John H. McConnell

Rising out of the depths of the Depression and its effects on his native community of Pughtown, or what is now New Manchester, W.Va., John H. McConnell carved the ladder on which he climbed to his success as founder of Worthington Industries, Inc. John founded his company in 1955, borrowing $600 on his 1952 Oldsmobile to help finance startup costs. Today, he is chairman emeritus of Worthington, the country's leading intermediate steel processor and a top manufacturers of metals related products with annual sales of approximately $2 billion.

A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, John is recognized as a strong business leader and humanitarian. He has been lauded by Industry Week magazine for his excellence in management. Financial World magazine recognized him as an outstanding Chief Executive Officer of the Year. John notes he simply developed his management style in response to the likes and dislikes he personally experienced in the workforce at an auto plant and a steel mill.

Following his military duty, John attended Michigan State University on the GI Bill and received his degree in business administration from the university in 1949. After graduation he worked in steel sales, gleaning much knowledge about the industry.

The internationally recognized speaker and lecturer founded the McConnell Heart Health Center. As the majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, he has pledged any profits realized from the team will go to Columbus charities. John adds he adopted the "pay forward" philosophy of his good friend, the late Ohio State legendary coach Woody Hayes. He established and endowed an educational foundation with $3 million to provide scholarships to three schools including Oak Glen High School in his native West Virginia.

The recipient of the Horatio Alger Award and the national Football Foundation Gold Medal Award, he received the Ohio Governor's Award, the Mr. Ohio Gold Award and he is a member of the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame and the Columbus Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Michigan State University Outstanding Alumni Award and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Southern Illinois University.

A 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, John is the recipient of honorary doctor of law degrees from Michigan State University and Ohio University and an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Ashland University.

John married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Reardon, in 1946. They are the parents of two children.