of Business Communications Feature
can still remember where I was standing when I made the decision
Starting small and making it big. Michael Krasny did that and more in his two decades as the head of a computer company that stresses customer service and employee satisfaction.
Michael Krasny founded CDW Computer Centers, Inc. in 1982 and served as its chairman until his retirement in 2001. He is now chairman emeritus at CDW. A 1975 graduate of the College with a degree in finance, Krasny started CDW in 1982 with a $3 investment in a Chicago Tribune ad selling his own PC to raise some cash.
He began custom configuring computers at his kitchen table in Glenview, Illinois, laying the foundation for CDW's unique and successful business model -- listening to the needs of customers by integrating products to create the best computer solutions to make their jobs easier. From the Circle of Service that surrounds CDW's business practices to the company's philosophies of success, CDW's culture has remained unchanged and firmly rooted through the years. Reflecting on how CDW got its start, Krasny noted, "It was not a vision created from a business plan. It has been an evolution of passion -- a passion for technology."
CDW offers complete, customized technology solutions for businesses, government, and educational institutions nationwide and is a leading source of technology products from companies such as Cisco, Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft. The company is well known for the quality of its customer service and for its commitment to its 2,700-plus employees. Services include one-on-one relationships with highly trained account managers; telephone and online purchasing; flexible financing solutions; and lifetime 24/7 phone and online support from certified technicians. The company website, CDW.com, receives more than 91,000 unique users daily and generated $615.3 million in direct, unassisted web sales in 2001. The company also interacts with more than 54,000 business customers through customized CDW@work extranets.
CDW was one of 29 companies recognized on both the FORTUNE 500 and FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" lists. In addition, CDW ranked first in its industry on FORTUNE magazine's list of "America's Most Admired Companies." The company in 2000 also received the Torch Award for Business Place Ethics, a national award made by the Better Business Bureau.
The V. Dale Cozad Lecture Series in Entrepreneurship was established through the efforts of Peter and Kim Fox and endowed by gifts from the family and friends of Dale Cozad. The lecture series honors the memory of Dale Cozad and the hard work, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit that lead to his great success.
The College invites you to attend the fall 2002 V. Dale Cozad Lecture on Entrepreneurship by Michael Krasny on September 26th.