Dr. Catherine M.  Lewis-Time to Get Tough: How Cookies

Dr. Catherine M. Lewis

Bio

Dr. Catherine M. Lewis is Assistant Vice President of Museums, Archives & Rare Books; director of the Museum of History and Holocaust Education; and professor of history at Kennesaw State University. She received her BA with honors in English and history from Emory University and her MA and PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She is the author, coeditor, or coauthor of fourteen books, including Bobby Jones and the Quest for the Grand Slam, Don’t Ask What I Shot: How Eisenhower’s Love of Golf Helped Shape 1950s America, Jim Crow America, and Museums in a Global Context. She recently completed Memories of the Mansion: The Story of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion with First Lady Sandra Deal and Dr. Jennifer Dickey. Dr. Lewis has curated more than forty exhibits for organizations around the nation, including the Atlanta History Center, Delta Air Lines, the United Way, the Breman Museum, and Augusta National Golf Club. She regularly presents at national and international conferences and serves on numerous boards, including the Women’s Leadership Committee at Kennesaw State University, the Yates Scholarship Board for the Georgia State Golf Association, and the Museum Committee for the United States Golf Association. In 2018 she was named chair of the Robert T. Jones Jr. Program, a partnership between Emory University and the University of St. Andrews.

Sessions

Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life

An inspirational and unconventional Georgia-grown success story. Michael J. Coles, the cofounder of the Great American Cookie Company and the former CEO of Caribou Coffee, did not follow a conventional path into business. He does not have an Ivy League pedigree or an MBA from a top-ten business school. He grew up poor, starting work at the age of thirteen. He had many false starts and painful defeats, but Coles has a habit of defying expectations. His life and career have been about turning obstacles into opportunities, tragedies into triumphs, and poverty into philanthropy. In Time to Get Tough, Coles explains how he started a $100-million company with only $8,000, overcame a near-fatal motorcycle accident, ran for the U.S. Congress, and set three transcontinental cycling world records. His story also offers a firsthand perspective on the business, political, and philanthropic climate in the last quarter of the twentieth century and serves as an important case study for anyone interested in overcoming a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Readers will also discover practical leadership lessons and unconventional ways of approaching business.

Interviewer: Rodney Ho

Rodney Ho is an entertainment blogger at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the publication for 20 years over two stints. He has previously covered education, banking, transportation, entrepreneurship, youth culture, and nightlife. His current TV and Radio Talk blog is one of the most popular blogs at the AJC. He has been married to attorney Helen Kim Ho for nine years and has an adopted daughter and two adorable dogs.

  • Historic DeKalb Courthouse presented by Creative Flame Media
  • Sat 11:15-12:00p Courthouse

Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Lead to a Success in Business and Life

Michael J. Coles, the cofounder of the Great American Cookie Company and the former CEO of Caribou Coffee, did not follow a conventional path into business. He does not have an Ivy League pedigree or an MBA from a top-ten business school. He grew up poor, starting work at the age of thirteen. He had many false starts and painful defeats, but Coles has a habit of defying expectations. His life and career have been about turning obstacles into opportunities, tragedies into triumphs, and poverty into philanthropy. In Time to Get Tough, Coles explains how he started a $100-million company with only $8,000, overcame a near-fatal motorcycle accident, ran for the U.S. Congress, and set three transcontinental cycling world records. His story also offers a firsthand perspective on the business, political, and philanthropic climate in the last quarter of the twentieth century and serves as an important case study for anyone interested in overcoming a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Readers will also discover practical leadership lessons and unconventional ways of approaching business.

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