Seven Powerful Lessons Learned From a Mentor

The morning of July 26 was a Monday like any other. Nothing indicated that the afternoon would unfold much differently than the nondescript way in which the day had started. Then, around 3:20 p.m., I lost my friend and business partner, Ken Dunn.

There are few words to describe the feeling of losing someone who has been such an integral part of your life. Since his semi-retirement in recent years, he had come to be the person I went to for advice and guidance – and to gut check my decision-making as our newly-appointed leader. Our Rainier family is still grappling with Ken’s loss and will continue to feel his absence for months and years to come.

When I first met Ken through a mutual friend, I was not looking for a mentor. After moving to Dallas in 2002, I was working as a golf professional. I had reached out to some friends to raise money in an attempt to play golf professionally on the PGA Tour.

I approached Ken with the opportunity to be one of my sponsors, but instead of giving me cash, he offered me a free place to live at one of his multifamily properties. We became fast friends, and I would send him golf balls and other items as a “thanks” since his offer was better than cash. I had a place to hang my hat in Dallas when I wasn’t on the road pursuing my dream of playing golf. Click to read more at