Jeffrey Proud started a work career as an apprentice to a mechanical engineer, tool, die, and fixture maker at Terado Corporation from 1959-1962.
Jeffrey joined the US Army active reserve in 1963 and served on active duty until the end of 1963.
He joined Hydrotex, a basement water-proofing business, in 1963 and served as a VP of that firm. He helped take the firm public in 1963 and stayed with the firm until 1965.
Jeffrey owned and operated the Tiki-God Restaurant and Bar in Minneapolis in 1965-1966
In 1966-1968 Jeffrey worked for Univac Division of the Sperry-Rand Corporation. He worked as a reports control supervisor, a backup vault manager, an internal computer scheduler, and a programmer. He also worked in engineering with the Univac II, Univac File Computer, Univac 1004, Univac 490, the Univac defense systems submarine fire control systems, and the 1170 series commercial computers.
Jeffrey also owned and operated a real estate developer firm started in 1964 which sold its last property holdings in 1972. While he was principal of this firm he owned and operated a fourplex apartment and a few houses, this led to the development and construction of a twelve unit apartment building in Minneapolis and partial ownership in several downtown Minneapolis apartment buildings. In the later 1970s Proud developed a 30 unit townhouse development in White Bear Lake Minnesota and a 60 unit apartment complex in Roseville, Minnesota.
Jeffrey finished his active duty and took electronic courses in microwave technology, satellite transmission, and undersea cable communications in the US Army from 1974-78. He earned a BS degree from the University of Maryland while on active duty in the Army.
Jeffrey trained as a Hospital Manager for American Management Systems, a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation. He was supervisor of housekeeping, maintenance, and infection control at San Francisco General Hospital in 1979. He was assigned as Manager of infection control, laundry, maintenance and housekeeping for Yakima County Hospital in 1979-1980.
In 1980, Proud Industries, Incorporated was re-established from a real-estate holding company to an electronic component representative sales corporation. The electronic sales division was run by Alice Proud and Jeffrey Proud took electronic engineering and management contracts working for the company. Jeffrey operated as a salesman for the company when not engaged in engineering or other business consulting projects.
In 1980 Jeffrey Proud took a contract for an electronic engineering and research project in plasma arc physics with a division of General Mills, Inc. This project was researching hydroponic growing systems for raising crops in enclosed building in colder climates to establish close proximity to markets. He worked with another engineer, Charles Nutter (and his company), on developing a high-efficiency ballast for High Pressure Sodium Plasma Arc Lamps, and the overall electronic growing systems for the entire plant. The General Mills division was named PhytoFarms and was sold to an outside company in 1980. Jeffrey Proud remained with PhytoFarms of America and was given the position of General Manager and VP of the company…he later served as COO. Jeffrey was considered an expert in high-efficiency lighting, hydroponic growing systems, urban “vertical” growth systems and controls and in Aquaculture.
In 1985 Jeffrey returned to the electronic sales business and took a contract to turn-around an electronic power supply company. Jeffrey liquidated the company in 1986.
1987-1991 Jeffrey joined Nguyen Electronics Inc., as its COO. This was a high capacity electronic assembly operation, building commercial electronic communications modems, computer assemblies, and full computers made for various PC manufacturers. Jeffrey sold his interest in NEI in 1991.
Jeffrey bought a portion of and electronic engineering firm, J. Gordon Electronic Design, in 1995 and was the sales representative for the company. Jeffrey helped the company by buying ⅓ of a building, an office-electronic lab facility, in 1997. The company was sold in 1999, the building was retained by the corporate partners. Jeffrey Proud bought out one partner and the two remaining partners sold the 12,000 square food facility in 2002.
Jeffrey became a teacher in 1999. He went back to college and received an MS degree (education) from the University of Saint Catherine’s in Saint Paul, MN, and a PhD degree (education) from Kingsbridge University in 2008. He wrote the book “Megasmart” for the PhD degree.
It was 1999, we sold our business and I retired. Early in my working career I made it a goal to retire at 55; but retirement didn’t seem to work the way I thought it would. This is the essence of my story for you; I became a teacher at 55 and my life changed. Before that, I had been an entrepreneur for nearly my entire life. There were periods of time when I had a job. I was a employee for approximately 10 of my 50 total years in business; that leaves 40 years on my own…that should be more than enough to qualify as an entrepreneur, right?
1999 was a pivotal year. It started out with a heart attack (don’t worry, it wasn’t that bad…I’ll tell more about that later). I was a partner in an electronic engineering business; we sold the engineering business in 1999 to larger engineering firm that wanted to expand their business. The sale put me in a ‘non-compete’ mode, therefore, I retired. When the smoke cleared, and the lawyers left, I was no longer employed, a “retired” person. I liked being retired for about six months. After all, I believed that you could only retire at 55 if you had achieved a measure of success in business. It meant you could afford to take leisure time, travel around, and enjoy places at a relatively young age. Well, I found out beautiful Alice (my wife) had a life for herself at home during the day and my additional home time was bothering her. Not that we didn’t get along; it’s just that she was around the house by herself on most days and now I was interfering with her routine. This isn’t because she was idle. She was a rather busy person, she ran another business. She was the CEO of Proud Industries, an electronic representative component sales company and a stocking electronic components distributor. That’s how we ended up with me working in the electronic engineering business. We were sales representatives for the engineering business…I sold a large amount of business for the engineering company, landing a couple of major customers; therefore, the company was grateful and offered a package where I gained a favorable ownership position, and, in addition, got a better sales contract. Both of us ended up in good shape to “retire” at 55.