After college, Ross created his own job – writing the management training curriculum for a large department store (Yard Birds) in the Pacific Northwest. His eye always on becoming an entrepreneur, Ross was able to save $10,000. His first venture was as the owner/manager of America’s only Stereo and Pet Shop located in the small Indian Reservation town of Puyallup, Washington (at the time, population 5,000).

After 3 unglamorous years of cleaning pet cages, he closed the store and took a job as the advertising manager for the 28-store Squire Shops retail clothing chain in Seattle, Washington. Writing ad copy and concocting campaigns paid the bills, but at night Ross haunted local comedy clubs in search of a joke telling career. After years of slogging around the comedy circuit, he won the ShowtimeTV-sponsored Seattle International Comedy Competition and immediately became an opening act for performers like Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt, Nell Carter, Neil Sedaka, and Dionne Warwick.

In l985, Ross pitched a TV show idea to the NBC affiliate in Seattle (KING). It was a risky idea to emulate a local Letterman-like comedy talk show. Regardless, ALMOST LIVE was born and for the next 5 seasons Ross hosted the show while he and his team collected 36 Emmys. One year, they won the Esquire Magazine Dubious Achievement Award for changing the Washington State rock song to Louie, Louie. During those years Ross also hosted an afternoon drive radio show on the 50,000 watt KJR-AM.

In l988, Ross was wooed by the Fox network to take over The Late Show; previously hosted by Joan Rivers. The Late Show was a nightly talk show that competed with Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and David Letterman. The show lasted a year.

Ross next found himself in New York City co-hosting Days End on the ABC network. It was here that he sat beside Matt Lauer and Spencer Christian as they interviewed the movers and shakers of the world. Dick Clark told Ross, “Always have a back up plan, my boy, TV is terminal” and predictably Days End was cancelled after a few months. Ross always wondered what happened to Matt Lauer? Ha!

The next stop for Ross was hosting the revised Match Game on the ABC network. Love Me, Love Me Not followed and numerous TV pilot projects.

By this time, Ross was headlining all of the nation’s leading nightclubs and casinos. He wrote and produced a highly acclaimed comedy album about the Bill Clinton administration titled, Inside The First Family. He also wrote a comedy cookbook that became a best seller; Cook Like A Stud – 38 recipes men can prepare in the garage with their own tools.

In l994, Ross heard Bill Gates tell a group of broadcasters, “Someday you will all be watching television on your telephones.” Ross digested that message and made the decision to leave TV. He went back to his corporate training roots.

Human nature and the human condition were always fascinating to him – because that’s what comedians do. They study the laughter and tears business. To date Ross has produced (14) Human Resource training films on Customer Service, Motivation, Leadership, and Peer Pressure. He has authored the acclaimed business books, Nobody Moved Your Cheese, Customer Empathy, The Customer Shouts Back, Are You Relevant? 12 Reasons Smart Organizations Thrive in Any Economy, and his latest tome is Grab More Market Share – How to wrangle business away from lazy competitors.

Today, Ross is a highly sought after Keynote speaker and seminar leader on the subjects of Customer Empathy, Personal Motivation, and Business Relevance. The father of two grown sons, Adam and Ryan, he lives in in Denver, Colorado with his wife Leah and their daughter Lauren.

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