An Exclusive Interview with Billion Dollar Online Empire Owner ‘Douglas Vandergraph’
Douglas Vandergraph lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. Douglas Vandergraph, had a stroke at the age of 16 which paralyzed the left side of his body. He was also one of the longest clinically documented death cases in America at the time, miraculously coming back to life after doctors had given up. After being told by the best doctors in the country that he would never walk again, Douglas used incredible courage to overcome the insurmountable task of regaining his mobility. Douglas fought the common opinions and regained his ability to walk and function in daily life as a successful businessman.
26 years later Douglas continues his commitment not only to himself, but to his family and community by working every day to ensure everyone has easy online access to the products they need. Douglas has a beautiful wife he has been married to for 10 years, and two daughters age 8 and 5. His 8 year old daughter is in the 7th grade and hid 5 year old just completed kindergarten in two months. He owns BargainBrute.com and RockyMountainMedicalSupply.com. His self made billion dollar online empire is as incredible as the man himself. Though you would never know it. Douglas is as humble as they come.
We are sharing our recent interview with him.
Pro Media Mag : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Douglas Vandergraph : I have been servicing the Healthcare payer infrastructure of America for over 17 years. I started in the healthcare payer sector performing multiple roles on enterprise implementation projects for the Trizetto organization. During my tenure I ran multiple implementations of Trizetto’s Facets, NetworX, and Modeler applications becoming a leading SME in the industry related to commercial and govt payment platforms (Medicare, Medicaid), IT-Business integration strategy, and Architectural optimization. I left Trizetto to start my own consulting firm as I continued to support the nation’s top healthcare payer organizations including Cigna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross, Wellpoint, to name a few. I also developed a strong relationship with several offshore providers of professional services including HCL India, helping them to approach the US healthcare payer market with a successful service oriented strategy.
In 2009 I was appointed by then Florida Governor Charlie Crist to assist in transitioning their Medicaid claims adjudication platform over to a TPA. Involved from the start I took a leadership role and saw the project to successful completion, while assisting several other clients in the industry with remediation strategy. I left Florida to assist over the years, the States of Texas, Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, and Nebraska Medicaid programs with multiple initiatives including ACA strategy and MMIS program transition preparedness. During this time I was introduced to United Healthcare. For 3 years I performed the role of SR. Architect/Program manager for the largest health insurance company in the United States, assisting them in successfully consolidating 7 separate state Medicaid claims payment platforms down to a single adjudication engine(Facets). In addition, I played a key role in ramping up the Optum consulting solutions delivery model. I hired and led the team which architected and developed a scalable eligibility and enrollment infrastructure for the State of Alabama’s Welfare systems. This solution encompassed 7 individual State agencies and was the first in the country to successfully interface with both the Federal and State hubs. The first state to run on the Microsoft Govt. Azure cloud through the CRM application it has been touted by Microsoft, CMS, and several technology forums as the Proof of Concept that will change the way America accesses entitlements. I have the privilege of speaking as a key note speaker at the Microsoft Convergence meeting in Atlanta, GA in March 2015. Most recently I represented the Xerox corporation with the State of Alaska and CMS. In 6 months I put together a ground floor up approach to getting the State of Alaska’s new MMIS certified by CMS for 90/10 funding.
Pro Media Mag : Your left side was paralyzed and when even top doctors gave up you stood fast and came back to life. From where such incredible courage was coming?
Douglas Vandergraph : When I died I saw my father who had been killed in a construction accident when I was 10 years old. He told me it was not my time and that I needed to follow the plan. I remember being in a place. Time did not matter there. There was a darkness in front of me. I felt as if I had been there for a very long time. I looked around at the brightness that surrounded me and wondered what was next. My father appeared to me out of the darkness as if walking through a doorway. He put his arms out and lifted me up. He looked into my eyes and told me that it was not yet my time. I had to follow the plan. After telling me more he said that he had to let me go, but that he would be watching over me. He let me go and I remember falling back. I fell for some time and then rested softly as if my body was relaxing on a bed after a hard day. Next thing I know there is all kinds of activity around me as people poked me and yelled. It seemed like chaos, but what really had happened was that I had died and the EEG and EKG had flat lined for 30 minutes. A nurse came in to do something and while leaning over me I started hitting her with my cast. You see I had broke my wrist badly and had an elbow cast on my arm. My wrist was broken during a car accident that had happened the day before. During the accident I tore my carotid artery where a golf ball sized blood clot had formed. When that blood clot broke free it went to my brain and killed me. So this poor nurse got the surprise of her life when I all of the sudden came back to life after being dead for so long.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspire you to start your online business?
