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Public Affairs Convocation Features Notable Philanthropist

Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS, is the keynote speaker for Missouri State University’s 2013 Public Affairs Convocation, which will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at JQH Arena.

Mycoskie originated the idea “One for One,” a concept practiced in his company TOMS. When an individual buys a pair of shoes, the company donates a pair to children in need. One for One is not only the driving force behind TOMS shoes, but also TOMS Eyewear, in which the same process is practiced for eyeglasses.

This year’s Common Reader, “Start Something That Matters,” was written by Mycoskie and tells the story of his inspiration behind TOMS and emphasizes the power of incorporating giving in business. The book has become a “New York Times” best-seller and references other companies and individuals who have motivated and inspired Mycoskie by integrating philanthropy in their professional and personal lives.

In 2009, Mycoskie and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence and both People Magazine and Time Magazine featured him. In 2011, he was listed on Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes the top businessmen and women in the world.

Mycoskie is a native of Texas. He always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and started five businesses, the first of which was a successful campus laundry business that he eventually sold. Between his business ventures, he competed on the CBS primetime series “The Amazing Race,” nearly winning the one million dollar grand prize.

Mycoskie is passionate about philanthropy and inspiring young people to help make tomorrow better, and hopes to see a future full of social-minded businesses and consumers.

The Public Affairs Convocation lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to attend. Tickets can be picked up at Hammons Hall, JQH Arena or Plaster Student Union ticket offices. Tickets may be ordered through the ticket office by calling (417) 836-7678 or (toll-free) 1-888-476-7849; but a $5 shipping and handling fee will apply.

For more information about the event, contact Mary Ann Wood, director of public affairs support, at (417) 836-5073 or MaryAnnWood [at] MissouriState [dot] edu.