Digi-Key Leaders Inducted into the IDEA Hall of Fame

IDEA Competition partners recognize accomplishments of Digi-Key Founder Dr. Ronald Stordahl and President Mark Larson

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota, USA - April 25, 2013

Employees of Digi-Key Corporation, the industry leader in component selection, availability and delivery, gathered today to honor Founder Dr. Ronald Stordahl and President Mark Larson as they were inducted into the IDEA Hall of Fame. The IDEA Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the region's legacy innovators who have inspired others with their entrepreneurial vision, leadership and achievements.

"As an entrepreneur, my mission has been to redefine distribution of electronic components, and I have accomplished that," said Ronald Stordahl, founder, Digi-Key. "However, while I appreciate this accolade, the real reward for me is helping our community grow by providing jobs for over 2600 worthy people. I am grateful to receive this recognition, as it provides a way to recognize the hard-working individuals responsible for our success."

"I feel honored to be inducted into the IDEA Hall of Fame," said Digi-Key President Mark Larson. "The success Digi-Key has enjoyed is in no small part the product of the strong work ethic of the people of Northwestern Minnesota. Their dedication coupled with the strength of many talented and driven managers has made Digi-Key an industry leader. We are proud to be among those who have received this award in the past."

The IDEA Competition is a project of Ingenuity Frontier, a collaboration of partners joined by a common purpose – to grow the economy of northwest Minnesota.

Stordahl and Larson are joining other recognizable leaders in the region including Edgar Hetteen, Andy Wells, Dennis Brazier, Glen Brazier, and William S. Marvin.

Stordahl, founder and chief executive officer of Digi-Key, received his Bachelor of Science degree, Master of Science degree, and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota. It was Stordahl's interest in ham radio that provided the springboard for what has become Digi-Key Corporation today. While in college, he assembled and began selling a digital electronic keyer kit for sending radiotelegraph code for ham radio operators. It was called "The Digi-Keyer." After obtaining his doctorate, Stordahl returned to his hometown of Thief River Falls, where he began selling and distributing electronic components, officially founding Digi-Key in 1972.

Larson, Digi-Key Corporation's president and chief operating officer, received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota. He is a Thief River Falls native and continues to reside here with his wife, Jean. They have two daughters, Brittany and Jillian.

Prior to joining Digi-Key, Larson worked in several sales and management positions in addition to running his own business. Larson assumed management of Digi-Key in 1976, when the business had only 14 employees and annual sales of $800,000. Under his management, annual sales have grown to over $1.5 billion, and the company has over 2,600 employees.

Larson has successfully developed and implemented strategies that have uniquely positioned Digi-Key in the electronic distribution industry. He has leveraged technology and, in a real sense, "redefined distribution" for electronic components. Digi-Key is a "brick and mortar" company that derives more than 80 percent of its sales from the Internet. The power of this redefinition is clearly substantiated by the performance of Digi-Key relative to its peers. This performance has resulted in major gains in market share, with Digi-Key becoming the fifth largest electronic component distributor in the world.

About Digi-Key Corporation

Digi-Key Corporation, based in Thief River Falls, Minn., is a global, full-service provider of both prototype/design and production quantities of electronic components, offering more than three million products from over 650 quality name-brand manufacturers. With over one million products in stock and an impressive selection of online resources, Digi-Key is committed to stocking the broadest range of electronic components in the industry and providing the best service possible to its customers. Additional information and access to Digi-Key's broad product offering is available on the Digi-Key website.