Les Olson Company

Posted - Sep. 28, 2001 at 8:47 a.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I don't know how many ribbon cuttings or ground breakings I have attended in the past 30 years. It has been hundreds. I attended a ribbon cutting recently that really stands out because of the great story of the history of the business.

Les Olson had worked for ZCMI for many years. In 1956, he and his wife Reva took a huge risk and decided to start the Les Olson Company. Forty-five years later that company has grown into one of the largest and most successful business equipment distributors in the West. The Olsons were risk takers for a couple of reasons. First, they were entrepreneurial and had confidence in their abilities. They also had a very large family and knew they must do something more to provide for them in the way they desired.

The Olson family consisted of 12 children. One daughter passed away, but the other 11 siblings started early in the company business and today they are all still very involved in the day-to-day management of the company. It was so impressive to see all 11 brothers and sisters standing on the staircase of their beautiful new office and warehouse as Governor Michael O. Leavitt and South Salt Lake Mayor Randy Fittscut the ribbon.

I saw a couple of interesting plaques on the walls of the facility. One was blazoned with the company motto that Les started using those 45 years ago. It read, "Good Service isn't expensive - It's priceless!" Another large plaque over the door showed large photographs of Les and Reva Olson. It is obvious that the second generation cherishes the memory of these two business giants and appreciate the legacy they left their family. I was told that now the third and fourth generation of the Olson family is involved in the business.

Many top names in the electronic business equipment industry are in the Les Olson Company portfolio. They represent Sony, Sharp and Philips. They sell, service and demonstrate all of the products they represent.

The technology of the office machine business has changed so dramatically over the years. Les and Reva must be very proud to see what that scary leap of faith has led to.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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