Gerth credits his business management education

Nathan Gerth said he always wanted to be his own boss. He envisioned a business consisting of indoor skydiving and private charter flights.

Gerth enrolled at Henderson State University as an aviation major in 2006. But he began to “run low” on funds.

“I did some thinking and decided that I didn’t necessarily have to be a pilot to start my own business,” he said. “I just needed a pilot, so I changed my major to business management.”

In 2012, a year after he graduated, Gerth’s plans took an unexpected turn.

“My dad came to me with an offer he got from a friend who wanted to sell the Sears Hometown Store he owned in Hope,” Gerth said. “My dad thought of me as I had just graduated with my B.B.A. We met with his friend and he gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse.

“Once we got our ducks in a row, we purchased the store, and in January 2013 I was owner and manager.”

Gerth said his education at Henderson has been “very beneficial” in operating the business.

“The Entrepreneur Experience at Henderson really gave me insight about how it felt to be your own boss,” he said. “The faculty really helped me with knowledge about the business world and gave their best to help me succeed.

“They give you the attention you need for success. The professors want to make sure you understand the business world both inside and outside the classroom. They are concerned that you find a job, do well at the job, and are making it outside in the real world of business.”

Gerth said he still plans to one day open his indoor skydiving and private charter business.