Josh Smith is a business man who has dedicated himself to invention and revolution in numerous businesses. Hailing from Reno, Nevada, he is a serial entrepreneur who has also been involved with several other companies from their roots in Reno, Nevada. Josh Smith was a home gardener but he was met by constant barriers that denied him the opportunity to purchase a greenhouse for his home area. The barriers worked as a calling and he critically worked through them to come with a solution. The solution, amazingly, was a work of art which collectively has worked and will continue working for local gardeners in Reno Nevada and to the rest of the world in general.
Having been in the business for over 17+ years, Joshua smith surrounds himself with professionals who have the same goals as him so as to achieve a set target in the greenhouse business. His urge to find a solution in every problem has been the key fuel in his growth, helping him to grow from an artist to an inventor and finally to an entrepreneur. Given the fact that greenhouse business has many projects in hand, Josh Smith only limits himself to more productive projects due to limited time that he has in a day. He brings his greenhouse ideas to life through drawing then reverse engineering the whole process to bring it to the market as a finished good. Technological growth is a trend that has helped him in the greenhouse business through the use of 3D printing.
Having an ongoing project has been his daily motivation and also getting more advice from only those who have been involved in the same business over sometime has kept him going. In the greenhouse business, Joshua Smith believes in willingness to adapt and digestion of reality as the strategy that has helped him grow his business. The biggest mistake he has ever made was being involved with the wrong people and doing business with them which almost lead to him giving up midway.
When I go through Betsy DeVos interview with Philanthropy Roundtable, it’s clear to me how appreciative Betsy is to her husband Dick DeVos. According to Betsy, Dick’s strong attribute is philanthropy. He is actively involved in community projects, especially helping the less privileged members of the Michigan society. In 2006, the people of Michigan wanted Dick to represent them as governor and he was given the Republic nominee ticket. This kind of effort demonstrates an individual who is determined to serve his community. He is able to mix politics and business and still find the opportunity to give back to the Michigan community.
Dick the Philanthropist
Dick DeVos is the President of Dick & Betsy (D&B) Foundation. The foundation has donated several millions of dollars to educational, religious, community, and civic functions. As the President of the foundation, Dick prioritizes on helping the poor Michigan families. Among the major beneficiaries from Dick’s Foundation are:
- Kid’s Hope Foundation
- Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
- Potters House
- Mass Hill Bible Church
- Willow Creek Association
- Rehoboth Christian School
- Hope College
- Princeton University
- American Education Reform Council
In 2010, Dick founded the West Michigan Aviation College, the first public chartered aviation school in the US. The school caters for less privileged kids in Michigan. The academy is a demonstration of the love that Dick has for education and aviation. According to Dick, the school is an opportunity for the young Michigan community to fly. Through D&B, Dick is actively involved in the support of artistic talents throughout Michigan.
Since 2009, Dick has been active in funding different art events in Grand Rapids. In 2010, D&B Foundation gave $22.5 million to Kennedy Center. The center later changed its name to DeVos Institute of Arts Management. The money was the largest donation accorded to the arts center. In promoting free market economy, Dick has given a number of grants to several organizations. Some of the beneficiaries include Heritage Foundation, Action Institute, and Hudson Institute. In promoting education, Dick through the D&B Foundation offers scholarships to a number of kids in America. They give sponsorship to students attending Northwood University among other educational institutes.
Today, Dick DeVos is a celebrated Michigan hero and American icon. His love for charity, especially helping the young less privileged Americans achieve quality education makes him a true leader. He continues to inspire millions across America through grants and scholarships.
To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com/.
Some men rack up achievements while other men leave legacies. Louis Chenevert has indeed left his own legacy during his time as Chief Executive Officer at the UTC, or the United Technologies Corporation.
Louis Chenevert prepared for his time in this role by attending the University of Montreal’s affiliate school, HEC Montreal. During his time in attendance, he received a Bachelor’s Degree with a specialization in production management which would serve as the foundation for his career.
He was hired immediately after graduation by none other than General Motors. He would continue working with this corporation for fourteen years. His skills in management were evident to all, and in 1993, the corporation of Pratt & Whitney approached him with a job offer. Here at Pratt & Whitney, Chenevert would work in management for six years before being offered the role of president, a position he gladly accepted. Having cut his teeth in aircraft engine manufacturing, he would be approached by United Technologies Corporations in 2006 and asked to be the Chief Executive officer as well as Chairman of the Board.
It was at UTC that Chenevert would leave a legacy. When Chenevert first came to United Technologies Corporation, the stock was sitting at $37 a share. After working here for several years, he was able to raise the stock price to $117. This achievement granted him a compensation package totaling a little over $22 million.
Chenevert was able to transform his company by focusing on researching and creating high technology products, specifically jet engines for the private and military sectors. In addition to this, Chenevert increased the stock value by acquiring two significant companies; Otis, which is the world’s largest elevator and escalator company, and Goodrich, which was their main competitor. The acquisition of Goodrich alone cost the company $16.3 billion. However, this critical business move allowed Chenevert to increase the net worth of United Technologies to $63 billion. With such a strong financial base, United Technologies Corporation has not missed a dividend payment in over 77 years and has increased payout by ten percent every year.
At the height of his career, Mike Baur was a financial adviser to the world’s most wealthy countries including being a board member of a handful of Swiss private banks. It seemed that he was destined to have a dynamic career on the same trajectory as many others who had preceded him.
However, The financial crisis in 2008 triggered shock waves felt globally, especially in the financial center of Switzerland. It was then when Mike Baur’s superstar career began to take an surprisingly new direction. In 2014 at the age of 39, he gave up his high salary and all the benefits of his positions in the banking sector and teamed up with Oliver Walzer and Max Meister as founding fathers of the Swiss Startup Factory.
In a relatively short period of time, the Swiss Startup Factory has grown to be an indisputable success and one of the largest and most prestigious start-up ventures developed in the country. In the Swiss Startup Factory Mike Baur role is key, in addition to looking after young entrepreneurs as he is also responsible for financing rounds and fundraising.
Swiss Startup Factory has been successful enough to have entered into partnership with CTI Invest. After the partnership was solidified, Mike Baur became Deputy Managing Director of CTI. During that time frame, Mr. Baur joined in partnership with Fintech Fusion, as well as the Goldback Group. Mike Baur’s success has been so remarkable that in the winter of 2016, he was featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Looking back on Mike Baur’s humble beginnings, it appears his career path has become somewhat poetically symmetrical in the fact that he’s dedicating his time now to help younger entrepreneurs with similar ambitions.
The Fribourg native found himself in the same place at the age of 16 when he was a commerce apprentice at a large bank. After a lengthy stint spanning twenty years at UBS and Clariden Lieu, Mike Bauer also found the time to complete his education with an MBA and executive MBA from the university of Rochester and university of Berne respectively.
Mike Baur’s dedication to his own self-development laid the foundation for personal success. Today, there are many young entrepreneurs involved with Swiss Startup Factory who benefit from the perseverance he demonstrated years ago.