Secret Knock 2.0!

We just got back from the most recent Secret Knock seminar and are in awe of the amount of information we received and the connections we made while we were there! For those that don’t know, Secret Knock is an extremely exclusive, invitation only gathering of entrepreneurs and investors. We met so many amazing individuals while we were there, and learned so many invaluable things that we can apply to our business! Here’s some of the amazing people we got to meet with while there…
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Gregory Scott Reid shares the same philosophy with other great leaders “To get what you want in life, simply help others get what they want first.” Mr. Reid created his success by applying real life principals he learned from his Mentors over the years and now travels the country passing along the same great wisdoms so that others may prosper from them as well – What separates Gregory from the masses is rather than speaking from hypothetical theory, he shares his messages based on actual experiences that have made a positive impact in both his personal and business environment, as well as in the lives and corporations of many.

Mark Anthony Bates. American Hat Makers

Mark Anthony Bates is probably the best-connected man you’ve never heard of; he travels the globe speaking with elite coaching clients, diplomatic organizations, and world leaders. You won’t find him on social media or on his own web site, he doesn’t promote himself yet his name carries tremendous weight in highly influential circles. As someone who coaches other coaches as well as professional speakers, Mark knows what it takes to make people feel at ease and how to create a connection. When he attends an event he goes in with the intention of genuinely connecting with the people there, not to get anything for himself but to know them and see if an organic relationship develops.

 

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Ryan Long is the founder and executive producer at City Summit & Gala. Ryan was not very studious in college, but when he learned he was to become a father, even though he was only 21 years old, Ryan was faced with a difficult choice. Thanks to the guidance of his grandfather and the memory of the sacrifices his mother made as a single mom, he decided to quit school, stop having run ins with the law and focus on being a dad. It’s a decision he’s never regretted. Ryan was inspired by the birth of his new son and wanted to provide him with the best possible upbringing, so he went through personal training certification programs and studied bio-mechanics, kinesiology, and health so that he could become a personal fitness trainer. Ryan started working at LA Fitness and in just two short years he rose to the level of Fitness Director of several LA Fitness locations.

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Patrick John “Pat” O’Brien is an American author and radio host, best known for his work as a sportscaster with CBS Sports from 1981 to 1997, as well as his work as the anchor and host of Access Hollywood from 1997 to 2004, and The Insider from 2004 to 2008. O’Brien covered six Olympic Games, two for CBS (1992 Winter and 1994) and four for NBC (2000, 2002, 2004 and 2012). He has also covered the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and Final Four as a pregame host while at CBS. He wrote the book Talkin’ Sports: A B.S.-er’s Guide, published in 1998, and released an autobiography, I’ll Be Back Right After This, in 2014.

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Lesley Candace Visser is an American sportscaster, television and radio personality, and sportswriter. Visser is the first female NFL analyst on TV, and the only sportscaster in history (male or female) who has worked on Final Four, NBA Finals, World Series, Triple Crown, Monday Night Football, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Figure Skating Championships and the U.S. Open network broadcasts. Visser, who was voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of all-time in a poll taken by the American Sportscasters Association, was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association‘s Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2009, Visser became the first woman to be an analyst for an NFL game on TV. She is currently a reporter for CBS Sports and News, writes for CBSSports.com and is also part of WFTL 640 Fox Sports’ morning drive in South Florida, as well as one of the hosts of a CBS Sports Network weekly television show, We Need to Talk. Visser was the first woman to be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the 2006 recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award which recognizes long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football. Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman said about Visser in his 2006 induction speech, “She brought respect and professionalism to the field of journalism for her work in print and broadcasting. It makes me proud to be in her company today.” A pioneer among women sports journalists, Visser re-joined CBS Sports in August 2000 after a six-year hiatus. She was formerly the sideline reporter for Monday Night Football among other assignments she had at ESPN and ABC Sports, such as the World Series, the Triple Crown and the World Figure Skating Championship. She serves as correspondent for the network’s NFL and college basketball programming.

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Tonino Lamborghini is the son of Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini. He runs a merchandising company under his name that sells non-automotive Lamborghini-lifestyle luxury products such as clothing apparel, hand-built luggage, model cars, furniture, Bicycles, golf accessories, Watches, pens, eyewear, perfumes, etc. The company has stores worldwide such as Hong Kong and Italy.
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Joshua Daniel “Josh” Flagg  is an American real estate agent, author and television personality as an original cast member on the show Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles on the Bravo television network. The show follows young real estate agents in Los Angeles as they sell high-end homes. He has been with Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills since 2012. Flagg has authored two books, A Simple Girl: Stories My Grandmother Told Me, published in 2009, and Million Dollar Agent: Brokering the Dream which was published in 2011. Flagg was featured on Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 in 2012 as a top record-breaking real estate agent. He has also been featured on NBC‘s Today Show, ABC‘s Good Morning America and Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live.

