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Our family foundation makes donations to numerous charities and nonprofit groups each year, including the FreedomWorks Foundation, a grassroots educational organization with a history of defending economic liberties against encroaching government regulation. FreedomWorks maintains a nationwide network of more than 1.3 million citizen volunteers, all of them supportive of a free market society and a government constrained by its Constitution.
Founded in 1989, the Foundation was known as Citizens for a Sound Economy prior to 2004. Today, former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey chairs the Board of Directors for the Foundation and travels across the country to meet with and support the work of legislators and member activists. Since the beginning of this grassroots organization, its members have spearheaded opposition to initiatives that expand the role of government. During the 1990s, for example, FreedomWorks stood against the Clinton administration’s proposed BTU tax on energy and the Clinton healthcare reform package, dubbed “HillaryCare.” In the early years of the 21st century, its members fostered public debate on tax reform, an effort that led to the 2001 tax cuts.
More recently, FreedomWorks Foundation encouraged public opposition and debate against the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bailout, ObamaCare, and other spending proposals set forth by the current administration. The grassroots group has also provided logistical support to the Tea Party and sponsored town hall protests and rallies associated with this movement across the country in 2009, including the 9/12 Taxpayer March on Washington. All of the activities supported and led by FreedomWorks further the group’s goal of strengthening the Constitutional republic set forth by the Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago.
David G. Jorgensen, the Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization, Free to Choose, advocates an educational approach for students based on reasoning and reliable information. Free to Choose encourages students to analyze issues that affect the world as a means to protect liberty and enhance knowledge. The organization places emphasis on learning about historical events and societal changes from knowledgeable experts, debating different viewpoints, and reflecting on the meaning and importance of episodes that shaped the world experience. By becoming participants in their own education, students foster critical thinking skills and develop enhanced knowledge and understanding of their world. Free to Choose promotes in-depth study by encouraging students to read and listen to discourse on subjects by experts. Students develop personal opinions by actively learning rather than passively listening.
The non-partisan Free to Choose network offers access to some of the world’s most celebrated people and their ideas in an entertaining format. Designed to provide delivery of information without political or social bias, Free to Choose includes content on topics such as history, economics, and constitutionality.
David G. Jorgensen joined the Silicon Valley-based market research firm Dataquest, Inc., in 1972. Having been the Executive Vice President of Computer Synectics and worked for Stanford Research Institute and The Boeing Company, Jorgensen benefited Dataquest with his knowledge in business and technology. Dataquest was founded in 1971 by David Norman and had a professional staff of Stanford MBAs and engineers with advanced degrees. The company provided high tech companies and institutional investors with market research services. Mr. Jorgensen has a MSIE from Stanford University, an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BSEE from the University of Utah. He was a co-founder and Chairman of Katun Corporation.
Market research companies have performed crucial roles for businesses for many decades. The term “market research” encompasses many activities, and firms such as Dataquest often act in a consultancy role for corporations by analyzing the local competition, consumer bases, and trends. By studying others in the industry, marketing research firms can teach clients about what has worked for similar entities as well as what has failed. When seeking to understand consumers, market researchers utilize a number of tactics such as focus groups and questionnaires.
In focus groups, guides present a cross-section of potential buyers with a product, such as a physical device or something intangible like an advertisement, and gather their thoughts on the item. These instructors also ask pointed questions depending on what the firm or the client wants to learn. Finally, trends play a crucial function in the success of any business. Externals such as politics, the economy, and social norms all affect a customer’s buying decisions while remaining outside of a company’s control. An awareness of current situations and potential future developments allows businesses to keep up-to-date and prepare accordingly.
In 2000, David G. Jorgensen became Chairman of Katun Corporation, the imaging supplies company that he co-founded in 1979. Katun grew to become the largest supplier of alternative OEM parts for photocopiers. Over the course of the nation’s history, some great inventions have been born from the minds and hands of a group of creative inventors.
In other cases, a life-changing device, practice, or idea can be traced back to an individual. While many have improved on the photocopier’s design and efficacy over time, only Chester Carlson can take credit for the advent of photocopying in 1938.
A patent attorney, researcher, and inventor, Carlson often found himself making dozens of copies of important papers. But this laborious work aggravated his arthritis, leading him to experiment with photoconductivity. After a few years of work performed in his kitchen, Carlson experienced a breakthrough. Covering a zinc plate with sulfur, Carlson slid a microscope slid bearing an engraving on top of yet more sulfur and placed beneath a light. When he removed the slide, an exact image of the words remained behind.
The part-time inventor immediately put his full-time knowledge of patents to use and filed a patent for the process that he called electrophotography. Astonishingly, Carlson had a difficult time selling his method. After more than 20 rejections, Carlson evaluated his process and decreed it underdeveloped. Most major organizations like IBM and General Electric used time-proven methods and saw no need for Carlson’s fledgling technology. In 1944, the Battelle Memorial Institute reached out to Carlson and asked him to let them help refine his electrophotography process. Several years and dozens of experiments later, a small New York-based photographic paper seller wished to obtain a license to use the now-developed technology. There was just a problem with the name.
