David Brower: Preeminent Environmentalist With an Enduring Legacy

David Ross Brower (1 July 1912 – 5 November 2000) was among the most prominent environmentalists of his time – truly, one of the few who walked the talk for Mother Earth. He was, after all, the founder of several environment-oriented organizations that continue their work to this day including the John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Earth Island Institute, League of Conservation Voters, Friends of the Earth, Fate of the Earth Conferences, and North Cascades Conservation Council. He was also a three-time board member of the Sierra Club aside from being its first Executive Director.

His passion for environmental conservation and preservation stemmed from his passion for mountaineering. He was also an accomplished mountaineer with 32 first ascents on the High Sierra range with his conquests including Mouth Tyndall, Mount Barnard, and Mount Williamson, among others. He also made multiple first winter ascents of the Sierra Nevada peaks as well as the remarkable ascent on Shiprock, which was known as the last great climbing problem in America.

Nancy Cruickshank: Beauty, Fashion and Technology Are Her Forte

In the modern world, women entrepreneurs can give their male counterparts a run for their money.

Nancy Cruickshank, a British entrepreneur, is one such woman!

She is a well-known presence in the international industries of beauty, fashion, and technology due to her numerous business ventures as well as her valuable assistance in launching many other start-ups created by her fellow entrepreneurs. So far, she has founded three start-ups. She is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of MyShowcase.com, a website specializing as a retailer of direct-sales beauty products, since 2012.

Born in London, her father was an employee of Revlon, which exposed her to the beauty industry from an early age. When she was 11, her parents decided to move to Hong Kong but she stayed behind in the United Kingdom; she attended a boarding school for her studies. She graduated with a degree in history from the University of Leeds.

Her professional career started when she became an employee at Condé Nast where she was involved in magazine and advertising sales. Her career grew until she became Condé Nast’s commercial director for online operations where she helped in launching the global publisher’s titles on the Internet, such as GQ and Vogue; both are now considered as top-rated websites in the publishing industry.

Her entrepreneurial ventures started when she launched Smove.com, a property site, with her husband, Jim, in 2000. In the same year, she also founded Handbag, a portal that eventually became the #1 fashion and beauty website in the United Kingdom with over 1.5 million unique visits per month.

In 2006, Cruickshank sold Handbag Publishing Group to the National Magazine Company for £22 million, per reports in the media. While she stayed in the company for a year after the acquisition, she resigned to become the CEO of VideoJug, a website specializing in how-to videos in October 2007.

Her other career stints include Telegraph Media Group’s executive director of digital development; CEO of Weve; board member of the Cosmetic Executive Women Trade Organisation; and independent director on OnMobile.

Phiwa Nkambule: Young African Entrepreneur on the Rise

Phiwa Nkambule is a young African Internet entrepreneur. His most successful venture so far is Cybatar, which he founded in October 2014. He started Cyabatar as a social network but its focus turned towards becoming a tech start-up company that works in fuel delivery as well as crowdfunding for student debt; the combination initially appears odd but Phiwa makes it work.

In 2015, Cyabatar announced its first fuel delivery network, Africa’s first of its kind. Many industry experts considered it as evidence that entrepreneurs in South Africa have embraced on-demand economy and as a sign of improvement in the petroleum industry’s value chain.

Cyabatar has received national and international recognition for its lean corporate structure and operations as well as for its technological contributions to the South African community. It was nominated for the 2015 African Corporate Excellence Awards under the Information Technology category.

After the FeesMustFall protests, Cyabatar launched a crowdfunding platform for university scholarships. In it, donors contributed money to save university students from crippling student debts, thus, saving them from possible financial exclusions.

Charles Schwab and His Goal to Create Wealth for Others

Most people confuse him with a popular American steel magnate during the first half of the 20th century, but financial entrepreneur Charles “Chuck” Schwab need not credit his acclaim to his namesake. As the founder of and chairman of Charles Schwab Corporation, he was able to make a name in the finance industry all on his own.

