Jack Holden leads the Gold Star team, bringing decades of experience in entrepreneurial ventures throughout the world. He has lived in West Africa for more than 25 years and brings extensive knowledge and contacts in business, political and tribal organizations in the region.
Jack Holden is a successful serial entrepreneur who has achieved many firsts. A visionary, he created the first commercial translator that became what are now called low-power television stations.
At that time he also began marketing a national cable TV programming guide (subsequently sold to Scripps Howard), which was the only publication in the country that gave viewers channel listings for their local cable channels – the precursor to today’s TV Guide. The publication boasted a subscriber base larger than that of Reader’s Digest even before publishing its first issue.
Holden then founded Associated Broadcast Systems, which became the country’s fourth largest TV network. ABS was responsible for a number of popular programs, pioneered pay-per-view television and held the sole rights to televise the first Mohammed Ali fight from Las Vegas (sold to ABC-TV) and National Soccer League championships (sold to CBS-TV).
Other ventures included ownership of office equipment and stationary chains under the names of Better Business Machines and Continental Cash Register with locations throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and Utah, and a number of top cosmetics and nutritional franchises (Amway, Nutri-Bio, Edith Ronberg Cosmetics). At one time, Holden owned a college magazine called Circa 70 (one of his columnists was a young Ken Kesey, with frequent contributions from a budding Jack Kerouac) and an advertising firm that was the second largest jingle agency in the U.S., which developed well-known slogans including “Finger Lickin’ Good” for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Holden’s ventures span the world. He served as a business consultant to Nigeria for a World Bank-funded dairy project (transplanting dairy cow embryos), for a World Bank/ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) project to establish a pineapple processing plant and another for a $250 million timber project in Ghana. Other projects have included work in livestock, communications, forestry, agriculture, transportation and import/export in Ghana, Russia, Mexico, Togo, Uzbekistan and China.
Holden is married to a native Ghanaian and has lived in Ghana for more than 25 years, where he has helped to establish and run several successful businesses including Lady D’s Choice, which currently distributes African foodstuffs to more than 1,000 retail outlets in the U.S.; American Trading Company, an import/export business handling apparel, commodities and textiles; and Lady D’s Truck & Travel, which is presenting developing truck stops in West Africa.
Holden’s commitment to the betterment of Africa and other developing and lower-income regions informs the vision of Gold Star. His invaluable entrepreneurial verve and extensive experience working with tribal and governmental organizations in these areas allows that vision to be realized.