Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS and New York Times best-selling author, is the featured speaker at Youngstown State University’s Paul J. and Marguerite K. Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets are mandatory and are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are available at Stambaugh Auditorium Box Office or at the Dean’s Office in the Williamson College of Business Administration in Williamson Hall on the YSU campus. For more information, call the YSU Office of Alumni and Events at 330-941-3497.
A shuttle to Stambaugh Auditorium will be available for YSU students who want to attend the lecture. The shuttle begins at 4:30 p.m. the night of the lecture and will be a continuous loop with stops at the “letters” at WCBA, McDonough Museum, and in front of the Cafaro House. Return service will be available following the lecture.
During travels in Argentina for a television competition, Mycoskie became aware of the hardships faced by children without shoes. A serial entrepreneur, he founded TOMS, which centers on the One for One concept: For every pair of shoes sold, TOMS donates one pair to children in need. In 2011, Mycoskie added TOMS eyewear to the same business model, and the company has to saved or restored eyesight to more than 150,000 people in need.
When he released his first book, Start Something That Matters, Blake was already known to the public; he and his sister competed in CBS’ The Amazing Race, in which they finished third. The book became a New York Times bestseller, and his One for One business model has brought him numerous accolades.
Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence. At the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, President Clinton introduced Blake to the audience as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I’ve) ever met.” People Magazine featured Blake in its “Heroes Among Us” section, and TOMS was featured in the Bill Gates Time Magazine article “How to Fix Capitalism.” In 2011 Blake was included on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.
The Paul J. and Marguerite K. Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise started in 1981 from an endowment established by the Thomases.