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Gene Landrum is a high-tech start-up executive turned educator and writer. As a businessman he originated the Chuck E. Cheese concept of family entertainment among other entrepreneurial ventures. After years of interacting with creative and overachieving personalities he decided to document the inner workings of what made them tick and did his doctoral dissertation on the Jungian Psychology of Success. Dr. Gene lectures extensively on the vagaries of eminence and teaches MBA’s at the Hodges University graduate school in SW, Florida. Robert Toth, a creative genius in sculpturing wrote in 2010, “Dr. Landrum, you have been my inspiration from your first book, Profiles of Genius. Last night I stayed up all night reading The Superman Syndrome. Thank you, thank you thank you for being my inspiration. My family thought I was weird but you have validated my life’s calling.” Author Lee Milteer in an introduction in 2010 said, “Dr. Gene, your books have been the most inspiring of anything I’ve ever read. You are one of the true experts on entrepreneurship and one of the best thinkers of today.”

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Clarissa Burt is an Entrepreneur, television/video producer, public speaker, author, writer, award-winning actress and emcee has all the makings of a best selling novel. At 18, Clarissa was a top model with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency in Manhattan. Soon after she moved to Milan and quickly began appearing on over a hundred magazine covers such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan as well as on most of the major runway shows in Milan, Rome, Paris, New York, and Japan. This led to work for cosmetic houses Revlon, Dior, and Carita’, Helena Rubenstein and her selection as the worldwide “Face” for Orlane Cosmetics.

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Frank Shankwitz is the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he has received the President’s Call to Service Award, the Making a Difference in the World, the Making a World of Difference and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awards.

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Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, an executive concierge service. The company arranges trips for clients. Previous trips Bluefish has coordinated for clients include diving trips to the Titanic, flight into space, treks to the North Pole, shark diving, fighter jet flights over Moscow, and others. Bluefish arranged a client to be married in the Vatican, one client to sing live on stage with the rock band Journey, and another to have a private dinner at the foot of Michelangelo’s David while being serenaded by Andrea Bocelli. Bluefish Concierge was the official concierge of the 2005-2007 Kentucky Derby. The company opened an office in Australia in 2010. Sims previously worked as a stockbroker in London and Hong Kong, where he went to parties and met their attendees, forming the network that would initially support Bluefish.

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Scott Duffy is a TV/Online host, keynote speaker, and business growth expert. He began his career working for best-selling author and speaker, Tony Robbins, and went on to work for several big media brands like CBS Sportsline, NBC Internet, and FOXSports.com. Next, he founded Smart Charter, an online booking tool for private aviation, which was acquired by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Scott is a champion for entrepreneurship. He has been listed as a “Top Keynote Speaker” by Entrepreneur and Forbes. He has spoken at the NYSE and provided commentary in numerous media outlets including CNBC, FOX News, and CBS Radio. He is the Co-Host of Business & Burgers “Presented by Microsoft”, Special Project Editor at Inc.com and Best-Selling Author of Launch!, a roadmap for building great companies.

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John Thomas Salley is an American retired professional basketball player, actor and talk show host. He was the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises, as well as the first player (and only one of two, the other being Tim Duncan) in the NBA to win a championship in three different decades. After being drafted in the first round out of Georgia Tech in 1986, the 6’11 (2.11 m) Salley played both power forward and center for the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Panathinaikos and Los Angeles Lakers. He was a long-time host of the former Fox Sports Net show The Best Damn Sports Show Period.

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Mr. Kent Emmons has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New Venture National Lampoon Radio Network of National Lampoon Inc. since January 2006. Mr. Emmons co-founded the ‘all comedy, all the time’ radio network with partner Howard Levine in 2001, growing it since its inception to over 100 affiliates and two major market O&O’s. He and his partner previously formed Comedy World, the precursor of All Comedy Radio, and sold their interest to an internet venture fund in 2000. Prior to this, Mr. Emmons, who has and continues to hold interests in numerous radio stations and television and film production, began his career in the entertainment business at the age of 16 by booking bands at dances in the small farm town he grew up in. Before his radio and television career, he managed and produced several Top 40 and country acts and served as Chief Executive Officer of Atlantis Entertainment, a division of Lowery Music, which was sold to Sony in the late 90’s.

