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Business Paul Mitchell co-founder to share entrepreneurial message: DeJoria to be honored at...

Paul Mitchell co-founder to share entrepreneurial message: DeJoria to be honored at fundraiser

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

John Paul DeJoria, who was once homeless but has since become a multibillionaire best known as the co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and Patron Spirits as well as an investor in Fort Worth’s RIDE TV, will headline Accelerate DFW’s inaugural gala and fundraising event in October.

DeJoria also will speak at a free event for North Texas college students at Texas Christian University, an event presented by Accelerate DFW Foundation Inc. in partnership with the TCU Neeley School of Business and RIDE TV.

“DeJoria is an amazing friend, partner and human being, a truly one-of-a-kind individual who cares about people and the businesses he invests in,” said Michael Fletcher, RIDE TV’s cofounder and CEO, as well as a board member at Accelerate DFW, a 501c(3) organization that focuses on building entrepreneurs and supporting the entrepreneurial DNA in North Texas.

Accelerate DFW is anchored by the IDEA Works program in Fort Worth.

DeJoria will be in Fort Worth to be honored for his long history of philanthropy and giving back to the community. He will be meeting with other entrepreneurs, students as well as local officials to discuss how they can better support and enhance entrepreneurs in the area.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will present a Key to the City to DeJoria at the event.

“This is a great opportunity for Fort Worth’s small business community to network and foster relationships that will aid in taking that next big step,” said Price. “As Fort Worth moves forward with its Economic Development Strategic Plan, strengthening our small business community through partnerships and educational opportunities will be vital to its growth.”

This fundraiser will also showcase Fort Worth’s growing reputation as a center of entrepreneurship and small business in Texas, according to Accelerate DFW.

“Mr. DeJoria’s history of triumph through dedication and perspiration will provide young entrepreneurs with an unbeatable source of knowledge to inspire the next generation of North Texas entrepreneurs,” said Edward Riefenstahl, chairman of the board of Accelerate DFW and director of TCU Neeley MBA Experiential Learning.

The once homeless DeJoria struggled against the odds to launch multiple global enterprises while always following his motto: “Success unshared is failure.” DeJoria will share his secrets to successful entrepreneurship and building billion-dollar businesses while never forgetting to give back.

DeJoria is a member of The Giving Pledge, established by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and has invested in hundreds of businesses, many in Texas.

DeJoria’s story is told in a recent documentary, titled Good Fortune. The film documents how the one-time door-to-door shampoo and encyclopedia salesman met and partnered with Paul Mitchell in 1980.

They then invested $700 into what became John Paul Mitchell Systems, which has since become one of the most profitable hair care companies in the world.

In 1989 DeJoria and partner Martin Crowley took a well-timed stake in boutique tequila maker Patrón, which now has sales of more than $800 million, according to Forbes. DeJoria’s net worth is estimated by the magazine at $3.2 billion.

RIDE Television Network Inc., a privately held corporation based in Fort Worth and founded by Michael Fletcher, Craig Morris and Tony Ford, is one of DeJoria’s investments. Other shareholders include Alice Walton, Duke Thorson, Gary McKinney, R.D. Hubbard, Kenneth and Ann Jones, and many other Fort Worth area residents.

DeJoria was introduced to RIDE TV in 2012 when the company – still raising funds for the launch – requested an interview with him while filming Horses that Heal at The Arbor – a therapeutic horse riding facility in Georgetown that supported by DeJoria, along with his wife, Eloise. DeJoria has had a long-time interest in horses. Fletcher was there when DeJoria expressed interest in investing in RIDE TV.

“We finished this amazing interview and John Paul mentioned his interest in investing in RIDE TV,” Fletcher said. “I was shocked that an iconic business leader was interested in partnering with RIDE TV. John Paul is a visionary and truly wants to grow the love of horses; I can’t imagine a better partner.”

DeJoria has continued to support the channel and continued to invest. He has also helped the channel in other ways, such as providing access to people in the industry who have helped expand RIDE TV’s availability, said Fletcher.

“He’s continued to support the channel and continued to invest,” he said. “I consider him a dear friend and I can say an honest man and a genuine good human being. He cares about people, animals, the earth and about entrepreneurs. He’s still that kid from LA who was really was driven to succeed.”

Accelerate DFW Gala

The gala will take place at the Fort Worth Club, starting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3, and offers sponsors the opportunity to meet John Paul DeJoria in the VIP section with other individuals who are passionate about entrepreneurship.

DeJoria will begin speaking at 7 p.m., sharing his entrepreneurial journey, the obstacles and hardships he overcame along the way, and his passion for giving back.

Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities: accelerateDFW.org/inaugural-gala

DeJoria is the first of many entrepreneurs that Accelerate DFW will honor at its annual fundraiser, which recognizes successful entrepreneurs who are passionate about giving back. The gala will pair attendees with one North Texas entrepreneur or high-level corporate executive at each table to foster conversations about exciting small business developments happening in the area.

In partnership with TCU, an event earlier in the afternoon will feature DeJoria speaking to North Texas students about the experience of being an entrepreneur and lessons he has learned. The event will be held at TCU’s Brown-Lupton University union at 4:30 p.m. and any students in the North Texas area are welcome.

Tickets can be reserved, free of charge, at www.accelerateDFW.org//john-paul-dejoria-student-event.

Table Captains at the event:

Christopher Ryan – Chair of Tiger 21

Chris Griffin – President & Co-Founder of Hover Energy

Milli Brown – Founder & CEO of Brown Book Publishing

Lori Dipprey – Chief People Officer at Pariveda Solutions

Steve Hill – Vice Chairman of Innovation & Investments at KPMG

David Minor – President of Minor & Assocaites

Frost Prioleau – CEO of Simpli

Jessica Worman – Co-President M2G Ventures

Susan Gruppi, Co-President of M2G Ventures

G. Brint Ryan – Chairman & CEO Ryan

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