The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School and the Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are proud to educate and inspire our students and community through the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (EOY). This year's event marks 29 years of EOY, and will honor both experienced entrepreneurs and inspire future generations of entrepreneurs.
Costco's first location (originally named Price Club), opened in 1976 in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse location was opened in Seattle. Costco became the first company ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in less than six years. When Costco and Price Club merged in 1993, the combined company had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales. Since resuming the Costco name in 1997, the company has grown worldwide with total sales in recent fiscal years exceeding $64 billion.
EPR Properties is specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that currently invests in three primary segments: entertainment, recreation and education. EPR has more than 180 locations in 39 states, D.C. and Canada with more than 250 tenants and $3.2 billion in total investments.
Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship: Jim and Virginia Stowers, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Inspired by their personal experiences with cancer and a desire to use their wealth to help humanity, James "Jim" E. Stowers Jr. and Virginia G. Stowers founded the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. A former medical student, Jim Stowers switched careers and started mutual fund company American Century Investments. He pioneered the application of computer power to investment management and, turned a stake of a few thousand dollars into one of the largest mutual fund companies in the country with more than $100 billion in assets.