IEs Show Winning Entrepreneurial Spirit - Richard C. Kessler

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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Richard C. Kessler, IE 1968, MSIE 1970, has been named Florida's Master Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Kessler is president and CEO of The Kessler Enterprise, Inc., and Grand Theme Hotels. In November, he competed for the National Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award at a black-tie gala in Palm Springs.

To qualify for the award, the entrepreneur's company must be at least five years old and the entrepreneur must have founded an extremely successful business with long-term growth in such areas as innovation and financial performance, and have a personal commitment to both business and community.

"This is quite an honor," said Kessler. "It has taken many years of successes and near failures to come to such recognition. I have enjoyed many mentors along the way that have shared their experiences with me, and I have also enjoyed being captain of several teams who make visions and dreams come true."

Kessler, a member of the Florida regional development committee and a regular Georgia Tech donor, founded the Kessler Enterprise, Inc., in 1985 after he sold his interest in Days Inn of America for $50 million. The company was originally involved in banking and planned unit development before it found its niche with themed hotel properties. It now owns and operates four, soon to be five, such hotels around the state of Florida. Kessler is also chairman of Lutheran Brotherhood, a national financial service organization that helps Lutherans link their values and finances with everyday living.

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  • Created By: Barbara Christopher
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 28, 2001 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:06pm