On Monday, Nov. 19, Billy Grant III and Billy Grant IV visited KO to talk to students in the Roberts Center for Leadership as a part of the Lunch and Lead program. This discussion was meant to give students a chance to learn from Billy Grant III and Billy Grant IV’s respective career paths. Billy Grant III is the owner of Bricco and Grant’s, while Billy Grant IV is a financial advisor for Ameriprise.
Senior Ben Poulios scheduled and organized the event. “I contacted them because Matthew Safalow had been in contact with them about the car show, which they came to,” Ben said. “I figured that they were a part of [the] West Hartford community, so they would be willing to come and talk. I emailed them in late October. There was some back and forth, and I gave them some possible times until we settled on Nov. 19.”
Ben Poulios was the leading factor behind Billy Grant III and Billy Grant IV coming to KO. Faculty Advisor of Lunch and Lead Sandra Goss said that the event was student run. “From my understanding Ben took full ownership of everything,” she said.
She said that this embodies the idea behind Lunch and Lead. “We have a lot of speakers come to KO, but it is the students picking those speakers,” Mrs. Goss said. “[Lunch and Lead] is supposed to be more intimate, with an intent of learning more about them, and really using the discussions to learn from these people.”
People who came to the lunch agreed that the event was worthwhile.“I thought the presentation was great,” senior Mia Seymour said.
Mia helped Ben out with some of the planning, such as the bios that Ben read at the beginning of the event and gifts. “Both Billy III and IV were incredibly eloquent and insightful in sharing advice and their career paths. I know I personally took a lot away about business, hard work, and failure,” Mia said.
Others who attended enjoyed the talk. “I think they were great choices, both entrepreneurs from different fields but the same kind of career path,” Mrs. Goss said. “Billy III with all of his restaurants, taking that leap of faith. His son runs his own business within a company. He’s responsible for bringing in clients and overseeing relationships. It’s not an easy career path, I like that they both shared that with the kids.”
Ben said that the Grants talked about the struggles they overcame to get where they are. “They talked about a lot and got way more personal than I ever thought they would,” Ben said. “They talked about Billy Grant IV’s learning disability, and how [his] career and academic journey isn’t linear.”
Overall, students felt they learned a lot from all the honest stories and advice Billy Grant III and Billy Grant IV shared with the students who attended.