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Founders Talk: John A. Riley

“What they didn’t emphasize in Grad School. My Golden Rules (I wish someone would have taught me when I started).”

Mr. Riley founded Legacy Fund in 2006 for the purpose of investing in privately held businesses and the development of commercial real estate projects. Mr. Riley founded ZeroChaos in 1999 and sold the company in 2005. ZeroChaos, with annual revenues exceeding 3 billion dollars, pioneered a new staffing model changing the way Fortune 200 companies source, manage and administer their contract labor workforce. The company provides services in 14 countries around the word.

Prior to ZeroChaos, Riley founded and held several positions in Transworld Services Group in Orlando, Florida. Over the course of 11 years, Transworld grew into one of the largest independently owned staffing companies in the Southeast with annual revenues of nearly $40 million. Transworld was the innovator of “insourcing” where they took day-to-day departmental control within a diverse Fortune 500 client base. The company was sold in 1996.

He serves on several boards of private and non-profit organizations including CNL Bank, Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and The Geneva School. Mr. Riley received his bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Rollins College in 1982 and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1984.

Every week Starter Studio will be holding Founder Talks, where local figures come to share the start of their own startup. Feel free to join us to learn more about Starter Studio and its companies, meet fellow Starters, or just for a little inspiration.

More details on our "Second Class" Starters:

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  • nathan c.

    John's talk on video. Practical advice.

    June 22, 2014

  • Cesar E.

    This was my first time attending. Great group of people and great speaker. Can't wait to see whats next.

    June 11, 2014

  • Danielle

    In a nutshell, keep your eyes on the donut and reduce the hole with metrics. Did I get that right, John?

    June 10, 2014

  • Shahier R.

    Mr. Riley was simply fantastic. Some notes and quotes from last night:
    "I knew how to knock on a door" [first business lesson]
    "Read everything and read all the time. Even if you pick up 1 gem, its worth it"
    "A crisp work chart is the most important thing a business can have: [Sales--> Revenue][Operations-->Delivery][Finance-->Expenses]"

    "If the CEO is the best salesman AND doing operations AND doing finance-->you will fail"

    "The most effective way to do sales is belly to belly, face to face"
    "Metrics: Measure EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. All the time"
    "Every person in my company has an incentive system in place"
    "Raise you $(price) until you hear customers say 'no' and then negotiate---don't be BASHFUL about increasing prices"
    "When I go to meet with companies I sell them on PROFITS-->'It will make YOU money, here's how' "

    June 10, 2014

  • Chris B.

    Great Talk! Thank you John for your time and your insight.

    June 10, 2014

  • nathan c.

    Basic Truths in Business are Timeless. Nice Talk John.

    June 10, 2014

  • Doug S.

    Great reminder of the importance of face to face selling.

    2 · June 9, 2014

  • Pablo M.

    Great information shared, thank you very much.

    1 · June 9, 2014

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