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DFW C-Suiters Break Down Their Toughest Business Challenges

I&A Agave Spirits' Josh Irving, Blau + Associates' Elizabeth Blau, and EPIQ Capital Group's Henry Woodruff talk relating to employees, overcoming barriers, and more.
| |Illustrations by Jake Meyers
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Challenges can come in many different shapes, forms, and sizes. What one person might deem to be challenging, another may view in a completely opposite light. What remains constant, regardless of the individual, is not if the challenges will arrive, but when they will arrive and how they will present themselves. This inevitability is especially true for those running a business.

With that in mind, we reached out to Dallas executives to ask what their toughest challenges have been throughout their careers and how they worked through them. This is what they had to say:

Josh Irving

Co-Founder and CEO, I&A Agave Spirits

“Understanding that when starting a business, for employees to have parallel passion for your company, you must break down how and why every employee is motivated. As we have scaled, maintaining that intense focus has become a huge challenge that requires a massive amount of time and energy. However, through weekly calls and team retreats, I continue to sharpen my craft of keeping others motivated by knowing what motivates them.”

Elizabeth Blau

Founder and CEO, Blau + Associates

“In 2019, I was presented with a film called A Fine Line that addressed the continuing gender inequity in the restaurant industry. The film highlighted a staggering statistic: although 50 percent of culinary school graduates are women, fewer than 7 percent become an executive-level chef or restaurant owner. Along with two other colleagues, I co-founded the Women’s Hospitality Initiative with a mission to accelerate the development and advancement of women leaders in the industry.”

Henry Woodruff

Managing Director, EPIQ Capital Group

“When we established EPIQ in 2018, it was a hugely exciting but challenging business endeavor to be a part of. As a member of the founding team that came out of ICONIQ, we helped build EPIQ from the ground up. It was very demanding but incredibly rewarding, and I have never learned more in my life. The days were intense and the weeks were tough, but after the first year, we looked back and saw how far we had come and where we were going with our momentum.” 

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Layten Praytor

Layten Praytor

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