Conversation with Casey

I'm Casey Hughes, Malibu ocean and cyber surfer. Through my personal consulting practice, KMunity (say as "community"... visit www.kmunity.net), I have been fortunate to participate in community and the related "language and process" with many individuals representing large and small scale enterprises.

I began my career in computers in 1975 (after physics studies at the University of California, Irvine ...yes, I was an anteater!). Remember Computers Unlimited, the retail outlet for those crazy computer kits (you're dating yourself if you do as it was way back in 1977)? It was I that founded this small chain of computer stores. Or Kaypro, the lovable luggable... yep, I was a part of that wonderful era in the early 80's, responsible for their dealer channel, User Groups and Channel Programs as a senior executive on that management team from Solana Beach. Or Tandon Computers, with 90% marketshare in PC storage devices (disk drives), less so in branded PC's... 7 years of my growth came from there where I embraced the role as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. Then there was Merisel (www.merisel.com ), the wholesale distributor of microcomputer products. I held more corporate titles there during my 6 year tenure than most do in an entire lifetime (among them were VP Products, VP Merchandising, VP Consumer Products Division, President Channel Services, etc.). Beyond the "titles" could be found many successful implementations towards e-commerce, channel relationships and sales and marketing programs (among them SELline, EDI, DialUP SalesNet, The Channel Symposiums and more). Computer Reseller News labeled me the "…progenitor of computer retailing…" in honor of my work establishing sustainable relationships among the major technology vendors and the traditional retail channel (esp. Office Depot, WalMart, Circuit City and others).

There were smaller moves along my career path including 2 years at Durand Corp. where as COO (and Board Member) I help craft CommunityWare, the first "build your own community platform" (with partner/founder Andre Durand). Building relationships with large enterprises such as LA County, AT&T, the NY Times, CompTIA and Digital Equipment gave us tremendous momentum in launching CommunityWare given its early lead in the paradigm shift towards "community". After the sale of Durand to Webb Interactive Services (www.webb.net ), I joined International Data Group (IDG), where as Chief Community Officer I struggled to transition the publisher mindset to a new understanding of community (it's NOT just about CONTENT damn-it... tee hee). There we launched the new Solutions Integrator Channel and associated web site. More recently at Smalloffice.com, same title (as IDG), same challenges, I helped design, launch and nurture the small office community (www.smalloffice.com ). Through a partnership with the Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov )and their non-profit "Service Corps of Retired Executives" (SCORE), I architected the social and technical designs for bringing business counseling (17,000 retired executive counselors) to small business professionals (www.score.org). As the "distribution channel consultant in residence" for the So. Cal. Technology Executives Network, my seemingly countless years developing reseller channels has been leveraged by many CEOs from companies seeking to expand their sales channels through relationships with VARs, Computer Dealers, OEMs, Retail Chains and the like.

Through the threads of this illustrious career path was woven something wonderful for me... an understanding and deep appreciation for community. Online and offline. Ancient and new. A deep realization and appreciation for the social aspects supported and sustained through the technology.

And so it goes, that I continue my learning, and sharing... mostly through online and on-land collaborations like this (I am an active participant and often facilitator in 4 e-Groups Discussions, 2 AOL Groups, `1 caucus-based "group", 2 CommunityWare-based "groups" and a few hosted on Web Crossings). At AOL/Netscape, I am involved with the development of the new small business portal (www.netcenter.com ) as a member of their Leadership Council. I speak often at conferences as a vehicle for face-2-face connections, among them: NRPA, CTCNet, Comdex, CES, E3, CompTIA, SPA, IICS, PC Expo, VarVision, Baptie, AIP, SOHO Summit and Internet World. The few boards I "sit on" (corporate boards and advisory types) and local community organizations I participate in keep my heart and mind ever expanding. And in my "spare time" I do the best I can to maintain a meager web-presence through my kmunity.net domain (say Community...) where I seek to distribute current knowledge and technologies effective at nurturing sustainable "Communities of Practice" and "Learning Organizations".

I believe in chaos and complexity as the process for natural systems to self-replicate, love the language of fractal mathematics and am a student of the chaordic alliance, organized by Dee Hock (www.chaordic.org ). With friend, partner and neighbor, Max Gail, actor and social activist, I am working to illuminate a new process for community development called LAP: a Local Access Proposal (check out www.lap.org). I'm applying the LAP Principles and Philosophy towards SOHO independence (GO Free Agents!) by using it as the basis for programming at a series of SOHO Community Symposiums planned in 2001 (6 cities currently planned...others emerging… see www.soholap.com for details)). Through the symposium format, we'll be running "SOHO Laps", where we can effectively explore the changing overlaps in the local sectors of business, government, education and associations. Something I affectionately refer to as "connecting the dots" of the Internet domains.  Its time for this "conversation" to accelerate and meaningful towards a more integrated community, locally and globally, among all public and private enterprises.

I have 2 wonderful children and best friends: Justin, a junior at Berkeley and Chelsea, 7th grader here in Malibu. The love of my life, Birgitte is a 15-year yoga instructor bringing balance and calm to my otherwise chaordic existence. We all share a deep passion for the ocean, where I spend my free time surfing and scuba diving.

If you haven't gathered by now, I am not afraid to be open, am outspoken on issues close to me, love our planet and MOST of it's tenants. I believe we all share in the responsibility for sustainable futures, for communities and our biosphere. And to that end, I remain,

In Community

Casey Hughes

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Contact:

Casey Hughes

29257 Heathercliff Road

Malibu, CA 90265

casey@kmunity.net

310-457-2146

Healing 9.11

 

 

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