Throughout his life Stanley Dashew, 95, has pursued an exceptional career as inventor, industrialist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, sailor and champion of world peace. Perhaps best known for his invention of the credit-card processing machine, which facilitated the nascent credit card industry in the 1960s, he counts dozens of patents and inventions, and several fortunes, among his achievements.
Today, he has set his sights on being a best-selling business book author. Given his track record of accomplishment and in-depth experience in widely disparate industries, Mr. Dashew is likely to be coming soon to a bookstore near you. In the meantime, you will have to be satisfied with his regular reflections delivered online about current business events, to wit: “Being an inventor myself, I have a great understanding of the excitement and energy involved in creating a new product that will better the lives of others. Every day I awake with anticipation, ready to embark on a new journey of innovation. Steve Jobs also embodied that spirit of dissatisfaction with status quo. Without question, the greatest invention I’ve seen built during my 95 years, is the personal computer. Thank you, Mr. Jobs.”
This indomitable nonagenarian was born in New York, a child of the Great Depression. His family moved from New York City to the country, where his father owned a small legal practice and a summer resort. His mother became a leader in programs and services for the elderly. While still in school, Stanley was put in charge of his family's summer resort and worked with his hands and his mind to maintain his family's properties.
A few short years later, following his graduation from college, he used his creative skills and extraordinary business acumen to found Dashew Business Machines, a Los Angeles company that produced evolutionary imprinters. The machines became the hardware foundation for the emerging credit card industry. In fact, he worked directly with senior management of Bank of America, and later American Express, to create the modern-day credit card system.
He next focused on another industry on the verge of tremendous growth: offshore oil production. Through the development of the IMODCO Company, he was responsible for the worldwide introduction of single-point mooring system, facilitating the moving of offshore oil to onshore refineries. “Stanley Dashew” is also credited with the patent for "Omnithruster," a revolutionary bow thruster system which facilitates shipping and military vessel maneuvering.
During the course of his career, Dashew has been issued fourteen U.S. patents for his inventions and mechanisms in business data, banking, shipping, mining, transportation, marine recreation, water purification, and medical-health industries, and has also been responsible for the creation of more than 50 other patents assigned to his many companies. These include patents for liquid aeration and oxygenation treatments through Omniphaser, wastewater purification system for Biomixer, Inc., and the "Dashaveyor," an innovative pilotless people-mover system that was successfully built and employed at the Toronto Zoo.
His personal experiences often influenced his design work. An avid sailor since when he managed his family’s resort on Lake Michigan, he once outfitted a 76-foot schooner and set sail with his wife, seven year-old son and three month-old daughter, traveling from the Great Lakes, down the East Coast, through the West Indies, across the Panama Canal, finally arriving 15 months later in Los Angeles (where he and his family settled and have remained for more than five decades). Years later, in collaboration with his son Stephen “Skip” Dashew, he was granted a number of patents for innovative sailboat design, utilizing fiberglass, which set new benchmarks for low-cost and high speed sailing yachts.
More recently, while in his nineties, he developed and marketed the Dashaway, a personal spinal decompression mobility device. The invention was prompted by a personal injury, a broken hip, which limited hisown mobility. When he couldn’t find a device that could accommodate his need, he built the Dashaway as an alternative to the wheelchair.
Stanley Dashew's commitment to technology innovation, business success and his passion for sailing does not complete the picture of this remarkable man. More than 35 years ago, he anticipated the challenges that today face our global village. He has been a champion of world peace and internationalism, believing that improved global commerce through multi-racial interaction can bring a greater quid-pro-quo to the negotiating tables of the nations of this world. His work in this arena begins with the International Student Center at UCLA.
His prescient thinking with the support of his wife, Rita, who passed away in 1994, led him to the belief that strengthening international ties and promoting peace among nations begins with cross-cultural understanding between people. Stanley and Rita Dashew helped initiate the action and conceive the plan to build UCLA's renowned International Student Center that bears their name.
Since its inception, the Rita and Stanley Dashew International Student Center has helped engender close relationships among the thousands of UCLA students, American and foreign, who have used its important services. Many of these students, from more than 110 countries, have become political, business, social and cultural leaders in their respective nations.
As he embarks on the next chapter in his life as best-selling author, his “You Can Do It” spirit – which happens to be the title of his forthcoming book – will inspire new generations to embrace his life-encompassing philosophy. His approach to finance, activism, health and yes, even love remain as pertinent today as when he first applied them more than 80 years ago.