Byron Enix is president and chief executive officer of American AgCredit in Santa Rosa. Born in Oklahoma, he grew up in Kansas. As he explains it, his career path was relatively straightforward. “I was told by my junior high social studies teacher that I couldn’t list ‘professional football player’ as my future career,” Enix says. “So I asked my dad what he did, as up until then I didn’t really know. And although my current profession wasn’t what my Dad did, he explained that there were companies that made loans to farmers and ranchers. So I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”
Enix earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University, and has been working in his current business for 33 years. He lives in Santa Rosa, and also spends time at his home and farm in Kansas.
Are you married?
My wife, Carol, and I, have been married 33 years
Do you have a big family?
My wife and I have three daughters: Angela, Elaine, and Diane. And now, we also have six grandsons: Cameron, James, Luke, Wyatt, Chase and Gavin.
What do you love to do outside of work?
I love spending time with my grandkids, golfing, hunting, fishing, and doing anything on the farm. I also love anything about Oklahoma State University. I love the sports, the campus, the colors and the memories. Our homecoming theme several years ago was, “Where your story began,” and it’s so true. My grandparents, my parents, my wife Carol and I, and even my daughter and son-in-law met at OSU. It’s truly where our story began.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My parents would tell you it was graduating from college in four years. They didn’t see me as college material really. And to be frank, when I first got there, I wasn’t.
If you could be a guest on any television talk show, which would it be?
I’m going to go with the Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon is just too funny. To work on a skit with him, would be right down my alley.
If you could cure any disease, which would it be?
My wife is a survivor of breast cancer so I would have to go with cancer. Now that I’m getting older though, Alzheimer’s is right behind it!
What makes a true friendship?
I think you can be a true friend, but still not fill every single friendship quality. I love to have lots and lots of friends but they all contribute different things. Some feed my sports addiction, some feed my spiritual side, some feed my intellectual side, and some just make me laugh. In times of crisis, my closest friends tend to be my family.
Do you prefer to plan your vacation or be spontaneous?
I’m a planner. I like to look forward to it, but I also like to make sure all the potential distractions are tucked away and managed ahead of time.
Whom do you consider to be the greatest president of all time? Why?
History can judge a president based on the achievement of just one thing. He may have governed poorly, or made terrible choices. But what did he change? That’s leadership to me. Lincoln stood in the face of adversity and changed this country like few others have. Lots of great leaders formed the nation, lots of great leaders managed through a crisis, but few changed the course of history like Lincoln.
If you could transport yourself at will between any two destinations, which ones would you choose and why?
Between my two homes in Santa Rosa and Kansas. The airport commute is brutal.
How many American states have you visited during your lifetime?
When I was a kid, my family loved to drive all over the U.S. dragging a pop-up camper. We drove all over the place in that thing. I can’t tell you how many states we went to, but it was a bunch. Not many other kids spent more time in the back of a Country Squire station wagon then my sister and me. If you grew up in the ’60s you probably know what I’m talking about. (And yes we had the wood grain paneling down the sides.)
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