Entrepreneurial spirit and technology roots
You could say Michael Herrmann’s entrepreneurial career started as a sophomore at Texas A&M University. It was at A&M where he laid out a vision for an annual golf tournament supporting local charities. The tournament, run by a prominent leadership organization, has now been held for nearly 25 years. This was the springboard that led to being accepted into the College of Business Fellows Program, and ultimately a career beginning at Ernst & Young as a consultant. Armed with a degree in information systems, Ernst & Young fostered Mike’s love of technology, and even more so, efficiency. With the entrepreneurial spirit beating from within, Mike was not long for a large organization, but a great foundation had been laid for an adventurous career ahead.
New country. New business. New industry.
In 2004, Mike sold everything and moved to Sydney, Australia. He had identified an opportunity to take the very successful model of guided bicycle tours that were popping up all over Europe, and bring them to Australia. It was time to start feeding the entrepreneur within, and that first taste was Bonza Bike Tours. The early days were riddled with challenges: learning how to do business in a foreign country, learning a new industry, learning how to repair bikes, learning accounting…and the list went on. However, it was these challenges that taught Mike how to balance the day-to-day priorities to achieve goals, as well as how to navigate the emotional rollercoaster that every entrepreneur endures.
Serving an industry that has given so much
After 7 years of building Bonza Bike Tours, something was bothering Mike. He was continually encountering inefficiencies in his interactions with one of his largest distribution channels, tour operators and travel agents. From the annual contracting process, to simple communications, Mike was wasting many hours and a lot of money every week due to these poor processes ingrained in the fabric of the tourism industry. When he challenged his industry colleagues, he heard those famous words that inspire innovators everywhere…”That’s the way we’ve always done it.” Although not intending to start a new company, TourConnect was born. From day one, Mike has always said, it’s not about the money, it’s that the industry we all love, and count on, could be so much better. Better for ourselves, and better for the travelers we serve. And so, the TourConnect journey continues…striving to make the industry a little better, every day.
Dick is a ‘retired’ entrepreneur after a prosperous career of building, and selling, technology companies. The last company he started, Ti3 was sold to TALX Corporation in 2001. He brings a wealth of experience in developing strategic visions and executing to successful outcomes.
*Dick can tell a story with the best of them, and his 6 grandchildren always enjoy hearing about the time he drove a riding lawn mower into a swimming pool.
Brad is currently the Founder & President of Call-Em-All, an Inc. 500 honoree. Brad is passionate about company culture and open book management, evidenced by his involvement with the Small Giants organization.
* Brad's office nickname is 'The Cheerleader'. It also fits at home, where he coaches his 3 kids in basketball, soccer, and baseball.
Hai is VP of Engineering & Co-Founder of Call-Em-All, an Inc. 500 honoree. With a computer engineering degree and an obsession for art and design, Hai brings direction, creativity, and clarity to challenging problems.
*His #1 feat? He was able to: quit his job, start a company, propose to his wife, have his first art show, break his wrist, and narrowly survive a flaming B-52 - all in one week.