I was born in Dallas, Texas but raised in Oklahoma for most of my life. My father and my grandfather were pastors and missionaries who would do anything possible to help someone in need. They, along with an ever-positive mother, taught me strong values that still guide me daily. As was true with my grandfather and father, my family has a passion to serve and help others to have a better life.
It is with this passion that most of my business life has focused on pursuits to create companies that can ultimately make life better for people by developing innovative technology and implementing new ways of doing business.
My greatest love is spending time with family and friends. I have four amazing sons, from 9 to 23 years, who daily show my what’s most important in life.
My wife, Shawntel, is my best friend and the love of my life. She was Miss America 1996 and the pride of Oklahoma when she won the title. I’ve come to appreciate her desire to let people of all ages know that they are valuable. I’m always amazed to see her dedicate so much time on philanthropic endeavors to create a better environment for those less fortunate. Through our foundations, the Wuerch Family Foundation and Epiphany International, we focus on furthering education for those who need it, providing benevolence and missions to impoverished countries, and work with organizations here in the United States that focus on doing good for others. Personally, one of my greatest joys was spending time digging water wells in Pygmy villages in the Central African Republic and is one of the most impactful experiences in my life.
Many years ago, I found myself immersed in professional pursuits but found my personal health not a priority. I made a decision to change. Since that time, my focus has been to be healthy and fit with a key focus on being an avid runner. I run 40-70 miles a week, finding time either early in the morning or late at night. I have run over 45 marathons around the world in the last 10 years, including eight Boston Marathons including the marathon in 2012. I’ve set and hit numerous personal running goals, from running 12 marathons in one year to running a marathon a week for a month. One of my biggest goals is to run 50 marathons by my 50th birthday and I am proud to say I’m on track to complete it.
Golf is a game that I truly enjoy and one that I love playing with my sons and friends. My son, Barrett, has shared with me exciting memories as I’ve watched him hit a 186 yard hole in one par 3 on my birthday and a par 4 Albatross (the rarest hole in one shot in golf) the day before his 20th birthday. One of the greatest things I love to hear is my younger sons saying, “Dad, let’s go hit golf balls today.”
Over the last few years I dedicated my time to a company that was very important to me. I wanted to positively impact people’s lives by using the power of social networks and enabling people to benefit financially when they use primary services and enable to them to save by sharing with their friends and family. So, I founded Solavei in 2012 and attracted leading executive and investors to create the first social commerce network. In just three years, we watched over 400,000 people sign up for mobile service from Solavei and the company do over $140 million in revenue, but more importantly we paid Solavei members over $40 million dollars for being the advertising voice of the company.
Solavei was named a top 100 technology company in North America by Red Herring magazine. And even though we shut Solavei down in late 2015 after it lost its mobile service contract with T-Mobile, much of the innovative technology is now being used to by other companies to positively impact people’s lives.
Prior to founding Solavei, I founded Motricity and spent a decade building it into a global leading mobile data services provider to the world’s largest mobile operators such as AT&T, Verizon, Reliance, Axiata and Telefonica. We had great investors such as NEA, TCV and Intel and we were fortunate to take Motricity public in 2010, seeing it obtain a market value that exceeded $1 billion.
I resigned from Motricity in 2011 to pursue other interests but I’m extremely proud of the company and its employees and all we achieved together. During my time with Motricity, I had the great fortune to be awarded the 2010 Pacific Northwest Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and I received the same award in 2005 in North Carolina.
Before Motricity, I served nearly three years as President of Learning 2000, an education software company with customers such as IBM, Gateway and Micron. We developed some of the most innovative and comprehensive education software for individuals and institutions across the U.S. Prior to that, I was senior vice president of ShapeRite, a nutritional supplement manufacturer. This planted a seed in me for how powerful a marketing vehicle an individual can be. I was very fortunate to take part in ShapeRite being named the nation’s 44th fastest-growing privately held company by Inc. Magazine.
For the last 11 years, I have been proud to serve on the board of the Miss America Organization, which is the largest scholarship provider to young women in the world.
Currently, I am spending most of my time doing what I love to do most in business. I’ve invested in several cutting-edge technology companies where I am active on their board and assisting their management teams execute against their objectives.
I’ve enjoyed successes and endured some failures. But I’ve always learned. Right now, the most important things in my career are to work with people I like, love and trust, and to do something that has the potential to provide positive benefits to millions of people.