07 Jun June 8, 2018 – KeySmart Michael Tunney, Finding Your Voice Terry Beard and Pony Express Jim DeFelice
Michael Tunney – Founder and CEO of KeySmart
Michael Tunney is the founder and CEO of KeySmart, a company that produces Swiss-style key holders that help people get rid of bulky keyrings. Living in a society where most people’s focus is on making money, it’s rare to see someone who has the courage to choose passion over paycheck. In 2013, Michael gave 2 weeks’ notice in his $140,000 a year robotics engineering job. He was tired of spending too much time doing things that weren’t improving his quality of life. Michael decided to embrace his inner desire and started his own entrepreneurial journey– by quitting his job, selling everything he owned, and living out of his car with just two suitcases of clothes. Michael came up with the idea for KeySmart simply because he was sick of always carrying a bunch of keys that would stab his thigh. After inventing the prototypes and raising nearly $330,000 on Kickstarter, he successfully brought these efficient key-organizing tools to life. And now, besides the basic KeySmart that would save people valuable space and eliminate jingling noises in their pockets, the KeySmart Pro with smart location tracking is also on the market, so no one will ever have to worry about losing the keys again! Despite the success of KeySmart, Michael is still taking a small salary of only $40,000 a year. He puts everything back into product development and business growth, for his happiness comes from being motivated and creating great products that keep customers excited.
Terry Beard – Retail Chain Founder and Author of Squelched: Succeeding in Business and Life by Finding Your Voice
Terry Beard is the founder of Beard Frame Shops and Beards Online Picture Framing. Terry grew Beards Frame Shops from the single store company into a 37-location regional chain with hundreds of employees in the Pacific Northwest competing with national chains. In 1999, Terry merged Beards with NW Framing in Seattle. Terry is actively involved in Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). He serves on the Board of Directors for several local organizations and in October 2015, was the founding charter member of the Portland Rotary Toastmaster Club. During the last 15 years, Terry has been active in a several businesses, and has served on the Boards of Directors for several local companies and organizations, including Goodwill Industries of the Columbia-Willamette, East Portland Rotary Club, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Artisan Dental Labs, The Neil Kelly Company, Attensa, Inc., and recently with Snyder Roofing Co.
Jim DeFelice is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “American Sniper” and the New York Times bestsellers “American Wife” and “Code Name: Johnny Walker.” Jim is the author of “Omar Bradley: General at War,” the first in-depth critical biography of America’s last five-star general. As a novelist, he has written a number of acclaimed thrillers, including “Leopards Kill,” the Rogue Warrior series from Richard Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team 6, and the novels in the Dreamland series with Dale Brown. His new book about the Pony Express tells the most audacious get-rich-quick scheme in American history – an attempt to monopolize freight, transportation, and financial services through half the country. Jim celebrates the legends, separates fact from fiction, and probes the darker side of the Pony in lively, readable style in his new book, “West Like Lightening: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express.” Not content to simply troll dusty archives in his research, he traveled the Express route, researching the landscapes as well as the people who inhabited them. (He got lost only once. Well, once and a half…) Its a wry, loving romp through history that will have you turning the pages as quickly as the riders changed horses.