Deeming “electrophotography” too complicated and unintuitive, Carlson worked with the corporation’s leaders to come up with a new name, xerography, derived from Greek words that meant “dry writing.” With the new name in place, the corporation, Haloid, created copier machines that incorporated the technology, dubbing them Xerox machines. In 1948, the term “Xerox” was trademarked, and the Xerox Corporation was born.
My name is David G. Jorgensen. I was a co-founder of Katun Corporation and CEO of Dataquest, Inc. I now devote much of my time to philanthropic activities and support for organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest health organization devoted exclusively to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The Association provides support from the local to the global level. One of the organization’s primary goals is to offer care and support to those suffering from the disease. In order to meet this goal, the nonprofit has established chapters throughout the country and offers a professionally staffed 24/7 telephone helpline that can be translated into 170 different languages. The Association also leads more than 4,500 support groups, produces more than 20,000 educational programs, and matches people with free clinical trials. In order to expand knowledge of the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association also houses the Green-Field Library.
In addition to providing care, the Association advances research, as it is the largest nonprofit funder for research into Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the organization has played a role in every major research over the last three decades. The Association offers a peer-reviewed research grant program, which has granted more than $279 million to nearly 2,000 scientists since 1982. Each year, thousands of researchers present at the Alzheimer’s International Conference and many publish in the scientific journal, Alzheimer’s & Dementia. The Association also has a professional society called the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, where scientists and researchers can get together and discuss.
The Association also plays a crucial role as an advocator. The organization’s goal is to make the disease and its cure a national priority. In order to do so, the Association coordinates policy resources like Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures that educate politicians and policy makers. The group also holds an annual march on Capitol Hill to talk with elected representatives.
Learn more about this honorable group by visiting www.alz.org.
I started my career as an engineer, and my path to entrepreneurial success with Katun Corporation was gradual and cumulative. In 1969, having spent eight years working in government-focused engineering consulting capacities with the Boeing Company and the Stanford Research Institute, I stepped out on my own, co-founding the firm Computer Synectics. Our company developed monitors that measured and enhanced computer performance, and we filled a distinct market niche. This led to high profitability, but we were very small, with less than $1 million in annual sales.
In 1970, we brought in venture capitalists for what looked to be a “home run” deal, despite a weak economy and stock market instability. The value of my stock from the deal we achieved amounted to $500,000, which felt like a great deal of money at the time. Unfortunately, the following year, IBM took competitive actions because of the negative impact we were having on their revenues. IBM’s actions turned Computer Synectics into a narrowly defined consulting business.
In 1972, I was out on my own again, looking for a position that would provide for my wife and two young children. The only real option that presented itself was with Dataquest, a start-up composed of five very qualified Stanford MBAs and engineers. Working as a team, we built Dataquest into one of the first successful high-tech market research companies, tailoring our analytics to the needs of institutional investors. A very interesting aspect of being a part of Dataquest was witnessing Silicon Valley expand and come into its own. Over the years, our client base expanded to include all of the large high-tech firms in the area, and many of the medium-sized enterprises as well. Dataquest was successfully sold to AC Nielsen in 1978.
When I co-founded Katun Corporation in 1979, I was still serving as Executive Vice President of Dataquest (I became CEO of Dataquest in 1981). My business partner and friend was the CEO who built the company from ground up to a $300 million company. I provided a small amount of start-up capital, extensive market knowledge, and the ability to execute deals. There were many small companies already providing our products similar to ours. Our initial aim was simply to grow our enterprise to a $20 million sale level. However, we found that we were able to outperform competition, and our firm grew exponentially over the next two decades. When Katun was finally sold in 2002, our revenues were in excess of $350 million.
About the Author: With four decades of success in high tech industries, David Jorgensen holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle. Today, he is active in philanthropy, serving as President of the David & Annette Jorgensen Foundation and Vice Chairman of The Free To Choose Network.
As co-founder of Katun Corporation, David G. Jorgensen contributed time, business direction, and startup capital for the company, which manufactures and distributes parts and supplies for office copiers around the world. With an online catalog tour and a commitment to color value and cost savings, Katun endeavors to process each order and see each business relationship through successfully.
Since 1979, when David G. Jorgensen and his partner founded Katun, Katun has offered competitive pricing on high-quality products. While this contributes to a better method of serving the company’s clients, Katun understands that great products and prices cannot replace a customers’ service department. The sales, customer service, and distribution centers that process and ship Katun products provide dependable services for customers. Those who purchase items from the Katun list of products can place their orders online, via phone, or through a fax or e-mail. Each of these ordering methods allows customers to benefit from Katun representatives’ option to check stock availability and individual order statuses at any time of the day. Customers who rely on Katun to supply them with superior products can expect quality inventory management, fast and consistent product delivery, and a constant supply chain. Many companies, including Saga Documents Systemes and Witzig The Office Company, depend on Katun for prompt, reliable service. By the time Jorgensen and his partner sold the company in 2002 to private equity groups, Jorgensen had helped grow the company from a startup to one that eventually brought in more than $350 million in sales. For more information about Katun, or to browse the company’s online catalog, visit www.katun.com.