Otto Kafka about Duane

Several years ago Duane made the comment, that if I was a young man, I would go to the Czech Republic and teach English.  That stuck with me because my family history is connected to the CR.

I attempted to make the arraignments through my University (UOP) to get a grant in order to go to the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the grant and I was unsure how I was going to be able to afford the trip.  Weeks later I was on a service call fixing a TV for a client and I talked about my future plans after college, which was to travel to the Czech Republic.  This client was a neighbor of Duane’s.  She called Duane and reconnected us.  We have worked together since that time and Duane has explained a lot about Czech culture.  I still have lots to learn.


Duane has a great network and got me in touch with the moderator of this blog, Vanessa Madrid, and her connections arranged two teaching jobs in only three days.  Duane had arranged for Vanessa to teach English in his old school some years earlier.  Now I will be doing a volunteer stint in that school and also a private school.  Host families have been arranged for me and I am so excited to start this “new life” that will unfold tomorrow.


You see, I am flying out today to Prague, the Czech Republic and my host family will meet me at the airport.  This is especially exciting because I have never even traveled outside of California.


Jan Havel about Duane

I was introduced to Duane by my wife many years ago and ever since the first moment have found this man fascinating � in his approach to life, business, and generous support of young people.
On my first trip to the West Coast, I spent a short night in Duane�s house in Galt before departing south in his old Volvo to travel around California with my wife. Since then we have met on numerous occasions, mostly during Duane�s trips to Europe. More importantly, we have been able to stay in touch via e-mail exchanging opinions on a range of topics.

In the early years of my digital agency Actum, Duane proved to be a valuable source of inspiration. Not only on specifics such as search engine optimization, which we frequently discussed. His website on BMW motorcycles is a benchmark in the industry and one of the most frequently visited sites for BMW enthusiasts who need repairs to their veteran motorcycles. Being home-made with simple tools, with very basic design and limited knowledge of internet standards, the site is a proof that content is what�s at each site�s core � a fact that was later acknowledged by the industry in a saying �Content Is King�.

I was happy to learn about Duane�s deep love of freedom and liberty. After introducing Duane to the theoretical foundations of the Austrian School of Economic Thought, I started receiving interesting links to articles and thoughts of Duane, which provided inspiration for my academic career, as well as critical insights challenging the official communication on US policies.

Duane stands out as an example of flexibility and ability to take on just about any job this planet offers. From supervising airport construction, to checking backup batteries of cellular network equipment, to test driving prototype cars, Duane was always able to bring in insights that helped him always exceed expectation. An example to be understood and followed.

One can tell a lot about a relationship when a phone rings or an email arrives. I am always happy to see a message from Duane and feel genuine interests in the content. That is a simple proof that Duane�s place in my life is of importance and value. Thanks, Duane!

Jan Havel
Prague, Czech Republic
Ph.D. in Economic Theory, Board Member of Liberal Institute, Founder and Partner in Actum and Actum+, largest digital agencies in the Czech Republic