Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
His childhood in Norway was marred by the wartime destruction of his family's home, and yet Bjørn Erik Borgen's life has been a series of success stories.
For Borgen, success began after WWII when his family immigrated to America, settling in the Norwegian-influenced Strum, Wisconsin. Academic and athletic prowess led him to the University of Wisconsin and Harvard Graduate School of Business.
In 1975, Borgen acquired Founders Asset Management, which he built into one of the leading mutual fund companies specializing in growth stock investing. Founders Funds was one of the first US-based funds to make significant investments outside the United States, including purchases in several Scandinavian-based technology companies. In 1998 he sold Founders to Mellon/Dreyfus to concentrate his efforts on Borgen Investment Group and the Borgen Family Foundation.
Through the Foundation, Borgen invests in people, especially students. Thanks to his philanthropy, several from the US attend school in Norway on Foundation scholarships, others are learning the Norwegian language, culture and history, and young Hispanic students in Eagle County, Colorado are learning English through the "Magic Bus" program.
Borgen is active in several organizations specializing in working with young students and athletes. He is a trustee of the US Ski & Snowboard Team Foundation and the Vail Valley Foundation. He is also an investor in and director of the Scandinavian Channel, Inc., which is bringing Scandinavian television programming to the US.
Borgen and his wife, Kathy, live in Vail, CO, and spend summers at their home outside Lillesand, Norway. They have three children.