American University Rubbing Elbows Current Issue Unpacked: Surf's Up Michael Bleau, Kogod/BSBA, SIS/BA ’07, CEO, Events Locker We started Events Locker, an exhibitor management platform and marketplace for live event organizers, in 2015. This spring we were accepted to Techstars Anywhere 2019, a top startup accelerator program. I’m outside a lot—hiking, surfing, and walking my dog—and I burn fast. Tanning is not in my DNA. I’m based in LA and my business partner runs our Seattle office, so we use video conferencing a lot. We’ve worked with hundreds of festivals, expos, and races—including five of the top 10 US marathons. I listened to The Lean Startup by Eric Ries when I was getting my company off the ground. It’s a great guide to creating a successful business culture. I started surfing seven years ago. When I’m in the water, all my stress melts away. I’m originally from Philadelphia, so I was ecstatic when my Eagles finally won the Super Bowl in 2018. I watched the game at Britannia Pub, an Eagles bar in Santa Monica. GT’s is my favorite brand of kombucha because there are no additives. Django is a boxer/small dog mix. He keeps me sane. I help produce Imagine Fest, an annual yoga and music festival that benefits Unlikely Heroes, a nonprofit that saves kids from sex trafficking. I love being involved with an event that celebrates life and raises community awareness. I’m a diehard Marvel fan—that actually spurred my move to LA because I wanted to work in the film business. [Marvel’s] Ant-Man and the Wasp was one of my favorite movies of 2018. I make the best guacamole in LA. I use a splash of Tapatío instead of jalapeños and crushed fresh garlic to give it a kick. One of our clients is a marketing agency that works with a supplement company. We got free samples of their turmeric supplement and I’m hooked. It’s a great anti-inflammatory. My G-Shock surf watch is waterproof and helps me keep time so I don’t miss any morning meetings. I go to a lot of trade shows. With Zoom, WhatsApp, and Copper, our customer relationship management software, on my phone, I can work remotely.