Aaron McDaniel is a corporate manager, speaker and author with a passion for helping organizations better engage their Millennial customers and empower their Millennial employees. Aaron pairs his multi-generational teamwork expertise with strong corporate experience, having been in leadership and management roles for nearly a decade. At the age of 27, Aaron became the youngest ever to serve as Regional Vice President at AT&T, a Fortune Global 100 company, leading an organization of over 60 people. Aaron was a graduate of AT&T's flagship MBA-only Leadership Development Program (as an Undergraduate), and was part of AT&T's Diamond Club, being part of the Top 1% of sales leaders worldwide. Aaron is currently one of the youngest members of the faculty at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business (having also taught a highly rated course on leadership there as a student) and has built many successful ventures including 3 that were acquired (Access Invest, the nation's largest mobile aggregator of alternative investments acquired in 2016, Tycoon, the first real estate crowdfunding platform to be acquired in 2015 & Pong360, an e-commerce portal targeting Millennials, acquired in 2012).
Aaron is the author of The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World (an international top 10 listed book printed in multiple languages, with a foreword by New York Times Bestseller Marshall Goldsmith) and The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing (foreword by co-author of The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes) and has been written about in Forbes, Inc., Bloomberg BusinessWeek and US News & World Report. He has also been heard on CBS Radio & NPR, seen on ABC's Shark Tank and has spoken to groups of executives & young professionals at top companies and organizations like The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Academy, Deloitte Consulting, Wells Fargo, UnitedHealth Group and many more.
SPEAKER, Coach & Teacher
Through Young Professional's Edge (YP Edge), Aaron has helped countless Millennials build the foundation for successful careers and has taught executives (from Fortune 500 companies down to small community organization) how to empower their Millennial employees, preparing them to be the future leaders of their business, and have helped corporate leaders learn how to target and engage their Millennial customer-bases.
Aaron is currently one of the youngest members of the faculty at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, teaching a highly rated course on innovation and entrepreneurship. Aaron also instructed a course called "Leadership and Organizational Dynamics," while he was still an undergraduate student!
Coming to AT&T right out of undergraduate business school, Aaron was selected to be part of the Leadership Development Program (LDP), which put him at the same level as his post-MBA peers. Day 1 Aaron was put in charge of 17 people, half of whom had worked at AT&T longer than Aaron had been alive. Over nearly a decade of work at AT&T Aaron managed over 100 different direct reports in many functions from sales to operations, customer service, marketing, business development and strategy. Aaron was named to AT&T's Diamond Club, recognized for being in the Top 1% of sales leaders worldwide. Aaron became the youngest to serve as Regional Vice President (at the age of 27) when he ran a 60 person organization that covered an 8 state territory. Aaron was regularly on AT&T's "High Potential Leaders" list as he rose through the ranks.
With over a dozen years of investing experience, Aaron and his partners have identified a unique opportunity in the sub-institutional multi-family real estate space, and built out Velocity Capital Group, a real estate investment firm. As managing director, Aaron leads acquisition and asset management efforts.
With the continued growth of global ecommerce, the problem of counterfeits and unauthorized sales has plagued many brands. IP Shark leverages technology to help protect brands online. As Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Aaron leads sales, business development and customer success efforts to expand IP Shark’s business.
Seeing an opportunity to solve the biggest problems he faced when running the real estate crowdfunding platform he founded (Tycoon), Aaron co-founded Access, a mobile aggregating app for equity and debt crowdfunding deals (like Kayak.com does for travel).
With the passing of the JOBS Act, a landmark law changing how investment opportunities could be marketed and who could invest, Aaron founded Tycoon, an early a real estate crowdfunding platform that changed the real estate investment market. After building out the business and being one of the first to shine the national spotlight on real estate crowdfunding (through his appearance on ABC's Shark Tank), Aaron sold Tycoon to a Consortium of Real Estate Crowdfunding platforms in 2015, in the first ever acquisition of a real estate crowdfunding platform.
Before Uber came to change the transportation industry, Aaron co-founded FlagdownTaxi, a mobile application that allowed people to hail a cab through their smartphones. Before it's time, Flagdown focused on integrating with taxi companies (who were not ready for the industry's tectonic shift) instead of through drivers (the way Uber did). While ultimately a failure, the experience taught Aaron a great deal about building out a technology business and identifying emerging trends.
Pong360 was one of the leading companies in the portable beer pong table market. As CEO, Aaron built out a network of over 100 online retailers who sold Pong360 products (including, interestingly enough, 3 of the Pong360's top 5 competitors). After scaling out the business, Aaron stewarded the sale of the company in 2012.
Aaron is a board member of of Project Giving Kids (PGK). PGK’s mission is to cultivate empathy in youth by leveraging technology to engage them in meaningful and age-appropriate service opportunities.
As a 75th birthday gift for his Godmother, Aaron created the Jill Wakeman Foundation for Equality, featured on ABC News. A civil rights activist for more than 50 years, Jill has fought for racial, gender and sexual orientation equality. The non-profit foundation continues the fight for equality through initiatives like the Cups For Equality Campaign.
Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that helps teach students about business and economics. Aaron has been an active classroom volunteer (primarily at the middle school level) over the last 10 years.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program is a fantastic community organization that pairs at risk youth with young professionals who mentor them and provide older sibling-like support and guidance.
AARON'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE
Youngest to serve as Regional VP @ AT&T, a Fortune 10 Company
Founder of 3 businesses that have been acquired
One of the youngest members of the faculty @ UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
AT&T Diamond Club, Top 1% of sales managers worldwide
Graduate of AT&T’s Leadership Development Program (LDP), a now MBA-only program that puts participants in management roles day 1 out of school
Managed over 100 different direct reports and organizations as large as 60 at AT&T by the age of 27
Worked across many business functions – marketing, operations, customer service, sales, strategy & business development
Celebrated Author of the Young Professionals Guide Series
Founder & CEO of Tycoon Real Estate, a crowdfunding platform (Acquired in 2015)
Co-Founder & CEO of Pong360, an ecommerce company (Acquired in 2012)
Founder of the Jill Wakeman Foundation for Equality, a non-profit organization focused on supporting equality causes
Student Commence Speaking at UC Berkeley’s University-wide Convocation (2004)
UC Berkeley’s “Mr. Business” charity pageant winner