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Founder and ‘chief shoe giver’ of TOMS shoes to speak at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Blake Mycoskie, entrepreneur and founder of TOMS shoes, will speak at Purdue on Thursday (Oct. 29) as part of the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics. The 7 p.m. talk, in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse, is free and open to the public.

Blake Mycoskie, entrepreneur and founder of TOMS shoes, will speak at Purdue on Thursday (Oct. 29) as part of the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics. The 7 p.m. talk, in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse, is free and open to the public. Mycoskie's company operates on the one-for-one business model, giving one pair of new shoes to a child in need with every pair sold. (Photo contributed)

Blake Mycoskie, entrepreneur and founder of TOMS shoes, will speak at Purdue on Thursday (Oct. 29) as part of the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics. The 7 p.m. talk, in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse, is free and open to the public. Mycoskie's company operates on the one-for-one business model, giving one pair of new shoes to a child in need with every pair sold. (Photo contributed)

Mycoskie’s talk is presented by the Krannert School of Management and the College of Education’s James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship and is sponsored by the Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union, Karl and Kathy Krapek, and the Chrysler Foundation.

Mycoskie’s company, TOMS shoes, operates on the one-for-one business model, giving one pair of new shoes to a child in need with every pair sold. More than 140,000 pairs of new shoes were delivered to children around the world in three years. By the end of 2009, TOMS will give an additional 300,000 pairs of new shoes to children in need all around the world, including in the United States.

In February at the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, former President Bill Clinton introduced Mycoskie as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I’ve) ever met.” Mycoskie and TOMS have been featured in People magazine’s “Heroes Among Us” section and in the Bill Gates Time magazine article “How to Fix Capitalism.”

Mycoskie has created five businesses since college. His first was a successful national campus laundry service; his second startup, Mycoskie Media, caught the attention of Clear Channel Media and was bought by it. Between business ventures, he competed in the CBS primetime series “The Amazing Race.” With his sister, Paige, Mycoskie traveled the world and came within minutes of winning the $1 million grand prize.

After “The Amazing Race,” Mycoskie attempted to create the first TV cable channel dedicated entirely to reality programming. His fourth startup was an online driver’s education school that featured hybrid cars and SUVs. Mycoskie sold the driver’s school in order to focus on the creation of TOMS Shoes.

The Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics began in 2003. Speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines discuss business ethics and the role citizens play in corporate ethics, providing an overview of the impact of corporate ethics on business, the economy and society as a whole.

Harry Markopolos, the “whistle-blower” in the Bernie Madoff investment scandal, also is scheduled to speak at Purdue as part of the series. Markopolos’ talk will be at 7 p.m. April 22.

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