November 06, 2013

Bill George Awarded Prestigious Bower Award From The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute awarded Bill George its 2014 Bower Award for Business Leadership.  The Awards program, founded in 1824, is among the oldest and most prestigious honors bestowed in the United States.

Gayle M. Ober, Executive Director of the George Family Foundation, said: “This recognition of Bill George is well-deserved.  The Franklin Institute prize recognizes extraordinary business leadership, and Bill’s selection reflects the contributions he has made in the business, academic, philanthropic, and community realms.”

The awarded citation recognizes Bill George:

“For his visionary leadership of Medtronic Corporation, his promotion and writings on corporate social responsibility and leadership, as well as his extraordinary philanthropic contributions to education and health care through The George Family Foundation.”

Bill George’s business career was characterized by a mission focus.  As CEO of Medtronic for ten years, he measured success by the number of new patients the company was able to help each year “be restored to full health”—a number which grew from 300,000 to 10 million today.  As a professor at Harvard Business School, he has pursued a mission of building ethical leaders with equal vigor. Bill has written five books on leadership, informally advised numerous CEOs and emerging leaders, and contributed to the advancement of society through leadership on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards. In addition, Bill has been instrumental in shaping the leadership funding focus of the George Family Foundation.  Influenced by his personal involvement, the Foundation has supported national and global leadership programs that train and nurture authentic leaders in all sectors

Past honorees of The Franklin Institute’s Bower Award for Business Leadership include Bill Gates, Gordon Moore, David Packard, James Burke, Roy Vagelos and Michael Dell. Past scientific laureates include Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

About The Franklin Institute

Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is one of America’s oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the country. Today, the Institute continues its dedication to public education and creating a passion for science by offering new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake. Recognizing outstanding achievements in science throughout the world is one important way that the Institute honors its commitment to Benjamin Franklin’s legacy. For more information, please go to

About the George Family Foundation

This mission of the George Family Foundation is to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit and community by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good.  Founded in 1994 by Bill and Penny George, the Foundation supports innovative ideas in integrative health, leadership development, social justice, and spirituality in everyday life.