Jim McGraw Bio

Jim McGraw is uniquely qualified to share the ideas presented in this material.

From humble beginnings, he worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually overseeing the billion dollar operations side of Kansas City’s Marion Laboratories.

His leadership style earned him the respect of his contemporaries and the loyalty of his associates.

Through his efforts…and the efforts of many others…hundreds of members of the Marion Laboratories workforce (including secretaries and line foremen) retired as millionaires. Marion Laboratories was one of the fastest-growing companies in sales, profits and stock price on the New York Stock Exchange during the 1980s.

In addition to helping to build a business that was recognized as “one of the best places to work” in the United States, McGraw shared his leadership expertise with the Kauffman Foundation.

Key career milestones include:

  • Dorsey Laboratories—started as a salesman and worked his way up to vice president of sales and marketing and acting general manager.
  • Warner Lambert—President of Diagnostic Division.
  • Marion Laboratories—joined the company in 1974 as a president of the pharmaceutical division, corporate officer and member of the board of directors. Through his 16 years at Marion, his responsibilities expanded to senior executive vice president and chief operating officer. He was responsible for manufacturing, research and development, sales and marketing, human resources and government affairs. In addition, Nordic Laboratories of Canada was under his leadership when it was acquired. After participating in the merger with Merrell Dow, he became president of Marion Labs, a corporate officer and a member of the Merrell Dow Board. He retired in 1990 and left the board shortly thereafter.
  • Company founder Ewing Kauffman invited him to join his Foundation in 1989. He served on the Kauffman Board for 14 years, ultimately as chairman.
  • Founder and supporter of the entrepreneur program at his high school alma mater, South High in Minneapolis, MN, 2009.

Mr. McGraw and his wife Ann have been married for 66 years. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.