Ep. 29 – David Dennis: Bootstrapping A Positive Change With Passion
David Dennis is an incredibly interesting individual. He has a degree in sociology, a masters in political science, a career working with major tech companies such as Microsoft, and he is co-founder of a surfboard company focused on ocean conservation.
Dennis is co-founder of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies. They produce hollow, reclaimed wooden surfboards; bodysurfing handplanes; and eco surf supplies. The boards are high performance, surfable works of art that jumpstart conversations in homes and wave lineups.
“I wanted to use my skills to give back in more a meaningful way to the community in the areas that I care most about: homelessness, ocean conservation and education.”
Ventana gained clarity of purpose through research and a simple vision of creating the most loved surf company in the world, “and sometimes we put surf in brackets because we want to be the most loved company in the world.” In an effort to create the most loved company in the world, Dennis focuses on three brand values:
“We vet everything we’re going to do against that vision and against those brand values and that’s helped us keep very focused.”
One way that Ventana maintains their values is the Ventana Upcycle Partner Program. The pitch is simple: Ventana allows companies and individuals to reduce the amount wood and other materials they send to the landfill; they market partners as environmentally responsible; and then they create beautiful, high-quality craftsman products as a result.
Ventana uses upcycled wood from donors like Santa Cruz Guitars, a Czech Republic swamp, wine barrels from SoCal vineyards, offcuts from Knotty Hole Woodworks, wood from the boardwalk rollercoaster, old cedar benches from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and pieces of John Steinbeck’s original home.
“The short version of what we’re doing is we’re taking other people’s trash and we’re turning it into amazing products.”
For David and his co-founder to maintain focus on their brand values and mission, they have remained bootstrapped since the company launched – and they hope to continue to do that as long as possible.
“Find what you’re passionate about and see if you can amplify it for social good.”
David is a passionate and courageous entrepreneur endeavoring to make a positive difference in the world by doing what he’s good at, and what he loves. He’s an inspiring and impactful business leader, and I greatly appreciate him coming on the show.
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Learn more about Ventana: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest
- Contact David at David@VentanaSurfboards.com
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