Leaders, achievers, role models, sources of inspiration, agents of change: One term isn’t enough to describe this year’s inductees into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. Each is an individual of enterprise. Each has altered the business landscape for the better. Each, however, has also become distinguished in a distinctive way.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson might have faced the biggest management challenge. The other built companies nearly from scratch. She replaced a legend at the helm of a global behemoth—and with graciously expressed firmness, promptly made plans to expand.
It would be difficult to find an entrepreneur more accomplished—or more admirable—than Glen Taylor. In 1967, he bought a company with 30 employees. By 1974, he had 300, and by 1984, 3,000. He now employs 9,000—including members of the Minnesota Timberwolves, which he bought in 1994. Taylor also served for 10 years in the Minnesota Senate. At Taylor Corporation, he started the state’s first company-owned on-site daycare center.
Irwin Jacobs has built Genmar into the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational watercraft, with $1 billion in revenues and 7,000 employees. His greatest impact in business was made in the 1980s, however, when as a sometimes-vilified investor in underperforming public companies, he awaked sometimes-sleepy management groups to the obligations of delivering value to shareholders.
Mahendra Nath’s career history is a quintessential immigrant’s success story. He arrived in the United States with $800, furthered his education, took a job, opened a store, and reinvested its proceeds—and three decades later owned 138 fast-food restaurants, two hotels, and more than 1,000 apartment units.
Harvey Mackay might have built Mackay Envelope beyond its present 500 employees if he had not expanded countless unpaid hours in community service, attempting to build a better University of Minnesota and Twin Cities business community. Meanwhile, in five books and hundreds of speeches and newspaper columns, he has provided advice, guidance, and—yes—inspiration to hundreds of thousands of businesspeople.
The business careers of Jacobs, Mackay, Nath, Nelson, and Taylor are summarized and celebrated on the following 10 pages. They will be honored once again on July 18, at a gala Minnesota Business Hall of Fame dinner at the Radisson South Hotel in Bloomington. For details about the event, call our reservation line at 763-287-8203 or go to www.tcbm.com.