There is a point in every man’s life when the time comes to take stock in his situation, gather inventory of his dreams and dare to do it, take a risk and make his life. I was there in the spring of 2004.
After completing an incredible journey to Athens for the annual Ohio University Sales Symposium, I was facing a long drive back to my real life in NYC. Its not like I didn’t know it was coming… I had been in this place before… and I knew what it felt like. It was time to embrace a risk, disrupt myself and be the man I was meant to be.
That summer my wife and I took a fairy tale trip to Spain: attending weddings in Bilbao, sunning on beaches in Barcelona and touring bull fights in Madrid.
Of course, just before I gave notice and sailed the quick confines of AT&T, to join in starting an innovative business model to the power of 3 creating exceptional outcomes in service delivery.
Join me in the IMS Experience!~
That’s how I like to tell people about my experience at Ohio University. During the 90’s the Internet was blowing up, people were making millions starting websites and I was right in the thick of it working at the OU Innovation Centre helping companies like Speciality Books launch online e-commerce sites as early as 1995. At that time, my driving passion was getting out of school to start my own venture that would revolutionize the world!
Once I’d graduated and moved to NYC, I realized the 16 hour days at PricewaterhouseCoopers and institutional constraints of selling for AT&T weren’t all that I had dreamed life out of school would be. So I found myself traveling back early and often to Athens for my OU fix. 9 out of 10 straight homecomings, Sales Centre board meetings, visits with my brother and then my wife’s cousin became yearly highlights. Finally, after toasting screw drivers at homecoming with friends recently relocated from California to Athens, Stephanie and I decided it was time to get back in and moved to the now famous State of Appalachia.
Life has definitely come full circle now as I’ve returned to teach Entrepreneurial Sales and Information & Telecommunication Systems for Ohio University and enjoy a slightly different kind of college party with a craft beer at this week’s Ohio Brew Week. My experience with OU has taught me so much about how to be a professional, a person, a coach and a contributor that I am certain of one thing, I will spend the rest of my life trying to give back the “fair/unfair” advantage that my time then and now at OU has given me!
This ground breaking, first of its kind college course is designed specifically for sales in entrepreneurial environments.
But this is no ordinary academic course. It is an exercise infused, competitive boot camp for real startup selling!
Greg Kaple has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 15 years beginning with his first venture providing internet research services, CyberSearch, to college students in 1995. While attending school at Ohio University for Business Marketing and Finance, Greg worked with the University’s business incubator helping business startups like Specialty Books’ launch one of the web’s first ecommerce sites and the National Business Incubation Association’s online venture capital matchmaking database in 1996. After occupying roles with Microsoft as a product manager for Project ’98 and PricewaterhouseCoopers as a business turnaround consultant, Greg began a career in enterprise sales with AT&T. It was there that Greg honed his skills for business development with clients such as Columbia University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Ernst & Young.
In 2001, Greg launched another successful venture, TeamDynamix, to provide online project management and collaboration services. The company continues today with more than 30 clients and $2M in annual revenue headquartered in Columbus OH. Greg completed his Masters Degree in Telecommunications Management from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ in 2005. During his work on a ground breaking thesis for applying real options theory to managing operational risk in IT, Greg met his business partner and launched Integrated Management Services, a professional services firm specializing in technology management and process improvement. IMS’ fifteen full time professionals contribute to the Firm’s leadership as the premiere provider of total service delivery solutions for AmLaw 200 law firms, national healthcare providers and global service organizations. Greg is also the founder of GAK Enterprises, a management holding company built to support Enterprise, Micro-Businesses and Charitable Ventures. There four rules of Micro-Businesses 1) to create a product or service that satisfies a personal desire and is not readily available 2) requires low cost of entry 3) is fun to live vicariously through the stories of running the ventures 4) they have the potential to take off with exponential growth. GAK’s current ventures include a franchise of upscale men’s barbershops called Kennedy’s All American Barber Club, a new media for the masses creative production company called Nvision and a premium pork products distributor called the Wholesome Hog Co.
Beyond his commercial business ventures, Greg is a passionate supporter of investing in education and enabling the future of America’s competitiveness through grass roots programs that give back. He’s been a member of the Ohio University Sales Centre Advisory Board since its inception in 2004 and recently joined the advisory board of the newly formed Ohio University Centre for Entrepreneurship where he’ll be teaching a joint venture class between the two programs on Entrepreneurial Sales. Originally from Dayton OH, Greg has grown up with strong ties throughout the Ohio River valley and recently moved back to Parkersburg WV from 12 years of living and working in NYC to settle down with his wife to begin a family and help support a vision of making the Appalachian territory from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati the new global leader in workforce competitiveness and economic development.