WINNER: Emerging Entrepreneur
Joe Reynolds had brother-in-law Ryan Kunkel right by his side to help make his dream a reality. They created Great Urban Race in 2007, a metropolitan scavenger hunt that attracted 1,200 participants. The venture has since grown into a booming business prompting an entirely new industry.
Reynolds and Kunkel are co-presidents of what is now Red Frog Events, a Chicago-based event planning company that will host 90 events throughout the U.S., Australia, London and Canada this year. Reynolds — also operating under the title architect of adventure — based the company on his favorite TV show, “The Amazing Race,” the fun of which he wanted to bring to more people all over the world.
The company’s ?rst events composed of scavenger hunts and extreme obstacle courses. Reynolds and Kunkel — who also goes by the title master of monkey business — have added two more races, Warrior Dash and Beach Dash, as well as a line of bar crawls.
The duo’s knack for creating engaging new events has fostered signi?cant growth for Red Frog Events. In four and a half years, the company has grown from a staff of six to more than 100 full- and part-time employees.
They have created a “work hard, play hard,” summer-camp-inspired of?ce that is often the site of coffee-break-replacing tricycle races, foosball tournaments and rock climbing. Meetings take place in tree-house conference rooms, at picnic tables or at the 60,000-piece Lego conference table. Employees are also taken care of through excellent bene?ts, including unlimited vacation days.
Outside of the of?ce, Red Frog Events takes care of its community by partnering with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Green Sneakers and several other local charities. ?
HOW TO REACH: Red Frog Events, www.redfrogevents.com