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Dan Fleyshman is the youngest founder of a publicly traded company in history. At the age of 23, after selling 15 million dollars worth of clothing in six department store chains and surpassing expectations with his 9.5 million dollar licensing deal with STARTER apparel, Mr. Fleyshman launched the “Who’s Your Daddy” energy drink into 55,000 retail stores and military bases. 10 years after starting his licensing company in high school, Dan went on to launch Victory Poker in 2010, building the third largest team of professional players out of the 550 poker sites on the market.
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Mr. Jules A. Haimovitz serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Global Entertainment & Media Holdings Corporation. Mr. Haimovitz is a Management Affiliate at MidOcean Partners. He serves as President of the Haimovitz Consulting Group. He has 37 years of operating experience in the media and entertainment industry. His experience incorporates all aspects of operating and managing diverse businesses through all their various phases. He served as Special Consultant to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MGM Networks, Inc. till 2004. From June 1999 to July 2001, he served as President of MGM Networks, Inc. He joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in June of 1999. From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Haimovitz served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Spelling Entertainment Inc. From 1976 to 1987, he served in various senior executive positions with Viacom, Inc., including President of the Viacom Network Group and President of Viacom Entertainment Group. From June 1997 to July 1998, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer at King World Productions, Inc. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ITC Entertainment Group from 1993 to 1997. He served as a Consultant to Liberty Media with regard to its evaluation of Universal Studios and its assets during the summer of 2004. Mr. Haimovitz was employed by DIVA Systems Corporation, as an Executive Vice President from Entertainment Inc. He started his career with ABC Television in 1971. From June 1999 to July 2004, he served in various capacities at Metro Goldwyn Mayer Inc., including President of MGM Networks Inc. From July 2002 to July 2007, Mr. Haimovitz served as Vice Chairman and Managing Partner of Dick Clark Productions Inc. From his starting-up the Showtime, Lifetime, Sundance and Smithsonian cable channels, he led and subsequently managed various acquired companies such as MTV Networks, to presiding over ‘turn around’ companies such as Aaron Spelling Productions. He serves as the Chairman of Electus/Engine Distribution and serves as its Member of Advisory Board. He was the Chairman of the Library Task Force. Mr. Haimovitz has been a Director of Imclone Systems LLC since May 10, 2007. He serves as Director of TVN Entertainment and GNet Productions. He serves on the Board of the Brooklyn College Foundation. He has been a Director of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from May 4, 2016 to February 16, 2017. Mr. Haimovitz served as a Director of Blucora, Inc. (formerly Infospace) from October 24, 2005 to May 21, 2014. Mr. Haimovitz served as a Director of Video Jukebox Network and Orion Pictures Corporation, Spelling Entertainment Inc., Showtime, King World Productions, Inc., and The Movie Channel and Lifetime. He served as a Director of Blockbuster Inc. from 2003 to 2009 and BB Liquidating Inc. from May 2006 to April 26, 2011. Mr. Haimovitz served as a Director of DIVA Systems Corporation since December 1996. He served as a Director of Spelling Entertainment Inc. He served as an Independent Director of Westwood One, Inc. (formerly, Dial Global, Inc) since October 21, 2011. He holds a dual B.A. degree in Mathematics and Communications, as well as an M.A. degree in Mathematics from Brooklyn College.
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Dr. Srini Pillay is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Part-Time) at Harvard Medical School. He is known for combining “head and heart” (figuratively and literally) in an approach to personal development and goal mastery that blends science, spirituality, and horns-grabbing joie de vivre to combat the stresses faced by ambitious and high-achieving people in academia, business, and life. After graduating at the top of his class from medical school in South Africa, he received a Medical Research Council Scholarship to study the neurochemistry of panic. Thereafter, he completed his residency in psychiatry at McLean Hospital—Harvard’s largest freestanding psychiatric hospital—with the most accolades ever given to a single resident.

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Devon Harris (born 1964) is a Jamaican retired bobsledder and military officer. He was one of the founding members of the Jamaica national bobsled team, which first competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Nicknamed “Pele” after the famous football star, Harris went on to compete in the 1992 Winter Olympics and the 1998 Winter Olympics. Harris grew up in the Kingston ghetto of Sunrise Drive in Olympic Gardens (known as “Waterhouse,” or “Firehouse,” because it was a volatile area). A graduate of Drews Ave Primary School, Ardenne High School, and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Harris had been an avid football player and track and field participant, with his dream being to represent Jamaica in the 1984 Summer Olympics in the 800m and 1500m events. Since the idea for a Jamaican Bobsled Team was pitched to the Jamaica Defence Force, Harris, as a Lieutenant in the Second Battalion, first came across the proposal in a weekly army publication called “Force Orders” in September 1987. The text had called for those who wished to “undergo rigorous and dangerous training” to represent Jamaica in the Winter Olympics. Harris initially thought the idea was ridiculous, but was eventually convinced to participate by his colonel, Lt. Col Eddy Andre . At the team selections, Harris ended up with the fastest push time. Harris returned to the military after Calgary and later became a civilian in 1992 after his second Olympics. He now works as a motivational public speaker and writer. Harris wrote the 2008 children’s book, Yes, I can! : the story of the Jamaican bobsled team, illustrated by Ricardo Cortes.

