David Alan Speer

David Alan Speerdavidalan
CEO, The Proper KnotTM and David Alan Clothing

David Alan Speer traded a successful, eight-year career in medical sales to turn an idea for The Proper KnotTM into a fashionable business opportunity. A 2008 Palumbo-Donahue School of Business graduate with a degree in marketing and sports marketing, Speer developed the idea of the fashion statement that changes the look of a tie by simply adding a new knot.

The concept has turned into a thriving men's fashion business and a custom clothing line, David Alan Clothing, and now finds Speer working with ESPN, World Wrestling Entertainment, the American Cancer Society, USA Hockey and various NFL players. His business continues to seek additional licensing opportunities with various collegiate and professional teams. He is also awaiting final word on the possibility of a new reality television show he created that combines fashion and entrepreneurship.

Speer is not only a risk taker and innovator in his business, but he also takes a very hands-on approach to his work, having taught himself to sew and even making his own suits, ties and other accessories. He maintains that customer satisfaction and creating an enjoyable work environment for his employees are keys to the success of the company.

"I wanted to create a company where people can have fun and we respect them," Speer said.

Speer looks back fondly on how his Duquesne education prepared him for success, noting that the "life lessons" were some of the most important to him during his time as a student.

"College is where you start to grow into who you are going to be," he said. "I am to this day close with some of my friends from college. I love Duquesne and the character of people I met there."