David Perry, President, CEO, and Director at Indigo, has spent nearly his entire career working in the health and wellness industry. Although David grew up on a farm in Arkansas working many mornings with his father, agriculture hasn't always been his sole focus in life. David started his journey attending the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a National Merit Scholar right out of high school. After deciding to take a different route in life, David transferred to the University of Tulsa where he holds a bachelors degree in chemical engineering. After Tulsa, David went on to receive an MBA from Harvard University and that's when he knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. And when David Perry puts his mind to something, he delivers in a big way! Shortly after Harvard in 2000, David was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" in Northern California by Ernst and Young. After that, Perry went on to build three innovative companies in the past 20 years, leading the last two through successful IPOs along with raising over $1.2 billion throughout his career. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as growing up on a small farm in Arkansas, what going to Harvard did for him, starting a billion dollar company right before the dot-com bubble, how to raise capital to grow your business, learning from failures, qualities of success, surfing, finishing iron-man triathlons, and the next big opportunities in ag. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this passion for building businesses and how he is striving to make a massive impact in agriculture!
Molly Bloom, who owns one of the most intriguing stories of the past decade many of you may know as Molly's game, tells us how she built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world. Molly grew up in Loveland, Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, majoring in Political Science. She was a member of the US ski team and was ranked third overall in North America in 1998. Her father was a top psychologist and her mother a professional fly fisher. In the late 2000s, Molly ran the highest stakes, most exclusive poker game Hollywood had ever seen—she was its mistress, its lion tamer, its agent, and its oxygen. Everyone wanted in, few were invited to play. Hundreds of millions of dollars were won and lost at her table. Molly’s game became the game for those in the know—celebrities, business moguls, and millionaires. Molly staged her games in palatial suites with beautiful views and exquisite amenities. She flew privately, dined at exclusive restaurants, hobnobbed with the heads of Hollywood studios, was courted by handsome leading men, and was privy to the world’s most delicious gossip. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in her life such as his family, being competitive, what people would try to gamble with, her obsession with always wanting to be the best, and what she's doing now. I would also like to mention, we were blessed with the opportunity to have Molly as the keynote speaker at The Van Trump Conference in 2018. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this poker princess. Her story is truly incredible!
Carter Williams, CEO of the iSelect Fund, has spent his life working with innovation. Carter graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, started Boeing Ventures, and is currently the CEO of one of the top funds in the Silicon Prairie. Carter often has opportunities to see many of the most innovative and disruptive technologies coming to agriculture months and years ahead of everyone else. Carter and I have great discussions about the life lessons he learned at MIT, tips on how to be a more successful entrepreneur, and what attracts him to invest in a start-up company. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as: making bombs at Boeing, replicating Shackleton's wild sailing adventures, and incredible scenes of Halley's comet. Listen to the podcast to learn more about the passionate Silicon Prairie venture capitalist and championship sailor.
Howard Getson, President and CEO at Capitalogix, has spent nearly his whole life working with artificial intelligence. Mr. Getson received an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy from Duke University in 1984, and received a Juris Doctorate law degree and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University in 1987. Since then, Howard founded IntellAgent Control in 1991, which was an Inc. 500 company and won an IBM-Lotus Beacon Award for best business application. He also served seven terms on the Board of Directors for the Entrepreneurs Organization in Dallas and served on the EO International Board of Directors from 2001 to 2004. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as: the Dallas Cowboys, green beer, mastermind sessions, visiting Pablo Escobar's house, and playing quarterback at Duke. Listen to the podcast to learn more about the lawyer turned artificial intelligence trading guru.
Braden Hudye, President of The Hudye Group, has spent his life as a successful investor. Braden started his investing career at the University of Saskatchewan when he first started investing in commercial real estate properties. Since then, Braden has ran successful businesses on the farm, agri-retail, development real estate, and equity investments. Braden was an active member of a management team that won the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers Retailer of the Year in 2011. He also was a top 3 finalist for Top Producer of the Year by Farm Journal in 2010 for their US Farm Operation. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as: charity, snowmobiles, Darius Rucker, and real estate cycles. Listen to the podcast to learn more about the luxury real estate investor and Sturgis fanatic.
Chris Rivera, CEO of Nativis and co-founder of WINGS, has spent nearly his whole life working in the biotech field. Chris played college basketball, has a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and a business degree from the Seattle University. Since then, Chris has overseen one of Washington’s largest and fastest growing economic industries and has even mentored more than 400 life science start-up companies. Mr. RIvera was the President & CEO of Life Science Washington from 2009 to 2015. He also founded and led Hyperion Therapeutics, which sold to Horizon Pharma for over $1 billion in 2015. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as: golf, travel, innovation, Amazon, and investing in yourself. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this biotech jetter setter.
Mary Shelman, Founder at the Mary Shelman Group and Advisory Board Member at Village Capital, has spent nearly her entire career working in the agriculture industry. Mary grew up on a farm in Kentucky, which she still owns today. Later in life, she ventured off to Elizabethtown Community College and the University of Kentucky to earn a degree in Chemical Engineering. After a series of tough decisions, she decided to get a masters degree in general management from Harvard Business School, which is when she knew for sure she wanted to work in agriculture. After working under Ray Goldberg for many years, Mary became the Director of the Harvard Agribusiness Program. Along the way, Mary has served as a Board of Director at Stiftung Furst Liechtenstein, Chairman of the Board at RiceTec Inc, Chairman of the Board at Fractual Antenna Systems, President of the Board at English at Large, President of International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, and an Advisory Board member at Crop Enhancement Inc. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in her life such as what it's like going to school at Harvard, becoming Director of their Agribusiness Program, where some of her best ideas come from, where grocery stores are heading in the future, buying groceries online, working with Ray Goldberg, living in Boston, traveling the World, and horseback riding. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this rising leader and how she is striving to get women more involved in agriculture!