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Scott Edward Parazynski (born July 28, 1961 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is an American physician and a former NASA astronaut. A veteran of five Space Shuttle flights and seven spacewalks, Parazynski’s latest mission was STS-120 in October, 2007 – highlighted by a dramatic, unplanned EVA to repair a live solar array. He retired from NASA in March 2009 to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He is the only person to have both flown in space and summited Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.
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Leah Marie O’Brien-Amico is an American, former All-American, left-handed-hitting softball player from Chino, California. O’Brien-Amico is best known for playing for the Arizona Wildcats (1993–1997, winning three National Championships) and earning gold medals at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

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David Meltzer is an American business executive, author, and humanitarian best known for his work in the field of sports marketing. He is also a featured speaker at conferences, corporate meetings, seminars, and other events along with being featured, interviewed or quoted in media including The New York Times, Sporting News, the International Business Times, Fox Business, and Bloomberg News. In 2014, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and honored as a Knight of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta, the world’s oldest humanitarian organization. Meltzer was named a “Top 10 Keynote Speaker” by Forbes magazine in January 2016. In February 2016, Meltzer was awarded the Sports Humanitarian of the Year award at the Variety Unite4:Humanity event in Beverly Hills, California.

Edward Snowden Gives First Interview In Russia

Edward Joseph Snowden  is an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, and former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 without authorization. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times. On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property.[5] Two days later, he flew into Moscow‘s Sheremetyevo Airport, but Russian authorities noted that his U.S. passport had been cancelled and he was restricted to the airport terminal for over one month. Russia ultimately granted him right of asylum for one year, and repeated extensions have permitted him to stay at least until 2020. He reportedly lives in an undisclosed location in Moscow, and continues to seek asylum elsewhere in the world. A subject of controversy, Snowden has been variously called a hero, a whistleblower, a dissident, a traitor and a patriot. His disclosures have fueled debates over mass surveillance, government secrecy, and the balance between national security and information privacy.

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Tyson Apostol  is an American reality television personality, best known for his appearances on multiple seasons of the CBS reality television show Survivor. Apostol originally competed on Survivor: Tocantins in 2009, returning as a villain on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains in 2010. In 2013, he returned to the show for his third season, and ultimately went on to win the million dollar prize, on Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Apostol is a former professional cyclist and starred in Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars 2 with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Rachel Foulger. He is a frequent guest on the Reality TV Podcast, Rob Has a Podcast, hosted by fellow Survivor contestant Rob Cesternino, and hosts News AF, a weekly news podcast.

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Kerri Courtright is an entrepreneur and small business owner who has built companies, created jobs, and balanced budgets. She founded Today’s Growth Consultant, an Inc. 500/5000 company that was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Francis with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. Kerri is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and the Grundy County Economic Development Council. She is the Treasurer for her Homeowners Association, sits on the Christian Education Board for her church, and raises money for a number of local charities including serving on the fundraising committee for her children’s school’s annual Jubilate fundraiser. She speaks regularly at area events regarding the importance of the Constitution, voting, local government and business.
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Caleb Maddix is a 15 year old entrepreneur, author, social media influencer, and the world’s #1 success and entrepreneurship mentor for kids. He is the author of six books including Keys To Success for Kids and How To Have Unstoppable Confidence.
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 Cheryl Snapp Conner, founder and managing partner of Snapp Conner PR, has more than 26 years experience in public relations for individuals and organizations ranging from growth and start up organizations to Fortune 500 technology firms. Conner has led four successful PR agencies since 1989 and has been recognized as one of Utah’s 30 Women to Watch. She is a popular columnist for Forbes.com Entrepreneurs and is also a contributor to the OpenView Labs publication for OpenView Partners and for Yahoo Finance. She is a trustee of the Utah Technology Council (UTC) and had directed the UTC Communications Committee since 2004. She detailed the interview with Edward Snowden in this article!
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Michelle Tucker is the Founder and President of Seiler Tucker/Capital Business Solutions. Michelle has sold over 350 businesses to date and currently owns and operates several successful businesses. Michelle Seiler-Tucker holds the following professional designations and certifications: The Merger & Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&AMI), Certified Senior Business Analyst (CSBA), Certified Business Broker (CBB), Best-Selling Author, and Panelist for M&A Source.
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Dave Austin is a highly sought after “mental performance coach” for elite and professional athletes. His trademark “game ready” visualizations have helped many NFL, MLB, Olympic, and college athletes allow their true talents to rise up and shine. His unique process allows athletes to play “in the zone” and stay there longer. He has worked with professional teams such as the LA Dodgers and Texas Rangers, as well as with World Cup and U.S. Olympic team competitors; and he has also worked extensively with organized youth sports, high school teams and D-I college athletes. All the way from “little league to the big leagues,” his methods are focused and productive; and he has an uncanny knack for bringing out the best in his clients and for getting measurable results.
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Dr. Asher Milgrom, is the president and CEO of American Medical Aesthetics. Starting in 1999, Asher founded and funded American Medical Aesthetics Corp. and is the principle architect of AMA-Corp’s business strategies and unique medical protocols. Along with Dr. Alice Pien, Medical Director, Asher developed advanced medical protocols for a wide variety of laser procedures that produce extraordinary clinical results while requiring minimal patient “down-time”. Together, Asher and Alice developed AMA-Corp’s signature laser treatments utilizing their unique understanding of “Multiple-modality holistic laser protocols”.

