People in Business
Achieving success in business has a lot to do with how one manages the items that make a business to emerge a market leader. However, few understand the aspect of seeing gaps and filling them without waiting too long for things to change. These are qualities that describe how Don Ressler has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in online retail business. He runs several online retail stores and his dedication to venture into more markets still remains strong.
More than one decade ago, Don Ressler launched FitnessHeaven.com, his first online retail. This startup was to test his skills and confidence when it comes to taking risks and it performed remarkably well in its first year. He in 2001 sold the business to Intermix Media with the sole aim to raise funds that would support subsequent startups. During the interactions Ressler had with the management of Intermix Media, he met with Adam Goldenberg, who would later join him to explore the world of business.
Together, they launched Alena Media, which stood out for the marketing franchise of the company. Alena on Pando was able to generate millions in revenue within the few years they owned the company and they had earned sufficient skills to push them to the next level in business. This success allowed them to embrace deeper ideas that entailed the sale of Alena in 2005 to News Corp. This move was to raise funds for a bigger idea that would allow them to work in more than one market.
Owing to the extensive experience the two had in online advertising, they decided to try their luck in beauty products. Their next move, therefore, entailed the inception of Intelligent Beauty in 2008. The company has several sections for products related to beauty, health and wellness. DERMATORE, a franchise of Intelligent Beauty, offers cosmetic and skincare products. On the other hand, SENSA deals with weight loss equipment and products.
In 2010, Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg ventured into a business that could potentially attain global reach, JustFabs. The company is founded on the need to offer customers a subscription service that offers them a chance to choose different fashion products. Since inception, it has grown and acquired different businesses, which now operate as separate brands.
For example, in 2013 they acquired FabKids, which offers an online retail for children using a similar infrastructure and setup like the parent company. Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler have also taken part in the establishment of Fabletics, a subscription online retail that offers athletic wear.
Since the last three to four years, local businesses in the famed Olympic Valley continued to suffer due to the deteriorating snow conditions in the area. These Lake Tahoe communities, which historically rely on early Winter snow depend on snow conditions to sustain local communities. Luckily, this year, Mother Nature provided the relief when Winter storms hit the valley even before the onset of regular Winter season. For locals, the return of snow is a big news as they will likely see record number of visitors who are eager to try the pristine slopes of Olympic Valley.
Besides weather, it may be the year when investors will also return to Olympic Valley and adjacent communities. The return of investors has to do more with the verdict of incorporation rather than climatic conditions. Regarding declining investment rates, investors were keen to follow the ongoing legal battle between Olympic Valley Group and Squaw Valley Holdings LLC. Luckily, for opponents of incorporation, the California’s Local Agency Formation gave a final verdict in favor of Squaw Valley Holdings. The verdict has also lifted uncertainty over the future of the town. Therefore, it is likely that investment activity will likely grow in the near future.
The man who fought valiantly to stop incorporation efforts is Andy Wirth. For many years, his family has build a strong reputation among the locals as fervent supporters of local development. As the CEO of Squaw Valley Holdings LLC, Andy continues his family tradition by supporting veterans and other nonprofits in the area. He also takes personal interest in the development of the town. In the near future, his company has plans to build several commercial and residential communities. In fact, there are also plans to build a Gondola project, which will connect Olympic Valley with Alpine Meadows.
For Andy, such links are vital for the well-being of Lake Tahoe communities. Perhaps, it is one of the major reasons why he spent thousands of dollars to stop the private group from taking over his town. According to Andy, if the incorporation plans were to go forward, it will deprive local communities of basic necessities such as snow plowing and road maintenance. In addition, the incorporation would have isolated Olympic Valley residents from other North Shore communities. Isolation from other communities is a financial disaster for Olympic Valley residents as their businesses will suffer due to possible degradation of public services.
Pro-incorporation crowd insisted that Andy Wirth and his company, Squaw Valley Holdings LLC is pursuing their own agenda because they don’t want to answer to land-based town authority. However, such claims are controversial considering that Andy Wirth is among the most active fund-raiser for local communities. Hopefully, this year will prove decisive and a chance for locals to heal.
Dick DeVos showed off his sailing skills recently at the Ft. Lauderdale Yacht Club’s 2016 Gold Cup races. The two-day event attracts the best sailors in the world, and it also gives young sailors an opportunity to compete with the champions. DeVos has been a sailing aficionado for years. Racing against sailors like Alessandro Rombelli, Richard Goransson, and Benjamin Schwartz gave him a taste of the fierce competition he enjoyed while he was the CEO of Amway.
Amway Corporation started as a home business in 1959 and, slowly, but surely, the company grew into an international corporation. Dick’s father, Rick was the co-founder of Amway, so Dick had Amway built into his DNA, so to speak. Dick began working for Amway in 1974 and before he retired from the company he turned the home business into a reputable corporation that is ranked number 26 on the Forbes list of privately held corporations.
DeVos has always been active in the Michigan political scene, and he has always been a sports lover. He ran for governor of the state in 2006, and he was the CEO of the Orlando Magic basketball team. Dick went back to Amway in 1993 when his father retired.
Betsy and Dick DeVos are best known for their charitable work these days. The couple established a foundation that helps fund several causes in the state of Michigan. The Dick and Betsey Scholarship program was established in 2008, and in 2010 the couple promised to donate $22.8 million to the Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management.
Mr. DeVos is considered one of the people that have helped various organizations in Michigan achieve their goals. When it comes to donating money, Dick DeVos is at the top of the list. Even though Dick is not active in Amway, he still keeps his hand in the financial industry through his investment firm, The Windquest Group.
When he’s not focused on Windquest Group investments, DeVos spends time working with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the Willow Creek Association, Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan, RDV Corporation, and Spectrum Health System. Dick is on the board of those organizations.
Donating to worthy causes especially in the state of Michigan runs in the family. In 2013, the five DeVos family foundations donated more than $90 million to charitable causes. Most of that money stay in the Grand Rapids area, and 48 percent of the total went to educational organizations.
Visit Dick DeVos on Facebook.
The wheels have been in motion over at Coriant for the last year, and the company has just announced its latest big development. The optical technology business has replaced former CEO Pat DiPetro with the highly regarded and well known Shaygan Kheradpir. While this change may seem sudden, Kheradpir has reportedly been working as an Operating Executive for the better part of a year in preparation for this new venture.
Born in London and raised in Iran, Kheradpir chose to move to the United States for his higher education. He attended Cornell University and studied electrical engineering. He would eventually leave the school with three degrees in the subject: bachlor’s, master’s and a doctorate. From there, he began his career at GTE Laboratories in 1987, rising through the ranks and being promoted to Chief Information Officer. When GTE merged with Bell Atlantic and eventually became known as Verizon, Kheradpir was the company’s first ever CIO/CTO.
Other notable career highlights of Kheradpir include the position of Chief Operating Officer (and then Chief Operating and Technology Officer) at Barclays, and the CEO of Juniper Networks. he serves on the Engineering Council at Cornell, and has worked on the Advisory Board of the New York YMCA as well as the National Institue of Standards and Technology. He joined Marlin Equity Partners as a way to integrate himself into Coriant before stepping up to the role of CEO.
With his 28 years of professional experience and a resume loaded with high ranking positions at notable companies, Kheradpir seems a solid choice to run Coriant. With over 500 customers and revenue of about $1 billion annually, Kheradpir does not have an easy task. But the company wants to differentiate itself from competitions, and feels a fresh face, with countless ideas and vast amounts of business acumen to back them up, will contribute to their growth and success.