Our Founder Jeffrey Rodengen

Our Founder

Jeffrey L. Rodengen

Chairman and CEO

Jeff Rodengen was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, which accounts for an early interest in boating. Following a tenure as assistant director of the Naval and Underseas Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, Jeff moved to Southern California, beginning a remarkable 15-year career as a writer, producer, and director in Hollywood. Having written, produced, or directed more than 30 films, network television specials (six for Arnold Schwarzenegger), Las Vegas revues, and Broadway productions, Jeff moved to South Florida in the early 1980s to write about the evolution of American industry and technology.

As the editor of Southern Star magazine, then Florida’s largest circulation outdoor recreation magazine, Jeff continually expanded his audience. He syndicated his business, technology, and industrial history columns, ultimately reaching nearly 2 million readers a month. His specialties included advanced technology, American industrial history, contemporary business strategies, corporate biographies, corporate ethics, and principles of business leadership.

Along with writing hundreds of technical and general-interest articles, Jeff has authored nearly 200 company history books on American industry and technology, and has been honored with four Pulitzer Prize nominations. Among his best-selling works are: The Legend of Chris-Craft and IRON FIST: The Lives of Carl Kiekhaefer, which reached 13th on national bestseller lists in the highly competitive business book category.

Energetically promoting his company history books, Jeff signed more than 8,500 books of his bestseller, Serving The Silent Service: The Legend of Electric Boat during a tireless signing tour of three cities in four days. In a single year, Jeff has signed more than 50,000 books throughout the country. With approaching 5 million readers, Jeff has authored the definitive corporate histories on many of America’s leading companies, including Nestlé, Stouffer’s, First Solar, Bertram, Boston Scientific, Cessna, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Con-way, Dr Pepper/Seven-Up, EMC, Embraer, Goodyear, Gulfstream, HCA, Halliburton, Honeywell, Jabil, Kiewit, La-Z-Boy, Litton, Mercury Marine, Office Depot, Pfizer, Polaris, Rowan, Sea Ray, The Stanley Works, Henry Ford Health, Astec Industries, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, among many others. Additionally, Jeff collaborated with eminent cardiothoracic surgeon Larry Stephenson, M.D. on State of the Heart: A Practical Guide to Your Heart and Heart Surgery.

As the most highly regarded author on the evolution of modern industry and technology, Jeff is among The History Channel’s historians and commentators. His company history books have been reviewed by more than 400 publications worldwide, and through his frequent appearances on national and regional television, radio talk shows, and syndication, he has made more than 60 million impressions.

To promote a single title, Jeff made 26 appearances on venues ranging from ABC’s “Good Morning America”, CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”, MSNBC’s “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” to “Fox News Live”.

J. Rodengen

A U T H O R    |    C O L U M N I S T    |    H I S T O R I A N