RonRivers.com
Experiences, Observations, and Efforts.

Experience

Work Experience  |  Education  |  Awards & Volunteering

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Professional Experience

OurSociety.org:  Founder/Executive Director | May 2017 – Present

Project Summary:  OurSociety is a non-partisan, 501c3 non-profit, founded with the purpose of empowering more individuals outside of our current Political Class to run for office at the local level and beyond.  We created a Free & Open Election Campaign platform where any candidate can obtain a free profile to post their policies, plans, and vision for the future in both video and article format.  Designed with the citizen user experience in mind, we developed a social value matching algorithm to match citizens to candidates based on our growing pool of questions.  Our vision is that by making the process of knowing which candidate best fits your values (and therefore deserves your vote), we will provide more agency in the civic engagement process to our youth.  Our long-term vision is to use OurSociety to instill the paradigm of a data-driven democracy that shifts the model from the pendulum partisan politics to cooperative issue-based projects.  Our live Beta launched 4/30/18, and we are using this period to develop a proof of concept to use as a fundraising tool for a national plan.

Skills Implemented:  Strategic Planning, Brand Creation, Web/App Development Planning, Team Building/Recruiting, Network Building, Public Speaking, Advertising/Marketing, Event Management, Event Marketing

Knowledge Gained:  Grassroots Organizing, Basic MySQL Management, Likert Scale Algorithm methodology,  UX Design Theory, Government Operations, Developer Management

Perspective:  OurSociety is a project started with the intention of creating something for the genuine social good.  At its core, OurSociety is about institutional reformation, something that I believe is both necessary and inevitable for the short and long-term success of the United States.  OurSociety is open to everyone. However, the only respondents so far have been Progressive candidates – something that has enabled me to help spread my vision of the political future of the U.S. to open minds.

 

Love2brew Homebrew Supply:  Founder/CEO  |  Oct. 2011  – Present

Project Summary:  Love2brew was founded to help home beer and wine makers have a better experience sourcing their supplies both online and in the state of New Jersey.   We accomplished this mission by creating a website focused on user experience when at the time, none existed.  Our service levels are considered industry best, our prices are fair, our shipping is free and fast, and we have a knowledgeable and dedicated staff who take pleasure in helping people learn a new skill and make some delicious beer.  Love2brew is a current industry leader in our space with one of the most visited websites and known brands.

Skills Implemented:  Strategic Planning, Brand Creation, Team Building/Recruiting, Network Building, Sales, Excel, Sales Forecasting, Budgeting, HTML, Presentation Development, Public Speaking

Knowledge Gained:  Web Advertising (Google, Facebook), Bookkeeping (Quickbooks), Logistics, Operations Management, Supplier Negotiations, Beer Brewing, Wine Making, Auditing, Brewery Equipment, Event Management, Event Marketing

Perspective:  Love2brew was founded during a pivotal point in my life and was my first big leap into Entrepreneurship.  At the age of 26, I was struggling with the concept of working within corporate America despite having rapid improvement in both professional and financial development. Love2brew’s success was a combination of right timing (gained through detailed observation), persistence, and luck.  It was a tremendous learning experience that consisted of a steady diet of hard lessons.  Currently, Love2brew has reached a phase of maturity and semi-automation which requires ~10 hours of work from me each week – this is an ideal situation as it empowers me to pursue other passion projects.

 

Bematech:  VP – North American Sales  |  May 2009 – April 2011

Position Summary:  Bematech is a Brazilian technology manufacturer that acquired the company Logic Controls here in the U.S. during 2008/2009.  The U.S. division imported, manufactured, and sold restaurant technology hardware such as Pole Displays, Point Of Sale Systems, Receipt Printers, and Kitchen Display Systems.  I was hired to develop a partnership program to bring Point of Sale Software Suppliers onto our brand with the long-term goal of transitioning into a Sales role.  My first sales role was the management of a single division that focused on a reseller channel; my tenure managing the division resulted in three record-breaking sales months for the organization within my first year.  Afterward, I was promoted to lead an additional division, eventually being promoted to handle all the sales divisions as well as the Key Accounts.  Notable clients included Panera Bread, Churchs Chicken, Subway.

Skills Implemented:  Team Management/Recruiting, Network Building, Sales, Excel, HTML, Presentation Development, Salesforce,

Knowledge Gained:  Restuarant Hardware Configuration, Executive Sales Strategies, Distribution Sales Strategies, Collaborative Program Development, Distribution Channel Relations, Sales Forecasting, Budgeting, Portuguese Curse Words,

Perspective:  Bematech was an excellent experience for the majority of my time there, providing me with both autonomy, an influential mentor, and the education of C-Level sales efforts and strategies.  The results were record-breaking months in divisions that had otherwise struggled.  My acceleration in both pay and position included some challenges – one thing that remains with me is the Senior Management Team’s dismissal of my forecasting of the dominance of tablets in future retail Point of Sale and the recommendation that we focus efforts on the development of a new more robust tablet hardware solution for restaurants.  I struggled with their unwillingness to adapt to the inevitability of changing markets which, to my fault as an employee, began to sour the position in my mind.  I founded Love2brew during my tenure at Bematech and was relieved of my position after newly promoted Senior Management found out about it.

