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Executive Profile , Dr. Coleman Furr

Dr. Coleman Furr says he has only made it this far in life because he had plans, one for every decade of his adult life.

When he pulled an autobiographical leather-bound book from his shelf titled “The 80s: a Decade of Jubilation,” he knew he wasn’t exaggerating about his 10-year plans.

Furr never looked back when he left a foot of snow in Lincoln, Neb., and discovered the sunshine and jasmine at the San Diego train station in 1953.

He installed computers for Sol Price at FedMart for three years before moving to San Francisco, where he worked for S & W; Foods for seven years.

When Furr returned to San Diego in the ’60s, he had an itch to start his own business.

“A recruiting limitation at FedMart had been that applicants had no computer training,” said Furr.

So he decided to train people himself by starting a private school to teach computer skills.

In 1963, with the help of a neighbor and his wife, Furr opened the Automation Institute with $15,000.

Now called Coleman College, it was successful from the beginning, Furr says.

Still teaching three courses in the master’s program, Furr says he knows each of the college’s 550 students by name.


RESUME

Name: Coleman Furr.

Company: Coleman College.

Title: Chairman.

Education: Ph.D. in education.

Birthplace: Lincoln, Neb.

Age: 82.

Current residence: San Diego.

Family: Five children, 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.


BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Improve the quality of life of every student accepted at Coleman College.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Stay on the cutting edge of technology, but just behind the blade.

Guiding principles: Honesty and integrity.

Yardsticks of success: Achieving (each) 10-year plan I have made since I was 30.

Goals yet to be achieved: Ten-year plan for my eighth decade.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Starting Coleman College.

Worst business decision: Starting an instant coffee vending business when I was in my 20s.

Toughest business decision: Starting Coleman College.

Biggest missed opportunity: Don’t know yet.

Mentor: Sol Price.

Word that describes you: Visionary.


TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: The students.

What you like least about your job: Terminating employees.

Pet peeves: I do not have one.

Most important lesson learned: Stay healthy.

Three greatest passions: Dancing, exercising, family.

First choice for a new career: Why would I?


PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: When you reach the top of the mountain, keep on climbing!

Most influential book: “History of the Peloponnesian War,” by Thucydides.

Favorite status symbol: Respect.

Favorite restaurant: Le Fontainebleau at the Westgate Hotel.

Favorite place for business meetings: The Coleman College master conference room.

Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii.

Favorite way to spend time: Haven’t found out yet.

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