MaxDaddy was founded by a group of dog-loving professionals who are passionate about producing healthy products for dogs to help them live their best life. MaxDaddy cofounders are a multi-generational team from Baby Boomers, to Gen X and Millennials with a unique mix of skills and experience and a core belief that “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
It was love at first sight when Carol Gardner met the four-month-old chunky English bulldog who she named Zelda. Divorced, living on four credit cards and recovering from two broken legs, it may sound like a dramatic movie made for the big screen, but it was Carol Gardner’s life when she started her business, Zelda Wisdom, Inc. With her background as a creative director in advertising she recognized that “there is a little Zelda in all of us.” Gardner launched the Zelda Wisdom, Inc. greeting card line using photos of her lovable pup, Zelda. Within six months over a million Zelda greeting cards had been sold. Eventually Zelda became Hallmark’s number one selling mass greeting card line. Zelda quickly was recognized as America’s Top Dog with over 200 licensed products including calendars, books, figurines, stuffed animals, apparel, etc. Today Carol Gardner, along with her amazing partners, has launched MaxDaddy Inc., a new company, based on her rescued English Bulldog, (and Zelda’s boyfriend), MaxDaddy.
Terry Beard is the founder of Beard Frame Shops and Frame Central Stores, and Beards Online Picture Framing. Terry grew Beard’s Frame Shops from the single store company into a 37-location regional chain with hundreds of employees in the Pacific Northwest competing with national chains. In 1999, Terry merged Beards with NW Framing in Seattle. Terry is actively involved in Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). He serves on the Board of Directors for several local organizations and in October 2015, was the founding charter member of the Portland Rotary Toastmaster Club. He is also the author of Squelched: Succeeding in Business and Life by Finding Your Voice.
Nathan Schmitt is a native Oregonian, born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Concordia University, he co-founded TreeFort Ventures, in 2011, where he worked with startups. Before TreeFort Ventures he worked at American Eagle Outfitters. Nathan grew up surrounded by pets. Ranging from Axolotls to German Shepherds. His first pet was a crawfish that he found during a summer camping trip to Lost Lake when he was six years old. Nathan owns English Bulldogs and will have one by his side forever.
Zach Langbert has spent his career leveraging technology to solve challenging business problems. He has held a wide range of engineering roles in the energy and retail spaces. Zach grew up on the west coast of Florida, managing to narrowly avoid all major hurricanes. Family pets include a Boston terrier named Coco who is very protective of his sister Lily, a French bulldog. Lily is small of size but large of spirit, and is willing to take on an opponent of any size. Zach currently lives in Portland, Oregon and he has yet to get used to the rain.
Brian Lexmond is the founder of Lexmond Communications, a creative services and marketing agency started in 2005 focused on on helping companies understand the value of effective internal communications as a key business driver impacting recruitment, engagement and employee retention. Brian is passionate about bringing together simple copywriting and creative design with the right media to capture the hearts and minds of employees. Brian brings that same passion and creativity to MaxDaddy in developing the MaxDaddy brand across all media channels to clearly communicate what makes MaxDaddy products so special. Brian is the proud owner of two happy and energetic French Bulldog brothers named Boomer and Cheeto who live their lives thinking the world revolves around them.
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