It was a surprise -- OK, a shock -- to stumble across a notice on the Web for a motivational speaker special event (check it out here) and see a familiar data storage name ranked right up there with some rather famous folks.
We're talking about a daylong event coming up on Dec. 2 in San Antonio that features former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw, Crystal Cathedral clergyman Dr. Robert Schuller, business expert and author Zig Ziglar, San Antonio Spurs all-star NBA hoopster Tony Parker, and sales whiz Tamara Lowe.
Oh, yes, and the headliner is "No. 43": George W. Bush, former president of the United States.
So who is the storage superstar included in this stellar lineup? Why our very own Rick Belluzzo, CEO of Quantum.
Belluzzo, who by all accounts is doing a stellar job changing the focus of Quantum from that of a tape storage company to that of a budding storage and data center systems provider, is described as the "legendary former president of Microsoft."
Asked how he managed to get into the lineup with a gang such as this, Belluzzo modestly told eWEEK: "Oh, I do these things from time to time. They're fun. I enjoy them."
Fun, my foot. Public speaking is often named as scarier than death by people in surveys. Trying to motivate 13,000 people in a place as cavernous as the AT&T Center in San Antonio -- well, that takes some doing. But Belluzzo's seriously got the chops; he's motivating Quantum into improving financial results despite huge competition and the nagging nature of the world recession.
By the way, this whole group of speakers recently gathered together for this same event recently in Dallas, and from all reports, it was a smashing success. Belluzzo, in his fiery, passionate style, told about how he helped lead Microsoft into the position it enjoys today as the world's No. 1 software supplier and how a company like Quantum has great potential to blossom in the same manner.
"I got to go on pretty early, after Dr. Schuller," Belluzzo said. "Because I had to get back to report on my [Quantum] earnings call." Which contained good news, of course, about the company's most profitable September quarter in nine years.
Did he get to meet the former president? "Not this time," Belluzzo said. "But I've met him before."
Ho, hum. Appearing on the same bill with a former president happens every day. Belluzzo will get another chance to say hi to Dubya on Dec. 2. Check it out if you're in the area at that time.