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Edward Snowden was gracious enough to be present for a live video interview.

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Hannah with Tyler, Caleb Maddox and his dad!

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The cast from the upcoming Wishman movie!

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Garth and Hannah with Dan, one of our awesome team members!

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Garth & Hannah Watrous Co Authours in the Climb Book Chapter 4 & 5

Greg Reid’s bestselling book, Climb.

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Greg with all of the co-authors of Climb, including Garth and Hannah!

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Some awesome key points we picked up while we were there:
“Be your own biggest competitor” –Josh Flagg
“Start from the end and work it backwards, start with value, keep your eyes on opportunities and be aware of what’s going on”-Jules Haimovitz
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!” –Tonino Lamborghini
“Sell the dream, not the project” –Steve Sims
Knowledge is power when you put action behind it” –Mark Anthony Bates
“Being criticized is the admission price for creating change” –Greg Reid
“Be daring, don’t be afraid to make mistakes”-Ron Klein
“Don’t talk about it; be about it. I have so many people that just blah, blah, blah and ‘I have this great idea and this great idea,’ and they have that great idea for years, and nothing happens.” –Dan Fleyshman
“I’m gonna write a book, I’m gonna start a business …” and all of a sudden they’re 40 years old and unhappy with their life, all because they thought it was just gonna to work out. They end up killing their dream!” –Caleb Maddix
Overall, the event was a complete blast, and the takeaway was without parallel! The information we learned can not only be applied to our business practices, but in every aspect of our lives. The next Secret Knock events are in March and September of 2018, and if you seriously want to improve the quality of your life and the relationships you make, we seriously recommend applying for an invitation! You won’t regret it!
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A huge thank you to Star Binding/Printing Company!

Lately here at American Hat Makers, one of our biggest goals has been designing and attaining all new tip stickers for the inside of our hats. These stickers are meant to carry our name out into the world, and make sure that our hats are marked and noticeable so people know just where they came from! Hannah, our marketing director, spent months going from company to company trying to find a suitable match for manufacturing our tip stickers but to no avail. That is, until we found Star Binding/Printing Company!

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Our all new tip sticker design, thanks to Star Printing!

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In business for over 103 years, Star Binding/Printing are experts at what they do. Family owned since 1914, and providing exceptional service ever since, it’s very clear that they have made a name for themselves in the printing world. We were so excited when we came across them because we knew we had found our match. They worked with us so diligently in the design of our tip stickers and went to every length to insure that we were satisfied that we couldn’t go on without giving this awesome company a shout out. They said they love working with people in the hat industry because there are so many unique, interesting, and wonderful individuals they come across, and that everyone is so connected with each other! As far as their facility goes, it’s chock-full of original, antiquated equipment that was used since the start of the company. They even have an authentic Thomas Edison Dictaphone from 1878 on display!

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The Thomas Edison Dictaphone!

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Stuart’s grandfather (on the right) is still in charge of the company!

Their CEO is a man by the name of Stuart and he is the brains behind the operation, and is personally involved in every aspect of the company. He went to every length possible to deliver a product that was not only of the utmost quality, but carried us through the process with ultimate customer service. If you’re ever looking for a tip sticker or anything related to the countless other amazing services they provide, you can’t go wrong with choosing Star Printing/Binding! Here’s a link to their website!

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Garth and Stuart Zatlin – CEO
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Star Printing Company, LLC

 

Genuine American Hero: Steve Viola

It’s not too often we hear stories of true, genuine American heroes. Command Master Chief Navy SEAL Steve Viola is one such hero. He’s a man that has seen just about everything and overcome every variety of challenge that life has posed him with. Overcoming these issues, Steve says, is all about how you approach them.

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Garth, Hannah and Steve at Steve’s 30 year retirement ceremony.

