’re going to run into. It’s a community of people helping each other and there are so many awesome ideas out there that people bring to the table all the time. There are so many talented people, and so much experience and expertise out there, that I just love hanging out with the members. Some days it creates a challenge getting things done, but it’s this community of members sharing ideas…I love putting together game plans and strategizing. Our job, our goal is to create success stories. I love helping people create success stories.
What advice do you have for business owners?
Surround yourself with the brightest and best people you can. You are only as successful as your inner circle of people. That’s why it’s important to have a great attorney, a good financial advisor, professionals that know what they’re doing. Have a great bank! I’m biased, here, but be a part of a business club, a group of people who are committed to success and your success, too. In business there are so many struggles and challenges out there every day. If you don’t have that group to surround yourself with – your own advisory board, people who can help you come up with solutions – you are at it alone. In this world, you have to partner with people.
What inspires you to do better in life and in your business?
A strong faith. Business Fellowship, a faith-based organization, has been inspiring and encouraging for me and a lot of members. I guess it comes back to helping people. It inspires me when people accomplish their dreams, seeing their goals get accomplished. You’d be surprised, a lot of people don’t have goals. You hear it all the time at seminars and online, to have goals and write them down, but how many people really do that? If you ask them to show you their goals, most people can’t. So, helping them first identify their goals, where are they going, and then laying out a roadmap and a strategy to get there is very inspiring to me.
What's your favorite baseball team?
The World Champion Royals. It's been a fun couple of years in Kansas City. Another exciting year!
What's something most people don't know about you?
My partner and I created the new Pepsi logo back in the ‘90s. It was a tennis ball and we put the logo on top of the ball. We ran Pepsi Tennis Academy in the early ‘90s with corporate gifts, open corporate box seats, and Pepsi was the sponsor. The guys at Pepsi took our information and it became the new logo.
Where did you go to school and where did you grow up?
I grew up in Overland Park and DeSoto, went to grade school and through high school out there. I went to several colleges. I played tennis out of Baylor University, then Johnson County Community College here, and finished out at KU which is my alma mater.
What's your favorite Kansas City restaurant?
Well, I would have to say Lenny’s Subs. They are, of course, members of the business club and we officially endorse them, but they’ve really taken care of us.
What do you think the bank provides for you that you can't get at other banks?
I can’t speak for all the other banks, but I appreciate my relationship with Paul VanErem. Paul takes the time to sit down with you and really understand what your needs are, look at the whole picture rather than just “here’s a few transactions we’re going to do.” Enterprise Bank really gets to know your business and understand where you’re coming from, understand your needs. Then they present ideas and provide solutions. It’s not just about your business, it’s about really building that relationship and finding out where you are headed, where you are going, and how they can partner with you to get there. You just can’t beat that. Of course, that’s in addition to all the online tools and being really accommodating. You can call in and whoever answers the phone will fully help you, find what you need. That personal-relationship value shows how Enterprise really cares about customers, first and foremost, and partners with them in their business and life.
What do you like about your relationship with Enterprise Bank & Trust?
I’m looking forward to moving down the road, because we have expansion mode coming up and a new growth phase. We really need that partnership to help us on our journey. We also have a lot of members who attend Enterprise University courses; those are fantastic. Providing that resource to customers and the entire community is proof that the people at Enterprise help and care for their customers.