What was your first job?
My very first job was as a cashier at B. Dalton Bookseller in Ridgeland, MS. It was fantastic, because I was a teenager getting paid to talk about and sell books.
Where did you go to school?
For undergrad, I went to Mississippi State University (go Bulldogs!), where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Afterwards I attended Mississippi College School of Law.
Where do you live?
I currently live in that great jewel of the Mississippi Delta, otherwise known as Cleveland.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Carlee Calderon, who is the Sales Manager for GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, and we have three kids: Arthur (10 years old), Zoey (8 years old), and Charlie (1 year old).
What is your current position?
I am a partner at Carr Calderón, PLLC, a regional law firm in Cleveland, MS.
Describe what you do in this position.
As a partner, a good portion of what I do is oversee the day-to-day operations of the law firm, including client outreach, marketing, and case management. On the legal side, as an attorney, I focus on helping other businesses with whatever legal matters might arise, starting from conception of the business idea, to brand establishment with trademarks and copyright, and all the way to dissolution of a business. As part of that, I also work with local companies, groups, and municipalities to spur economic development throughout the Mississippi Delta.
How did you become interested in your career field?
Most people go straight from undergrad to law school, without any clear direction of what area of the law that they want to get into or where they want to work. For me, I took some time off between undergrad and law school, and moved up to New York to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. While I was up there, I was managing one of the world’s largest movie theatres, when I started learning about some of the legal issues that impact the business world, such as wage and hour law, premises liability, and entertainment law. Even though I enjoyed all of that from a business management perspective, I saw an opportunity in learning those things from a legal one, and also saw that there was an opportunity to apply that skill set to businesses and start-ups here in the Delta.
What do you like best about your job?
There are too many things that I love about my career! I like that I am constantly learning, because there are always new developments that affect the law and (more importantly) my clients, whether that client is a regional construction company, a non-profit, or farmer. If I had to narrow it down, it would be knowing that I am helping other businesses, particularly those here in the Delta, thrive and seeing the impact of my work almost immediately.
What is a goal you have not achieved?
That changes on a daily basis. In my line of work, I am very goal-oriented, which means that I am constantly setting goals, and adapting those goals to fit the needs of my clients. It keeps things interesting, but I love that it constantly keeps me going.
What is the worst business decision you have ever made?
Just like any other person, I make mistakes every day. Rather than dwell on them, the best that I can do for me, my business, and my clients is learn from them, and constantly work to better myself.
Name two or three people who made a huge difference in your life when you were growing up? Why?
My parents made the largest difference in my life. My mom is a social worker, and so she always taught me that it was important to realize that your work can affect people, while my dad, who was in the military and now builds helicopters overseas, has always showed me the value of a hard-day’s work.