WILLIAM W. GEORGE
Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic
Author of Discover Your True North
Bill George is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of: Discover Your True North and The Discover Your True North Fieldbook, Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis and True North Groups.
Mr. George is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, was chief executive officer from 1991-2001, and board chair from 1996-2002. Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Mr. George currently serves as a director of Goldman Sachs. He has served recently on the boards of ExxonMobil, Novartis, Target Corporation, Minnesota’s Destination Medical Center Corporation and the World Economic Forum USA. Bill is currently a trustee of the Mayo Clinic, and has served as board chair for Allina Health System, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, United Way of the Greater Twin Cities, and Advamed.
In April 2014 the Franklin Institute awarded him the Bower Award for Business Leadership. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012. He has been named one of “Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years” by PBS; “Executive of the Year-2001” by the Academy of Management; and “Director of the Year-2001-02” by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. George is a CNBC Contributor and has made frequent appearances on television and radio.
He received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech, Mayo Medical School, University of St. Thomas, Augsburg College and Bryant University. During 2002-03 he was professor at IMD International and Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale School of Management.
In 2016, Bill generously agreed to retire the debt of the outstanding mortgage on the Beta Psi Chapter house. This was the single most generous gift to Beta Psi in its history.
In recognition of his unprecedented support of the Chapter, and with the full recommendation and support of the Chapter, the House Corporation Board and the Beta Psi Foundation Board made the decision to recognize Brother George by officially naming the Chapter in his honor and placing his name over the main entrance to the house. The presentation took place in a ceremony at Homecoming of that year and was well attended by alumni, undergraduates, and many members of Bill's family. It was truly a special event and occasion.
He and his wife Penny reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through the generosity of a grant from the George Family Foundation, the Beta Psi Foundation is able to continue its mission of bestowing scholarships to the young men of the Bill George Beta Psi Chapter of Sigma Chi.
PENNY PILGRAM GEORGE, PSYD
Penny Pilgram George is Board Chair of the George Family Foundation in Minneapolis. She is a pioneer and leader in the integrative health and medicine movement, working to transform society’s consciousness around health and wellbeing on both the institutional and community level.
Dr. George is co-founder of the Bravewell Collaborative, a national collaboration of philanthropists dedicated to advancing the principles and practice of integrative medicine. She is co-founder of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Allina Health, which is the clinical service line responsible for prevention, wellness and integrative medicine across the entire system. She currently sits on the board of the Penny George Institute Foundation.
Dr. George and the George Family Foundation continue to break new ground through the Catalyst Initiative, now a program of The Minneapolis Foundation and through the innovative George Wellbeing Center at the Y of the Greater Twin Cities. Both of these initiatives work to further establish self-care as true primary care and to encourage all of us to be the stewards of our own health and wellbeing.
As a consulting psychologist, Dr. George specialized for more than 20 years helping diverse organizations select and develop senior executives and build high-performing teams, expertise she draws upon in her philanthropic work and leadership roles.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate in psychology from the University of St. Thomas.
THE GEORGE FAMILY FOUNDATION
Penny and Bill both were raised in strong spiritual traditions where sharing one's gifts and giving back were an integral part of life. Penny's family lineage includes ministers and doctors, including her father, a general surgeon. As a psychologist and as a breast cancer survivor, being healthy in mind, body and spirit is at the core of who Penny is and how she was raised. Looking at people holistically is something that she’s always done in her personal and professional life. In Bill’s earliest memories, he recalls wanting to be a values-centered leader who could make a difference in the world. Family has always been central to their lives.
Penny and Bill continue to be actively involved in the Foundation’s work to foster wholeness in mind, body and spirit in the communities that nurtured them. The Foundation’s legacy of serving the common good will continue for years to come through the leadership of Penny and Bill’s sons, Jeff and Jon George who also serve on the Board of Directors.
Through the Foundation, the Georges find great pleasure in sharing the blessings they have received in ways that make a lasting mark.
Mission, Vision and Values
The mission of the George Family Foundation is to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit and community by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good.
We seek to invest in people, programs and initiatives that further the mission of the George Family Foundation and help build the communities in which we live.
We believe in sharing the blessings we have received and in celebrating the spiritual reciprocity that exists between donors and receivers, working collaboratively to make the world a better place.