Schwab’s career began in 1963 when he was only 26 years old. With two other partners, he launched “Investment Indicator”, a newsletter dedicated to everything about investments. The newsletter reached 3,000 subscribers in a matter of years, and in 1971 was incorporated in California as First Commander Corporation, a subsidiary of Commander Industries, Inc. In that same year, Schwab and four other investors purchased all the stock from Commander Industries, Inc. A year later, Schwab managed to buy all the stocks. He changed its name to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc, a company that offered discount brokerage services. Within five years, his clients grew to a total of 374,000, thanks to the company’s 24-hour quotation service and international office in Hong Kong.

Schwab’s beginning from a publisher to a financial entrepreneur is admirable. Today, his company serves 8.2 million client brokerage accounts, which includes beginners and middle class investors. Aside from over 300 offices in America, Puerto Rico and London, Schwab also brings his brokerage services to people all over the world with online investing. This service is best suited for frequent traders with its huge spread of various investment products.

By helping thousands of small to large scale companies and private individuals make smart decisions with money, Schwab has become household name in the finance industry. He has also empowered other entrepreneurs by sharing his personal experiences in starting his own business, and motivating others to take the same risks. Creating wealth not only for himself but for others is truly his “life’s pursuit”.

Fadi Makki: Wearing Many Hats Is a Breeze

Few people can wear many hats and excel at all of them and Fadi Makki is one of them. He is a well-known Lebanese expert on a wide range of subjects including trade policy, strategy consulting, public sector reform, sustainable economic development, and social entrepreneurship. His focus is on the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Middle East.

He has comprehensive work experience that has made him one of the most notable and influential persons in his field.

• Advisor to the Chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Program
• Advisor to Lebanon’s Prime Minister on matters concerning the economy and trade
• Advisor Qatari Ministry of Finance, Economy and Commerce on matters related to the World Trade Organization and trade policy
• Principal and Director of Booz & Company
• Director and General Manager of Cisco Qatar
• Director General of Ministry of Economy and Trade of Lebanon

His academic background also reflects his expertise. He has bachelor’s degrees from the Lebanese University Law School and the American University of Beirut; a master’s degree from Hull University and London School of Economics; and a PhD in international trade from Cambridge University.

Jack Dorsey: Twitter Is His Last Name and Lasting Legacy

Twitter users can partly thank Jack Dorsey for his co-creation of the popular microblogging site. Dorsey (born 19 November 1976), an American computer programmer, is best known as the entrepreneur and co-founder as well as current CEO of Twitter. He is also the developer and current CEO of Square, a company that specializes in mobile payments.

His notable contributions to modern society have resulted in recognitions from various organizations. He was named as one of the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 by the MIT Technology Review TR35 as well as the 2012 “Innovator of the Year Award” for technology by The Wall Street Journal.

Dorsey had a pivotal role in the early days of development of Twitter, Inc. As its CEO, he oversaw two rounds of funding by venture capitalists. His career at Twitter, however, had its ups and downs.

On October 2008, he was replaced as CEO and became chairman of the board. On March 2011, he became its Executive Chairman and then became Interim CEO on July 2015 upon the resignation of Costolo. He was named permanent CEO on October 2015.

As Twitter grew in popularity, he made several changes that reinforced Twitter’s online status. He made uptime a top priority, thus, over-creating revenue; until 2008, Twitter’s design was not for earning revenue. He described Twitter’s commercial use and API as the aspects that can result in paid features, a boon to the microblogging site. His three guiding principles as Twitter increases in scope and revenue: constraint, craftsmanship, and simplicity.

Dorsey is also the developer behind Square, a business platform designed to accept debit and credit card payments using a dedicated mobile device. The square-shaped device can be attached to iOS and Android devices, which can then be used for mobile payments – the user swipes the mini card reader, chooses an amount for transfer to a recipient, and signs his name for confirmation.

Binny Bansal: Co-founder of Flipkart

Binny Bansal, an Indian national known for his brilliance as a software engineer and for his success as an Internet entrepreneur, is the co-founder of Flipkart along with Sachin Bansal. He is the current Chief Operating Officer of Flipkart.

He has a degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He also worked at Amazon for less than a year before setting out on his own – and he was rewarded for his decision as he was named the 86th richest man in India along with Sachin; the do had a net worth of $1.3 billion.

