Chat Room: Rick Hudolin

Rick Hudolin

Rick Hudolin

Age: 38

Spouse: Carly

Children: daughter, Lainey, 6, and stepson Cody, 13

Mortgage banking specialist at First Tennessee bank

Rick Hudolin has lived in Blount County 10 years and has adopted the area as his hometown. “I’m originally from Joliet, Ill., but I would never move back. I fell in love after the first year I was here. I’ve had opportunity to move back home and, without question, I’m not going anywhere.

Hudolin’s passion of late has been competitive barbecuing. He was in the Big Barbecue Bash organized by Leadership Blount Class of 2007. Since then he has been in two other barbecue contests and plans to participate in the next Big Barbecue Bash planned for May 9-10.

What was your first paying job?

“Working as a busboy for a banquet hall/restaurant named D’Amicos on Jefferson St. in Joliet, Ill., when I was 14 years old.”

If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?

“Build a house on one of our beautiful lakes here in the area.”

What’s your favorite television or movie quote?

“I can’t promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear, before you and before Almighty God, that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together. So help me, God.” Lt. Col. Hal Moore from “We Were Soldiers.”

What are you guilty of?

“Procrastinating. I’m full of good ideas, just not always full of action.”

What task or activity have you still not gotten around to doing?

“Remodeling our master bathroom. I am more Tim Taylor than Bob Vila, so I am kind of scared, as is my wife.”

What is your favorite material possession?

“My truck. I’ve had trucks before but it is my first full-wheel drive truck, and it hauls my camper and fishing gear and me and my family, and soon, my cooker.”

What was your most embarrassing moment?

“Diving headfirst into second base in a softball tournament in Illinois about 15 years ago and leaving my shorts between first and second base.”

What are you reading currently?

“‘True Evil,’ by Greg Iles.”

Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?

“I would say Martin Luther King, Jr., and also give a nod to Bill Gates.”

Why did you pursue the career you chose?

“I actually started in the finance industry working at Vanderbilt Mortgage, which was a wonderful place to work, but I was doing collections. I wanted to make a positive impact on peoples lives and have achieved that by helping them get into their first home or saving them money by helping them refinance at a lower rate. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding my profession, and I wanted to be the exception to that negativity. And I have been.”

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?

“Reserved. I don’t feel the need to draw a bunch of attention to myself.”

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?

“Warren Buffett and Jack Welch.”

When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“A smokejumper fighting wildfires. I always wanted to be a firefighter, not a lawyer or banker.

What do you hate?

“People who look down upon others.”

What is your dream vacation?

“I would love to go to an all inclusive resort in the Mayan Riviera.”

Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?


What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?

“Alex Cross. He’s an intellectual type, a linear thinker. He solves crimes.”

What is the best present you ever received?

“My beautiful daughter, Lainey.”

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?

“This actually came from my dad. He said, ‘It is much better to look like an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.’”

Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?

“Yes. I was quite the rascal when I was younger. I think they even named the paddle after me. I got paddled for all kinds of things, too many to list.”

Who is your hero?

“My grandmother, Minnie Hudolin. She was twice widowed and raised eight good kids, none of them jail birds, all of them responsible adults who raised families. That says a lot to me. She died in 1994, and I was devastated.”

What was your first car?

“My first car was a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix I bought for $300 from a kid I went to school with as a senior. It got me from point A to point B and that’s it.”

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