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December 2005

Britton Dornquast

By Martha Lundin, Inside Tucson Business

One day, after working in civil engineering and architecture for five years, Britton Dornquast realized the field wasn’t right for him and that he was living someone else’s vision. To find a new direction, he made a list of all the things he liked to do and decided to start working in the music industry. His first job was installing audio equipment. “Everyone thought I was out of my mind, but that’s the direction I went. Then I got going in an entrepreneurial direction.”

He realized he wanted to get an education to support his entrepreneurial dreams, so he went back to school to complete prerequisites to get into the University of Arizona’s McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. In 1991 he graduated with honors after taking first place in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program business plans competition. From his prize-winning business plan he launched Hear’s Music, a full-service retail music store and mail order company that has been in business for the past eleven years.

Dornquast believes his business has been successful because he has a good staff that can run the business without needing intensive supervision. He also credits their good work with allowing him to spend time on other volunteer projects and committees.

Volunteering for various committees and task forces has been rewarding for Dornquast and he is enthusiastic about encouraging others to do the same. “The whole idea,” he said, “is that the first part of life is about obtaining education, and after that you work, but don’t wait until you’re old and gray to volunteer in the community. Why not do it now? Opportunities will always present themselves.”

Dornquast’s plans for the future? “I’d like to go back to school to get my executive MBA,” he said. “It would be interesting and fun and I’d like to go the next level.”

With his passion to get involved and serve the interests of small business in Tucson, Dornquast jokes that he has learned how to sleep standing up. “Each project I get into invigorates me. I’d like to get more involved, but there’s only so much time in the day,” he admitted.

© 2005 Inside Tucson Business

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Britton Dornquast.

Britton Dornquast
'91 McGuire Entrepreneurship Program