Jim Odom – Founder Chief Strategy Officer, PreSonus Audio Electronics

Both entrepreneurship and engineering run in Jim Odom’s family—and he’s keeping the tradition thriving. He is the founder and chief strategy officer of PreSonus Audio Electronics, a company that he and fellow LSU electrical engineering graduate Brian Smith (now vice president of engineering) started in 1995 in Odom’s garage to improve their capabilities in engineering music CDs. Today, the company designs and manufactures audio-recording software, hardware and related accessories; its products are used worldwide for recording, sound enforcement, broadcast, sound design and Internet audio. Inc. 5000 ranks it No. 2,246 on its list of fastest-growing firms in the nation and No. 13 among Louisiana companies, with revenues of $50.3 million in 2012 and 85 jobs added in the past three years. As if that weren’t enough, Odom has another claim to fame as a member of the band Louisiana’s LeRoux, best known for its beloved song, “New Orleans Ladies.”

I grew up in a family of successful business owners and engineers. I have a passion for creating products and businesses that connect people and solve problems.

Supporting hundreds of families over the twenty years of my business career.

When I was 11 years old, I worked for $1 an hour cleaning and maintaining survey vessels for my father’s company, Odom Offshore Surveys. I later went on to become the Director of R&D for Odom Hydrographic Systems, a spinoff of that company.

“Understandings avoid misunderstandings.” That’s from my stepfather, Thomas Benton.

CEO of Bose or Apple, both amazing franchise brands.

The death of my father, Leo James Odom in 1972, when I was ten years old.

Diversify sooner, fail faster, enjoy successes more, and spend more time with my children.

Just show up and say “yes” as often as possible.

I always read several at a time. Currently, I am reading Predictive Analytics by Eric Siegel, Big Data by Viktor Mayer, and This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin.

Michael Porter, Warren Buffet, and Bono.

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Watch movies on my Apple TV.

A week in Paris.

Jogging or kayaking around the LSU Lakes in Baton Rouge.


Iced soy latte.

I don’t watch syndicated television, only movies.

MacBook Pro with Retina display.

My 1979 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar.

I think the addition of IBM to our economy and business infrastructure is huge. We need more technology companies that can attract the best and brightest to Baton Rouge.

LSU is our shining star. We need to ensure that funding and recruitment remain a high priority in our budgeting and planning processes, especially those colleges that can affect the fast growing digital economy.

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