Founded in 2007, FlipKart is an e-commerce company with headquarters in Bangalore, Karnataka; emphasis must be made that it is a Singaporean company with its operations in India. It employs over 33,000 people and allows for various payment methods, such as cash on delivery, debit and credit cards, e-gift vouchers, and net banking.

Scott Banister: As Much An Entrepreneur and Investor As A Mentor

Scott Banister is as well-known for being a successful entrepreneur and angel investor as for being a mentor to budding entrepreneurs and their start-ups. His success as a mentor stems from his success as an entrepreneur – he is, after all, the co-founder of IronPort, among other enterprises.

In 1995, Banister co-founded SponsorNet New Media, Inc. with Max Levchin and Luke Nosek, his fellow students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But he dropped out of college to co-found Submit It, previously a privately-held Internet services company that was later acquired by LinkExchange in June 1998 and then by Microsoft in November 1998; among its products were ClickTrade and ListBot.

He became a board member and angel investor on many start-ups including eVoice, the provider of the first email-enabled home voicemail service. He was also the Vice President of Ideas ay idealab!, a start-studio that has created, invested in, and produced spin-offs of several companies including AirWave Wireless, Answers.com, and Commission Junction, among others. He also contributed several innovations to idealab! Including the bid-for-placement search engine model used by Overture.

In December 2000, Banister co-founded the company for which he has made his mark in the Internet industry – IronPort, a company that designed, marketed and sold products and services related to Internet safety and security especially against online threats. IronPort’s best-known product is the IronPort AntiSpam, an email reputation service, although its email security appliances were also highly popular; the company was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007 in an $830 million deal.

Banister also co-founded Zivity with his wife, Cyan, and Jeffrey Wescott; Zivity is an adult themed social networking website. He also invested in Powerset and sits on its Board of Directors; Powerset is creating a natural language search engine. He was also on Slide’s Board of Directors before it was shut down after Google’s acquisition.

His other investments include Uber, Facebook, Tagged.com, and TekTrak.

Bob Proctor: Helping People Get Rich

Bob Proctor is widely considered as one of the world’s best public speakers on getting rich. His speaking engagements, most of which are sold-out events, are attended by people who want to maximize their obvious and hidden abilities to grow their wealth, both in the material and non-material aspects. His teachings have been proven effective partly because of his own example and partly because his teachings are based on Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.

For over 40 years, he has focused his agenda on providing people with the crucial tools in creating prosperous lives as well as increased spiritual awareness and personal relationships. His motivational style coupled with his charismatic personality continues to contribute to his success as a speaker.

Proctor can empathize with his audience because he, too, experienced hardships and limitations. In the 1960s, he was a high school dropout whose dead-end jobs spelled failure, not to mention a future mired in debt. But when he started reading Hill’s book, he was inspired to become a better person and, within a year, he was earning over $100,000.

Tyler Perry: An Innovative Filmmaker Ahead of His Time

Tyler Perry wears many hats with aplomb – he is, after all, an actor, director, and screenwriter, as well as playwright, producer, and author, not to mention a songwriter of gospel songs. He is considered as one of entertainment’s highest paid men with his 2010-2011 earnings estimated at US$130 million.

He is famous for his performances of Madea, a fictional character that he also created for the big screen; Madea is an elderly woman known for her tough yet wise character. He has also created films, both full-feature films using locations and sets with full editing as well as live recordings of stage productions. Many of his plays have, in fact, been adapted into full-feature films, thus, proving that his creative genius transcends genres.

Perry has also created, produced and starred in several television shows. “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” is so far his most successful series, which ran for eight seasons (June 2006 to August 2012) on TBS.

On October 2012, he signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a television network owned by the media titan. The deal was designed to bringing scripted television to the network especially as Perry had enjoyed tremendous success in it.

He went on to develop several successful scripted series for OWN with the most successful being “The Haves and the Have Nots”; the show is considered as OWN’s most successful series because it gave the network its highest ratings to date. The show was popular because Perry delivered highly-anticipated weekly doses of fun filled with tales of manipulations, betrayals, and even slapstick fun for good measure.

Perry has been praised by his colleagues in the entertainment industry especially for his innovative films and plays. His focus on strong black women that resonates with his target audience is also credited for his success on and off the screen.