Krueger file Featured

11:16am EDT December 21, 2004
Born: Bellevue

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, 1974, Bowling Green State University

First job: I was a ticket taker at Cedar Point. It was a great place to learn.

Career moves: Worked at Burdine's Department Store, Miami; The Limited; Chaus Sportswear. Returned to The Limited in 1984.

Boards: Board of directors, Bob Evans Restaurants; Heartland Bank's advisory board; board of directors, Columbus Academy; The James Cancer development board; Federal Reserve Board, district 4

What was your greatest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me was when I lost Carol Walker to cancer. She was a good friend and a vital member of our team. That was a turning point for me. I had to leave my job and commit to the company full time, without the safety net of a job. I took a modest salary.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

There are three I admire -- Les Wexner, and my mom and dad. My parents started a meat packing plant when I was in the eighth grade, and they taught me a lot. I owe a lot to Les Wexner. He has great business acumen, customer sensitivity, and is a skilled merchant. I also admire his philanthropy.

Our community is so much better because of him. He has been a role model for me because of all he's done and his personal integrity.

What is the greatest lesson you've learned in business?

There have been many of them. But if there is one thing I've learned, it is that you have to sacrifice and risk it all. Dan Evans, Les Wexner and others all reached a point when they did that. There came a point in time when they almost weren't in business, but they were determined, made adjustments and succeeded.

The biggest lesson I've learned is to stay the course and learn to be objective, especially when it comes to others' input. Don't get too emotional - you can't be in love with a strategy. Be objective and prepared to sacrifice and risk everything if you believe in your business.