Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times Bestselling Business Paperback, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. They started in their laundry room in 1986 and created a nationwide bestselling wine label. With virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles and create new markets.
They pioneered “Worthy Cause Marketing” and performance-based compensation. Their comprehensive view of customer service resulted in the National Hot Brand Award for outstanding sales growth in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 they successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo. Since then, they have consulted Fortune 500’s and start-ups alike. One of their clients just made the 2013 Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies.
They are the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Award from the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University; and keynote speakers for 2014 SOCAP Symposium (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business, 2014 World Conference on Entrepreneurship (ICSB) in Dublin, Ireland, and C-Suite Conference.
Bonnie was the keynote speaker at the ICSB 2014 TESS Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum
They have spoken at Speakers Series’ at the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Bradley University, and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
Their book, The Barefoot Spirit, which chronicles the history and lessons learned building the popular Barefoot Wine brand, is required reading at more than twenty universities teaching entrepreneurship.
Michael & Bonnie now share their experience and innovative approach to business as consultants, authors, speakers, and workshop leaders. They are sought-after workplace culture experts in both print and broadcast media with hundreds of interviews and articles in professional and national publications. They co-author weekly, no-nonsense, business blogs at www.thebarefootspirit.com & www.thebrandauthority.net.
Their new book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People, is a companion to The Barefoot Spirit written specifically for the C-Suite. Both books were featured in the premiere episode and network launch of Jeff Hayzlett’s C-Suite TV and C-Suite Book Club in September 2014.
Michael & Bonnie have spent the past year speaking to entrepreneurial students throughout the country. Business leaders and professors of entrepreneurship highly recommend them as inspirational speakers, role models, and entrepreneurial thought leaders. They are an excellent extension of the classroom education into the real world of practicality.