From a small town in Arkansas to President of the Missouri Restaurant Association, there has been no straight path for Herman Styles.
While he has been in the restaurant business for 45 years now, he started out wanting to be an architect. But after a year of school, Styles joined the Marine Corp. After that, he went to work for the railroad.
From there, he starting working in the restaurant business and before long a bought his own restaurant.
“That’s when my real story begins,” Styles said.
Decades later, he is still working hard in the industry and on Sunday was inducted as the 102nd President of the Missouri Restaurant Association.
“Working with the Missouri Restaurant Association has exposed me to people and things I have never considered before,” Styles said.
The process of passing laws, how bills move through the Senate and the House really intrigued Styles, particularly the part of compromising.
As a business owner, if he had the wherewithal, the access to funds and the determination Styles could accomplish what he set his mind to, his way.
“In politics, there is give and take,” Styles said. “Not everyone gets their way. They compromise.”
“I’ve met a lot of nice people. I have got to know people on both sides of the aisle and really broaden my horizons.”
As he sets about his year as President of the Missouri Restaurant Association, he will be working with the legislature and working on behalf of Missouri’s restaurants. Styles hopes to create a good relationship with the General Assembly and give lawmakers a good idea of the impact of legislation.
After a year as president, chairman of the board is the next step and after that Styles will “still be around.”
A few people have inquired if he would run for elected office next.
“I never say never to anything,” Styles said. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested but that’s a ways off. Who knows what issues will arise between now and then. I’ll consider it when the time comes, but I’m not throwing my hat in the ring.”
Either way, “I won’t be riding off into the sunset. I will still be around.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.