NORMAN — In his second year in Moore Norman Technology Center’s Entrepreneurship Program in the early 1990s, Neal Do took the first step toward becoming an entreprenuer: writing the business plan for what ultimately would become E-Express, a group of successful convenience stores in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
It was also during his time at MNTC that Do and his family experienced a family tragedy, with the death of Do’s older brother. The loss pushed Do toward achieving high goals and staying focused on his dreams.
Do’s formal business plan for his company today is modeled after the business plan he wrote while in his MNTC Entrepreneurship class, and models the plan he used for a competition through DECA - an international association of marketing students, whose MNTC chapter Do headed for two years. This was also the business plan that he and his older brother planned to use to start their family business together.
MNTC Instructor Nancy Holt said, “The plan Neal developed is the same plan that is the foundation for his success today. He paid attention to every detail and absorbed every piece of knowledge he could get his hands on — he runs his businesses with heart. Today he sits on my class’s advisory board, and he’s one of my most successful graduates.”
Do graduated from Westmoore High School in 1992. After his freshman year at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, he spent the summer as a manager-in-training with French oil and gas company Total, which was expanding its retail business into Oklahoma. He liked the business so much he decided to stay, working his way up the corporate ladder.
But the entrepreneurial spark never flickered.
“I wanted to start my own company,” Do said. “I saved my money, built up my credit and learned everything I could about how the business works. Working for Total, I learned what it would take to make a business succeed.”