March 18, 1970 |
Pretoria, South Africa
|Residence||San Rafael, California, USA|
|Occupation||Chairman of The Kerner Group|
|Spouse(s)||Elise Edmeades (Crozier)|
|Children||Daniel Thomas Edmeades (1997)|
Eric Edmeades (born 18 March 1970) is a Canadian businessman and professional speaker. Edmeades is best known for his international motivational speaking and philanthropy. In August 2009, Edmeades acquired and became Chairman of Lucasfilm spin-off, Kerner Optical and subsequently founded the Kerner Group. Edmeades’ first successful business venture was The ITR Group, a supplier, integrator and maintainer of mobile computers, wireless networking technology and laser imaging technologies. He sold a majority share in the ITR Group in 2006 and retired from the IT sector.
Edmeades flew around the world 6 times in the years following the sale of The ITR Group. He conducts annual adventure expeditions, undertakes philanthropic projects and works to establish schools  in East Africa.
Edmeades took up wildlife photography at 12 and is still a keen wildlife photographer with experience in India, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and Canada.
Edmeades was born in Pretoria, South Africa, the son of South African lawyer Baz Thomas Edmeades and entrepreneur Delphine du Toit. His paternal great-grandfather, Thomas Dreyer, discovered the Florisbad Skull and his maternal great-grandfather, Jakob Louis van Wyk, proposed the formation of the Kruger National Park in the South African Volksraad. This family history has influenced Edmeades and his interest in nature conservation, wildlife photography and nutritional anthropology.
Edmeades was educated at Queen Elizabeth High in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John's School of Alberta. He also studied Archaeology at the University of Bristol in the west of England but did not complete the degree program.
Edmeades is dyslexic but argues that, while some may see dyslexia as a disease or weakness, it can be a strength.
Edmeades is the elder of two bothers. Nik Edmiidz (changed his name to phonetic spelling) is 2 years younger and now lives in Japan with his wife and three children.
Edmeades was married to Amanda Pope; their only child, a son, was born in 1997. The couple are now divorced.
Early Professional Life
Edmeades started his business life immediately following school when, in 1988, he was recruited to sell Kirby Vacuums in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He often refers to this time in his speeches, citing the experience as integral to the development of his sales and business skills.
Edmeades went on to join, as the first full-time employee, Ryzex Re-Marketing, a Vancouver-based tech start-up that specialized in hand held computers and bar code readers. After significant personal and business success with Ryzex, including the launch of their European operations, Edmeades resigned his position citing broken promises of equity.
While working at Ryzex, Eric also published the Internet's first e-zine focused on business and personal development. The magazine was inspired by Napoleon Hill's work and was called the Success Express Journal. It was published from 1994 to 1996 and claimed circulation of 15,000 people from 70 countries.
Edmeades went on to co-found, with his then wife, The ITR Group (then known as Tera-Technologies Limited) in Bristol, England. The company, like his previous employer, focused initially on the purchase and resale of hand held computers and quickly grew to become a leading integrator of mobile computing, wireless networking and laser imaging technologies. Edmeades was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Bristol Evening Post in 2005 and went on to sell the business to private buyers for an undisclosed sum in 2006.
Edmeades sits on TEDxMarin's advisory board.
Edmeades wrote a fictional book about African Wilddogs entitled, "Intombi - A Dog's Life". The book was published in 2010 and is noted as the first book in a six-book series.
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- Success, in life, is most easily measured by the number of days you are truly happy.
- To accomplish great things, we must not only believe and dream, but also plan and act.
In August 2009, Edmeades purchased a majority interest in, and became CEO of, Kerner Optical. Kerner Optical, a Lucasfilm spinoff, was previously the practical and physical effects division of Industrial Light and Magic. The company was purchased from Lucasfilm in 2006 by the management team who opted to retain the name "Kerner" as a tribute to Lucas's use of the name as a subterfuge to keep Star Wars and movie fans from rummaging through the rubbish bins and snooping around the property.
Eric has since founded a number of other companies that, together, comprise The Kerner Group, including Kernerworks, a prototyping and research company that undertakes government projects including the design and manufacture of lifelike medic training dummies for training military medics, and Kerner 3D Technologies, a 3D Camera system manufacturer.
Edmeades also had plans to move into feature film production, with a focus on 3D movie development.
In November 2009, Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Kerner 3D Technologies announced the establishment of a stereoscopic 3-D research studio. The studio will undertake local film production, experimental film and the establishment of certification and degree-level education of stereographers. Edmeades signed the agreement to establish the center at a ceremony on 20 November 2009.
Kerner Optical filed for Bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy code in early 2011 and seven months later was closed down in a Chapter 7 conversion. The Chapter 7 conversion was brought on because one of the previous owners and managers of the company, Kevin Duncan of Duncan Oil and Silver Oak, petitioned the court to replaced Edmeades' management team with a trustee, claiming mismanagement by Edmeades. Duncan made this petition despite his awareness that Kerner Optical was having its best year in business and was on track for its first ever profitable year. Duncan and his partners had managed the company for its first three years, incurring millions of dollars in debt (much of which was owed to Duncan himself) before selling the company to Edmeades. Edmeades maintains that Kevin Duncan and his father Ray Duncan defrauded him in a complicated transaction that included concealing the identity Joseph T. Sevitski, Kevin Duncan's business partner and a convicted felon whom had once faced an indictment by the state of California that carried a 483 year prison sentence.
Edmeades was traveling in Bali in May 2006 when a major earthquake struck on the island of Java, Indonesia. He rented a truck, filled it with food, water and medical supplies and—against government advice—went to Jogja to undertake first hand relief work. After undertaking the relief work the driver he hired stole his rented truck and everything in it, stranding Edmeades in Java.
Hurricanes Ike and Hanna
In September 2008 Edmeades was at home in Turks and Caicos when Hurricane Hanna, the deadliest storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season hit Turks and Caicos twice. Immediately after Hurricane Hanna, Hurricane Ike, the third costliest hurricane in history, also hit the Turks and Caicos Islands doing approximately $500 million in Damages.
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- Desantis, Jeannette (20 August 1995). "Owner of Westlake Firm Faces Fraud Charges on Investments". LA Times. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Earthquake Relief Work; For Real". TravelBlog. 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2006-06-01.
- KMBC-TV Kansas City (2008). "Haiti's Hanna Death Toll Jumps; US On Alert.". KMBC-TV Kansas City. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- "Hanna Hits Turks and Caicos". CNN. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
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