Dean, Frank & Sammy move over, there is a new gang of 21st century performers taking the stage and stealing the show!
Just like their name sakes, this combination of unique personalities and trend setting talents is creating a buzz from underground clubs to concert halls, board rooms and business venues across the nation. But unlike the Rat Pack of old, this group of impudent trouble makers is set on generating economic, political, artistic, athletic, and social reactions in the Greater Ohio Valley!
So who are they? Why are they special? Even better, what are they up to and where are they appearing next?
Catch them when they drop their first live performance, dazzling audiences and the elite with the CreateWV conference in Parkersburg WV this fall!
She was born one evening when the sun didn’t shine
She picked up a shovel and walked to the mine
She loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And her Mother said well a bless my soul!
You load sixteen tons what do you get
A beautiful daughter and no regrets
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to Charlotte Rae Kaple!
She has been making music literally and figuratively in our life since joining us on June 7, 2011 at 9:49pm, 5lbs and full energy. The nurses say she’s been singing all night in the nursery. Certain to steal the show and be the apple of my appalachian eye!
Oil, gas and power have always been part of the history for the State of Appalachia region.
In fact the first history of modern oil discovery and production was right here along this valley and in these hills. It was here in the heart of the state of appalachia West Virginia that the famous oil men like Rockefeller first discovered and processed oil on a major scale. It was this geographic proximity to the appalachian mountains, oil, steel and most certainly coal that created the industrialized towns of Cleveland (Rockefeller’s capital and lakeside shipping port to the world), Pittsburgh (Carnegie’s steel town, consumer of all that energy) and even places like Parkersburg (A major Standard Oil outpost with logistics through the Ohio & Lil Kanawha rivers and B&O railroads).
So while its never really gone away (at least in coal that is) and the world swoons over the supply of oil while clamoring for green energy, we in the state of appalachia sit on the precipice of a new age with the advent of Marcellus & Utica shale finds throughout the northern and southern mountain ranges. Thanks to new technologies in storage and shipping (read Alan Greenspan’s Age of Turbulence Chapter on energy and his background and thoughts on natural gas) natural gas is the newest best thing for cheap, clean, still relatively abundant fossil fuel resource. Add to it the new methods of drilling and extraction, and wala, people that have owned land in the hills and the hollers of appalachia could be sitting on a literal gold mine.
But is all this too good to be true? Leveraging a history of energy natural resources and innovation to address the worlds challenges (and opportunities) with this next generation of technology and fuel? Will it be the boon to peace and prosperity in the region with every farmer leasing gas rights to their land and every family employed in the surveying, drilling, extraction, transportation and transactions in the space? Or will that all come to be and then come to end and fade as quickly as the previous booms that oilmen and others helped to fuel in an earlier generation? Or even worse, will it be a continued opportunity of exploitation for the area, were outsider investment or insider connections cordon off the profits for a few while leaving the costs to the rest?
Whichever of these or more possibilities come to bear, the only thing that is certain is there will be change and opportunity. How we respond to both as a people, as entrepreneurs, community leaders, businesses and workers, family members & friends will dictate which of the scenarios will come to pass to benefit or bereft our great State. I for one will be pulling for and participating in the changes to shape the opportunities for us all to benefit by the journey!
The 51st and finest, it’s more than a place, it’s a state of mind.
As a region, the state of Appalachia recognizes geographic and cultural alignment over manmade boundaries and nonexistent constraints.
As a philosophy, the state of Appalachia is richer in people, perseverance and pride than it is in natural resources and mountainous heights.
At its heart is the Ohio Valley. Poised with all the natural and human force to explode through historical stereotypes, ready to surpass even the Silicon Valley as the nation’s source of new leadership, innovation and accomplishment.
The state of Appalachia is where community and contribution collide creating the entrepreneurial currency of a cherished legacy for the next generation’s economy.
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.