2017 Executive Forum Keynote Speaker: Brian Smith, Founder of UGG Australia

Brian Smith

What do you get when you combine surfing and sheepskin boots? Most of us might say “wet feet,” but when Brian Smith founded UGG Australia in 1978, he said “a billion-dollar brand.” Smith’s insight, business acumen, and determination make him one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. At PRP’s 2017 Executive Forum, Smith will share some of his insights and stories to attendees as a featured keynote speaker.

Born in Australia, Brian Smith’s entrepreneurial endeavors have always been centered on one of his life’s greatest passions: surfing. He moved to America to study at UCLA’s Graduate School of Management, keeping his eyes open for opportunities that transform make his passion into a thriving business. Then he noticed that a mainstay in Australian surfing culture, the sheepskin “ugg boot,” was almost nonexistent on California’s shores. Smith designed a prototype of his own ugg boots and showed them to surf shops all up and down the California coast, only to be turned down numerous times. Refusing to give up, Smith enlisted the help of the larger surf community. With the support of his peers, Smith’s product idea gained traction, then a cult following. Now, UGG Australia is the best-known sheepskin footwear brand in the world, with sales of UGG products exceeding $1 billion every year.

The amazing success story of the UGG brand, of course, is best told by Brian Smith himself. PRP has the honor of hosting Smith for a keynote talk for Executive Forum attendees on Friday, November 3, 2017. During his talk, Smith will speaking about how to harness personal passion to build a successful brand, and how willpower and determination are the keys to entrepreneurial success.

For more information about this year’s planned events, please keep checking back at our Events page, and our 2017 Executive Forum main site. If you’d like to know more about Brian Smith’s story, please visit

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