Michael Houlihan and Bonney Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book, selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, chronicles Barefoot’s journey from its start in the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse in 1986 to the board room of E&J Gallo, where the brand was successfully sold in 2005. Barefoot is now the largest bottled wine brand in the world.
From the start, with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles and create new markets and strategic alliances, while also pioneering Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation.
Since selling the brand to E&J Gallo, they consult with Fortune 500s and other companies, helping them establish and strengthen entrepreneurial company cultures through seminars, webinars, and onsite training, and travel the world speaking to corporations, conferences, symposiums, and universities. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals, along with being FOX News Radio Network’s Workplace Culture Experts.
Houlihan and Harvey’s story is widely used as a case study in schools of entrepreneurship. They were the keynote speakers at the 2014 World Conference on Entrepreneurship in Dublin, Ireland and recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneurship Speaker Award from The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University. Their new book, The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People, is a companion to The Barefoot Spirit written specifically for the C-Suite. Both books will be featured in the premiere episode and network launch of Jeff Hayzlett’s C-Suite TV and C-Suite Book Club in September 2014.
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