Clayon Niles Interview -- In business with Sam Goddard

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PS = Pam Stevenson - Agave Productions

CN = Clayton Niles

PS (Interviewer): In the early days how did you, you were partners with Sam Goddard; how did you sort of divide up your duties or how did you run the --

CN (C. Niles): Well Sam was never in the business. Sam, uh, Sam was a lawyer and he practiced law. And I ran the company and the only time that, uh, Sam was involved was when we needed to go to the bank and borrow money. Cause Sam really, uh, had the resources that I didn't have and clearly Sam's uh, contribution to the business was one of, of commitment, uh, very great optimism and he supported the business when I really wondered whether he had any business supporting the business.
But he was one that underwrote all of the loans that we had to have in those years to grow business. Uh, but he never participated in the business. Actually, he was one board and of course he met with the board from time to time, but he never part-uh, participated in operations. But he was, uh, singularly responsible for making sure that the company had adequate funding to grow the business.

PS (Interviewer): Good kind of partner.

CN (C. Niles): Very good kind of partner. We had very interesting experiences with Sam because Sam and I didn't have any partnership agreement. Uh, when we started the business and, and, and, uh, I remember that Joanne met with her parents on one occasion and they were absolutely astounded that I didn't have an agreement with Sam. And they criticized us severely for that. So she came back to Tucson and she had met with her family in Phoenix. She called Sam and she said, 'Sam, we have to have a partnership agreement.' Sam says, 'you want a partnership agreement?' And she said, 'we have to have a partnership agreement.' He says, 'Okay. I'll do one.' He never did. And then eventually we started a corporation, well that took care of, you know. At this point, I have stock, he has stock and a partnership agreement.
Subsequently in my business career, I have advised people that you should never go into a partnership with somebody you wouldn't do it without an agreement and then insist on an agreement (laughs). But we never had one. Sam and I never had an agreement (mouth noise).

PS (Interviewer): But it all worked out fine.

CN (C. Niles): Oh, it worked out because Sam is Sam.