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Dan Fisher

A Professional and Personal History

I was a co-op student at the University of Tennessee and worked for NASA in Huntsville, AL, becoming a contract administrator on the Lunar Excursion Module project. Upon graduating with a BS in Accounting I went to work for ESSO as a tax specialist. After serving in the Army it was on to Atlanta and Price Waterhouse as an auditor for three years. Back at UT and graduate school I was number two in my MBA class. In 1972 I accepted a job as CFO at PI Inc. in Athens, TN. During this time frame I taught at Cleveland State in the evenings and was elected to the University of Tennessee Board Of Governors.

America is a score keeping culture and business is the game adults get to play.  I like business and have been general partner or president of the following:

Ø  In the early 80’s formed two computer companies, Educational Specialties Inc. and Computer Learning Concepts.

Ø  In 1985 formed a partnership in four SHONEYS restaurants.

Ø  Formed an insurance company (Plastic Industries Risk Retention Group) based in Vermont.

Ø  Developed 93 acres in Athens, TN, called Keith Meadows.

Ø  Formed a purchasing co-op- Outsourced Purchasing Management.

Ø  Co author of the Financial Management Manual for the Society of Plastic.  Industries. Chairman of the Molders Board of the SPI.

Ø  Founder of AreteQ Inc., an inferential intelligence software company based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.

Ø  CFO then Chief Operating Officer at PI Inc. for 28 years.

Ø  Derivatives trading consultant for Enron On Line in Houston, TX, for two years.

Ø  Adjunct Professor of Business at Tennessee Wesleyan and voted best professor for 21 straight semesters by students.

Ø  Raised five children on a working farm and stayed married to the same woman for 41 years.

Having been on numerous local civic boards, the main item worth mentioning is that while chairman of the McMinn County Library board, built a $2.5 million library in rural East Tennessee that was paid for in 2 years. Also on the board of the Athens Kiwanis Club, University of Tennessee National Alumni Association, The Southeast Development Corporation, and McMinn County Living Heritage Museum.

I have attended extended courses at Stanford, Wharton, Darden, and Oxford Graduate School (branch in US and Kellogg College in UK) receiving a Ph.D. in Ethics and Philosophy. I have been a member of the American Future Society since its' founding and lecture at the University of Tennessee on the Future and Change Management. I have been an adjunct professor at Tennessee Wesleyan College for the last ten years teaching seven different courses.

Sound Bites:

 1.          Management Change: Changing the culture of management which can foster modifications in the workforce performance. Initiated and implemented a philosophy which raised a post union election Employee Opinion Survey from 28% favorable to 87% favorable over a three year period.

2.          Start-Up: Founded or co-founded 12 companies ranging from software development, insurance company, real-estate development and a wine company to restaurant operations. Teach graduating seniors entrepreneurship by developing a complete business plan for a company that they choose as a real world exercise.

3.          Highest rated professor at Tennessee Wesleyan College by students for 21 straight semesters.

4.          "Danny, you are the quintessential renaissance man" Alex Jones, Shorenstein Chair and Lombard Chair (On the Media and Public Policy) Harvard University.

5.          "Surprisingly, we have chosen Dan Fisher, from a small town in Tennessee, as the best example of how to do it right." Dr. Jerry Porras, Merrill Professor of Organization Behavior and Change, Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  Course on Change Management with 41 companies worldwide, including seven fortune 500 companies attending.

6.          “There is a big difference in being smart and being intellectual - you lucked out and got both" Dr. Ralph Norman founder of School of Religion, University of Tennessee, Editor of Soundings, Academic Journal of Ethics and Philosophy.

7.          "I hate to see you leave, you're a ray of sunshine in the clouds of accounting" Ed Harris, Chief Partner, Price Waterhouse upon my resignation.

8.          "Fisher, this education thing you made us do ain’t all bad – I can read T­ shirts at the Sweetwater Flea Market now". Third shift worker, on a cold winter morning at 6am, who had never attended any school and was completely illiterate.