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There’s two ways to do something. The right way, or again. In Steve’s eyes, failures are not a bad thing. They are instead an opportunity to learn and improve. It’s all about humbleness. The ability to analyze and learn from your mistakes is what separates the achievers from those who merely try. Although highly decorated, Steve’s path to heroism was not without obstacles. Initially, Steve desired to do a 2 year service and return to college, however during his term a friend convinced him to attend BUD/S or Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL training. After a grueling 6 weeks of SEAL training, Steve failed the running test by only two seconds. Determined to prove himself, he returned 6 months later, only to fail the water treading test. You know what they say, the third time’s the charm. After finally passing BUD/S, Steve was deployed in the Gulf War. Sometime during his service, he was recommended to attend the Green Beret Medic School. During his attendance there, he failed the final exam by only a few points. This meant he had to repeat the course from day 1. Steve doesn’t look at the setbacks as detrimental however, instead viewing them as beneficial. Steve says that repeating all of the training for BUD/S and the Green Beret Medic School only made him better at it because he had been practicing it for so long.

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Steve rocking a Pirate

Steve says that your failures do not define you. He comes from a community where the difficult is done immediately, and the impossible is done by appointment. Everyone is a work in progress and learning from your mistakes is what gives us the ability to improve ourselves. In his words, his primary mission is to help everyone willing to improve to succeed in life. Take it from someone who’s seen everything and overcome countless adversities, if you have a capable attitude you will see results!

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A case displaying Steve’s many awards and medals.

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Why choose American Hat Makers?

Are you looking to revitalize your sales with unique, high-quality products? For over 40 years, family owned American Hat Makers has offered superior quality and design across seven product lines. Our hats are proudly cut and sewn by hand in our 17,000 sq. foot facility in Watsonville, California, with attention down to the last detail. We stand confidently behind each and every item we make, and offer a lifetime guarantee on our entire line of products. At American Hat Makers our mission is to provide our customers with distinctive, one-of-a-kind, artisan hats cut and sewn by hand with the finest materials. Above and beyond the creation of superior products, we are dedicated to treating our customers, and employees with compassion, integrity, and a commitment to bettering our community through service, philanthropy, and open-hearted-ness.

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American Hat Makers is currently in a period of hyper growth. We recently moved facilities, into a building 3x larger than our previous site. We want to take this opportunity to reach out and make new relationships with retail and wholesale partners, so that everyone may share and benefit from this growth.

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All of our hats are assembled in house, allowing for a close eye to be kept on quality and consistency. We offer a lifetime guarantee on any product we manufacture, because they truly do last a lifetime. American Hat Makers offers an unconditional buyback program on any stock not sold, so there is no risk! If some of our hats do not sell, simply let us know and we will buy them back! With no dead inventory, there truly is no risk to buying American Hat Makers.

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The world of American Hat Makers is far reaching. Our styles have been seen on the heads of countless celebrities and been featured in major motion pictures. This is a formal invitation for you to take the next leap that will push your business to the next level! We want to help you start selling a significant volume of the worlds highest quality hats with some of the highest margins anywhere!

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The Sky is No Limit!

We hear about daring and brave people all the time. While there are a lot of true badasses out there in the world, it takes a special kind of person to deliberately plummet out of a plane from 12,000 feet. That’s something most people won’t even think about doing, let alone doing twice…or three times…or 6400+ times. Introducing Ben Lowe.

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Ben is more than just a professional skydiver. Recognizable by the Mohawk haircut that he first received at age 8, Ben is a respected skydiving instructor who is dedicated to his students and growing the sport. Though his appearance suggests a rebel, he is a very approachable person who holds multiple USPA ratings, is an FAA Master Rigger, TonySuits Wingsuit Examiner and a Strong Enterprises and United Parachute Technologies Tandem Instructor Examiner. In 2012, his commitment to skydiving instruction earned him USPA’s Chesley H. Judy Safety Award. He’s even written a children’s book, “The Summer I Became a Skydiver.” Lowe is now using his years of experience to run Skydive Canyonlands in Moab, Utah, with Melissa Lowe.

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Melissa BASE jumping Perrine Bridge-by Luanne Horting

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Melissa and Ben over Mexico-by Javier Ortiz

 

Melissa Lowe is an AFF Instructor, Pro Rating, the co-creator of 4-way VFS, author of Sugar Alpha, and has 11 world records and a bunch of medals from USPA Nationals. Her world records include:

  • 2003 –16-Way Women’s Vertical World Record
  • 2004 – 42-Way Vertical World Record
  • 2005 – 18-Way Women’s Vertical World Record
  • 2005 – 151-Way JFTC Women’s RW World Record
  • 2007 – 20-Way Women’s Vertical World Record
  • 2007 – 69-Way Vertical World Record
  • 2009 – 108-Way Vertical World Record
  • 2010 – 41-Way Women’s Vertical World Record
  • 2011 – 9-Way Women’s Wingsuit National Record (Unofficial World Record)
  • 2012 – 138-Way Vertical World Record
  • 2013 – 63-Way Women’s Vertical World Record

