The Murdough file Featured

7:28am EDT February 28, 2006

Born: Tulsa, Okla.

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, romance languages, University of Virginia

What is the biggest business challenge you have faced?
Today we probably face as many challenges than I have ever faced in this business. And that is the tremendous consolidation that is taking place at retail and the limited number of outlets available to us. (And) dealing with the pressures of those major mass merchants at the same time as we have to deal with the pressures coming from our major suppliers — the oil companies.

The combination of those two factors and the import pressures presented by products coming in from China, which are ridiculously underpriced, presents a very challenging marketplace. Yet they are challenges and issues over which we will prevail. We always do.

But I can’t think of a tougher time in my business career than the conditions that exist right now.

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Take care of your people. Do it right. If you take care of your people, then they’ll make sure things get done right.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?
My father, because of the manner in which he conducted himself. He was an honest businessman — a modest, caring person who always took care of his customers and fellow employees, and he did it in a very honorable manner.

He ultimately became the president of the American Hospital Supply Co.