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ARTBREAK FOUNDERS

Douglas Pressman

 

was raised in Billings Montana USA and earned his B.A. degree with honors at Colgate University in 1972, and in his senior year was selected as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. During his Watson year, 1973, he did research on guitar makers in Europe and studied classical guitar in Barcelona...

Richard Fürych 

 

was born in the Czech Republic, and attended a technical university in Prague. While growing up, he studied classical piano and at one point in his early life was forced to decide whether to give himself completely to a musical life...

 

Douglas Pressman was raised in Billings Montana USA and earned his B.A. degree with honors at Colgate University in 1972, and in his senior year was selected as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. During his Watson year, 1973, he did research on guitar makers in Europe and studied classical guitar in Barcelona. After completing an MBA degree in finance at American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), Dr. Pressman worked for six years with the international division of the Bank of California, working in both Latin America and Southeast Asia. Subsequent to earning his Ph.D. in Sociology at Brown University (1993), he taught International studies and sociology at College of the Holy Cross, and, under a Fulbright grant, at the University of Oregon. Since moving to Prague in 1997, he has taught in the MBA programs of five North American, AACSB-accredited business schools: University of Pittsburgh, University of Calgary, Bowling Green State University, Rider University and DePaul University, with teaching assignments spanning the USA, Germany, China and the Czech Republic. He has taught a broad range of topics at the MBA level, including corporate finance, cross-cultural management, strategic management, international marketing, and entrepreneurship. From 2006-2013 he also served on the faculty of a Swiss MBA program in Prague. Additionally, Dr. Pressman has taught Conflict Resolution for LaSalle University, plus sociology in an undergraduate program affiliated with State University of New York. Between 1997 and 2000 he three times won the "Best Professor Award" from the MBA graduates at the Czech Management Center. His publications include work on globalization and social change, as well as a popular business case study for Thunderbird on the Czech economic transition of the early 1990s. In addition to his university teaching, Dr. Pressman co-manages artbreak™ (www.artbreak.org) and has a consulting practice (www.arete.cz/mentor). He has been a classical guitarist since the age of 14, and he still aspires to learn flamenco guitar. Dr. Pressman is divorced and has no children.

Richard Fürych was born and raised in Jihlava in what is now the Czech Republic, and attended a technical university in Prague. While growing up, he studied classical piano and at one point in his early life was forced to decide whether to give himself completely to a musical life; he decided that a music career might be too limiting, and so continued his academic education. A life-long Anglophile, after his university studies he started one of the first English language learning academies in post-communist Prague, English House, and suitably enough the English House company car was an old London taxi. Hearing later on of a new opportunity to learn, he enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh’s recently-established MBA program at Czech Management Center, on the outskirts of Prague, to obtain a business graduate degree that was, at the time, extremely rare and coveted in post-communist nations. Upon finishing his MBA, he worked in international marketing for a transnational brewery based in Britain, and later moved on to manage the Czech marketing operations for an industrial coatings manufacturer. In time, Mr. Fürych gravitated back to education, and he was the primary impetus behind the founding of Arete Institute – the company that runs artbreak™ Arts Immersion Vacations. Since 2005 he has been employed as a business coach, consultant, and trainer for a French-owned consulting company. Richard is married to Lucie, and they have two teen-age children, Jakub and Barbora. An avid athlete, Richard enjoys badminton, squash, roller-blading, and skiing. The family has an annual winter ritual of spending a week skiing in the Italian Dolomites, and during warmer months, share time gardening at the family’s cottage in the mountains south of Prague. But his deepest love is the arts. Richard Fürych frequently accompanies artbreak™ groups to the opera and ballet in Prague – where he knows which are the best seats to ticket – and he is a connoisseur of the major Czech classical composers and painters.

"I believe that rediscovering ourselves can make a difference in this world."

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Testimonials

  • Of all the vacations I have taken that included art this was by far the best! Anytime you want to use me as a reference, feel free.

    Sandra M.
    Governmental Affairs Consultant, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Of course the city itself is a wonder; but I doubt if I would have come to love it so if not for the experience you and Doug have so carefully, thoroughly and lovingly crafted.


    Mary Ann F.
    Chiropractor, Palo Alto, California, USA
  • Of course I will sing your praises!! How could I not?? It was an absolutely wonderful week!

    Fran G.
    Attorney, New York City, New York, USA
  • Thank you one and all for a GREAT week in Prague. I’ve had my ceramics glazed and fired and they look great. My children really loved the clay animation. 


    Sue S.
    Engineer and Homemaker, Doha, Quatar
  • My wife and I haven’t had such a fun adventure in years. We never could have experienced Prague culture like this on our own. It was an unforgettably stimulating and at the same time relaxing trip for us. Bravo!

    Thomas R.
    Architect, Toronto, Canada
  • The perfect balance of the travelers’ opposites – discovery on your own and a peek into the insiders’ world. I would NEVER have found this on my own.

    Maryly S.
    Artist and retired Librarian, Berkeley, California, USA
  • Here is what stands out for me: overcoming insecurity about making art in front of strangers; making art in companionship with people who are now on the same adventure.

    Maryly S.
    Artist and retired Librarian, Berkeley, California, USA
  • Memories of Artbreak are still very much with me. Thank you both for a lifetime experience. You were gracious hosts and your care and planning were much appreciated.

    Susan H.
    Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  • I'm thrilled I went – Artbreak expanded my horizons and re-energized me creatively by providing a totally unique, personalized, deeply engaging experience that I'll never forget.

    Jeff F.
    Marketing Consultant, Boston, Massachusetts USA
  • The trip was wonderful and I have so many wonderful memories and I appreciate all that you did for Judy and I. I have traveled a lot and this trip ranks high on my enjoyment scale.

    Janice S.
    RN, MS, New York City, USA
  • In retrospect, I am glad that we had a day before and after the scheduled events, to acclimate to the city before, and after, to pursue things we hadn't had an opportunity to get to.


    Manuel J.
    Financial Analyst, Salamanca, Spain

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