Dr. Wayne Dorband| Founder of The Center for Ecolonomic Excellence and Development (CEED)
Success leaves clues
Finance Strategists sat down with Dr. Wayne Dorband, founder of the Center for Ecolonomic Excellence and Development. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, anf future of the company, as well as the insight he gained while running the nonprofit.
Who is Dr. Wayne Dorband?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
I am Dr. Wayne Dorband, and I am a serial entrepreneur. I have started hundreds of businesses in the last 50+ years and most have involved the areas of ecology and environment. I have an Associates degree from Bethany Lutheran University, a BS from University of California, Irvine, and a PhD from the University of Idaho. I was a college Professor at Augustana University for a number of years and started an Environmental Sciences program there. I have founded and co-founded several companies that have grown to be quite large (ATC, Cherokee, IRG, ERIC), and I am now privileged to be the CEO of the 501c3 non-profit, The Institute of Ecolonomics, that was founded by the now deceased famous actor Dennis Weaver. From that I founded The Center for Ecolonomic Excellence and Development, LLC here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Northern Colorado. Our mission is to help people make a little money making the planet better. We have a very successful online education system with almost 30,000 members called the Ecolonomic Action Team (www.eatcommunity.com). My wife Deb and I operate a regenerative ranch where CEED and IOE are based.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
My biggest life influencer by far is my wife Deb, who has been my best friend, business partner, and life partner for almost 37 years. She is the most level-headed, caring, and thoughtful person I know. We have very different personalities and she compliments me in a very positive way. She is highly intelligent, and is a great listener, and a quiet leader. She has influenced me to be more calm and caring about my relationships in business and life. I would definitely be a much less successful leader and founder without here in my life.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have told yourself when you were in your twenties?
I would have told myself to be much more patient with my people management attitude. I would have told myself to be less overbearing in my management style. I would have told myself to avoid over-leveraging with debt, and I would have told myself to be less judgemental about people in my sphere of influence. Finally, I would have told myself to sleep more. I was convinced for many years that I only needed to sleep 2-4 hours per day and that was a huge mistake.
Q: What is The Center for Ecolonomic Excellence and Development (CEED)?
CEED is an incubator and accelerator for businesses that have goals to make some money making the planet better – ecolonomics. We operate as both physical locations for this incubation and acceleration to occur, and as an online facilitator of incubation and acceleration. We operate with a sharing economy mentality. CEED typically provides the space (location), equipment, and supplies for a new business to utilize. Sometimes we also provide financial support. The business founders provide their technical expertise and their passion for the business they are developing. We then both share in the profits and benefits of the business we are jointly developing.
Q: What makes your company different from its competitors?
We really do not have any specific competitors. Our concept of business acceleration and incubation for ecological and environmental companies is rather unique. We have land and facilities on which to operate businesses that few other companies have. Our online education is different from competition because we have both free and paid options and we use topic specific experts to teach and educate.
Q: What led you to start (CEED)?
I was led to start CEED by my entrepreneurial spirit and drive and my desire to regenerate the planet for continued use for thousands of years into the future. Specifically, being asked by Dennis Weaver to take over the operations of the Institute of Ecolonomics was the start of the idea for the founding of CEED. We felt that we needed a location and process in which to monetize the support of businesses desiring to make some money making the planet better. I had experience redeveloping environmentally impaired properties into useful commercial/industrial business parks, and I believed we could do the same thing with our Northern Colorado property to develop it into an “Ecological Business Park”. We have been successfully able to do that using CEED as our business entity for the ecological redevelopment.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
I have learned that many people truly want to make the planet better through ecolonomic actions. I have also learned how hard it is to be a really good online education provider. Finally I have learned that we have a long way to go to be doing the right things globally and locally to preserve and regenerate our planet for long term sustainability.
Q: Where do you see things headed for you in the next 5 years?
I am looking for a successor for CEED right now. I am 68 years old, and I really want to find someone much younger to continue to grow CEED into the future. I believe our online learning platform can be greatly expanded and improved, and that we can do much more with our accelerator process at our live location. I am going to pursue two passions in a greater manner moving forward – tennis and retriever field training. I also want to spend more time with my four adult children and grandchildren.
The Institute of Ecolonomics (IOE) is a non-profit 501c3 entity providing business development services to entrepreneurs with ideas, technologies, and inventions that when implemented will make the planet better while generating a sustainable profit. Learn more at www.eatcommunity.com.