Ken Gaebler

Founder and CEO

Ken Gaebler - Founder and Chariman of Walker Sands Communications.

Ken has over fifteen years of experience working with high-tech and other companies and a proven track record of successfully creating organizations that achieve market leadership positions.

Prior to founding Walker Sands, Ken was a co-founder and COO of, a leading beauty e-commerce company. In addition to operating e-commerce sites targeting end consumers and small independent retailers, BeautyJungle provided turnkey e-commerce infrastructure and outsource logistics and customer service solutions to beauty product manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Fortune Magazine rated BeautyJungle the #4 e-commerce company, just behind #3

While at BeautyJungle, Ken had full authority and responsibility for all information technology functions, distribution and logistics, customer service, the B2B business unit, catalog production, corporate marketing, human resources, accounting, strategy and finance. Ken led the company's start-up activities and ultimately managed 75 employees across multiple office locations through 5 direct reports. BeautyJungle raised over $20 million in investment capital and ultimately sold its core assets to FashionMall (NASDAQ: FASH)

Prior to BeautyJungle, Ken was a founder of VREAM, a premier provider of Web-based data visualization software. At VREAM, he served as a member of the executive team as COO, responsible for sales, marketing, business development, accounting, finance, and operations. During his tenure, the company established itself as a leading provider of next-generation Internet software technology, entering into partnerships with leading software and hardware companies, including Microsoft Corporation; Netscape Communications Corporation; Intel Corporation; ATI Technologies, Inc.; Matrox Graphics Inc.; and Creative Labs, Inc.

The company also received substantial acclaim and accolades in the press, including a PC Magazine Editor's Choice award, an Infovision award for 1998 honoring the most innovative information industry products, and extensive coverage in mainstream publications such as the Wall Street Journal. VREAM was acquired by PLATINUM Technology (NASDAQ: PLAT) in December 1996, providing an annualized return on investment in excess of 600% to its venture capital investors. After the acquisition, Gaebler served as the Director of Marketing for PLATINUM's Visual Computing Group.

Previously, Ken served as a management consultant for high technology and Fortune 500 companies while at Andersen Consulting, The Information Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Company.

Ken holds an MBA degree from the Yale University School of Management and a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has attained CPIM (Certified Production and Inventory Management) certification and is currently pursuing his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification.

Q&A with Ken Gaebler

One thing people wouldn’t know about you is:

I've been to over 25 countries. I lived for nearly a year in the Philippines and I once spent three months in Bangladesh doing volunteer work. Thailand was my favorite country.

What is your favorite quotation?

My all-time favorite quotation is 'hard by the yard, cinch by the inch.' It's a reminder that things that seem difficult at first can be accomplished if you break the challenges down into smaller tasks and you never give up.

What TV or movie character best exemplifies you and why? 

If I had to pick a TV character that exemplifies me, it'd probably be MacGyver. I've accumulated a lot of knowledge over the years, and I try to use it to solve tough problems. If I watched much TV, I'd probably have a better answer.

What is your favorite place in Chicago that isn’t a typical tourist destination?

I got married at the Chicago Historical Society, so it's a favorite place for me. Most tourists don't go there, but it's a great way to learn about Chicago's impressive history.

What is the most exciting or inspiring project you’ve worked on at Walker Sands?

This is a corny response but I've never done anything at Walker Sands that doesn't intrigue or interest me. Whether it's building our business or helping somebody else to be successful in theirs, it's always been fun, challenging and motivating.

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