Though you wouldn’t always know it from what you read or see on TV, it should go without saying that you don’t have to be an elected official or a bigwig with an impressive title and a golden parachute to make a difference. Case in point: Trey Enfinger, who has quietly made himself a valued member of the community.
Born in Woodstock, Georgia, Enfinger (28) followed his family to the Augusta area in 2005.
“I was looking to get out of Atlanta,” he says. “My dad had moved down here a couple of years before me. He was pastor at WesleyUnitedMethodistChurch, so I figured I’d come give this place a shot, and as soon as I got here, they skipped out of town and I’ve been here ever since.”
Enfinger didn’t grow up a preacher’s kid, however. Being a pastor was his father’s second career.
“He actually had a business in Atlanta and sold it when I was probably 16 or 17,” he says. “Once he sold his business, he went into mortgage brokering. He helped a couple of people he knew get their businesses off the ground, but he wasn’t enjoying any of it, so he sat us down one night and told us he was going into the seminary.”
Other than a minor lifestyle change, the move didn’t affect Enfinger or his sister too much, though he admits it was a different story for his mother.
“She’s the one who’s had to keep moving every couple of years,” he says. “He’s at his fourth appointment right now.”
Though Enfinger was glad to get out of Woodstock, which is just outside of Atlanta, it took him awhile to get used to Augusta.
“Everybody says there’s nothing to do in Augusta, but there is, you just have to figure out what it is,” he says. “It’s not as cut and dried as a Dave and Busters and six different Dave and Busters concepts where you can go and kill some time. It took some adjusting once I got here.”
It didn’t take him long, however. Soon he was involved at Wesley United Methodist, where he and Columbia County School Board member Mike Sleeper do sound and lights for the traditional worship service every Sunday along with weddings and funerals and special events. Before he knew it he was working logistics for the Greater Augusta Arts Council at Arts in the Heart, which put quite a bit of involvement on his plate.
“Leading up to the event, we do the measurements and the layout on the streets to make sure everything is going to fit for the stages and the vendors,” he says. “We also deal with business owners that we’re going to be blocking and do a little PR with them so they’re not too upset about shutting the street down. It’s time consuming, but once the festival starts, it’s really just putting out fires.”
Last year, when some of the grease mats they supplied to the different countries cooking along the Common started getting torn up, logistics was in charge of running to Walmart and pretty much buying them out of kitty litter to absorb the grease.
“Of course, while all that was happening, the country that was cooking on the grass caught the grass on fire with their stove,” he says. “There’s always something.”
Before becoming part owner of the Evans location of Maryland Fried Chicken, Enfinger worked at the Pizza Joint for five years, starting as a manager, then moving to the general manager position at Aiken and then back at Evans.
“The thing I probably miss the least is scheduling,” he says. “It was a nightmare. At the height of our staffing at the Evans location alone, between the kitchen and the servers, we probably had 70 employees, and the ones up front are anywhere from high school to college to a couple of years out of college, so they’ve got their own things going on in life and their job’s aren’t necessarily their biggest priority.”
Moving over to the Maryland franchise, he was able to experience the joys and struggles of being an entrepreneur.
“I definitely enjoy being my own master,” he says. “It’s a little stressful not having a guaranteed income where you know what’s coming the first and fifteenth of every month, but I do enjoy being my own boss.”
Though he says he has another entrepreneurial project lined up, it won’t be another restaurant.
“I’m kind of over that,” he says “My business partner, David, and I had a third partner, so we both sold our interest to the third partner and figured we’d go tackle something else.”
In the meantime, he’s currently working for Jani-King.
“It’s the first time in awhile that I’ve had to show up at an office on somebody else’s time frame,” he laughs.
With a May 3 marriage to fiancée Brittany Barr, Enfinger’s showing no signs of slowing down, though he won’t commit to having too detailed of a plan laying out his future.
“When I was at the Pizza Joint, we were working with the owner to grow the business, so then my plan was to be with the Pizza Joint and have 20 stores open,” he says. “Then we went and did our own restaurant, so my plan was to grow that into a couple of stores. Now, we’re working on another venture, so the plans have evolved a couple of different times.”