A Firebrand Takes Helm of Nation’s Oldest Nonprofit Inventor Org
It’s official – seasoned product developer, prolific blogger and part-time agitator Mark Reyland has been named the new executive director of the United Inventors Association.
Reyland takes over for Patrick Raymond, who has held the post since September 2008. Raymond, who has launched an invention-evaluation firm MyInventionScore, will remain as UIA treasurer. Look for the story on his new service in the October 2010 print edition of Inventors Digest.
“We want to move this train forward,” Reyland told Inventors Digest this morning. “We want to help inventors – that’s always where our compass will be set.
“I’m not saying the compass hasn’t always been set there,” he added. “But whenever you have a leadership change, you always have a new push.”
Reyland wants to cut the price of inventor membership dues in half to $49.95. He also is in talks with Inventors Digest to offer free annual subscriptions as a way to add greater value to members.
Additionally, he has outlined a proposal that he hopes will encourage an array of corporate sponsorships to help bolster the UIA’s financial situation.
Some, if not most, of his initiatives likely will require board approval.
One board member says Reyland will have to cease external blogging now that he’s the UIA’s executive director. Reyland has a reputation as someone who speaks his mind. “Polarizing” is a word that some use to describe him, based on opinionated and sometimes testy exchanges he’s had on various forums, including Edison Nation and InventRight.
A year ago he ridiculed the Shower Bow, a failed product invented by none other than outgoing UIA executive director Raymond.
“I can’t deal with people who use the Singing Cowboy to pitch their products,” he wrote on InventRight, referring to Raymond’s paid use of the iconic, tighty-whitey clad street performer. “ …. sorry. And it’s a silly product anyway…”
Reyland said this morning he was unaware “of any mandate” to curtail his blogging on his site titled “Inventing … It’s Just My Opinion.”
“I’ll likely transfer my blog to the UIA blog,” he said. “I intentionally keep my blog non-confrontational and rarely opinionated.”
“At the conclusion of a stringent selection process, we feel very happy that Mark accepted the position as our next executive director,” Warren Tuttle, UIA board president, said in a prepared statement. “Mark has been an active and well-respected member of the inventor community for many years, and is well known for his passion for helping inventors. Our entire board feels Mark will bring a fresh approach and enthusiasm to the UIA, while leading the charge towards continuing our nonprofit mission.”
According to his bio, Reyland “served many years with the National Security Agency as a senior intelligence analyst and executive in charge of classified technology innovation & program development.
“Mr. Reyland has applied many of these unique skills to his work as a successful inventor,” the bio says.
“He has served as director of classified technology development for a fortune 500 company, NSA liaison to the Korean government and successful inventor with many products in the retail market,” the bio adds.
He is founder and CEO of Obvious Ideas LLC, a Cincinnati based product development company specializing in providing fully developed products to traditional retail and the direct response industry.
Although Reyland often does product development consulting for other companies, most evenings you’ll find him on the phone volunteering his time mentoring new inventors. He is scheduled to be the guest on Got Invention Radio Presented by Inventors Digest tomorrow, Aug. 26, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Reyland’s technology inventions and retail products “have been widely published in magazines and trade journals around the world,” Reyland’s bio states. “You can often hear him as a guest lecturer at universities, corporations, and inventor forums.”
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