Photo above: Horatio Alger portrait (photo credit: Library of Congress)
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans has named Blyth Founder Robert Goergen to its prestigious Class of 2014. Goergen, who currently serves as Executive Chairman of the Board, joins 11 other business and civic leaders recognized for their “courage, resilience and commitment to higher education.”
The Association honors the legacy of 19th-century author Horatio Alger Jr., whose novels epitomize the rags-to-riches tale of overcoming adversity through a strong work ethic, courage and honesty. Goergen’s induction as a member honors his own determination and commitment to personal and professional excellence.
The Horatio Alger Association furthers the cause of higher education through privately funded scholarships. Its National Scholarship Program has provided more than $100 million in undergraduate, graduate and specialized scholarships since 1984.
Goergen’s own investment in higher education includes serving as a trustee of his alma mater, the University of Rochester, and launching the Goergen Entrepreneurial Program at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. Education is also a primary cause championed by The Goergen Foundation, which he founded in 1976.
Blyth’s small beginning grew from Goergen’s purchase of Valley Candle Manufacturing in 1979. Prior to founding Blyth, he was a Partner with McKinsey & Company and served with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, McCann-Erickson and Procter & Gamble. The company entered the direct selling space in 1990 following the acquisition of Colonial Candle of Cape Cod and its direct selling division, PartyLite. Blyth now sells products directly to consumers through its ViSalus®, PartyLite® and Two Sisters Gourmet by PartyLite® brands.
“Mr. Goergen’s life experiences exemplify opportunities that exist through our free-enterprise system for individuals with vision and the drive to succeed,” said Association President and CEO Tony Novelly. “We are proud to welcome Mr. Goergen as a lifetime Member of Horatio Alger, and we believe he will be an outstanding role model for our Scholars.”