Getting back to business: Business manager adapts in pandemic

Like many business owners and managers, Bowl-a-Rama business manager Stephen Causey spent his time during business closures preparing to reopen and planning what business operations would look like in the time of COVID. He also took this extended time at home to reconnect with his wife and daughter.

What did you do during the closures?

Most of our time has been preparing the center for reopening. So we did a lot of repainting and we wrote new protocols for safety and things of that nature.

What did you do to occupy your personal time?

We (my wife and 8-year-old daughter) went on a lot of family walks and try to learn some new things. My daughter and I are trying to learn the piano.

We spent a lot of time together as a family, time that we hadn't spent enough in the past. I think we sort of relearned what it's like to be a close-knit family because my wife and I both work a lot and my daughter normally has school and daycare so we didn't have a lot of time together. All that changed during the shutdown and we found it to be a very rewarding experience. 

As the business manager for Bowl-a-Rama, what do you do?

I actually work for Quatro Investment Company, a company set up by my investors to seek out for-sale businesses and buy and manage them. For Bowl-a-Rama, I work closely with our wonderful leadership team to manage the finances, marketing, etc. and develop and oversee strategies for long-term growth.

How long has Bowl-a-Rama been in Rowlett?

Chuck Lande built and opened Bowl-a-Rama in 2003. We purchased it from him in June of 2011.

Before all the closures, there was a fundraiser planned. What other community events has Bowl-a-Rama been involved in/done in the past?

One of our biggest strengths at Bowl-a-Rama is our commitment to and connection with the community. We specialize in hosting and running fundraisers for the benefit of all kinds of organizations, from booster clubs to major nonprofits. We’ve also put together teams of staff to participate in all kinds of community events. We even put a volunteer team together to feed and play with kids at Jonathan’s Place. We participate in the Reindeer Project every year, as well as canned food drives, and really anything we feel we can be good at to help the community.

What else are you personally involved in (organizations, nonprofit, etc.)?

I’m involved in quite a lot, including a few leadership roles in my Toastmaster club, an international club-based organization dedicated to developing competent public speakers and leaders, and I sit on a few boards and committees for some local city and community-based nonprofits. Right now, I’m particularly excited about a project I’m working on with a few people in the city of Rowlett with to revitalize some local parks. I don’t want to say too much right now, but the idea would be to harness the enthusiasm of local, proud park-goers to show up on a specific day and time to help clean up and revitalize their park. We did a similar project recently with Leadership Rowlett (class 29), and having random people walking by and picking up shovels to help us was incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking.

I’m also on the board and the assistant executive director for a Dallas community-based nonprofit, I’m a Rowlett Chamber ambassador, and I recently joined the Rowlett COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster), a city board designated to help bring organization to the effort of preparing for, mitigating the impact of, and assisting people in a disaster.

What’s been the hardest part for you during this time?

The hardest part of all this, for me, has been seeing so many people struggling, as well as figuring out how to navigate my own family through these uncertain times. I heard some good advice from Tom Hanks once, who caught and overcame this virus early on. He said, “This too shall pass.” Both the good and bad times will pass, so embrace and remember the good, and hold on through the bad. It will pass. The hardest part is knowing that the recovery from all this will probably take a long time.

Once things start to calm down, ideally, what’s your hope for the future of Bowl-a-Rama?

I want us to be community-focused, a source of good local jobs, and remain the entertainment epicenter for this great city.

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