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Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great story link)

Moderators: MickeyDavis, paulpressey25

Post#1 Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great story li
Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:24 am by paulpressey25

Even though this thread will only get two replies, we needed a thread on this as an RIP and tribute to one of the key guys (really the key guy) in making the Bucks happen here in Milwaukee. I'm going to sticky it for a day.

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/79146797.html

Here is some old SI stuff on Pavalon. Below is a mere excerpt. I'd encourage you guys to read this in-depth profile at the SI Vault link. Very long and great article.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/ ... /index.htm


"....And there'll be action," says Pavalon, who last year created such a broad financial base by insisting that the NBA allow the Bucks to join the league as a public-owned company. Stock in Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services was offered to Wisconsin residents only. Something like 500,000 shares were sold. "I felt the Bucks would have a better chance of success if everybody had a piece," Pavalon says. "Now, if we can just win the right to draft Alcindor, we'll say to the people of Wisconsin—O.K., it's going to take X dollars to get him, do you want him? The ABA is talking about $1 million. I'd say a more realistic price will be whatever the ABA offers plus what we have to add to get him. And I'm sure the people of Wisconsin will say they want him, whatever the cost is going to be. As a public company, the Bucks have a dozen ways of coming up with the money." He began to laugh. "How about this?" he said. "Convertible debentures for Lew Alcindor?" But should Pavalon feel so moved, he might just dip into his own pocket, sort out the loose change and buy the UCLA giant himself. If the mood should take him, he might even make a down payment on UCLA.

At 35, Wesley D. Pavalon is thumpingly rich, multimillionaire rich, and all but the first $1,800 has been earned since 1954. He has so much, in fact, that he says he long ago stopped counting it. "Thirty or 40 or 50 million, or more," he guesses rather grandly. "After you string together all those zeroes, the numbers up front aren't that important." Recently, an associate mentioned that a stock in which Pavalon owns a million or so shares had climbed almost 20 points in 1968. "You made close to $20 million last year," said the associate. "Yeah," said Pavalon, absentmindedly. "That's nice. Now where the devil are the plans for...?"

Pavalon is also:

-A 10th-grade dropout who has a degree from Wright Junior College. When the registrar at Wright asked for his high school diploma, Pavalon went out and bought one for $50. "Fortunately," he says, "no one at the college ever checked. But I sweated a lot while there."

-Founder (with that $1,800), president and chairman of Career Academy, a $200 million-plus international complex of private trade, technical and home-study schools.

-Author of many of the schools' textbooks. "I used to keep the books just one lesson ahead of the classes. Like our course for medical technicians," he says. "I'd spend all day talking to doctors and then spend all night writing for the next day's class. I just took what the doctors said and translated it into layman's terms."

-Holder of a franchise commitment in the proposed professional boxing league, when and if that dream of jack Drees gets off the drawing board.
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Post#2 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:18 pm by unklchuk

John McG talked about Wes Pavalon during the broadcast last night. Made Wes sound like a highly memorable guy. To oversimplify, Wes sounded like an extremely smart, extroverted, caring loner. An owner who got to know his players personally and respected them and their wishes (including Alcindor).

I didn't know Wes, but I saw him from a different direction. I worked for Wes's Career Academy for a few years, developing their home study courses. Our boss was a guy from an academic background with energy and enthusiasm. For a while I thought I was working for a new-style company opening opportunities for folks who lacked education and needed opportunities. Thought I had discovered a real flair for developing the courses.

Eventually I realized that Career Academy was, well, a hoax. Discovered that the reason management praised my courses so much was because they needed product to sell. They couldn't care less how good the product was if looked on the surface to be OK.

I and my associates had no educational background. We designed courses based on our idea of common sense. We made what we included accessible, but who knows how many tons of important content was left out? Our work was never "vetted." We'd finish it in a huge rush to make a deadline. They sell it immediately.

Must have been a bit like the Wall Street fiasco. During the boom, everybody at the top was making lots of money, gleefully. Then it ran its course, and the moneymakers scattered.

I have no problem thinking Wes Pavalon had a number of good qualities. But he wasn't an honest man...
AFAIK, IDKM
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Post#3 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:01 pm by paulpressey25

Unklchuk sermonizing on RealGM posters focusing on too much negativity and financial/contract aspects of things around here.

Pot meet Kettle.
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Post#4 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:09 pm by More Bang For The Bucks

LOL....I wonder what Herbie, the Kohlers, and Menards would say about him?
by LUKE23 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:38 am
I certainly wouldn't be dancing in the streets or bestowing a bunch of praise on Hammond though.
It's like taking three huge dumps on your kitchen floor, then cleaning up one of them.
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Post#5 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:17 pm by paulpressey25

BTW Chuk----have no issues with the content of your post. As that story shows, Pavalon was a promoter guy.

Just sort of amused the first comment after a guy's death is critical. That is how we roll around here.
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Post#6 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:58 pm by rrravenred

Sounds like a smart and sharp operator (both of which terms cut both ways), but he brought basketball to Milwaukee, which still should earn him legendary status.
ElGee wrote:You, my friend, have shoved those words into my mouth, which is OK because I'm hungry.


Got fallacy?
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Post#7 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:38 pm by unklchuk

paulpressey25 wrote:BTW Chuk----have no issues with the content of your post. As that story shows, Pavalon was a promoter guy.

Just sort of amused the first comment after a guy's death is critical. That is how we roll around here.



If that's the case, i think I didn't really fulfill my mandate. I summarized the good things McGlocklin had said about Pavalon. When we're in Negativity mode, aren't we required to acknowledge no positives?

:wink:

If it's a matter of showing respect for those who have passed, I can certainly get with that.

