Karl Eller named to national Advertising Hall of Fame
Eller is first Arizonan, second outdoor advertising exec to gain honor.
TUCSON, Ariz. - Jan. 22, 2004 - Karl Eller, Arizona business leader and nationally recognized entrepreneur, will be inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) on Tuesday, March 16.
"I am honored and humbled to bring this award home to Arizona," Eller said.
Recognized for his innovative leadership, especially in outdoor advertising, the AAF describes Eller as a "tenacious advertising executive who reshaped the business of outdoor advertising and transformed it into a business powerhouse."
In the letter notifying Eller of his selection, AAF President and CEO Wallace S. Snyder wrote Eller that the Council of Judges cited "your vision and creative innovations in the advertising world and your limitless volunteerism as just two of the many reasons for your election."
Eller is one of four business leaders named to the Hall of Fame this year. The other 2004 inductees are:
- Philip H. Geier, Jr., former chairman and CEO, The Interpublic Group of Companies
- John E. Pepper, former chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble Company
- Liener Temerlin, chairman emeritus, Temerlin McClain Advertising
Eller, the former chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor, has spent more than 50 years broadening the reach of outdoor advertising and expanding his vision into related industries.
In 1983, Eller established and funded the Karl Eller Center for the Study of the Private Market Economy at The University of Arizona College of Business and Public Administration, which is now the center of the university's entrepreneurial program.
In 1999, the Arizona Board of Regents changed the name of the UofA business school to the Eller College of Business and Public Administration. Eller is only the second UofA alumnus to have a school named after him.
Eller graduated from The University of Arizona in 1952. Milestones of his career include the following achievements:
- In 1962, founded Eller Outdoor Advertising;
- In 1968, founded Combined Communications Corp., which eventually owned and operated seven metropolitan television stations, 14 metropolitan radio stations, 12 American and two Canadian outdoor advertising companies and two metropolitan newspapers;
- In 1980, became president and CEO of Columbia Pictures Communications and oversaw the merger of Columbia Pictures into the Coca-Cola Company, USA;
- In 1983, became chairman of the board and CEO of Circle K Corp., building it into the second-largest convenience store operation and the largest publicly owned convenience store chain the United States, with 4,641 stores in 32 states and an additional 1,386 licensed or joint venture stores in 13 foreign countries;
- In 1992, formed Eller Media Co.;
- In 1997, became chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor, following the merger of Eller Media and Clear Channel.
Eller serves on the board of directors of Telesuite, ClearPath Networks, Cognistar and Polaris. He is a former member of the board of Inter-Tel Inc., Pinnacle West Capital Corp., Circle K Corp., Eastern Airlines, Swensen's Ice Cream Co., Public Broadcasting Corp., Southwest Forest Industries, Columbia Pictures, Inc., and Turner Broadcasting Co.
In 2001, Eller was named to the Advisory Board of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Eller was a founder of the Western Hockey League Roadrunners and the Phoenix Suns basketball team and was instrumental in bringing professional football to Arizona.
Among his many honors and citations are the following:
- In 1987, Laureate, Junior Achievement Arizona Business Hall of Fame
- In 2000, Arizona Historymaker, Arizona Historical Society
- In 2000, Father of the Year, American Diabetes Association
- In 2001, Alumnus of the Year, University of Arizona
- In 2003, American Advertising Silver Medal Award
- In 2003, Arizona Broadcasters' Association Outstanding Contribution
The Advertising Hall of Fame was established in 1948 and now includes 168 members. Nominees to the Hall are judged on the following criteria:
Those men and women who have completed their primary careers, who have distinguished themselves in those careers, who have contributed to the betterment of advertising and its reputation and who have made significant volunteer efforts outside the workplace.
Francie Noyes, E.B. Lane Marketing Communications
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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