The story of how powerhouse executive team of The Branding Foundry was formed in just a few weeks is as compelling as the company’s ingenious formula itself. Some would say synchronicity played a major role; others would call it coincidence. The best word to describe it may be just plain luck, particularly if you agree that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.
It all started with an e-mail from Bill Span that landed in the inbox of
his former mountain climbing guide,
Tim O’Brien, who had been with
Mountaineering, Inc. O’Brien had led Span on an expedition up Mt. Rainier
in April 2004,
and he also had led Rick Cesari, owner of Cesari Direct, up the mountain they call "THE BIG ONE" - > Denali aka Mount McKinley. After Cesari climbed with O’Brien in June 2006 on McKinley while doing the production of an outdoor film, offered O’Brien a position.
When Span e-mailed his contact list that he was putting putting together a
new company and were looking for resources, especially to produce
infomercials, O’Brien immediately fired back a response, saying "You need to meet Cesari".
Well aware that infomercials can be a lucrative promotional tool but lacking experience with the medium, Span was excited about the meeting, and it was fortuitous. He and Cesari formed an instant bond—the bond of fellow climbers,
who soon discovered that they had literally crossed paths at 10,000 feet on Mt. McKinley. Span was coming down the mountain just three months earlier as Cesari’s group was ascending—and Span had shot video footage of the group
coming out of the clouds, unaware that O‘Brien was the guide and that he would be starting a company with one of the climbing party, the legendary Rick Cesari.
Span had four products ready to discuss with Cesari at their
first meeting, and that started a chain reaction of “chance” introductions
to exactly the right people. Having searched for suitable products to
launch a similar business,
Cesari was eager to produce the infomercials and join forces with the two partners. He also was excited to introduce them to Rowland Hanson, the guy who named Windows for Bill Gates and did the initial guerilla marketing
that created the explosively successful brand launch at COMDEX in 1982. This was the launch that nobody every caught up with, even though there were 3 other operating system at that convention that actually worked and were in full production.
When the Rick, Tim and Bill sat around a table for the first time, everyone
realized that they had the makings of a powerful management team, a team
with the same drive and determination characteristic of a devoted mountain
Span had the contacts to provide the product flow, and Tim, Rick and Rowland had extensive experience in everything else needed to build brands. Hanson was and is one of the top ten most renowned marketing experts on the planet,
Span the deal flow/ firestarter/idea and team builder guy, and Cesari the infomercial guru.. All successful, team-oriented, businessmen, they knew how to make things happen—and they all saw the potential for The Branding Foundry.