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 taught a highly rated course on leadership at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley as a student and recently started teaching at UC Berkeley again, joining as one of the youngest faculty members. Aaron has also built many successful ventures including three that were acquired (Access Invest, the nation's largest mobile alternative investment aggregator, 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 instructed a highly rated course for the Haas Undergraduate School of Business through UC Berkeley's Decal Program while he was still a student! The course, titled "Leadership and Organizational Dynamics," taught students leadership fundamentals and tools for effective management. As a testament to Aaron's strong focus on succession planning, the course is still being taught today (more than a decade later!) and is one of the longest Decal courses being continuously taught.
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.
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). He is currently expanding this business and helping to revolutionize the private investment market.
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.
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
- 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
- Instructor of highly rated course on leadership at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business while a student
- Student Commence Speaking at UC Berkeley’s University-wide Convocation (2004)
- UC Berkeley’s “Mr. Business” charity pageant winner