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Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program


emp with steve love

Don’t be “The Quitter”

By: Vinni Hoke


“Knowing, and understanding people has been my success. You need to have great people skills, if you are lacking that, then you will not be a successful entrepreneur.”

-Steve Love 

The Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program kicked off the week with a fantastic mentee mixer on Tuesday, located at Vino and Friends. EMP would like to give a big thanks to Peg Breen for hosting, organizing, and making the mixer happen. The mixer was a great opportunity for the students to interact with many of the mentors all at one event. 

Our Friday meeting started with a lunch from Yanagi Japanese food, located in Manchester Center. After lunch Tyler Turk gave another lively pitch for his subscription box, Date-in-a-Crate. During our mixer on Tuesday, it was announced Tyler Turk and Cathy Heinrich were the top two pitches from our competition last week. Cathy’s company is Deliciously De’Vine, a wine and dessert pairing box. Of all the pitches, the judges found these two to be the best rehearsed and well crafted presentations; proving preparation goes a long way when trying to pitch a product or a business.

For the final half of the session, we were visited by Steve and Diane Love. Steve Love is a true example of an entrepreneur. Currently he serves as Chairman of the Board of Idaho Pacific Lumber Company in Boise, Idaho. As one of the founders and a past CEO, the company has grown to over $200 million a year in sales across the United States. In addition, Mr. Love serves on five Boards including one nonprofit. He and his wife live in Montana for 6 months during the summer and spend the other 6 months of the year in California. Mr. Love also owns and operates a ranch in Coarsegold called the Love Ranch, LLC.

Mr. Love started his speech with a poem called “The Quitter” by Robert Service. It was a powerful reminder the road of creating a business is fraught with moments of doubt. Throughout Steve’s presentation, he reminded the students of the excellent resources located at Fresno State. Resources we need to take advantage of while we have the opportunity. That was one of the things he wished he could go back in time, and do over. With the excellent resources at the Lyles Center, and our heightened will to succeed, we can increase our odds of being successful entrepreneurs. 

Mr. Love said, first and foremost, “always be honest in all your dealings. You’re going to be competing against people who are dishonest, but your reputation is the only thing that you have”. He also spoke highly of having a great attitude; explaining “you won’t get anywhere without a great attitude”. Diane also had some inspiring words about being a great leader. “Leadership”, she claims, “is the umbrella to everything you do in entrepreneurship”.