Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea grew a single copy shop into the industry leader with 1200 branches worldwide and over 23,000 co-workers. Much of Kinko's success is grounded in Orfalea’s passion for retailing, his insistence on taking care of his co-workers and customers, and a sharp eye for opportunity. Orfalea retired in 2000 and is no longer involved with Kinko's. Orfalea has always invested in real estate, stocks and opportunities ranging from small business ventures to entire chains. Orfalea is in demand for public speaking and lectures at colleges nationwide. His family's philanthropic foundation supports early care and education in California.
Paul frequently teaches at University of Southern California (his alma mater), Loyola Marymount University, Cal Poly, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, as well as various community and state colleges, and he has taught at NYU, Princeton, Harvard, UCLA and Wharton School of Business. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is home to the Orfalea College of Business, and UCSB houses the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies.
Paul’s classes are as unconventional as his business style. In a typical class, students are assigned several articles from international business and news publications each week, and must formulate a list of questions inspired by each article. Paul invites guest lecturers from all walks of life to expose his students to a variety of points of view. He ensures that his students finish the course able to look other people in the eye, engage in spirited conversation about world affairs, and ask intelligent questions – of themselves and others.