Zeien Lecture Series Presents: G. Bruce Knecht
On April 10, 2013, Webb Institute will host the 15th Alfred M. Zeien Lecture. We are pleased to announce that the speaker is G. Bruce Knecht. Mr. Knecht will be speaking about his recently published book Grand Ambition, which tells the story of Doug Von Allmen, a self-made man who grew up in a landlocked state dreaming of the ocean and subsequently had built a 187-foot yacht that would cost $40 million.
According to Mr. Knecht’s website (www.gbruceknecht.com) the Lady Linda would not be the very largest of the fleet of ocean-going palaces, but Von Allmen vowed that it would be the best one ever constructed in the United States. Nothing would be ordinary: the interior walls would be made from a rare species of burl wood, the floors paved with onyx and exotic types of marble, the furniture custom- made, and the art specially commissioned.
The recent economic crisis changed everything. Von Allmen’s lifestyle suddenly became unaffordable; he then fell for a Ponzi scheme to reverse his losses. Would he be able to complete the Lady Linda, and would the shipyard building the Lady Linda survive? Bruce Knecht’s book details how the yacht owners and shipyard workers’ lives were inextricably intertwined during this crisis.
Mr. Knecht, a graduate of Colgate University, earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University. He worked as a free-lance writer from 1991 to 1994 and wrote for the Wall Street Journal from 1993 until 2001. In 2001 he took a leave of absence to write his first book, Hooked which was published in 2006. His next book, The Proving Ground, was published in 2011.
Mr. Knecht is an avid sailor, having raced across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Mari-Cha IV in 2005, which broke the 100-year-old transatlantic race record. He is a member of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club on Center Island and is also a member of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.