Proving Ground: A Memoir

Proving Ground: A Memoir

by David Tarver
Proving Ground: A Memoir

Proving Ground: A Memoir

by David Tarver



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Proving Ground: A Memoir is the first book that traces an African American-owned high-technology business from dream to basement startup to multimillion-dollar international success.

WHAT WOULD CAUSE a young African American engineer to walk away from a promising career at the world’s foremost electronics research and development company to start a business, from scratch, in his basement? David Tarver not only did that, he convinced two African American colleagues to join him in the improbable venture. Twelve years later, he negotiated the sale of that venture, Telecom Analysis Systems Inc., for $30 million. Tarver’s business success was accomplished without the help of angel investors, venture capital, government grants, or minority business development programs. Overcoming obstacles related to race, technology, and business, Tarver and his colleagues conceived, designed, engineered, and manufactured sophisticated telecommunications instruments and sold them in more than twenty countries.

David Tarver felt he had something important to prove—to himself, to his colleagues, and to society. That is why he was willing to risk everything on a roll of the entrepreneurial dice. His compelling story will inform, motivate, and inspire anyone who has ever contemplated starting a business.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014619578
Publisher: eBuktu Media LLC
Publication date: 07/02/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 488
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

W. DAVID TARVER, an African American entrepreneur, engineer, corporate executive, and community leader, was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He graduated from Flint Central High School in 1971, and then enrolled in General Motors Institute (GMI, now Kettering University) to study engineering. After two years there, he transferred to the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at U-M, and then went to work for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. In 1983, Tarver left Bell Labs to start Telecom Analysis Systems (TAS), a manufacturer of advanced telecommunications test instruments. He started the company in his basement with Bell Labs colleagues Steve Moore and Charles Simmons.

Tarver built TAS from a tiny startup to a multimillion-dollar company with customers in more than twenty-five countries. In 1995, he engineered the sale of the company to Bowthorpe (now Spirent) plc, for $30 million. From 1996–99, Tarver spearheaded development of a Spirent telecommunications test equipment business that achieved sales of over $250 million and a market value in excess of $2 billion. At the end of 1999, he left Spirent—as president of the telecom equipment business unit—to pursue community service and family interests.

In 2001, Tarver founded the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative (Red Bank, New Jersey). The community-based nonprofit catalyzed dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for Red Bank children. He has also served on the National Advisory Committee for the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the U-M Alumni Association board of directors, the Red Bank Board of Education, the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting, and several other civic and not-for-profit organization boards. In 2007, he returned to Michigan, where he resides with his wife, Kishna Sharif Tarver, and their daughter Nadiyah Louise.
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