I found it interesting that he, after leaving the public limelight, continued to live in Wisconsin. Rather than buying an island, or enjoying the cream of NYC or LA. Lived on an out-of-the-way estate or something (outside of West Bend?). Didn't go out in public or see many people.

Sounds like there might be a story there. Perhaps, just perhaps, a man who may have taken a hard look at his life and decided to stop living it.
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Post#8 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:59 pm by smooth 'lil balla

unklchuk wrote:Eventually I realized that Career Academy was, well, a hoax. Discovered that the reason management praised my courses so much was because they needed product to sell. They couldn't care less how good the product was if looked on the surface to be OK.


Newflash....most executives at drug companies don't give a sh$t about curing disease either. they care about making money. I'd hardly call this man dishonest based on what you presented.
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Post#9 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:38 am by unklchuk

smooth 'lil balla wrote:
unklchuk wrote:Eventually I realized that Career Academy was, well, a hoax. Discovered that the reason management praised my courses so much was because they needed product to sell. They couldn't care less how good the product was if looked on the surface to be OK.


Newflash....most executives at drug companies don't give a sh$t about curing disease either. they care about making money. I'd hardly call this man dishonest based on what you presented.



Well, if you believe there's a sucker born every minute, and it's a businessman's right to separate them from hundreds or more dollars of their money, while giving them a bogus product, then you won't think the man dishonest.

As far as I know, Wes was never charged with anything. Career Academy (going on memory here) just became discredited and faded away.

In my view, the operation (with me as a participant) was dishonest. I can see you having another view, and am fine with agreeing to disagree.

Once again, I'm not asking folks here to adopt my perspective whole hog. Just saying that IMO it belongs in the overall view.
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Post#10 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:45 pm by smooth 'lil balla

usually the simplest explanation is the best. If the product at career academy was crap and they were telling you to get the crap out as fast as they can so they can make more money, it's probably because they were bad business men, not dishonest people. It's not like that sat around their desk all day to think about how they could best deceive the american public while making a buck.

i hear you though. working for a company like that probably sucked if you actually cared about what you were doing.
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Post#11 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:57 pm by paulpressey25

A lot of these guys who buy pro sports teams are eccentric guys who hit it big with some type of company or venture. Now whether that venture proves to be the next Microsoft and adds real value to the world is a different question.

Heck, look at Mark Cuban. Should he have really been rewarded to the tune of $2 billion dollars for being one of many guys who started up the idea of broadcasting a radio sports event over the internet? It isn't exactly like that was a ground breaking idea unknown to others back in 1995-1998 period. But there he was at a point in history when people decided it was a good idea to lavish millions or hundreds of millions of dollars on 25-30 year olds who came up with obvious ideas like "Hey, let's sell dog food over the internet"

There are only a few guys from that era who in my mind added real value to the world. Guys like Brin and Page at Google for example brought about a truly unique and useful tool.
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Post#12 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:07 pm by unklchuk

smooth 'lil balla's post prompted me to Google for some kind of summation of Career Academy's bright meteoric trail and burned out end. Didn't find much. But there is a long, long page on Career Academy written by ex-students on the resident schools. Our homestudy development office shared a building on Cathedral Square with the resident classrooms - radio broadcasting for the guys and dental assistant for the gals. (Plus, jobs in hotel/motel and maybe others.)

http://tenwatts.blogspot.com/2007/12/ca ... amous.html

There are several long posts by an eventual-Phd guy who graduated from the Milwaukee broadcast school. He also reports some of the legal difficulties. About 80% down the page (findable by searching "academy in milwaukee"). He studied in the same building I worked in. Next door to Victoria's restaurant, wehere one of my co-workers drank a lot of martinis.

Two aspects stand out in the ex-students' comments.

One, a lot of them remember the training and the associated social life (with the dental assistant girls) with great fondness. Some think the quality of the training was good. Some say they later had to never mention Career Academy to get a job. Some had to start as unpaid volunteers. The "glamor" of radio broadcasting both was a magnet attracting students and in the field kept pay levels very low. But that doesn't dull the fondness with which many remember Career Academy and the radio-related careers they've since had.

Career Academy had a number of resident schools in the US and Canada. It seems the cost of running those schools overcame the profits. They may have contributed to the pressure to develop home study courses with lower overhead. And because profits were disappearing, they didn't do it right. (We didn't do it right, though we wanted to think we were.)

The second aspect mentions million-dollar losses, consent decrees to stop deceptive accounting practices, consent decrees to stop deceptive advertising practices. Perhaps that didn't flow from Wes Pavalon. Perhaps that flowed from people who rushed to the company to drink from the silver spring and people who tried "anything" to try to keep the silver flowing.

But my guess (notice the soft word guess) is that Mr. Pavalon was sharp enough to know that his creation was not sustainable. Not validly. That it was built on sleight of hand. That he had created a concept that could be Promoted. Not a concept that had a genuinely useful function and could earn a place in the world of education.

I went to that work for CA after a couple years of boycotting grapes for Cesar Chavez (and associated activities). Took me quite a long time to figure out that I wasn't proud of the work. Might have taken Wes Pavalon (in his executive office) some time to figure out that he wasn't either...


And that is likely my last post on this topic...
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Post#13 Re: Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies (Great stor
Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:05 pm by Nycballa2k

smooth 'lil balla wrote:
unklchuk wrote:Eventually I realized that Career Academy was, well, a hoax. Discovered that the reason management praised my courses so much was because they needed product to sell. They couldn't care less how good the product was if looked on the surface to be OK.


Newflash....most executives at drug companies don't give a sh$t about curing disease either. they care about making money. I'd hardly call this man dishonest based on what you presented.



Are you seriously arguing that a pyramid scheme is NOT dishonest?
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