Daymond John

Daymond John pictured in 2018.

The Hill City will soon be swimming with sharks.

Well, one shark, at least.

Entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John will share his principles of business at the University of Lynchburg on Nov. 21 as part of the school’s Gifford Lecture Series.

The series, which was last held in 2017, brings nationally recognized business leaders and experts to speak at UL’s College of Business. Previous guests have included Academy Award-winning producer Jon Landau; Sherron Watkins, the whistleblower who brought down Enron; and Wally Amos, of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookie Company.

“We wanted to really reinstitute [the Gifford lecture] with a bang,” said Nancy Hubbard, dean of UL’s College of Business.

The founder, CEO and branding expert behind FUBU (pronounced foo-boo), John turned the streetwear company he started in his mother’s basement in Queens, New York, into a $6 billion empire.

John has appeared as an investor on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning business reality show “Shark Tank” since it premiered in 2009 and runs the consulting firm The Shark Group.

The entrepreneur also is a New York Times bestselling author; his sixth book, “Powershift,” comes out in March 2020.

“He is the personification of hard work and talent and making, on balance, really great decisions,” Hubbard said.

The Gifford Lecture Series, which is funded by the Richard P. Gifford Endowment, also puts an emphasis on ethics in business, Hubbard added, making John’s appearance a good fit.

“For him to be as successful as he has been in building a brand with a really great reputation, that comes down to brand management, and brand management is a large part [of] ethical behavior,” she said.

During his lecture, John will share the five keys to his success, which he calls the SHARK points.

Hubbard said she hopes everyone who attends John’s lecture will leave feeling inspired.

“It’s one of these cases where someone with good, creative ideas, combined with a ton of hard work reached the American Dream,” she said, “and hopefully people will come away energized and enthused that this is possible for them.”

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