John and Mary Larson
John and Mary Larson are pleased to support hardworking NIU students. They created this fund as a way to give back to an institution that contributed to John’s successful career. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from NIU (1984) and master’s degree in management (MBA equivalent) from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University (1986). John Larson joined Escort Inc., a leading automotive electronics manufacturer, in June of 2007 as president and chief operating officer and was named CEO of Escort Inc. in January of 2008. During his tenure, Escot has received multiple national awards for innovation including Car and Drivers Top 10 Automotive Innovations and SEMA’s Best New Mobile Electronics Product for “Escort Live” in 2011, and a repeat of SEMA’s Best New Mobile Electronics Award in 2013 for the “Passport Max.” In 2003, Escort received its fourth year in a row of growth under John’s Leadership. Prior to joining Escort, Mr. Larson had a long distinguished career (20 plus years) at general Motors, holding a number of key management positions. His most recent assignments at GM included: general manager overseeing operations for Buick, Pontiac and GMC Divisions of General Motors from January 2005- May of 2007. This role included responsibility for marketing, sales, pricing, and incentives as well as product portfolio development and dealer network development for Buick, Pontiac and GMC. Prior to that, John was CFO for GM’s U.S. sales, service and marketing operations from 2001-2004. This included managing a $20 plus billion sales and marketing budget for GM’s U.S. operation, which, in addition to GM’s U.S. marketing and incentive initiatives, included activities such as GM credit card, N.A. export sales, dealer network activities, and audit. Prior to that, Mr. Larson held multiple senior positions for GM’s fleet and commercial operations including: director of sales, director of finance (CFO), and director of used vehicle remarketing (off-lease and rental vehicle sales). Mr. Larson started his career with GM in 1986, and early in his career held positions in finance, brand management (Cadillac), and strategic development (GMAC). During his tenure at GM, John received several Chairman’s Honors awards for direct involvement in GM’s post 9/11 Keep America Rolling promotion, developing GM’s revenue management activity and participating in GM’s alternative fuels development strategy.