BY CHRISTOPHER GERGEN & GREGG VANOUREK
Interviews for Life Entrepreneurs were conducted with people deemed by the authors to be life entrepreneurs—that is, people who create lives of significance through opportunity recognition, innovation, and action—including both business and social entrepreneurs. All interviews were conducted by Christopher Gergen, Gregg Vanourek, or both between September 2005 and June 2007. In total, fifty-five people were interviewed.
Attention was paid to ensuring diversity of gender, race and ethnicity, geography, age, generation, sector (for-profit, non-profit, and public), and industry. Interviewees have worked across a wide range of industries, including biotechnology, consulting, education, entertainment, food service, government, health and medicine, law, military, philanthropy, politics, ranching, religion, sports, and technology.
From these interviews, we developed a framework for life entrepreneurship, leadership, and personal development. And in the book we tell their stories. Here is a list of the entrepreneurs and leaders we interviewed:
Eric Adler. Co-founder and managing director, SEED Foundation and Schools. Former Dean of Students at St. Paul's School in Baltimore. Former teacher and management consultant. Echoing Green Fellow.
Karen Albrektsen. Canadian retail executive turned restaurant entrepreneur. Founder and owner of Betty's Wok Shop in Boston, Massachusetts.
Cory Booker. Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Recognized in numerous publications, including U.S. News and World Report (one of "America's Best Leaders" in 2006).
Stacey Boyd. Founder and "Chief Executive Mom," Savvy Source for Parents. Founder and Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Global Learning Ventures. Founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer, Project Achieve, Inc. Founding Director and Principal, Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School.
Warren Brown. Founder, Cake Love. Department of Health and Human Services lawyer who founded his own community-based catering and cake company and now hosts a Food Network show called "Sugar Rush." Voted one of People Magazine's "Top 50 Eligible Bachelors."
David Carmel. Vice President, StemCyte. Co-founder of Jumpstart; advocate for stem-cell research. Former White House Fellow and now advisor to New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Kevin Carroll. Author, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. Former executive, Nike. Founder, Katalyst Consultancy. Former head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team.
Jack Chain. Four-Star General, U.S. Air Force (retired). Former fighter pilot, U.S. Air Force (two combat tours in Vietnam). Former commander, U.S. Strategic Air Command.
Gerald Chertavian. Founder and Executive Director, Year Up. Co-founder, Conduit Communications.
Chip Conley. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Joie de Vivre Hotels. Author, The Rebel Rules: Daring to Be Yourself in Business and Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow.
Mary Cutrufello. Yale scholar turned rock star, songwriter, singer, and guitar-playing virtuoso, with a unique blend of rock, blues, funk, and honky-tonk.
Gun Denhart. Founder, Hanna Andersson and Hanna Andersson Children's Foundation. Author, Growing Local Value: How to Build Business Partnerships that Strengthen Your Community.
Robert Egger. Founder and President, D.C. Central Kitchen. Author, Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient, and Rewarding for All.
Steve Ells. Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Chipotle Mexican Grill. Trained chef and 2003 recipient of a Silver Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers' Association.
Gary Erickson. Founder and Owner, Clif Bar. Author, Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar & Co.
Mike Feinberg. Co-founder, KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Schools. Superintendent of KIPP Houston. Former fifth-grade teacher with Teach for America in Houston.
Michael Galgon. Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, aQuantive. Former demolition SCUBA diver with the U.S. Navy and Americorps*VISTA volunteer.
Bill George. Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School. Author, Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, and co-author, True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic.
Penny George. President, George Family Foundation. Co-founder and past president, Bravewell Collaborative. Cancer survivor.
Rob Glaser. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RealNetworks, Inc. Former Vice President of Multimedia and Consumer Systems, Microsoft.
Seth Goldman. Co-founder, President, and "TeaEO," Honest Tea. Former Vice President, Calvert Social Investment Fund.
Bridget Bradley Gray. Founder, Wiggle Room. Former executive, D.C. Public Charter School Board.
David Gray. Associate Pastor, Georgetown Presbyterian Church. Director, Workforce and Family Program, New America Foundation. Former Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor. Author, Faith in Service.
John Hickenlooper. Mayor of Denver, Colorado. Founder, Wynkoop Breweries.
John Horan-Kates. Founder and President, Vail Leadership Institute. Former President, East West Marketing. Former Vice President of Marketing, Vail Resorts. Founder and former President, Vail Valley Foundation.
