After finishing school and military service (USAF), Charlie Graham embarked upon a most unusual career path - talking his way into jobs for which he was not qualified, and then proving that he could learn and ultimately excel at each one. His goal was to build the necessary skills to ultimately own his successful business. Seventeen years later (on a 15 year plan), Charlie founded Peak Performers in Austin, Texas and has built it into a large and successful employer for people who have disabilities.
Along the way, he started or built four other successful not-for-profit companies as the #2 or shared #2 guy. All have successfully improved the lives of people in some way, and all but one still exist today. Emerging along the way was his sense of a driving purpose – to set a new standard of employment for people who have a disability. While more people with impairments can access and use the physical facilities of the places they should be working at, mandated hiring process changes have not yielded the hoped-for results. In fact, some surveys say conditions are worse than they were 25 years ago. Charlie's company seeks to continue to improve these conditions.