 

 

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Melissa at the Women’s World Record Camp, Skydive Chicago- by Valentina Solis

 

 

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Our good pal Adam Rose of Fallen Owl Tattoo has had the pleasure of calling Ben and Melissa friends over the past years. He reminisces of the time they met fondly. Adam was learning all the in’s and out’s of skydiving from Denver Broncos Skydiving team member Cody Irby. Cody mentioned that his roommates were “good” skydivers, but Adam didn’t realize to what caliber until he noticed that the person on the large skydiving poster on the wall was the same person serving him dinner! When Adam commented on it, Melissa stood up and proclaimed, “Yeah, but I have more world records!”

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Ben rocks his limited edition “Hootie” designed by Adam Rose.

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The Lowe’s and American Hat Makers share very similar philosophies when it comes to running not just business, but any aspect of life. The Lowe’s are dedicated to improving the world around them, and they do that through skydiving. Recently, Ben and Adam have been working together on a charity event in which sick children will be given temporary tattoos so that they too can look like badass skydivers!

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The Power of Rock N’ Roll!

Hardly a more powerful term has ever been coined. Hearing Rock and Roll can conjure images of leather, pyrotechnics, and powerful motorcycles, however these are not the only things that define Rock and Roll. At its core, Rock and Roll is the spirit and drive that all passionate musicians pour into their music. To be a part of such a free-spirited and rip-roaring  genre would require equally powerful musicians.

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Steven Tyler wearing an El Dorado w/ SR2 Band

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Steven Tyler is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and former television music competition judge, best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion. He is known as the “Demon of Screamin'” due to his high screams and his wide vocal range. He is also known for his on-stage acrobatics. During his high-energy performances, Tyler usually dresses in bright, colorful outfits with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand.

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Alice Cooper wearing an El Dorado w/ Buffalo Band

Alice Cooper  is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over five decades. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be “The Godfather of Shock Rock”. He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people.

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Vinnie Paul wearing a Storm

Vincent Paul Abbott, also known as Vinnie Paul, is an American professional drummer and producer who is best known for being a former member, and co-founder, of the heavy metal band Pantera. He is currently a member of supergroup Hellyeah. He also co-founded the heavy metal band Damageplan in 2003 with his late younger brother, Dimebag Darrell.

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Joe Elliot wearing a Time Port

Joseph ThomasJoeElliott  is an English singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Def Leppard. He has also been the lead singer of the David Bowie tribute band the Cybernauts and the Mott the Hoople cover band Down ‘n’ Outz. He is one of the two original members of Def Leppard and one of the three to perform on every Def Leppard album.

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Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal wearing a limited edition Plainsman.

Ron Blumenthal, better known by his stage name RonBumblefootThal, is an American guitarist, songwriter, recording artist and producer. He adopted his nickname from the bacterial infection of the same name, which he learned about while helping his wife study for her veterinary exams. The name went from being just the name of an album, to the name of a record label, to a band name, to eventually his name as a solo artist. He was one of two lead guitarists in Guns N’ Roses from 2006 until 2014 and performed on their sixth studio album Chinese Democracy.

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James Durbin wearing a Time Port

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James William Durbin  is an American singer and guitarist from Santa Cruz, California who finished in fourth place on the tenth season of American Idol. Durbin is currently the lead singer for the heavy metal band, Quiet Riot. He was the lead singer in a band called Hollywood Scars, where he went by the stage name of Jimmy Levox. Influenced by bands such as Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest, Dream Theater, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden and Motley Crue, Hollywood Scars drew their inspiration from the glitz, glam, and decadence of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in the 1980s and early 1990s. The band released a single entitled “Under The Cherry Tree”.

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Todd Ogren-Brooks wearing an El Dorado w/ SR2 Band

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Todd Ögren-Brooks is the ultra talented keyboardist for the band Rival Sons. Rival Sons is an American rock band from Long Beach, California. Rival Sons was formed in 2009 from the ashes of guitarist Scott Holiday’s previous band Black Summer Crush (which featured Michael Miley on drums and Robin Everhart on bass). The band took shape when singer Jay Buchanan was persuaded to come in as vocalist on the re-recording of Before the Fire. The band currently features bassist Dave Beste after Robin Everhart left in August 2013. They are currently signed to Earache Records. In September 2013 Rival Sons supported Sammy Hagar across the US then played Hard Rock Vegas in December and started the New Year by headlining a street party in their hometown of Long Beach. Rival Sons toured the United Kingdom from March to April 2015 as well as playing the main stage at Download Festival in 2016. In October 2015 they recorded their fifth album Hollow Bones again with Dave Cobb in just three weeks. The album was released July 2016. After the recording they toured with Deep Purple in Europe. In 2016 they toured as main support for the entire Black Sabbath farewell world tour lasting the entire run.