 

Broadridge:  Operations Manager  |  October 2007 – May 2009

Position Summary: Broadridge is a financial services firm with annual revenue as of 2017 of four billion.  Formally a branch of ADP Broadridge spun off into a separate organization during my tenure at the organization.  Broadridge had an “acceptable monopoly” on the financial prospectus business in that they were so far ahead technology-wise that it didn’t make sense for competitors to enter the space.  Before graduating from Hofstra University, I was recruited into the Management Training program at Broadridge under the umbrella of the esteemed Robert Kalenka.  I studied the majority of branches of the company during a ~6-month period before being assigned to an Operations Management position in the printing department.  I remained in that department until I exited the company for my position at Bematech.

Skills Implemented:  Team Management/Recruiting, Microsoft Office, Presentation Development, Data Analytics

Knowledge Gained:  Financial Operations, Corporate Culture, Fulfillment Operations

Perspective:  Broadbridge was a great opportunity that I was not entirely prepared to take advantage of both in a professional and maturity capacity.  I was fortunate to be accepted into the program and mentored by some innovative minds, but at the time lacked the focus and discipline necessary to shine in the position.  Broadridge had a large workforce and, in some areas, stereotypical office culture – I found this very challenging to deal with at the time which likely accelerated my eventual departure.  Overall not my proudest moment of employment but an excellent opportunity to learn professional skills and subjective observation about what I did/did not want to pursue a career.  I should note that my tenure at Bematech was delayed due to my contracting of Bacterial Meningitis which set me back months to recover.  Bob Kalenka was generous enough to offer me a position in the organization whenever I improved – I will never forget his generosity.

 

Vector Marketing (Cutco):  Sales Rep / Recruiter  |  June 2002 – Dec 2005

Position Summary:  Vector Marketing is the direct sales arm of the Cutco product line.  Cutco products are an assortment of kitchen and home use items with their main product line being premium kitchen knives.  Cutco is a commission based direct sales company that requires participants to use their network of friends and family as first client prospects and eventually branch out to other people via recommendations.  After my first year of sales, I entered the management training program and went on to assist in numerous award-winning sales offices.

Skills Implemented:  Persistence,  Cold Calling, Presentation Skills,

Knowledge Gained:  Sales Fundamentals, Team Leadership, Advertising Planning & Budgeting, Recruiting, Sales Training, Public Speaking, How to cut a penny with a pair of scissors,

Perspective:  I enjoyed my experience with Vector Marketing, it was a  commission based sales position, but I understood that and used it to gain sales and presentation skills that have stuck with me throughout my entire career.  The organization’s long-term career path options were weak which is why I decided to leave the organization after graduating, however, I consider myself fortunate to have been exposed to the people and culture of the organization.


Education

Continuing:
2018Talking to my daughter about the economy by Yanis Varoufakis, Money & Banking Lecture Series at the Henry George School For Social Sciences, Principles of the Political Economy Lecture Series at the Henry George School For Social Sciences , The Third Industrial Revolution By Jeremy Rifkin, The Spirit Level By Richard Wilkenson & Kate Pickett, Hacking Growth By Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown, Roberto Unger Lectures Progressive Alternatives 2018

2017:  Roberto Unger Lecture Series: Progressive Alternatives: Institutional Reconstruction Today Spring 2017, Political Economy After The Crisis Spring 2017, American Democracy Spring 2017, Becoming a Candidate By Jennifer Lawless, Young People & The Future of News By:  Regina Marchi, World Order By  Henry Kissinger, Winner-Take-All Politics By Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson, Thinking Fast & Slow By: Daniel Kahneman, The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need  By Ellen Karsh & Arlen Sue Fox, Profiles in Courage By John F. Kennedy

2016Outliers By: Malcolm Gladwell, Originals By Adam Grant, Principles By  Ray Dalio, Deep Work By  Cal Newport, Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs By  Karen Berman & Joe Knight, The Singularity is Near By Ray Kurzweil, Scaling Up By Verne Harnish, Retail Revelations By Ritchie Sayner, The E-Myth Revisited By Michael Gerber, Zero to One By  Peter Theil

Institutional:
Hofstra University:  2002 – 2006
B.A Management
B.A Marketing

 


Awards & Volunteer

Featured Writer, Future Category – Medium.com

Black Belt, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu – Awarded 2011 By Matt Serra of Serra BJJ
Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling have been a foundational pillar of the person I am today.  The sport has taught me much about myself through years of humbling training, defeats, and the occasional competitive victory.  Most importantly Jiu-jitsu has taught me the skills necessary to achieve mastery, an approach I have applied to my entrepreneurial ventures to great success.

Industry Council, American Homebrew Association 2015 – Present
My role on the industry council is to offer insight on market trends and support national projects to support the industry.  In the past, this has included reviewing multiple national marketing efforts, discussing cross-promotion strategies, and discussing the impact of large mergers in our industry.  I have also been invited to speak as a presenter in the HomebrewCon industry breakout session for the past two years, receiving the prime speaking spot.  My talks typically focus on broader strategic initiatives.  I enjoy this work as most business owners in the homebrewing industry are small family-owned businesses, so any opportunity to give back to the community is one I happily accept.