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YOUNG SUCCESS STORIES
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Published: May 01, 2009

40 Under 40 Web extra



JAKE KLOBERDANZ, TOM LEAHY & BRANDON HALL
Co-founders of ONEHOPE Wine

ONEHOPE Wine transformed a personal mission of its founders into a thriving business that’s based on a basic principle: Giving back is good business. ONEHOPE donates 50 percent of its profits to partner charities through the creation of cause-specific wine varietals. Since its founding two years ago, ONEHOPE has donated more than $100,000 to charities.

JAKE KLOBERDANZ
CEO

Most important lesson learned:
You are only as good as the people around you. Businesses are not built on products or services, but by the people who run them. Never underestimate the value of a good team.

Next big step:
To build a premier lifestyle brand, both online and offline, that is unique and unrivaled in the consumer products arena, while creating a newly accepted business model.

Advice for other young professionals:
Always take steps forward, regardless of whether they are big or small. Sitting idle is also fine. When you start taking steps backward is when you need to start re-evaluating. As long as you aren’t moving backward, you are moving in the right direction.

What you do for fun:
To quote Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  I work for fun. Wine, charity and a team you love isn’t enough? I also love all sports, and pushing my life and surroundings to the extreme.

If you could have dinner with anyone – alive or dead – who would it be and why?
Martin Luther King Jr., because his legacy will live on forever. What he created cannot be captured tangibly, because he caused a shift in culture rather than in a business or an economy. A shift in culture affects everything


TOM LEAHY
President

Most important lesson learned:
You can’t learn anything from sitting on the sidelines.

Next big step:
ONEHOPE Wine selling 100,000 cases, building awareness for our charities and donating more money to those organizations

Advice for other young professionals:
Choose the people you start a business with wisely. Having common goals and open communication makes a difficult task a lot easier.

What you do for fun:
I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter. I also enjoy playing golf.

If you could have dinner with anyone – alive or dead – who would it be and why?
Bobby Jones – he played golf at the highest level and still played the game with character.


BRANDON HALL
Chief marketing officer

Most important lesson learned:
If you’re confident in what you are doing and believe in yourself, nothing can stop you.

Next big step:
Turning ONEHOPE into a nationally recognized brand.

Advice for other young professionals:
Don’t try to re-create the wheel. Learn how it was made and improve it. In other words, find a mentor, don’t be afraid to ask for help, take advice, always continue educating yourself, learn from mistakes, be innovative and, most importantly, have fun.

What you do for fun:
I love spending time friends, meeting new people, snowboarding, golf, sporting events, anything competitive, concerts and traveling whenever I can. My motto is: Work hard – play hard – be happy.

If you could have dinner with anyone – alive or dead – who would it be and why?
Richard Branson – as I mentioned before, there is nothing like learning from someone who has already been there. Branson started his first company when he was 16 years old and has built an empire that includes more than 360 companies. Most importantly, he challenges himself by setting astronomical goals and finds ways to reach them, while at the same time focuses on living life to the fullest and having fun.



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