Dale Klapmeier


Cirrus Aircraft




Cirrus cofounder Dale Klapmeier helped revolutionize the aviation industry with his company’s unique parachute safety device, the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. It’s paid off for Cirrus, which now makes more piston aircraft than any manufacturer in the world. It’s paid off for Duluth as well, which has turned into something of an aviation hub and in 2016 landed a $12.7 million, 150-job expansion of Cirrus’ HQ. Now, Klapmeier has his sights set higher: the Vision Jet, a personal jet introduced last year with a pricetag starting at $2 million. The wait list stretches into the hundreds, so no doubt Klapmeier—and the city his company calls home—will continue to prosper.