Passionate for business, he leaves it behind
Bill Barth is so passionate about the
battle against skin cancer that he came out
of retirement to launch a company that
Then he discovered that his passion
runs so deep that he’ll step away from the
company and devote himself instead to a
nonprofit foundation that raises awareness
of skin cancer.
In all, it’s been an unusual year for the
He came to northern Nevada a couple
of years ago after retiring twice once
from a successful printing company in the
Bay area, once from a horse operation he’d
built near Gilroy, Calif.
A two-time survivor of skin cancer, the
60-year-old Barth became aware of the
dangers of Nevada’s blue skies shortly
after moving to Douglas County.
“The altitude and the sun were just
incredible,” he said last week.
Consumers go to the store to buy sunscreen;
entrepreneurs decide to create
their own product. About a year ago,
Barth began working with Skinvisible
Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Las Vegas, which
has patented a polymer delivery system
that allows sunscreen to stay on longer
and feel dry to the skin.
“If you don’t have something different,
you’re not going to compete,” he said.
Barth’s new company, All Pro Sports
Co., had products ready to roll out early
this year but discovered that distribution
channels were clogged with a multitude
of competing products, many of them
produced by companies far more wellheeled
than a tiny startup in rural
All Pro Sports’ products are sold in
golf pro shops and other outlets, largely
around northern Nevada, but the company
hasn’t been able to crack the national
Looking for a way to differentiate All
Pro Sports in the crowded marketplace,
Barth got in contact with The National
Foundation for Cancer Research. The
nonprofit based in Bethesda, Md., has
provided about $180 million for cancer
research since it was founded in 1973.
The entrepreneur and the nonprofit
nailed down a partnership:
Together, they’ll sponsor about 40
“Walk for Awareness” events around the
nation to increase public awareness of
All Pro Sports, meanwhile, will use
sales of sunscreen products to support the
But Barth worried that the campaign
against skin cancer might suffer if
observers believed he stood to gain financially
from the partnership.
So he gave up the presidency of the
Instead, he launched a nonprofit
The Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation
and will devote his days to telling the
public about the dangers of skin cancer
and their ability to do something about
“We wanted to keep them separate,”
In his work with the foundation,
Barth says that about a million
Americans a year develop skin cancer,
and he says that about 40 to 50 percent
of all Americans who live to age 65 will
develop some form of skin cancer in their
lives. Many of them are fatal.
“Our partnership with All Pro Sports
is a first step in educating the public on
the very real danger of skin cancer to
Americans”, said Franklin C. Salisbury,
Jr., president of the National Foundation
for Cancer Research. “By providing both
information and products that protect
people from the damage of the sun,
everyone benefits from this campaign.
Most importantly, more money will be
raised to support research that will hopefully
lead to a cure for skin cancer.”
The question for All Pro Sports now
is how well it’s able to build a distribution
network before its big summer sales
But Barth no longer has a question
whether he’s doing the right thing.
“I didn’t really need a product,” he
said. “This is what I really wanted to
The cancelation of the 2020 event “severely affected operating revenue,” according to the Great Reno Balloon Race.