Start-Up Experience

Ken has had extensive experience in ‘start up’ business initiatives having been involved in four specific companies in the past six and a half years. His initial venture into ‘startups’ was with Devine Racing in 2006-07, the 2nd largest world-wide Marathon Company in the world. Devine Racing owned and operated the Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City full 26-mile marathons and Chicago‘s ‘half marathon’ (13-mile) where Ken was ‘tabbed’ as the company‘s Vice President of Marketing/Communications. Each of the races in 2006 were sold out and over $7.5 million was generated as a result of marketing partnerships established by Ken as well as registered runners who ran and paid registrant fees. He was responsible for hiring front office personnel, developing the marketing and branding initiatives for the company which included designing the company‘s logo and corporate messaging and supervising the overall public relations efforts.

Following his tenure with Devine Racing, Ken joined Power Plate, North America 2007-08 which sold ‘acceleration’ fitness equipment and solutions to consumers, as well as to specific industries which utilized the equipment in a number of health care & ‘wellness’ institutions and clinics. Ken supervised the company’s efforts in the sports performance industry utilizing his 20-plus years of experience and contacts with teams, leagues, health clubs and sports performance companies. He became Power Plate‘s leading revenue generator in just 7 months while also supervising the company’s public relations efforts to gain exposure for the product and in ‘main stream’ America. He was instrumental in getting the product placed on the sidelines of 12 NCAA Division 1 schools, the first being his alma mater – Notre Dame along with other schools and most importantly — in the locker rooms of the New England Patriots and New York Giants for Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, Arizona. A life-time Chicagoan, the company moved its’ headquarters to Irvine, California at the end of 2008 and Ken decided to take up new challenges and became the President & CEO of the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.

Ken was named the Gridiron Greats Assistance Funds‘ President and CEO by former Chicago Bears legendary player and head coach, Mike Ditka. Supervising a staff of three people, the 501C3 nonprofit organization provided financial grants and medical assistance to retired NFL players in need. During his tenure, Ken was responsible for generating and distributing over $2M in grants and medical assistance to players who applied to the Fund for assistance. In addition to establishing Chicago as the corporate headquarters for the GGAF, Ken developed a web-site for the organization, as well as an expanded medical program. Under his leadership, the Fund found a solution for former Chicago Bear and NFL player William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry who was in grave medical condition – suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 2008-09. Through a number of contacts at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ken established connections which aided William to establish ‘pro bono’ residency at the Carolina Rehabilitation Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina. William entered the Institute in ‘grave’ condition and following a 4-month stay complemented with daily physical, emotional and speech and hearing rehabilitation and therapy, he now is back home living an improved lifestyle in Aiken, South Carolina.

Ken supervised the GGAF‘s first ever celebrity hosted fund raising’ Super Bowl event in Miami in February, 2010 hosted by GGAF Chairman Mike Ditka and Grammy Award winning Jamie Foxx. The fund raiser and live auction generated over $250,000 for the Fund which is currently being utilized to assist the retired players in financial and medical need.

During Ken‘s tenure with the GGAF, he was offered and accepted the position as President / GM of the AFL (Arena Football League) Chicago Rush. As a consequence, he ‘ceded’ control of the GGAF to a colleague and began work for the Chicago Rush at the end of the 2009 calendar year.

Tasked with having to hire a staff, establish office space & practice facilities, sell corporate sponsorship and ticketing for the Rush’s 8-home game schedule, Ken supervised a staff of 15 people plus the head coach, his assistants and a 22-man player roster. The Rush finished the 2010 campaign with a 10-6 record and a spot in the post-season playoffs. Off the field and under the time constraints of beginning a season in 3 months, the team finished with over $500,000 in cash sponsorship and another $750,000 in ‘trade’ sponsorship which saved the club hard financial costs. The team finished 5th in the league in attendance with an average of over 9,500 fans per game at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The league in its’ first year back after a one year hiatus due to financial distress, came together in just four (4) short months with its first game being played April 2nd.

With the 6 years of experience in ‘start up’ businesses, Ken is currently ‘consulting’ with companies who are in similar modes of infancy and operation. He clearly understands the financial and staffing pressures, as well as the many challenges that face ‘start up’ businesses in these stressful economic times. Through his experience, he can objectively analyze budgeting needs, as well as forecasting while having the necessary knowledge and expertise in all areas of business operation.

His broad based levels of experience in all areas of staff management, sales, marketing, advertising, budgeting and public relations provide the foundation for a company to lean on Ken for his expertise and his suggested implementation of best business practices, sales coaching and training practices to achieve ultimate success. He has written business and marketing plans for each of his career opportunities and can share, write and consult on the development of these important manuals for starting a business.