Distinguished Alumni Awards

Marvin Smollar

Marvin  Smollar
To Marvin Smollar, for his entrepreneurial skills and service to the engineering field and beyond, the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, and the University of Illinois.

Chief Executive Officer and President, Kingsland Investments, Inc., Delray Beach, Florida

  • BS, 1968, General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BS, 1968, Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • JD, 1972, Georgetown University

Marvin Smollar’s accomplishments epitomize the model of a general engineer who uses his engineering education to achieve technical, legal, business, and service goals. Smollar worked as a junior engineer at the Washington, D.C. naval shipyard before securing a position in the Physics Group of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After he earned his law degree, he clerked for a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. His experience in engineering, patent law, and international business led in 1978 to the formation of the pioneering joint venture of Kidco, Inc. and Universal Toys, Ltd., for which he became the chief executive officer and president. This was the first Hong Kong–based company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1986, Smollar established his own company, Marchon, Inc. and, in 1994, he accepted the position of president and chief operating officer of Empire of Carolina, Inc. In 1998, he co-founded Delray Capital Group, Inc., a highly profitable hedge fund, which he ran for four years.

Smollar has served on several boards of directors, including service organizations such as the Boca Raton Museum of Art and the DeHornle Alzheimer Center. He has served the University of Illinois through the Alumni Association and the General Engineering Alumni Board (now the IESE Alumni Board). He helped found the Technology Entrepreneur Center at Illinois and continues to serve on their board. Smollar received the Department of General Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000. Today, he remains an active member of the IESE Alumni Board and recently initiated the development of a mentor program directed at helping juniors and seniors focus on strategic career directions as well as enhancing their job interviewing skills.

Current as of 2010.