Michael Conkle eCommerce Marketing and Operations Professional

Throughout my life I have strived to reach the top of every personal interest and professional endeavor I have become involved with. Beginning with my stereo speaker manufacturing business in college to creating a highly successful web development business, I have achieved this goal time and time again.

This section of my website highlights the many cases outside of my career where realizing an opportunity within a personal passion enabled me to achieving top levels of success from each of them.

BasTronics – Stereo Speaker Manufacturing and Sales

Popular interest in high fidelity stereos boomed in my college years. My musical background and love of popular music gave me the serious stereo bug. First by working off of plans from our engineering library and then experimenting with my own designs, I developed a line of speakers. They were marketed through on-campus demonstrations as well as through classified advertising. This business helped put me through college. I still use a set of BasTronics speakers today.

Concert and Stage Photography

I studied photography in college and found it gave me a wonderful creative outlet. Couple this with a love of music and the combination led to freelancing as a concert and stage performance photographer. I became a regular contributor to Backstage Northwest, the concert news publication for John Bauer Concerts, as well as the Seattle Weekly. I reached a long standing ambition by having pictures published in the Rolling Stone.

Seattle Underground Tours

The Underground Tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seattle. As a junior in college I became a guide for a summer job. Four years later I was the manager of Bill Speidel Enterprises which included the Tour as well as Doc Maynard’s restaurant. In 1978 when the King Tut exhibit came to Seattle, I increased revenue 60% over previous years.

Cascade River Runners, Inc.

One summer I had the opportunity of rafting Cataract Canyon of the Colorado River and the Deschutes River of Central Oregon. The following Spring I purchased a used whitewater raft and spent the summer honing skills as a whitewater river guide and learning everything possible about becoming an outfitter. The next spring I formed Cascade River Runners, and began running commercial trips on Washington State Rivers. The business doubled in size each year for the next three years.

Scuba Diving Resort Management

Working for the Department of State in Cairo Egypt, I had the opportunity of learning to dive in the Red Sea. A year later after a month in the United States, I returned as a PADI diving instructor. I developed a scuba instruction program for the US Embassy in Cairo which led to leading diving expeditions on the Red Sea. This experience was parleyed into a management position with Dive Bonaire, on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. At the time, Dive Bonaire was the world’s largest resort sport diving operation.

Cesari Interactive & Sandcastle Interactive

When the Internet as we know it today was in its infancy, I became fascinated by the notion of being able to publish a document and have it available to anyone with an internet connection. This fascination became an insatiable hobby. When the marriage of a strong marketing campaign, the computer and credit card became possible, it became a career. In 1997 I formed Cesari Interactive and four years later founded Sandcastle Interactive. In the 10 years I held Sandcastle, it became one of the leading boutique web development and interactive marketing companies in Seattle.