Businessman and entrepreneur G. Woodrow Adkins of Cedarburg has been appointed the first holder of the Uihlein/Spitzer Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Rader School of Business at Milwaukee School of Engineering.
The new position was created to help MSOE provide students the opportunity to include entrepreneurism in their field of study and assist students in establishing new business ventures.
The Rader School of Business offers bachelor of science degrees in business, international business, management (transfer only), management information systems and technical communication, and master of science degrees in engineering management, accelerated engineering management and medical informatics.
A longtime food industry executive, Adkins has initiated and nurtured a number of successful companies including Adkins Holdings LLC of Waukesha., a private investment company of which he is chairman and CEO.
"G. Woodrow Adkins brings to MSOE his strong commitment to free enterprise, a successful business career, and an earnest desire to share his knowledge and experience," said Joe Papp, chairman of the Rader School of Business.
In addition to the investment company, Adkins also is chairman and shareholder of food industry firms Alkar-RapidPak & Sani-Matic and Thiel Cheese and Ingredients LLC, and managing director of PetAg, a pet product company. He also is managing director of Turnaround Capital Advisors LLC and Gateway, a computer software firm, and is executive partner in the Facilitator Capital Fund.
He began in the meat industry with Swift & Company (Esmark), managing different profit centers of manufacturing and distribution, concluding as vice president of marketing and sales. He was president of Wisconsin Packing Co. for 13 years while revenue grew from $20 million to $250 million, and president of I.O.C. of Conagra Inc, an $800 million company. He previously was owner, chairman and CEO of New Glarus Foods, a specialty meat processing company, and Acme Machell Co., a custom rubber molding company.
Adkins is a member of the International Chief Executives Organization, chairman of Wisconsin Presidents Organization and past chapter chairman and international director of the Young Presidents Organization.
He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Maryland and has completed management development work at Northwestern University. He is a past lecturer at IMD University, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Uihlein/Spitzer Chair of Entrepreneurship was funded by Milwaukee businessman David V. Uihlein Sr. and his wife, Margery, to recognize their friend, Dr. Robert Spitzer, MSOE president emeritus.
Adkins is a professor of entrepreneurial studies at MSOE, serves on the Board of Regents’ Investment Committee and is a member of the Advisory Board.
Feb. 20, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee