Norm gives thanks for “my wonderful, courageous spouse, two resourceful, thoughtful children and three ingenious, caring grandchildren.”
Throughout his life, Norm has been an active outdoor enthusiast who has always made time to participate in sports. Norm had a successful career in marketing that spanned 45 years. He founded or co-founded three marketing/consulting/advertising firms representing a variety of blue chip clients including AT&T, Quaker State, Ralston Purina, Walgreens, Nordic Track, Sonicare, John Deere, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Playboy Magazine and the Chicago Bulls.
Norm’s industry and community service activities have usually favored marketing and educational opportunities. In 1975, he helped launch the Journal of Media Planning at Northwestern University. He was a founding Director and Officer of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago and a Director of Chicago Metro History Fair. From 2000 to 2008, Norm served on the Board of Directors of Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and is still involved in committee counsel. Norm also served on the Board of College Bound Opportunities, a mentoring organization for low income, first generation scholars, and was a marketing advisor for a prominent chamber music ensemble.
He is an avid amateur pianist who has studied classical repertoire since he could reach the keyboard.
Since early childhood, I’ve had very flat feet. When I was seven, I began using doctor recommended arch supports in my shoes. By the age of twelve, I had graduated to wearing orthotic footwear, which I continued to wear, with orthotics, for the next 55 years.
I have always enjoyed exercising and participating in sports. I was never very good at any particular sport but tried them all, from pickup softball and basketball games to bowling, skiing and racquetball. I always wore custom made inserts in my workout shoes and tennis shoes and my feet were always killing me after every game. I also loved to hike and camp in the wilderness even though foot and knee pain was my constant companion.
In 2006, I met two entrepreneurs who were launching a promising insole product, claiming that their company’s insoles would alleviate all manner of foot, leg, hip, and back pains caused by regular use of conventional footwear and supportive insoles. Their science and products were supported by a medical advisory board that consisted of world leaders in orthopedics, sports chiropractic, and sports training.
Being an unhappy orthotics junkie since age twelve, I was intrigued by their story and accepted a free pair to test the product for myself. Two weeks later, my foot, leg, and back pains had disappeared, and I pitched my direct response advertising services on a pay for performance basis because I wanted to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
They didn’t refuse, and I helped the company grow over the next few years until a shareholder dispute and related litigation effectively shut the company down.
Several years after the company ceased operations, Bruce Comstock, the medical advisor who had the greatest clinical experience with the original insoles, formed a new company called Barefoot Motion, wanting to develop an improved insole technology. Barefoot Motion was seeking investors to fund the research for the new technology and I agreed to make a modest investment in the project.
After several years of promising research, Barefoot Motion didn’t have the financial resources to properly market the technology in the marketplace. After testing the new insole prototypes, I knew that this new technology was not only better than the original insoles, it could literally change peoples’ lives. I felt it imperative that this new technology reach the masses and offered to help raise the funds to accomplish this.
Barefoot Motion accepted my offer and, as a result, I came out of retirement to found Biopods, LLC. I am both excited and proud to be part of this endeavor and honored to work with such an outstanding team.
I also trashed my extensive AND expensive collection of orthotics.
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