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Executive in Residence Shares Success Story


By Brian Hogenson

APRIL 23, 2007–Greg Gartner, president and C.E.O. of Gartner Studios, Inc., a leading producer of specialty desktop and traditional stationary products with headquarters in Stillwater, Minn., spoke to a near capacity crowd in the Riverview Ballroom of the University Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Gartner was invited to speak as part of the Executive in Residence program, sponsored by the UWRF College of Business and Economics and Pierce-Pepin Cooperative Services.

In his presentation, “Failure Was Not An Option,” Gartner told the audience about the importance of staying positive and using learning experiences to build platforms for personal success.

“There is no substitution for hard work and a good attitude,” Gartner said. He noted that people should let their lives be guided by the question of “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

A former student at UWRF, Gartner congratulated the College of Business and Economics on its recent accreditation, and said that being back at UWRF was an incredible experience for him.

Telling the audience that there is no straight line to success, Gartner emphasized the importance in taking away knowledge from life experiences and using that knowledge in a way to positively impact your life.

“You can’t unlearn what you know,” Gartner said. “Nobody can take that away from you.”

Gartner founded Gartner Studios, Inc. in 1998 and grew the business to $35 million in the first six years after starting the business in a spare room of his home. His first product was a line of self-print Christmas cards.

Today, the company offers more than 8,000 products that are sold in 15,000 retail outlets including Target, Office Depot, Staples, Michael’s and Wal-Mart.

In 2004, Gartner Studios was selected by Inc. magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing private companies in America.