Chairman and CEO of Falcon Products, Inc.
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|In 1959, Franklin Jacobs came out of the U.S. Air Force, where he had served as a pilot and achieved the rank of captain, to become a self-employed entrepreneur, distributing table bases to hospital cafeterias and restaurants. With a bankroll of $1,000, he and a cousin went into business. The partnership didn't last long, but Jacobs persevered and grew a business. At the end of his first year he had racked up sales totaling $5,000. By 1998, St. Louis-based Falcon Products, Inc., had grown to 2,000 employees, $140 million in sales, and two million square feet of manufacturing space. Falcon designs, manufactures, and markets furniture products for the foodservice, office furnishings, hospitality, and healthcare industries throughout the world. Its products are sold through 3,000 distributors on four continents.
In 1973 Jacobs took his company public. It was named one of the top 200 small companies in America by Forbes Magazine and Business Week in 1992, 1994, and 1995. Jacobs was appointed to the Advisory Commission for trade negotiations by President Carter in 1982_84 and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young, and Merrill Lynch in 1992. Falcon Products, Inc., with 75 percent of the world market for tables in the food service industry, has had ten consecutive years of 23 percent growth. Falcon's net worth is $85 million and he expects the company to grow to over $1 billion with its current employees.