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Source: Brandon University

BU Faculty of Arts Liberal Arts Speakers' Series and Investor's Group present Frank O'Dea, co-founder of Second Cup

October 25, 2006

On Wednesday, November 15, Second Cup co-founder and self made business success Frank O'Dea will visit Brandon to give a presentation on The Spirit of the Entrepreneur for Brandon University students, Investor's Group Brandon clients and guests. The presentation is part of the Brandon University Faculty of Arts Liberal Arts Speakers' Series, generously sponsored by Investor's Group Brandon. Mr. O'Dea's talk is by invitation only, and will take place at the Royal Oak Inn and Suites Brandon (located at 3130 Victoria Avenue). A reception with hot hors d'oeuvres and cash bar will begin at 6:30 and the 60-minute presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m.

In his The Spirit of the Entrepreneur presentation, Frank shares with his audience how he started his various businesses. The engaging story of the early years of the Second Cup gives his listeners the inside story on the growth of a Canadian retail landmark. He also talks of the challenges that he overcame in starting Proshred Security, a document shredding service, before people knew they needed such a service. He will describe the unique solutions that he developed in financing very expensive, one-of-a-kind equipment that conventional lenders wouldn’t touch. The result became a national business stretching across Canada and into the USA and Europe. He will talk of his role in starting Samaritan Air, Ontario’s first fixed-wing air ambulance service, which expanded into a major emergency transporter of auto parts. Bringing his entrepreneurial spirit to the not-for-profit sector, Frank’s listeners will hear about the serendipitous meeting that became Street Kids International, and how the War Child (Canada) came into existence, as well as how a late-night phone call from the Minister of External Affairs became the Canadian Landmine Foundation. Tying all this together with his view on the three fundamentals that made all this work for him, Frank leaves his audience with fine examples of where one person can go, and provides a roadmap on how to get there.

As a self-made man that went from homelessness to international business success, O'Dea's tale of triumph over adversity is a genuinely empowering Canadian success story that shows what one person can do with a little bit of hope and is sure to provide inspiration and motivation for students and seasoned business people alike. For a full biography of Frank O'Dea, please see the attached.

The Brandon University Faculty of Arts extends a special thank you to Investor's Group Brandon for their generous sponsorship of the Liberal Arts Speakers' Series.

Frank O'Dea is available for phone interviews prior to the day of the presentation, and will be available to local media on November 15.

Biography - Frank O'Dea

In his teens, Frank O’Dea’s life went off the rails into a downward spiral. Within a few years, he was living in 50-cent-a-night flop houses in Toronto’s bowery district where just surviving was about all one could do in a day.

At 23, with the courage to hope for a better life, Frank began the long road back. Within a few years, he co-founded The Second Cup, which soon became the largest chain of gourmet coffees in Canada. Building on that success, he went on to co-found Proshred Security, a company that pioneered the entire industry of on-site document destruction and soon became an international organization.

As a successful businessperson, Frank took steps to give back to the community, serving on the boards of directors of charities and not-for-profit organizations. In 1985 he co-founded Street Kids International, an organization that helps homeless children in third world countries, through education and self-reliance programs. He then became the founding Chair of War Child (Canada), an organization that provides assistance against suffering and abuse of children in war affected countries. In the same year, Frank co-founded the Canadian Landmine Foundation, an organization that raises funds for the dismantling of minefields. He went on to initiate that organization’s most successful fund-raising program, "Night of a Thousand Dinners", with participation from some 30,000 thousand people in 29 countries.

Frank's success, along with his service to NGOs and his international exposure, created a demand for his services in organizations across the country. He now serves on the boards of private and public companies and not-for-profit organizations. In this capacity, he has become an authority on the transitions of boards to the much-talked-about good governance model. Recently, Frank attended Government House in Ottawa to be invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General.

For more information on Frank O'Dea, please visit his web site at:

For more information regarding Mr. O'Dea's Brandon visit, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Kelly Stifora
Communications Officer
Brandon University
Phone: (204) 727-9762

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