Max Israel. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Customerville. Founder and chairman, Play & Music Franchise Systems. Founder and former Chief Executive Officer, Bridgehouse Foods International. Competitive Ironman triathlete.
Jael Kampfe. Manager of the Lazy E-L Ranch. Founder, Four Times Foundation. Former professional dancer.
Emmet B. Keeffe III. Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, iRise.
Peter Kellner. Co-founder and Managing Director, Richmond Financial LLC. Co-founder, Endeavor Global. Fulbright scholar.
Natalie Killassy. Founder and Managing Director, Stitch Wise, South Africa. Selected as an Endeavor entrepreneur in 2004.
Suzanne McKechnie Klahr. Founder, Build.org. Faculty adjunct at Stanford Law School. Ashoka Fellow. Honored with the Social Visionary 2000 Award and the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for Entrepreneurial Teaching by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Randy Komisar. Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Co-founder, Claris Corporation. Former Chief Executive Officer, LucasArts Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics. Consulting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Stanford University, Author, The Monk and the Riddle.
Larry Leith. Founder, Tokyo Joe's, a restaurant chain in Denver, Colorado. Former professional skier.
David Levin. Co-founder, KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Schools; Superintendent of the KIPP Academy in the South Bronx, NY. Former fifth-grade teacher with Teach for America in Houston, TX.
Richard Leider. Founding Principal, Inventure Group. Author, seven books, including the best-seller, The Power of Purpose.
Paul Lightfoot. President and Chief Executive Officer, AL Systems. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Foodline. Triathlete.
Linda Mason. Chairman and co-founder, Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Author, The Working Mother's Guide to Life: Strategies, Secrets, and Solutions. Co-founder, Horizons for Homeless Children. Managed large-scale relief operations in Africa and Asia. Named by Working Mother magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential Mothers in America."
Simi Mir. Partner, Katona & Mir. Producing and directing documentary on Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims.
Paul Nasrani. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Adirondack Creamery. Former Partner and Treasurer, Firesafe Corporation. Former Treasurer, Atlantic Bag Company. Former Chief Financial Officer, Strategic Workforce Solutions.
Will Pearson. Founder and El Presidente, Mental Floss.
Jared Polis. Founder, Blue Mountain Arts.com. Founder, ProFlowers.com.
Steve Quisenberry. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, 105 Meridian. Owner, Mountainsmith, Inc. Former Colorado Entrepreneur of the Year.
Inez Russell. Founder and Executive Director, Friends for Life.
Howard Schultz. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks. Co-author, Pour Your Heart Into It. Former owner, Seattle Supersonics.
Buie Seawell. Chair, Department of Business Ethics and Legal Studies, University of Denver. Civil-rights activist, minister, theologian, attorney, environmental activist, political leader, professor. Former candidate for U.S. Senate from Colorado. Former chairman, Colorado Democratic Party.
Anita Sharpe. Co-founding editor, MOTTO magazine. Editor-in-chief, Atlanta Business Chronicle. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Wall Street Journal.
Murem Sharpe. Chief Executive Officer and founder, Evoca LLC. Former corporate executive, Pitney Bowes, Kelly Services, MSX International and management consultant to Web 1.0 and Fortune 500 technology companies.
Billy Shore. Founder and Executive Director, Share Our Strength. Chairman of Community Wealth Ventures, Inc. Author of Revolutions of the Heart; The Cathedral Within; and The Light of Conscience.
Kim Smith. Co-founder, senior advisor, and former Chief Executive Officer, NewSchools Venture Fund. Founding team member, Teach For America. Faculty adjunct at Stanford University.
Richard Tait. Founder and "Chief Poobah," Cranium. Former employee of the year, Microsoft.
Leila Velez. Co-Founder, Beleza Natural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rajiv Vinnakota. Co-founder and managing director, SEED Foundation and Schools, the first urban boarding school for inner-city youth in the country. Former associate at Mercer Management Consulting. Echoing Green fellow and Ashoka fellow.
Mark Warner. Former Governor of Virginia and technology entrepreneur. Co-founder, Nextel. Former chairman, National Governors Association. Named by Time magazine as one of the five best governors in America.
Karin Weber. Former Merrill Lynch securities broker, real estate broker, and sales/management Vice President turned spiritual psychologist. Author, Creating a Legacy of Your Life Experience and Wisdom and Postcards from Grandma, Messages from the Heart.
Kimberly Wilson. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tranquil Space and Tranquil Space Foundation. Author, Hip Tranquil Chick.