My name is Ken Hill. I grew up in the small coastal town of Long Beach, Washington. Long Beach is known as a tourist getaway and boasts many festivals including an annual sand castle contest, garlic festival, and most popularly, the Washington State International Kite Festival, which brings in 100,000 plus participants from around the world each year.
Having lived in Long Beach from birth until I left for college, I had the opportunity to work in the service industry from a very young age. I have been a maid, a grocery store bag boy, busboy and soda jerk, amusement park ride operator, bank teller and restaurant/bar cashier. I graduated from the local high school (Ilwaco High) with honors and left to go to college. I attended Central Washington University where I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting, graduating Cum Laude.
For the past 17 years, I have lived in the Seattle, Washington area and worked in corporate accounting holding positions from Staff Accountant to corporate Controller. I have worked in a variety of industries including Computer Software, Biopharmaceutical Development and Wholesale Foodservice Distribution, including two start-up companies that are now quite successful.
During my time in Seattle, I have purchased 5 homes and remodeled each of them to some degree, including completely gutting a 1917 Craftsman home, replacing all electrical and plumbing, vaulting the kitchen ceiling, installing hardwoods and slate tiling, repairing a defunct wood-burning fireplace and painting throughout. I have sold three of these properties (one as a ‘For Sale by Owner’), keep two as rental properties. I enjoyed the remodel process and found a great sense of accomplishment with each project.
A year ago, I inherited some family timber land and decided that I would use the proceeds from harvesting this land to pursue my dream. I made the decision to stop “working for the man” and to open my own small business. I have friends that own and operate successful restaurants and bars. Having witnessed their successes (and many trials along the way), I came to the conclusion that this is the business for me.
My background as an accountant includes core business owner skill requirements. I have experience in budgeting/forecasting, financial statement preparation, tax and licensing compliance and managing people. My friends in the business have agreed to be business advisors, providing insight and advice on what NOT to do and ideas that have worked well for them. These people include a couple that started a new cocktail lounge in the highly trendy and competitive area of Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA. They just celebrated their second year in business. Another friend and advisor has 14 years of experience working for Four Seasons Hotel corporate, having helped to open several of their hotels over the years.
After coming to Fort Lauderdale last year to go on a cruise and visiting several times after, I decided to make the big move to set down new roots in the sunshine state as this is the area that I want to eventually retire. Until then, it is my passion to open and operate a highly successful cocktail lounge and enjoy the sun and beauty of the area when possible.