(continued) quality at a competitive cost. Landkeepers benefits The Pattie Group and will eventually absorb as much as 15 percent of its overhead. Go to landskeepers.com to learn more about LandsKeepers’ services. Blaine Westropp ’08 and his two business partners at Release Sunglasses believe that one can step back from the trials and tribulations of everyday life and make any idea a reality. They did just that, creating their own sunglass line and hope to inspire others to “release” and make their dreams a reality. This idea is what is behind their Release brand and it is what separates them from their competitors. Release Sunglasses plans to expand its marketing network by having up-and-coming artists wear Release Sunglasses. Recently, the group Timeflies featured the sunglasses in their video for their single, “Turn It Up,” providing the company huge exposure. To see their line and/or place an order, visit releasesunglasses.com. David Kahn ’97 was working for esteemed golf course designer, Tom Fazio, when the economy’s downturn forced the company to cut jobs. Kahn and a friend from Fazio shared a passion for golf and design and had an extensive business contact list. They realized they had the necessary components to continue design work. Within six months, the two had formed an official LLC partnership, Jackson Kahn Golf Course Design, based out of Phoenix, Ariz. In their association with the Fazio organization, the partners had the rare opportunity to work on some of the most prestigious projects in the country, gaining insight and knowledge of how best to design, build and operate high-end golf properties. This experience, coupled with their creativity, allows them to produce a golf course design product that can compare to any other designer’s product in the world. One recent project has been the renovation of the nine-hole golf course on the Walter Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands in Palm Springs, Fla. The course, originally designed by golf course architect Dick Wilson, has
hosted political leaders and legendary golfers alike, from former Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to Ray Floyd and Lee Trevino. Jackson Kahn Golf Course Design’s task was twofold: to bring out the original character that Wilson had instilled and to give it modern playability. Following extensive research, Kahn and his partner got to work and the end product is first-rate. In the March 12, 2012 issue of Golf World, writer Ron Whitten said of their work, “Their embrace of Wilson’s characteristics, such as the long, runway tees and heavy bunkering in front of every green, ran counter to their training under Fazio, but resulted in a restoration that actually improved upon Wilson’s original plan while keeping faithful to it.” Visit jacksonkahndesign.com to learn more about their exciting work. As this group of alumni discussed their entrepreneurial endeavors, all were quick to credit their time at Gilmour with providing them a part of the foundation necessary to start a business. Many referenced the high expectations of the faculty and their unwillingness to accept anything less than a student’s best effort. They also appreciated the faculty’s emphasis on critical thinking and remaining true to one’s beliefs. “Each faculty member encouraged me to think critically; so often I was pushed to take things ‘a step further,’ to go above and beyond, to consider situations from new perspectives, and to be true to myself and my beliefs,” Alexander Salahshour says. Others mentioned the importance of the communications skills they developed at Gilmour. “The writing skills and fundamentals I learned at Gilmour built a foundation that I use all the time,” Mark Snelling states. “Being able to communicate easily, clearly and confidently is what sets people apart.” With all the entrepreneurship programming on campus and the long-standing tradition of developing innovative thinkers, the future looks bright for the next generation of Lancer entrepreneurs to follow in the footsteps of these ambitious alumni.
Published on Jun 28, 2012