Speaker - John Paul DeJoria

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John Paul DeJoria's rags-to-riches biography exemplifies the American dream: he is a first-generation American turned entrepreneur, philanthropist, government servant, and pillar of the business community. Once homeless, he has struggled against the odds to achieve success and pay it forward, living by his motto, “Success unshared is failure.”

In 1980, Mr. DeJoria and hairstylist Paul Mitchell converted a partially borrowed $700 into what is today the largest privately held salon haircare line. Mr. DeJoria and Mr. Mitchell had a vision to found a company for hairdressers—one that would provide tools of success for haircare professionals, their salons, and the entire beauty industry. Although Mr. Mitchell tragically died of pancreatic cancer in 1989, the dream he shared with Mr. DeJoria has flourished; the company currently produces more than 100 products, available in over 80 countries.

Mr. DeJoria has made philanthropy paramount, insisting “corporations can and should change the world for the better.” In addition to other works, Mr. DeJoria recently launched a solely-funded philanthropic venture, Grow Appalachia. The organization aims to empower the hunger-stricken people of Appalachia by providing the skills and resources they need to grow organic, nutritious food, and teaching them how to prepare and preserve it in a healthy way. Grow Appalachia has fed more than 7,000 people since its inception two years ago.

Mr. DeJoria steers the company according to its original vision, keeping his vow to stand by the professional beauty industry.

1 Program

State of the Union Dinner

01.22.07 | 00:50:36 min | 1 comment