THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE DREAMS, IDEAS AND GOALS COME TO FRUITION, IS THE CORE OF WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOMS THAT ARE OURS IN AMERICA.

- Denise Burnett Stewart

SMALL BUSINESS DRIVES THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. IT THRIVES AND SURVIVES NO MATTER WHAT MAY BE GOING ON IN THE MAIN ECONOMY.

- Dick Gadomski

UNLESS WE PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURSHIP, WE WILL NOT HAVE AN EXCITING BUSINESS ATMOSPHERE IN OUR COUNTRY.

- Allen B. Morgan, Jr.

Charles L. Wurtzburger

Cleo, Inc.
Founder/President (retired)

“The entrepreneur is the lifeblood, or fuel, in the marketplace.” In 1953, Charles L. Wurtzburger and his father founded the Memphis Converting Company, of which he served as President for 25 years. In 1962, the name of that company was changed to Cleo Wrap, Inc. In 1964 it was sold to C.I.T. Financial Corp. It subsequently, over the next 10 years, went from one of the smallest of 23 gift-wrap companies to the largest in the world. Charles retired in 1975 as President and CEO, but remained a consultant to the company until 1991.

Charles Wurtzburger, a 1992 inductee into the Society of Entrepreneurs, is also very involved in the Memphis community. His activities were 25 years on the Board of Dixon Gallery and Garden as well as that of the “Hugo Dixon Foundation.” He was one of the five founding board members of the “Food Bank.” Also served 7 years on the board of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Charles also was a charter member of the Economic Club in Memphis. He also served on the board of Southwind, TPC Club when it was initially built until it was sold to the TPC Pension Fund.

Description of Business:

The largest manufacturer of gift-wrap in the world, also manufactures ribbon, tags, Christmas cards, and other holiday related items. The company was sold 3 additional times until the Memphis operation was closed in 2011. At its peak, it employed 3,000 and was Memphis’ largest manufacturing employer.

Year Business Founded:

1950

Year Inducted:

1992

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship:

“‘The vast majority of jobs are created by small businesses and the entrepreneur is the lifeblood, or fuel, in the marketplace. As larger, more mature business and industry is downsizing, entrepreneurs are creating whole new businesses, such as software companies. The service industry will continue to be led by entrepreneurs.”