Award of Distinction Recipient
Medical School, September 8, 2006
William F. Austin is the owner and CEO of Starkey Laboratories and founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the largest privately held hearing aid manufacturing company in the world. He started the Hearing Aid Industry in the basement of his home and now the company employs about 3,700 people around the world. Approximately one third of these employees are Minnesota residents. The Starkey Foundation, now located in Eden Prairie, provides over 20,000 hearing aids to people in need every year. He received the Leader for Peace Award by the Peace Corps and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1989. In addition, he received the Outstanding Business Leader Award from Northwood Institute. He is described as a remarkable human being and generous philanthropist who literally has helped thousands of people around the world.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.