Paul Terry, president and chief executive officer of the Cedar Band Corporation, spoke at the Southern Utah University Entrepreneurship Series on Tuesday, during which he talked about his journey and experiences as an entrepreneur and innovator.
Cedar Band Corporation, headquartered in Cedar City, is a tribal-owned corporation providing technology solutions to federal agencies and commercial industries.
Terry focused the first portion of his speech on discussing the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the economy and stated that despite the fact that it has provoked one of the worst economic downfalls since the Great Depression and caused unemployment rates to skyrocket, it has also pushed and encouraged innovation.
He stated that technology innovations have all progressed greatly since the pandemic.
“Who wouldn’t want to be on a different planet as we experience the next pandemic?” Terry said. “Let’s use the pressure and opportunity created by COVID-19 to press for change to create a solid culture of innovation and prevention in both the private and public sectors.”
Terry then went on to share a personal experience of a startup failure due to a poor name choice of “Desert Storm,” as it reminded people of the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia, called Operation Desert Storm, which was controversial.
He then told a story of success, when Terry started his own company during his time working in Silicon Valley in Northern California. His company, a car wrap marketing service, went on to do business with Disney Consumer Products Division for the Magic Las Vegas Fashion Buyers and Brands Show multiple times.
“These two ventures, one a wonderful failure and one a wonderful success, as well as an 11-year career in corporate legal departments in varying industries, from technology to healthcare, insurance to banking, to defense contracting, grew me into my current 12-year role at Cedar Band Corporation,” Terry said..
Terry shared that he wished he had heeded the lessons in the book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. He shared a quote from the book that read, “Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile in kindergarten.”
Terry closed his speech by encouraging the audience to innovate and lead the future.
“Let’s you and I choose now to start up, stand up, and grow up companies that will make this world even a little better tomorrow than it is today,” Terry said.
The recording of Paul Terry’s full SUU Entrepreneurship Speaker Series speech can be viewed here. The speech, held in the Dixie L. Leavitt Business Building, was hosted by SUU’s Entrepreneurship program.
Story by: Sasha Johnson