Barrett Ersek, Founder and CEO of the Holganix, is a true American entrepreneur. Listen to this podcast to learn a collection of insight about building your own business even when you think all the cards are stacked against you. Barrett sold his first company for $3.5 million, his second for over $10 million, and is currently in the process of building another multimillion-dollar venture. This man has a lot to share when it comes to overcoming adversity and the significance of gratitude in business as well as life. He has personally had to overcome many challenges and obstacles, many that would have stopped most people, but not Barrett Ersek. Not only did he overcome adversity, but he has excelled every step of the way. Barrett has been invited to lecture at places like MIT, The London School of Business, and the India School of Business. Barrett now has his sights set on finding new and innovative ways to improve soil health and to leave a lasting footprint on earth. In this episode, Barrett and I have great discussions about business and life. He shares some extremely valuable lessons he has learned along his amazing journey. We also talk about a wide variety of topics such as: deep sea fishing in the Caribbean, meeting Brother David Steindl-Rast, and some of the best Philly cheese-steaks in Philadelphia. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this earth changing agronomist and influential American Entrepreneur.
Kellee James, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Mercaris, has spent nearly her entire life working in energy and agriculture. Kellee grew up in a military family, which not only taught her to accept change but embrace it. Later, Kellee ventured off to the University of Kentucky to earn a degree in Spanish and pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic horseback rider. After a horseback riding injury, Kellee started her career working with commodity banks in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. In 2009, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow and was Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine ’40 under 40’ rising leader. Kellee also spent 5-years working for the Chicago Climate Exchange and was the co-founder of Exchangery. Now, Kellee is serving as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Mercaris. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in her life such as working in the White House, being raised in a military family, horseback riding, what makes her tick, breaking new grounds, speciality crops, and where organics is going in the future. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this rising leader and how she is striving to change the agricultural landscape.,/p>
Tom Willis, CEO of Conestoga Energy, has spent his entire life working in agriculture. Tom earned bachelor degrees in economics, business administration, and agricultural business from Utah State University. He's spent most of his career in risk management and agribusiness, with companies including General Mills and JR Simplot. In 2004, Tom took over as CEO at Conestoga Energy taking the company from 3 to 220 employees and $1.5 billion in sales. Additionally, Tom currently serves on the National Sorghum Producers Board of Directors and The Koch Foundation's Youth Entrepreneur Board. He's also the past Chairman of the Kansas Association of Ethanol Producers and past President of the Montana Grain and Feed Association. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as politics, religion, water farms, Old Chicago Pizzas, and herding sheep. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this great role model to the public and young entrepreneurs.
Mark Young, the Chief Technology Officer at The Climate Corporation, has spent nearly his entire life working in the technology sector. Mark grew up on a farm in southern New Jersey growing hay and raising cattle. Later, Mark ventured off to Purdue University to earn a degree in Computer Sciences. Mark started his own company in college called netKnowledge Inc. and not long after college, he went on to start another company called HipLogic, which was a mobile technology company. Mark soon went on to sell HipLogic to travel out to Silicon Valley for nearly 18 years to work for companies like Yahoo and Zynga. Now, Mark is back in the Midwest working in his homegrown roots serving as the Chief Technology Officer at The Climate Corporation. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as his following your passion, learning to become an entrepreneur, the future of gaming, mastering bow hunting, fly fishing, off-roading in Wranglers in Moab, and traveling the world. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this farm boy who became a Silicon Valley tech guru.
Travis Potter, Founder of Tractor Soda Company, has spent his entire life working in agriculture as a farmer and pioneer in the organic food industry. Travis has been in organic farming before it was even called organic farming. He pioneered the first organic beef ranch and artisan meat company. He has done everything from working in the organic yogurt industry to non-dairy desserts and organic ice cream. Travis currently lives in Northwest Idaho with his wife and 11 kids. Travis is leading the way for agriculture in the current farm to fork movement in many companies like Land Back, Agopolis, 52 Fresh, and Frontier Protein. We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as his family, frozen yogurts, lamb as well as quail markets, and where this organic market is heading. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this innovative farmer passionate about making the world a better place.
Chris Masters, President and CEO at Biovante, has been involved in agriculture his entire life. Although Chris grew up on a farm, he originally went to college to be a chiropractor. After deciding baseball and a future in the chiropractic space wasn't for him, he went on to study Agribusiness at Southeast Missouri State University. Right after leaving college, Chris accepted a position with AgXplore in 2003, where he worked for seven years. After leaving AgXplore, Chris went on to become the President and CEO of a company named Biovante in 2009, which is an innovative company founded upon biologically driven technology. Keep in mind, Biovante's products are currently producing 160+ bushels per acre soybean yields, which are breaking world records. Click HERE to learn more about how Biovante is working with Kip Cullers to produce these yields! We also talk about a wide variety of interests in his life such as growing up on a small farm, playing baseball in college, how to become a better salesman through relationships, the importance of honesty as well as hard work, having a birthday on Thanksgiving day, being thankful, his son, hunting, and his relationship with God. Listen to the podcast below to learn more about how important relationships are in business and his passion for educating growers on biologicals!