Five Utah businessmen, some of whom have been honored by foreign governments, had buildings named after them and served in federal government posts, will be the first inductees into the Utah Business Hall of Fame during May 1 ceremonies in Little America.
They are Joseph A. Cannon, chairman and chief executive officer of Geneva Steel; Marriner S. Eccles, founder and first president of First Security Corp.; Jon M. Huntsman, founder and chairman of Huntsman Chemical Corp.; Joseph Rosenblatt, founder of Eimco Co.; and Obert C. Tanner, founder of O.C. Tanner Co.Kenneth Y. Knight, vice chairman of Sinclair Oil Co., is the general chairman of the inaugural event, sponsored by Junior Achievement.
Knight said the men were selected for their strong record of entrepreneurial achievements, accomplishments of landmark proportions and adherence to the highest moral and ethical principles.
Although a permanent location for the Utah Business Hall of Fame hasn't been selected yet, Knight is hopeful one of the Utah inductees will be nominated for inclusion into the National Business Hall of Fame exhibit housed in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.
Cannon has been Geneva president since 1987 when he purchased the company and turned it into a successful employer that brings $500 million in direct and indirect money into the state through more than 8,000 people.
Eccles began his banking career in 1913 at the age of 22 when he became president of Hyrum State Bank. Seven years later, he became president of Ogden First National Bank and the Ogden Savings Bank, and in subsequent years acquired other Utah and Idaho banks and formed First Security in 1928.
In 1982, Congress named a building at 20th and Constitutional Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building, for his service on the Federal Reserve Board for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Huntsman's company is the world's largest privately held petrochemical company that has extensive operations in the United States and several foreign countries. His company is debt-free and has $1 billion in revenue.
Rosenblatt founded Eimco in the late 1920s and distributed second-hand mining machinery. The engineering and manufacturing company has worldwide facilities and became one of Utah's principal employers. Rosenblatt was honored by the French government in 1956 with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, the country's highest decoration of citizenry.
Now 86, Tanner founded his jewelry manufacturing business 63 years ago in his mother's basement, and it now has 1,900 employees and 13,000 customers worldwide. He is well-known for donating water fountains and in 1988 received the National Medal of Arts.