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Shawn Askinosie
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Founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, Shawn Askinosie is an award-winning entrepreneur, sought-after public speaker and has been named by O, The Oprah Magazine as “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.”

Before founding Askinosie Chocolate in 2005, Shawn had a successful career as a criminal defense lawyer for nearly 20 years, with a number of high profile cases that garnered national media attention. Since the career change, Askinosie Chocolate's unique social business model has been profiled by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and countless others.

In addition to his chocolate profession, Shawn is the co-founder of Lost & Found Grief Center for children and is a Trappist Family Brother at Assumption Abbey (a Cistercian monastery near Ava, Missouri). Shawn is also the Mel Carnahan Fellow at Missouri State University’s Public Affairs Academy and is an Adjunct Professor of Field Studies in Social Entrepreneurship at Drury University.

The University of Missouri recently honored Shawn with the Distinguished Alumni Award. The Specialty Food Association selected Shawn as the Business Leadership Award Winner of 2013 as a “food pioneer” who has “advanced food standards in society… through visionary social, economic and environmental efforts."

Askinosie Chocolate’s award-winning products are sold throughout the US, and exported to stores across the globe.

Entries by Shawn Askinosie

Chocolate University Is a Real Thing: The Final Exam Is Next Week in Tanzania

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 2:56 PM

At Askinosie Chocolate we started a program called Chocolate University before the first dark chocolate bar rolled off the molding line to engage the students of our factory's neighborhood in our business. We bought and renovated our 100-year-old building in a blighted area of town. Our...

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Thinking About Following Your Dream? Just Double Up on Your Lexapro (Part 2)

(5) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 12:13 PM

In Part 1, I described how I followed my dream leaving behind a lucrative criminal defense law practice to start a small batch bean to bar chocolate factory.

In summary, I felt as though I might die if I did not find another career. I fervently looked high...

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Follow Your Dream or It Just Might Kill You (Part 1)

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 12:58 PM

In 2005, I was a criminal defense lawyer in Springfield, Missouri. I spent nearly 20 years defending people accused of the most serious crimes imaginable. I developed a reputation for winning, for aggressive cross-examination, and most of all the dedicated work of "leaving no stone unturned." I loved the courtroom...

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Lifting The Veil on Direct Trade (And Why It's Integral to Our Business)

(11) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Growing up I spent a lot of time on my grandparents small farm in the Ozarks. We baled hay, fed and milked cows, helped in the garden, and collected eggs. And I pretty much hated all of it. Years later, after my grandparents were gone, I started loving and respecting...

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