“But that’s the fun of entrepreneurship isn’t it…
you never know what tomorrow will bring!”
Growing up in Robinson, Texas, Clayton Tynes was immersed with small-town values and big-city dreams. Clayton stayed busy in high school with athletics, band and academic UIL while his family operated a multi-generational, family-owned advertising and marketing company. He was just a regular, boy-next-door.
Just ten miles outside of Waco, with Baylor University practically in his backyard, there was an obvious familiarity with the University. Clayton could give a good “sic ‘em” like any other Bear fan, but he never really saw himself as the Baylor type. He explains, “I always thought Baylor was just too great of a school for a small-town kid like me.”
After graduating high school in 2007, he moved 40 miles away to attend a near-by university. Unsure of a major and admittedly homesick, Clayton moved back home after one semester. He attended a local community college the next semester, with the hope of finding motivation for his future. After a semester at community college, Clayton still lacked clarity on his collegiate path. He determined his next step would be the United States Air Force.
Clayton served in the USAF for almost ten years, primarily as active duty and then a short time as active reservist. After separating from the USAF in January 2017, he had a now what moment. Maybe it was time to give Baylor a shot. Afterall, Clayton had always been drawn to Baylor, but there was always that twinge of doubt. Not anymore. It was time to check out what was sitting in his backyard this whole time.
Part of the now what was determining what exactly to study once at Baylor. By watching his family own and operate a business for so many years, Clayton had an innate sense of drive and entrepreneurial gumption. Being a part of such an enormous entity as the USAF, that drive had been stifled somewhat. It was always there, just tucked away. But during this now what discovery, Clayton realized that the only way he was personally able to safeguard his success or failure was by owning his own business. Studying entrepreneurship at Baylor seemed the next logical step in the now what journey.
Once at Baylor, Clayton became deeply involved in the Veterans of Baylor student organization, even serving as president for two years. Through this organization, he became acquainted with Kevin Davis, who was the organization faculty advisor and also the program manager for Baylor’s VETS (Veteran Educational and Transition Services). Kevin soon became significant factor in the now what journey. Clayton explains, “I wouldn’t be where I am now without Kevin.” He continues, “Not only is Kevin the leader of the program, but he’s also a mentor, a life coach and a great friend.”
With a lot of hard work and stick-to-it-ness, on April 24 Clayton was recognized at the Hankamer School of Business Spring Appreciation Banquet and the Baylor University Honors Convocation as the 2019 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Professor Boris Nikolaev shares, “I am fortunate to have had such a creative, hard-working and truly outstanding student as Clayton this semester.”
Clayton would ultimately like to own and operate his own business by the time he’s forty. Maybe that means launching a new business idea. Maybe that means buying an existing business. Maybe that means purchasing a franchise. Clayton says, “But that’s the fun of entrepreneurship isn’t it… you never know what tomorrow will bring!”
Congratulations, Clayton. Sic ‘em!
For more information about the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneur/.