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American Program Bureau Speaking to the world for over 50 years

Don Soderquist

Former Vice Chairman, Wal-Mart
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Biography

Donald G. Soderquist, former senior vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., was a driving force behind Wal-Mart's rise to greatness. He was vice chairman and chief operating officer before ultimately becoming senior vice chairman. Continuing the legacy of Sam Walton as "keeper of the culture" is one of his primary responsibilities and Soderquist firmly believes that business ethics are not a luxury, but an essential element in creating a high-performance organization. He also knows that the responsibility for creating an ethical organization belongs to its senior leaders.

In 1998, John Brown University created the Soderquist Center for Business Leadership and Ethics in his honor. The Center provides ethical leadership training for undergraduates, two masters programs (including an MBA), and business leadership seminars for men and women in the corporate world. A member of the boards of Arvest Bank and ServiceMaster, Inc., Soderquist also serves on numerous charitable boards.

After joining Wal-Mart Stores in 1980 as executive vice president, Soderquist served in several other executive positions until his appointment in early 1988 to vice chairman and chief operating officer. In January of 1999, he was promoted to senior vice chairman of the corporation. Prior to his joining Wal-Mart, Soderquist served 16 years with Ben Franklin, including six years as president and chief executive officer.

In 1990, Soderquist received the Outstanding Business Leader Award from the Northwood Institute in Palm Beach, Florida, and six years later was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1955 from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and has since been awarded several honorary doctorates from other colleges and universities nationwide.

Topics

Ethical Leadership

Imagine the Possible

The Impact of Culture on Success

21st Century Leadership

Vision, Mission and Values

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