Iraq War veteran Richard Bennett (R) talks with Craig Williams (L) about how they became unlikely business partners.
Craig Williams (CW): I had developed a pretty solid construction company and I wanted a partner. As an African American businessman, I wanted a young African-American soldier coming home. It seemed like a great opportunity to provide an opportunity. And I was in a restaurant that I don’t normally frequent, and picked up a newspaper that I don’t normally read, opened it up, and staring up at me from the page was you. I read the article and the thing that struck me the most was that here was a young man who had been injured serving our country and the main thing he was interested in was a risky surgery that would allow him to go back and join his unit. So it was very clear that I had found the man that I was looking for.
Richard Bennett (RB): I was at home one afternoon, got a call on my cell. ”Calling on behalf of Mr. Williams. He saw your article in the paper and he would like to meet you.”
My first question was, ”Do you have the right guy?”
CW: I was just very impressed with you. Tremendous courage, tremendous loyalty. Those are all critical characteristics for a partner of any kind. Those are the things you hope for.
RB: I’m humbled that you put that amount of faith in me. You took the ultimate leap of faith here.
CW: I didn’t think I was taking too big of a risk, honestly. This is not a charity situation.
RB: Thank you. I’m not sure how much I’ve ever expressed this but you inspired a change in my life that I never foresaw. I always aspired to be leading people but you were key in helping me get there.
CW: I just appreciate you friendship and the trust that you’ve given me.
RB: Thank you.
CW: Thank you.