Ronald Fowlkes is an entrepreneur in the law enforcement and military gear industry. He says that he grew up with a strong interest of serving proudly in the Marine Corp. After he hit the right age he applied to the Marines and was accepted. He went through the prestigious yet grueling Army Jump School as part of his training. Once he had served he moved to St. Louis, Minnesota. He joined this city’s SWAT team. It was while he was in the Marines and in the St. Louis police force that he took a liking to the gear he was using which was produced by FirstSpear. He knew their stuff was something special from the first time he was exposed to it.
Since that time Ronald Fowlkes has spent more than 20 years designing and delivering the highest quality equipment to the armed services and police departments. He was an executive at ITW for a number of years as well as Eagle Industries. He ended up with an opportunity to become one of the owners of FirstSpear which he jumped at. He has since handled their business development and helped develop this company’s strategic vision.
Because FirstSpear has customers overseas Ronald Fowlkes says that his job isn’t the typical nine to five shift. As soon as he gets his children going to school he starts working straight away, usually first taking a number of calls. He has said that he powers through the day by drinking a few Mountain Dews during the day. When he was in the military he says he had to drink Folgers instant coffee mixed with some cold water so he definitely appreciates the upgrade.
Ronald Fowlkes says that FirstSpear is based on teamwork. He knows that is how he gets his best ideas. He has a business development team who communicate all the time with the Department of Defense, NATO, as well as state and local law enforcement departments. They establish what requirements they have for gear so that his team can meet them. He says that the FirstSpear team also often gets great ideas from those out working in the field as well as end users which really helps his company develop and grow. One downside to his industry, he says, is that other companies are pretty brazen about stealing ideas. That is why he patents everything his company comes up with.
In his spare time Ronald Fowkles loves following hockey. He coaches in a youth league and follows what is happening in the NHL. He writes a blog about hockey where he recently wrote that fighting is becoming rarer over time. In the current NHL season, a fight occurs in 20% of games while 10 years ago that happened in half of the games.