Transylvania Digital Content Specialist Heath Stiltner ’19 recently visited with Wes Hogan ’97 at the newly renovated Greyline Station where Hogan opened Old North Bar last month.
Tell me a bit of a brief bio of your post-Transylvania experience.
I’ve had a fairly diverse career path since leaving Transy. I spent a couple of years teaching Spanish before moving into corporate sales. I took a couple of years from work to pursue my master’s degree from the Patterson School at the University of Kentucky, majoring in marketing and political economy. I then spent about 16 years working in pharmaceutical marketing, strategy and communication before opening Old North.
Why did you decide to open your own business?
I spent many happy years working for small business owners and have friends who are also small business owners. I’ve admired their sense of entrepreneurship and wanted to try my hand at it as well. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, though. An opportunity to open this business at Greyline Station came along. The timing was right, and I really believe in the potential of Greyline Station and what it brings to Lexington.
How has it been opening a business in the middle of a pandemic?
Challenging, to say the least. I think that would be true of any new business, but perhaps even a bit more so in the hospitality industry. We don’t really have any sort of comparator for operating in non-pandemic times, so this is all we know so far. That being said, we’ve had great support from the local community, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that.
What was your biggest challenge/success?
Our biggest challenge, like many businesses in 2020, has been dealing with COVID-19. I think our biggest success to date has been our ability to open in just about the worst time imaginable and have enough success to make me cautiously optimistic that our concept works.
How did your liberal arts career at Transy prepare you for this challenge?
The diversity of the education from Transy is something that has served me well for many years. It provided a well-rounded world view and helped me build a skill set that has been a great foundation for me throughout my career.
What advice would you give to Transy students?
Don’t wait too long to pursue your dreams!