Five Utah businessmen were inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame Wednesday night during an inaugural dinner at Little America Hotel sponsored by Junior Achievement of Utah.
The five inductees were Joseph A. Cannon, chairman and chief executive officer of Geneva Steel; the late 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.James B. Hayes, publisher of Fortune magazine, which last year named Salt Lake City as the best place to do business in the United States, emphasized the importance of business becoming more involved in public education.
Hayes, who was keynote speaker for Wednesday's event, called Junior Achievement the No. 1 vehicle for business to use in entering the nation's schools.
Kenneth Y. Knight, vice chairman of Sinclair Oil Co. and general chairman of the inaugural event, said the five men were selected for their strong record of entrepreneurial achievements, accomplishments of "landmark proportions" and their adherence to the highest moral and ethical principles.
Although a permanent location for the Utah Business Hall of Fame has not yet been selected, Knight said he hopes one of the Utah inductees will be nominated for the National Business Hall of Fame exhibit housed in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.
"Utah should certainly be represented in these names," he said.
As for the local Utah Business Hall of Fame Gallery, Knight said it will create a valuable learning experience for the state's future leaders.
"Our young people, today, have many heroes, from movie stars to rock musicians. The Hall of Fame will showcase real heroes, the people who have helped build our state," said Knight.
In 1975, the national Junior Achievement organization created the National Business Hall of Fame to recognize outstanding business leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth of the nation and the private enterprise system, explained Phil Cofield, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement of Utah.
The national Business Hall of Fame laureates are selected each year by Fortune Magazine's board of editors. They then gather in a host city for a conference that ends with the national induction ceremony.
Since its founding, 128 national business leaders have been inducted into the national Business Hall of Fame.
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 funds 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, with 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. Rosen-blatt was honored by the French government in 1956 with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, the country's highest decoration of citizenry.
Tanner founded his jewelry manufacturing business 63 years ago in his mother's basement. It now has 1,900 employees and 13,000 customers worldwide. He is well-known for donating water fountains and in 1988 he received the National Medal of Arts.
Inductees' words of wisdom
Here are some quotes from the five inductees into the Utah Business Hall of Fame:
Joseph A. Cannon - "I was taught early on that, regardless of the endeavor, you should strive to feel good about it, to do the right thing."
Marriner S. Eccles - "You cannot operate in isolation as an individual, as a family, or as a nation. We are all involved in the world's problems."
Jon M. Huntsman - "Entrepreneurship is an enormous risk and reward system. If you risk it all, and don't succeed, you are hindered the rest of your life. And if you are successful, nothing is guaranteed."
Joseph Rosenblatt - "Of all accomplishments in the field of entrepreneurship, none can, in any way, override one's responsibility as a good citizen."
Obert C. Tanner - "The greatest values in life are truth, goodness and beauty. I've lived my life in pursuit of all three."