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Dave Yaden rocking an El Dorado w/ Eye band

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Dave Yaden is a producer, songwriter and actor, he has co-written songs on records by Tyler Hilton, Josh Kelley, Josh Hoge, Curtis Peoples, and Lady Antebellum. Dave cut his teeth in the LA music scene playing in a number of bands while attending USC. He signed a record contract with Atlantic Records alongside singer-songwriter Joe Firstman. With Joe, he toured the country, opening for everyone from Sheryl Crow to Michelle Branch to Willie Nelson. He has recorded and performed with Josh Kelley, cowritten many songs on Josh’s records and played on his hit Amazing, featuring a prominent wurlitzer solo by Dave. He has appeared numerous times on a number of national television shows including Good Morning America, CDUSA, The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Tonight Show, MTVs TRL, and Late night with Carson Daly.

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Kenny Kweens wearing an El Dorado w/ Chain Band

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Kenny Kweens is an American musician who is best known for his nine-year tenure as bassist in the hard rock band Beautiful Creatures In 2009, Kweens left the group and joined L.A Guns (fronted by Phil Lewis), replacing previous bassist Scott Griffin. However, in 2011, Kweens departed, replaced by Griffin. On September 22, 2014, it was announced that Griffin had once again departed the band, and Kweens rejoined the band. Prior to joining Beautiful Creatures, Kweens was a member of Shake the Faith, No. 9, Diamond Star Halo and Melody Black while in 2008 he formed his own solo project titled Villains of Vaudeville.

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Steve Harwell rocking a limited edition Soho

Steven Scott “Steve” Harwell is an American musician who is best known as the lead vocalist for the band Smash Mouth. Smash Mouth is an American rock band from San Jose, California. The band was formed in 1994, and was originally composed of Steve Harwell (vocals), Kevin Coleman (drums), Greg Camp (guitar), and Paul De Lisle (bass). They are known for songs such as “Walkin’ on the Sun” (1997), “All-Star” (1999), and a cover of The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” (2001), the latter two of which were featured on the soundtrack for the animated film Shrek.

The power of Rock N’ Roll is far reaching and intoxicating! Once you travel down the road of rock, you’ll never look back!

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The amazingly talented Lindsey Stirling!

Lindsey Stirling  is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer.

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She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her YouTube channel, which she created in 2007. Stirling performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and rock to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks. Her music video, “Crystallize” finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of “Radioactive” with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first Youtube Music Awards in 2013. Stirling achieved one million singles sold worldwide by August 2014. As of July 2016, her Lindseystomp YouTube channel exceeded 8 million subscribers and over a billion total views. Stirling has been named in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 In Music: The Class Of 2015. Forbes notes her quarter-finalist position on America’s Got Talent in 2010, a No. 2 position on the Billboard 200 for her second album Shatter Me in 2014, and her 8 million subscribers on YouTube. Stirling’s debut album was a commercial success in Europe, selling 200,000 copies in Germany, winning a platinum certification; three additional certifications were given by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. The debut album was nominated for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/ Electronic album. Stirling’s second album Shatter Me won the 2015 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/Electronic Album. Check out this awesome video, Roundtable Rival, to see just how talented Lindsey is!

 

 

Her dancers are always so coordinated and alluring! It’s always such a pleasure watching one of Lindsey’s videos. She’s so obviously passionate about what she does, seeing someone create something so beautiful and genuine is so inspiring!

 

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Lindsey and the Roundtable Rival dancers. The top hat on the left is a Trinket!

Stirling describes her childhood as being raised in a modest household and stated “I would not trade my humble childhood years for anything else. Due to her family’s financial limitations, her parents could only afford to find a violin teacher who would give her half lessons. Told by instructors that “a child isn’t going to learn how to play in 15 minutes a week”, her parents persisted, and at the age of five she began taking violin lessons. You can see where this led!

 

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Lindsey with the Master of Tides dancers. The hats pictured here are the Pipefitter, Kraken, and Trinket!

Nowadays, Lindsey is recording amazing music and stunning crowds with performance pieces like “Master of Tides”. Lindsey partnered with UE Boom to create a live, spontaneous performance piece in a crowded plaza and filmed it with hidden cameras! Check out this one-of-a-kind performance!

 

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Whenever we get the chance to partner with such a unique, creative-minded individual such as Lindsey, we’re reminded of why we do what we do! At American Hat Makers, we strive to create masterful pieces of art, so that artists like Lindsey can achieve their vision and continue to fill the world with captivating and genuine art!

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