Biz Pioneer Proclaims 'Revolution'

Michael Crooke, first CEO of Revolution Living and former head of the famed Patagonia outdoor equipment company, will address "The Revolution of Business in the 21st Century" when he delivers the 2006 Business Ethics lecture at Humboldt State University on Monday, February 6, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Kate Buchanan Room, University Center.

Mr. Crooke, who has a B.S. degree in Forestry and an MBA from Humboldt State, is credited with building Patagonia and its parent company, Lost Arrow Corporation, into one of the world's most recognized, successful and socially responsible brands. In January, he became the first CEO of Revolution Living, geared to progressive business practices and the brainchild of America Online cofounder Steve Case.

In his remarks about the 21st century business revolution, Mr. Crooke will discuss the concepts of "Quality Product" and "Leaving a Gentle Footprint." An apostle of "doing well and doing good," he is credited worldwide for Patagonia's commitment to product quality and environmental responsibility.

The nascent Revolution Living comprises companies working to change the way consumers and brands interact. It is based on the proposition that business can be an important component in a move toward a more sustainable relationship between consumers and the earth, and help consumers lead healthier, more balanced lives.

Mr. Crooke's lecture "is an excellent opportunity for students, faculty, business, and community leaders to consider the ethical, social, and environmental challenges facing business firms today," said Professor Saeed Mortazavi, chair of HSU's School of Business and the university's Academic Senate. "The School of Business MBA program has produced quality graduates who are serving the business community at local, national, and international levels," Professor Mortazavi noted. "Michael Crooke is a shining example of such graduates and we are very fortunate to have such a nationally-recognized speaker in the areas of business success and social responsibility."

Regarding his new venture, Mr. Crooke said, "I didn't leave one of the best companies on the planet to do something pedestrian. I joined Revolution Living to partner with Steve Case and to change the world. I found a partner who understood and embraced the concept of ‘doing well and doing good.’ My goal at Revolution Living (is) to build the team and the businesses so that all stakeholders reap the rewards of creating and growing inspiring brands. These are the brands that will come to define successful business in the 21st century."

The lecture series is sponsored by Po Chung, cofounder of the Asia Pacific Division of DHL Express, and an international artist and civic leader in Hong Kong. Mr. Chung graduated from HSU in 1969 and was named a 2004-2005 Distinguished Alumni Recipient by his alma mater's Alumni Association.

The Lecture Series in Business Ethics honors Frank Watson, former HSU professor. Mr. Po provides the funding for the lecture series "so students, faculty, and the community at large have a forum in which to engage in a continuing dialogue on business ethics and corporate responsibility."

The February 6 lecture is free and open to the public. Details are available at 826-3224.