Mike McQuary

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Mike McQuary
Born Michael Sean McQuary
(1959-10-26) October 26, 1959 (age 58)
Washington DC, U.S.
Residence Atlanta, GA U.S.
Alma mater University of Virginia
Pepperdine University
Occupation Entrepreneur
Years active 1981–present
Known for MindSpring (with Charles Brewer)
Brash Music
Spouse(s) Sheryl Rudloff
(m. 1993; div. 2012)
Children Madison Eileen McQuary
Michael (Mick) Vance McQuary
Tessa Dawn McQuary
Molly Sean McQuary
Parent(s) Harry Otho McQuary III
Mary Elizabeth Hackney

Mike McQuary ("McQ") is an American entrepreneur. He has founded and led a diverse portfolio of companies.

McQuary is the CEO of Autonomous Fusion. He is the former CEO of Wheego Technologies, President and COO of EarthLink & MindSpring and the former CEO of Brash Music. He began his career with nearly a decade of work at Mobil, followed by eight years as an entrepreneur at start up ISP MindSpring Enterprises. As President of MindSpring, he took the company from a fledgling startup, through a successful IPO to a publicly held NASDAQ $1.5 billion company.

As CEO of Wheego Technologies, McQuary developed an all-electric car. He now leads a team of engineers at Autonomous Fusion in the development of an Artificial Intelligence platform for autonomous vehicle technologies.

Education and early career[edit]

Michael Sean McQuary was born in Washington DC on October 26, 1959 and as a child lived in Arlington, VA; Holliston, MA; and Rochester, NY. He attended six different schools in the first six years of his education. He graduated from Midlothian High School in Richmond VA in 1977, where he was student body president and was on the wrestling and tennis teams. McQuary received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1981 where he was on the varsity wrestling team and was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles and did part time construction work and performed at a few open mic nights at The Comedy Store. McQuary's first full time job was selling paper cups for Lily-Tulip Inc. in Southern California. While doing this, he attended Pepperdine University nights and weekends to get his Masters of Business Administration degree in 1985. Also in 1985 he went to work for Mobil as a sales rep in the Plastic Packaging Division of the Chemical Division, and was subsequently promoted through a progression of management jobs in sales, marketing, new product development, and operations with moves from Los Angeles, to San Francisco, to Rochester NY to Atlanta.

MindSpring and Earthlink[edit]

In 1992 McQuary helped develop the concept behind the Internet Service Provider MindSpring with his friend Charles Brewer, who launched the company. As one of thousands of ISPs launched in this time frame, they believed that a true competitive advantage could be created by managing the company based on a set of guiding principles that they referred to as the Core Values and Beliefs. The CVB's empowered employees to take action on customers' behalf and established a unique and exciting work environment that became a model for Internet start-ups. McQuary joined the company as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 1994 when they had service only in Atlanta with 20 employees and 1000 customers. A few months later he was named President and COO of MindSpring and in that position everyone in the company (except Charles) reported to him. He also served on MindSpring's Board of Directors. McQuary helped lead MindSpring through 4 public offerings and established MindSpring as the second largest ISP in the world, behind AOL, and ahead of noteworthy competitors such as Microsoft, Prodigy, AT&T, and all of the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs). MindSpring acquired and integrated over 50 ISPs during this period including Netcom, Sprynet and PSINet's consumer division. MindSpring also won every award given for quality of service including the J. D. Power and Associates Award for best ISP. MindSpring was the first (and one of the few) Internet Service Providers that was profitable. In 1999 MindSpring merged with EarthLink, and McQ continued on as President & COO and served on the Board of the combined company. McQuary left EarthLink in May 2002 to spend more time with his growing family and pursue his other goals. At the time of his resignation, EarthLink (NASDAQ:ELNK) was a $1.5 billion revenue company with 5 million subscribers and 5000 employees offering services that included dial up, DSL, cable and wireless access and web hosting.

Autonomous Fusion[edit]

In June 2014, Wheego Electric Cars began developing tools for autonomous driving using an Artificial Intelligence platform, and in 2016 the company name was changed to Wheego Technologies to reflect their broader scope of business and expertise. In 2016, Wheego was issued a California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit, allowing it to test its vehicles on public roads in that state. In 2018, the company shifted all resources from electric car design to focus exclusively on autonomous driving technologies and changed its name to Autonomous Fusion. Autonomous Fusion is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and is composed of industry experts in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, network communications, sensors and software design. Collectively, the Autonomous team has authored more than 50 patents. The team led by Tom Taylor developed a set of modular deep learning algorithms from the ground-up, and using data from LIDAR, sensors, radar, and cameras have developed a set of autonomous driving tools which are vehicle agnostic. Proprietary technology includes:

ML Fusion: a camera based deep-learning algorithm that uses a Multitask Deep Learning Neural Network approach which leverages multiple prediction targets to produce accurate results with lower computational power.

Fusion Self-Drive. a software solution for complete control of the car using cameras and radar that moves beyond ROS (Robotic Operation System) implementation.

Auto Label. a machine learning system that uses automated annotation for data labeling and makes significant use of synthetic data generation for scaling.

Wheego Autonomous LiFe

In Q4 2017, Autonomous Fusion implemented Visual Odometry for trajectory auto-annotation, computer-vision base lane marker auto-annotation, and teacher-student machine learning segmentation algorithms for free-space auto-annotation, and in-house annotations tools for manual annotation correction.

