April 25, 2004: Headlines: COS - Venezuela: Awards: Politics: Winona Daily News: Venezuela RPCV and Minnesota State Senator Bob Kierlin inducted to Polish Hall of Fame

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Venezuela: Peace Corps Venezuela : The Peace Corps in Venezuela: April 25, 2004: Headlines: COS - Venezuela: Awards: Politics: Winona Daily News: Venezuela RPCV and Minnesota State Senator Bob Kierlin inducted to Polish Hall of Fame

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-69-95.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.69.95) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 1:31 pm: Edit Post

Venezuela RPCV and Minnesota State Senator Bob Kierlin inducted to Polish Hall of Fame

Venezuela RPCV and Minnesota State Senator Bob Kierlin inducted to Polish Hall of Fame

Venezuela RPCV and Minnesota State Senator Bob Kierlin inducted to Polish Hall of Fame

Three inducted to Polish Hall of Fame

By Jerome Christenson of the Winona Daily News

Caption: Senators Bob Kierlin (R-Winona), left, and David Gaither (R-Plymouth) exchange ideas during a Senate floor session, Tues., May 13.
Photo by David J. Oakes


Three founders of Fastenal Co. will be inducted into the Winona Polish Heritage Hall of Fame on Saturday. Bob Kierlin, Steve Slaggie and Mike Gostomski will be honored during the annual Polish Heritage Days celebration.

From its beginning in a rented building at 69 Lafayette St. in November of 1967 with one full-time employee and first-month sales of $157, Fastenal has grown to 1,350 stores, 6,845 employees and $995 million in sales for 2003.

Kierlin, Slaggie and Gostomski, along with Van McConnon and Jack Remick, initially set out to market nuts, bolts and other fasteners in vending machines an idea whose time had not, and still has not, come.

The partners quickly shifted their business focus to repacking fasteners they purchased in bulk for resale to industrial and commercial users. It took three years for the business to turn a profit, but since then there has been no turning back. The partners opened a second store in 1971 in Rochester, and additional stores soon followed. In 1987, the company went public, and anyone who made a $20,000 investment in the first issue of Fastenal stock and hung on to it is a millionaire now.

Kierlin, Slaggie and Gosomski were all born and raised in Winona and graduated from Cotter High School. Kierlin and Slaggie were born in 1939 and Gostomski a year later.

Kierlin earned an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in 1962 and an MBA in 1964. He served two years in the Peace Corps in Venezuela, and, returning to the U.S., worked for IBM from 1966 to 1973 when he went to work for Fastenal full-time. He was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1999. He continues as chairman of the Fastenal board of directors.




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Story Source: Winona Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Venezuela; Awards; Politics

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