Ahad Ghadimi

Director, Small Business Owner, and Public Speaker in Denver, Colorado

I’ve been really fortunate to have an exciting and fulfilling career thus far. The projects have been quite diverse in nature (bikinis, Evian Waters, producing industrial water filters, Fender Custom Shop Telecasters) and geography (Iran to Buenos Aires)...with one common thread: inspiring people & culture.

I launched UP&COMING Business Journal from my dorm room in Canada while at biz school. Editorially, we were inspired by JFK Jr’s GEORGE (from the 80s) – but focused on Canadian Business. I really miss it.

John P. Abrahams, Véronique de la Cruz and I launched V DEL SOL Swimwear from Escazu, Costa Rica. We opened at the Miami Swim Show in 2006 and held court in Manhattan’s Fashion District. We were in every fashion glossy on the newsstand from our very first collection. It’s so far the only product I could only enjoy on others. JPA and I remain best friends for life (he’s in the stylish beige hat by the catwalk.) https://youtu.be/mbZT2Z1MbpU

Sometimes the universe knows what’s better for you than you do. Hilary Cassady hired me to help rehaul Groupe Danone’s global system for governing their 110 holdings from HQ. After successfully launching DanGOV they offered me the role of Worldwide Training Manager – responsible for culture and change across all subsidaries. We had an annual learning budget bigger than virtually any business school on the planet to invest in learning, engagement and high-performance. Forever grateful to Thierry Bonetto for teaching me “how to inspire people to want to be involved.”

Another lucky stroke – I had the opportunity to support the legendary George Michel in turning around (more like resurrecting) Boston Market. The company went from a mindset of surviving (post-bankruptcy and many major layoffs) to one of intrapreneurial striving among the teams. I am lucky to have such a mentor and friend.

My story is really about the incredible people I have worked with and who believed in me and helped me become an increasingly better version of myself.

For some years now, I have been supporting companies of all sizes get better and have more fun by creating an atmosphere where people feel inspired and fulfilled at work by being able to make their biggest impact. I typically play one or more of the following roles: adviser, investor, and operator.

Ultimately, I’m MOST passionate about helping employees become co-owners of their respective shops.

Our societies would be better, more engaged places by fostering more co-owners.