Distinguished Speaker Series RSVP

A global leader and visionary for an innovative technology company is next up in Western Michigan University’s 2014-15 Distinguished Speaker Series, hosted by the Haworth College of Business.

Brian Thomas, chief executive officer of OtterBox, will present “Growing up Otter: Education, Opportunity and Giving Back” at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, in 2000 Schneider Hall. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Photo of ThomasBrian Thomas

When Thomas joined OtterBox in 2003, the company was a niche business selling waterproof boxes, fly fishing cases and travel cigar humidors. Shortly after, OtterBox began developing interactive protection for PDAs and tablet computers for Hewlett Packard, Fijitsu, Palm, the U.S. Government and the very first Apple iPods.

After quickly realizing the potential to branch out into the consumer electronics market, Thomas was promoted to director of sales and marketing where he led the transition into the smartphone industry, creating premium protective smartphone solutions for Apple, RIM, Nokia, Samsung, HTC and others.

Thomas' leadership abilities, dedication and vision have led him to his current role as CEO. During his tenure, OtterBox has grown from a $2 million start-up to an over $1 billion company with nearly 1,000 employees worldwide.

Prior to joining OtterBox, Thomas served as a lead account manager to Honda Manufacturing at Magna International and launched the company’s first aftermarket accessory. His background also includes teaching high school in northern Colorado, where he worked with at-risk students.

True to the OtterBox culture of work hard, play hard, Thomas and his wife enjoy being active and spending time outdoors with their son. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in industrial marketing and manufacturing engineering technology from WMU and his secondary teaching certification in biology from Colorado State University.

Register for the presentation below or contact Cyntia Reeves at cyntia.reeves@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5069 for additional information.

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