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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > 2008 UA Executive of the Year

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

UA 2008 Executive of the Year is hardly strictly business

F. Warren Hellman, co-founder of a multi-billion dollar private equity firm, also races competitively, plays banjo, and sponsors annual bluegrass festival

TUCSON, Ariz. – March 3, 2008 – The University of Arizona 2008 Executive of the Year finds success in all walks of life. From leading a multi-billion dollar private equity firm to competing in endurance horseback riding and playing the 5-string banjo, F. Warren Hellman, chairman and co-founder of Hellman & Friedman LLC and founder of the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, is far from the business-as-usual CEO. The Eller College of Management will honor Hellman for his significant accomplishments in business and philanthropy at the annual Executive of the Year Luncheon at the Westin La Paloma on Friday, March 7, 2008.

“Warren Hellman is an unconventional but exceptional leader,” said Paul Portney, dean of the Eller College of Management. “It’s important for our students to connect with executives of his caliber, and at the same time understand that personal passions can play a central role in a career. The fruits of Mr. Hellman’s success have benefited many individuals and organizations — ranging from the clients whose money he has invested to the poverty-level uninsured to young assistant professors to bluegrass music lovers.”

A lifelong financier, Hellman co-founded private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman LLC in 1984. Respected for its distinctive investment philosophy and approach, Hellman & Friedman has raised and managed over $16 billion of committed capital and has invested in over 50 companies during its 23-year history. Prior to 1984, Hellman was a general partner for a Boston-based venture capital firm Hellman, Ferri Investment Associates and Matrix Partners.

Hellman is a director of various public and private companies including Levi Strauss & Co., D.N. & E. Walter & Co., and the Sugar Bowl Corporation, and has made an extraordinary commitment to higher education. Through a series of funds that offer major support to promising assistant professors at a number of colleges and universities, Hellman has invested in young faculty.

His interests and commitments extend beyond the boardroom to civic life and community service. Hellman’s activities include past and present leadership positions in The San Francisco Foundation, the [Calif.] Governor’s Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, The Brookings Institution, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Free Clinic, which was founded by his daughter, and Voice of Dance.

He has a keen interest in playing the banjo and competitive racing. He founded and sponsors the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, has twice completed the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile foot race from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., and five times completed the Tevis Cup, a 100-mile horse race over the same course. He is a five-time age group national champion in Ride and Tie (combination of cross-country running and endurance horseback riding). In 2005, Hellman was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About The University of Arizona Executive of the Year

Established in 1983 by the Eller of College of Management National Board of Advisors, the Executive of the Year Award honors individuals who exemplify executive qualities in private enterprise and public service. Past award recipients have included James E. Press, Toyota Motor Sales; Robert A. Eckert, Mattel, Inc.; Andy Grove, Intel; Jerry Colangelo, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns; Donald Rumsfeld, G.D. Searle & Co; and R.E. “Ted” Turner, Turner Broadcasting Company.

Media Note: Mr. Hellman will be available for interviews, but his schedule is tight. Please contact us at 520.626.2590 or to schedule a time.

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 #11 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 #48 in the U.S. The College is among the leaders of business schools generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the 25th ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 750 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

For additional information, please contact us.