Sometimes when the cards are stacked against you, you have to reshuffle the deck. For entrepreneur Al Rucker, shifting his cards has meant constantly evolving; becoming one of Houston’s most prominent entrepreneurs his chief goal.
The ride hasn’t always been smooth: a childhood that included time in foster care and fending for oneself when he chose a way out. It’s a journey that Rucker recounts as if it occurred yesterday. “Growing up in a single parent home, I watched my mother try to take care of six kids and I watched the things she went through as a single mother,” he said. “When she could not afford an apartment with all seven of us, we had to go live in shelters and stuff like that.”
Determined to break the vicious cycle of poverty, he soon discovered the importance of education, earning a degree from Florida State University. From there he dived into the workforce, earning his stripes at a fast food restaurant before eventually launching a real estate company - and later - Midtown Bail Bonds. He hasn’t stopped there, launching Dolce Ultra Lounge and “The Al Rucker Show” which arrived in 2015. The show is now syndicated in over 22 markets and broadcasts from Rucker’s Houston base.
It’s a transition that Rucker notes as purposeful, giving him the skills to succeed elsewhere. “Working at a fast food restaurant gave me the management tools to go out and get a better job,” he said. “For a number of years I was a Finance Director, then I got tired of working those long hours, so I wanted to do something for myself.”
He added, “I was young and had a family, so I had to immediately go to work. My wife and I started a real estate company and when the market took a turn I started doing bail bonds.”Now he’s creating opportunities for others.
With the introduction of the Al Rucker Foundation, Rucker is establishing an effort to provide financial and mentoring opportunities for Houston area youth. It’s a mission Rucker says was essential, his way of giving back. “As I got older I basically took the initiative to help because I know how it is to grow up with little,” he said.
“To wake up and have no Thanksgiving dinner to eat. No Christmas toys. I want to do everything I can to give back to the community.”
Read the full story at Houston Style Magazine - May 2017