Gary E. Hoover, a gifted visionary and entrepreneur, has done it all, can explain it clearly, and is able to connect with any audience. Gary’s message, “The Seven Keys to Building and Leading Successful Enterprises,” is applicable to any group and encourages people to step back and look at the big picture by adopting a more global view. A business historian, Gary has subscribed to Fortune magazine since he was 12 years old and has successfully applied his knowledge of the past to the future.
He earned a degree in economics from the University of Chicago, studying under Nobel Prize winners George Stigler and Milton Friedman. Then, he became an analyst of retail stocks for Citibank on Wall Street, a buyer for Federated Department Stores, and later manager of strategic planning for May Department Stores. Gary Hoover was vice-president of marketing, planning and research for May’s shopping center development subsidiary.
In 1982, Hoover finally took the plunge into entrepreneurship by founding BOOKSTOP, Inc. in Austin, Texas, with $350,000 in capital raised from 35 private investors. Together with his management team, Hoover built BOOKSTOP, the nation’s first superstore book chain providing a variety of books at discounted prices. BOOKSTOP grew into the fourth largest book retailer. In 1989, Barnes & Noble purchased the company for $41.5 million in cash, and BOOKSTOP became a cornerstone of Barnes & Noble superstores. That division exceeded approximately $2.5 billion in sales in 1998—just 16 years after the founding of BOOKSTOP.
A perennial entrepreneur, Hoover’s next venture was the founding of Reference Press, publisher of the best-selling annual reference guides to big companies, Hoover’s Handbooks. Hoover’s Handbooks are found in libraries throughout the world. More recognizable to business executives is Hoover’s On-line and Hoovers.com electronic information services, which are accessed more than eight million times a month, making the company a world leader in the electronic distribution of corporate information. In 1996, the Reference Press was renamed Hoover’s Inc. Shareholders in Hoover’s, Inc. include Time Warner, Media General and Infoseek. In early 1992, Gary Hoover stepped down from day-to-day operations at Hoover’s, Inc. to focus on exploring new business opportunities.
Gary E. Hoover now shares his knowledge and vision with others and has become a renowned speaker, winning over audiences in both the United States and Europe. In addition to radio and newspaper interviews, Hoover has appeared on CNN, in the Wall Street Journal, and in Newsweek magazine.
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