Douglas Vandergraph : I listen to books on tape and motivational recordings on YouTube every day. Bob Proctor is my favorite. Being a father, it is very important to me to set a positive example for my children. My 8 year old is currently in the 7th grade and my 5 year old just completed kindergarten in 2 months. You see your children will become everything they see around them, everything you tell them, and what you do not teach them they will inherit from others. My 8-year-old daughter has a very successful fashion store called Sarahsfashions.com. She works the store’s inventory, selecting all of the items for sale. She handles the vendor relationships, etc. Who do you think she will be some day? Better Pro Media Mag, why are other parents not doing the same for their children? Why did I become a billionaire businessman? I decided that is what I was going to be. You see a man will generally find what it is that he is looking for. I just teach my children to look for different things than other people teach theirs to look for. An online business has several advantages over the traditional brick and mortar store. We maximize the potential of those advantages and translate them into an ability to provide a larger selection at much better pricing.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your online store Bargain Brute? It seems from grocery to household you got everything there.
Douglas Vandergraph : Bargainbrute is 39 separate stores all existing on the largest online shopping mall platform. We will continue to grow until it just cannot get any bigger. I can assure you that we are planning for tremendous expansion in the future. As we say, Bargainbrute.com is a Fort Collins, Colorado based business providing the best online shopping experience. We source to and ship our products from a network of 55 warehouses in the USA. Our Billion Dollar Distribution Network is Huge, and falls under the Vandergraph Worldwide umbrella of companies which give us both a pricing and shipping advantage over our closest online shopping competitors. We offer one of the Internet’s largest selections of online shopping products at the best prices. All of our products are in stock and ready for shipment to your doorstep! Our goal is to provide a variety of quality products at a price that is fair and competitive. We make it easy for you to shop online. We are dedicated to providing our online shopping customers with the highest quality products for the best price. We work hard to ensure that your experience is safe and worry-free so you want to shop online. We do add or delete products from time to time as market trends indicate. Your satisfaction with our products and our service is of utmost importance to us, and we welcome comments at any time. Simply click on the “contact us” link to send us your comments. On behalf of the Vandergraph family and all of the employees that support Bargainbrute.com across the USA, we want to “Thank You” for shopping with us today. It is our pleasure to help you shop online and feel appreciated.
Pro Media Mag : You are choosy about the products you sell online or you place anything your customers would be interested in?
Douglas Vandergraph : We add and remove items as market trends indicate. We are very interested in our customers and respond according to their expectations. I see most of the emails that come through our contact Us link and respond to many myself. People tell us about products and new store ideas all the time. We would be nothing without customers and we value our customers over everything else. Nothing is more important than the people we serve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pro Media Mag : When did you launch ‘Rocky Mountain Medical Supply’? Any particular story behind the name of the store?
Douglas Vandergraph : The store is called RockyMountainMedicalSupply.com because our corporate offices are in Fort Collins, Co. which is in the Rocky Mountains. I started this company because I have suffered mobility issues most of my life. I have been in a wheelchair completely paralyzed on the left side of my body with everyone telling me I needed to prepare to accept my situation. This store is an opportunity for me to help others with an intimate understanding of what they are feeling and going through. I would say most Medical Supply companies are focused on their bottom line. We care about people and their needs. About physicians and the job they have to do every day. My wife is a retired medical professional and our guiding light.
Pro Media Mag : What makes Vandergraph family so special and successful?
Douglas Vandergraph : My wife and kids make this a loving family. Our decisions make us successful. You take two people who walk into a car dealership. Both are using the same human physiology, however one is looking to buy a car, where the other is looking to buy the dealership. If they both get what they want then so too will their results differ. My wife and kids inspire me to think big and help me to help others. This recipe has worked very well for us up to this point.
Pro Media Mag : You are already running a billion dollar online empire? Do you have any other target to achieve?
Douglas Vandergraph : I only want to be a loving husband and the best father I can be. If I can improve on both a little each day that would make me a very happy man. I hope that is the plan I am supposed to follow, because it is what makes me happiest.
Pro Media Mag : What’s the best way to stay in touch with news and updates on Vandergraph family and their businesses ?
Douglas Vandergraph : We post news updates on Bargainbrute.com and we love to hear from people. I hope they will click on the contact us icon which is available on our websites and let us know their thoughts. I respond to as many emails as possible personally. This is a team effort so you may hear back from my wife or one of my daughters as well. We are all owners, and we all share in the fun of communicating with our customers.