Mr. Carpenter is President and Chief Executive Officer of Wild
Birds Unlimited, Inc., in Indianapolis. His company is the first
national franchise business established to focus on the growing
national hobby of bird feeding and bird watching. His franchise
business has grown to 162 stores in the United States and Canada,
with sales of over $35 million in 1993. He is an entrepreneur and
young businessman who has built a highly successful business from
the ground up.
Following graduation from Purdue University in 1979, Mr. Carpenter
became the manager of a garden center on the north side of
Indianapolis. His goal, however, was to own his own business. In
1981, with an $8000 personal investment, he developed a plan to
reach a niche market that would focus on supplying the needs of
the nearly 83 million people in the U.S. who enjoy bird watching.
He started with a single store in Indianapolis. Using market
strategies and his ideas for franchising and training, he built the
largest franchise in the bird watching industry. Each year the
number of franchises continues to grow. Wild Birds Unlimited
was ranked 20th in the top 100 franchises in the United States by
Success Magazine in November of 1993.
Mr. Carpenter won the 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in
retailing in Indiana. He and his wife, Nancy, and their staff are
active in the Audubon Society and have given hundreds of
lectures to garden clubs, schools, and civic groups on the hobby of
bird feeding. He has built relationships with the Wilderness
Society, Cornell University's Laboratory of Ornithology, and the
National Wildlife Federation to promote education and understanding
of wildlife and wilderness areas.
He serves as a member of Indiana University's Board of Advisors
to the College of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Carpenter is also on
the Board of Directors of The Alliance, a group of mid-sized
companies sponsored by the Indiana University Center for