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Executive Profile , Tyler Jensen

“Bring fun to life.” That is the business motto for VAVi Sport and Social Club owner Tyler Jensen.

In 2001, Jensen packed up his red Ford Explorer in Virginia and moved to California , a familiar saga to many recent college grads.

“I knew I wanted to start a business, but I didn’t know what type,” said Jensen.

Working on six or seven business plans in the meantime, Jensen says he ran out of money on his 21st day in San Diego , the same day he took a job as a manager for a local congressional campaign.

“The experience of fund raising, recruiting, and team building was just like starting a business,” said Jensen.

Though the nine-month experience was invaluable, the candidate , and the team , lost the campaign.

With the help of another campaign worker, Jensen launched one of his business plans, which proved successful.

“In our own lives, having just graduated college, we had a need to socialize in some way other than through a club or just centered around partying. When the common link of sports was mentioned, the idea immediately clicked,” said Jensen.

When the partners’ tax refund checks came in, they decided to use half the money to “live” and half to invest in the company.

“We told 30 of our friends they were going to play in a volleyball league on Saturday mornings, and they were going to pay us. No one argued!” Jensen said.

VAVi now offers 30 sport activities at different levels of competition, with 3,000 people participating weekly.

“San Diego is probably the best fit city for a sport social club, and one reason for that is our ability to offer all sports year- round,” said Jensen.


RESUME

Name: Tyler Jensen.

Company: VAVi Sport and Social Club.

Titles: Owner, president, CEO.

Education: Bachelor of Science in commerce, University of Virginia.

Birthplace: Virginia Beach, Va.

Age: 28.

Current residence: Pacific Beach.

Family: Mom and dad, 24-year-old brother.


BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Make a difference.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Do the right thing, not the quick thing.

Guiding principles: Integrity, honesty, respect, humility.

Yardsticks of success: Effective success and balance in all areas of life: spiritual, family, friends, physical, education and career.

Goals yet to be achieved: To retire from business and spend my life as a family man and public servant.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Listen to my partner and offer kickball.

Worst business decision: Registering vavi.com in my mom’s name , it got canceled. (The company URL is now www.govavi.com.)

Toughest business decision: Figuring out how to secure lighted fields in San Diego.

Biggest missed opportunity: I rarely look back , mostly to the future.

Mentor: Bill Holmes, a local businessman who has volunteered to be my business mentor.


TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Creating something from nothing.

What you like least about your job: Surprises.

Pet peeve: Dirty office.

Most important lesson learned: Listen more than you talk.

Person most interested in meeting: Warren Buffett.

Three greatest passions: Snowboarding, business, close friends.

First choice for a new career: Strategic consultant for startups.


PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: Just because a million people believe in a bad idea, it’s still a bad idea.

Most influential book: The Bible.

Favorite status symbol: Huh?

Favorite restaurant: Cicchetti’s.

Favorite place for business meetings: At our brand-new Ping-Pong table boardroom table.

Favorite vacation spot: Floripa, Brazil.

Favorite way to spend time: Running, relaxing on the beach, or surfing.

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