"Giving Back for the Global Good" is an excerpt taken from the 2019 CSU Global Data Book.
If you’re looking for Dan Edwards, head down to the river. You’ll likely find him there, dressed in waders, casting flies for hours, in search of the day’s great catch. Fly fishing is his hobby -- one that has evolved into a successful business.
Like many of his fellow CSU Global alumni, Edwards is a husband and father who went back to school after he had been in the workforce for several years. After working stints at a number of telecom companies, and enduring multiple layoffs, he returned to his background in construction. But when the economy took a dive in 2008, Edwards knew that he’d need a college education to get ahead.
Going back to school was a challenge, but Edwards works well under pressure. He persevered and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from CSU Global in 2012. “My oldest son was seven in 2012, so he got to see me graduate. That was very cool.”
Edwards now lives in Cortez, a town in southwest Colorado, and spends his days leading an international finance-and-accounting team for NTT Global Networks.
Though an accounting professional by trade, Edwards is a fisherman at heart. “I have an entrepreneurial spirit,” he says. It’s that spirit, his passion for fly fishing, and the confidence that comes with education and experience that led him to create TrueFly Supply, a fly fishing-equipment subscription box service.
Edwards and his business partner, Ed Weston, have been fishing together for years, and admittedly wanted to start a fly fishing-supply business as a clever way to get free or discounted gear to support their hobby. But when they originally drew up a business plan, they were disappointed to see a huge amount of competition.
Around this time, Edwards had signed up for Dollar Shave Club, a monthly subscription of inexpensive razors. He wondered if a similar idea could be carried out with fly fishing, and began researching. There were, in fact, other fly fishing-subscription boxes, but Edwards wanted to learn more. “I subscribed to all these boxes … and they did a really good job, but I just thought maybe we could do something a little different.”
They hit the ground running, and when it didn’t quite take off as they hoped, Edwards and Weston brought in a marketing professional. Focusing their message, engaging in social media, and executing on other tactics have made all the difference: TrueFly Supply now has approximately 500 members. “It's grown so fast this year, 10-fold since January,” says Edwards. “It’s just been phenomenal for us.”
The success has also provided Edwards and his team the opportunity to give back to various groups. TrueFly Supply has donated hundreds of fishing leaders to Casting for Recovery, an organization that supports breast cancer patients and survivors. They’ve also partnered with conservation group Trout Unlimited on the #fillanet campaign. “It gets fishermen to pick up trash in and around the river. We give away a loaded subscription box every month to someone that uses the hashtag on Instagram and shows us the picture of their net [full of trash].”
Edwards is quick to acknowledge that the education and credentials he’s earned play a large part in having the confidence to pursue his dream. “I’ve written countless business cases...read legal documents, SOWs, master services agreements. All of that writing and researching … really set me up [for success]. CSU Global was the foundation in all of my accomplishments.”
Dan Edwards, Cortez, CO
CSU Global alumnus, bachelor’s degree, Business Management