CEO, Tarkenton Companies
Fran Tarkenton knows better than most what it takes to succeed in a competitive arena. As one of the NFL's all-time great competitors, he was inducted into the National Football League and Collegiate Football Halls of Fame and was an All- American athlete at the University of Georgia. As quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Fran took his team to the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Super Bowls. He set the all-time NFL passing records for touchdowns (342), yards (47,003) and completions. Those records stood for 17 years.
Fran has taken the lessons learned on the field to become a successful, hands-on entrepreneur, launching 20 companies over the last 30 years, the largest reaching revenues of $142 million. At age 73, Fran continues to advise and counsel small businesses. In partnership with Office Depot, Fran recently launched SmallBizClub.com, a resource center designed to get small businesses on the road to success. Through a free membership, business owners can also take advantage of business applications, training and coaching.
Since 1996, Fran has been a trusted advocate for small business as the founder and CEO of Tarkenton Companies, whose offerings include small business consulting, coaching and software, telecommunications services and insurance-based retirement planning. Fran was also a founding board member of Coca-Cola Enterprises and served on the Board of Directors of Sterling Software, Blimpie International and Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.
Fran is a regular contributor to major media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. In addition, he hosts “The Fran Tarkenton Show” on SiriusXM Radio.
Above all, Fran believes success comes from aligning one’s vision, values and passion. He operates on the principle that there is only one reason for a business to exist — to provide products and services that help its customers.