Wheego Electric Cars and Ruff & Tuff Electric Vehicles[edit]

McQuary was the CEO of Rough and Tuff Electric Vehicles (RTEV) from April 2007 until June 2009. RTEV is a leading manufacturer of battery-powered recreational electric vehicles. In June 2009, RTEV announced the spin-off of Wheego Electric Cars with McQ as the Founder and CEO.[1] Wheego Electric Cars developed and produced a full speed all-electric automobile and sold them through a US dealer network. Early Wheego investors included Tom Noonan, Bert Ellis, Bahnson Stanley, Thomas Tull, Charlie Brady of Invesco, and Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Company. McQuary has made more than 40 trips to Asia, and has developed a network of business associates across the US and Asia.

Wheego Electric Cars Inc. was formed as a spin out from RTEV in June 2009 with McQuary as Founder & CEO. The company was headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and was focused on designing, manufacturing, and selling affordable electric vehicles. Wheego was the first company to successfully modify a Chinese chassis vehicle and shepherd it through US crash testing to full homologation. Its first automobile, the Wheego Whip, was a two-seat compact car that was launched in the United States in August 2009 in partnership with Shuanghuan Auto. The car is based on the "Noble" chassis platform manufactured by Shuanghuan Auto in Shijiazhuang. The final assembly, including the motor, drive train, controller, electronic components and software programming were done in Ontario, CA. Sales began in 2009 by Wheego under the Wheego Whip name in North America, Japan and the Caribbean. It was launched as a low-speed vehicle (LSV), 25 mph (40 km/h) or Medium Speed Vehicle, 35 mph (56 km/h), depending on local state regulations. The low-speed version featured dry cell sealed (AGM) lead-acid batteries with a range of 80 kilometers (50 mi) on a single charge.

2011 Wheego LiFe

In April 2011 Wheego launched the LiFe, a full highway speed automobile powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery pack. The LiFe is a compact car with a chassis also sourced from Shuanghaun in China, with electric drivetrain, transmission and battery system installed in a contract assembly facility in Corona, California. Its 30-kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack is coupled to a 60-horsepower electric motor. Top speed was 65 mph. It became the third all-electric highway speed street legal car for sale in the U.S. after the Tesla Roadster and Nissan Leaf. The LiFe was fully NHTSA/DOT compliant and passed all U.S. crash-testing. It had a range of approximately 100 miles on a single charge. It was sold through an independent dealer network that included the U.S., Japan and the Caribbean. Wheego Electric Cars also developed an all-electric delivery van for use in China for Foxconn who was an investor in Wheego.

Ellis, McQuary & Stanley Investment Firm[edit]

In 2003, McQuary formed Ellis, McQuary & Stanley (EMS), an affiliation with Bert Ellis and Bahnson Stanley. EMS is a private equity investment and consulting firm based in Atlanta. They also own real estate property in West Atlanta.

Other Companies[edit]

Brash Music[edit]

In February 2004, McQuary formed a music services company called Brash Music that was dedicated to breaking the adversarial paradigm of the music business through the same value based culture management that was successful at MindSpring. Originally formed as Sixthman in October 2002, McQ split off into Brash Music when his partners at Sixthman had troubles living up to this same value system. Brash Music is an independent record label with distribution through ADA (Warner Music Group). Managed by Steve Jones who has been the CEO since 2010, artists on Brash Music have included Jump Little Children, Aaron Shust, Rubyhorse, Anthony David, Brian Vander Ark, and Michael Gungor. Brash has sold over 1 million album equivalents (digital and CD), been Grammy nominated, and won a Dove Award.


McQuary was the CEO of UNS (Usenetserver), an Internet Usenet News Service that EMS bought in July 2004, grew 300%, and sold to Highwinds in May 2006.

Madison Grill[edit]

McQuary was the owner of the Madison Grill restaurant in Midtown Atlanta from 2001 to 2008. The Madison Grill was located on the first floor of the EarthLink Building.


McQuary is the son of Harry O. McQuary III (a paper cup salesman) and Mary Hackney McQuary, a self-described gypsy who counted oil painting, astrology, palm reading, hypnotism and gymnastics instruction among her pursuits. He has a younger sister Katherine Elizabeth (Katie). He married the former Sheryl Rudloff in 1993, they divorced in 2012. He has four children: Madison (b. 1999) and triplets Mick, Tess and Molly (b. 2001).

Leadership and Community Service[edit]

McQuary has served on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Chapter of NARAS (Grammys), Novient Inc., and Inner Strength (Atlanta at-risk teen support). He served on the Board of Managers of the University of Virginia Alumni Association from 2000 to 2008. He serves on the Chastain Park Advisory Board. McQuary has been an assistant high school wrestling coach at Marist School since 2009. His wrestlers included Kenneth Brinson who was a three-time National (NHSCA) champion and four time All-American. Along with John McGrath and Fred Kemp he was one of the founders and coaches of the Pittsford NY Youth Wrestling Club in the late 1980s.

He was a youth soccer and basketball coach at the Ashford Dunwoody YMCA from 2005-2012. McQuary has spoken at two Ted Conferences.

External links[edit]